Ministerial Search Committee Members

Kim Dunovan, Chair of Committee

Kim was born and raised, and has spent most of her adult life, in Omaha. She is a retired attorney who enjoys hiking, visiting our national parks, reading, birding, yoga and maintaining

a regular mindfulness practice. Most recently, she has devoted time to the study of nonviolent communication, as developed by Marshall Rosenberg.


Kim and her husband started attending First Unitarian Church of Omaha shortly after they were married thirty years ago and raised two boys in the church, one of whom was married in our beautiful sanctuary this past December. Kim has served the church in many capacities, including two years as President, two terms as a Board Trustee, and most recently, Chair of the Governance Committee and Chair of Hope In Action, a sub-team of the Caring Team that is available to members of the congregation in need of direct assistance or support.

Diana Byrd

Diana has been a member of First Unitarian Church of Omaha since early 2016, attending for over a year prior to signing the membership book.  A very special memory for her is the weekend she and her husband, Daniel, were married at First Unitarian on a Friday evening and then signed the book as members on that Sunday.  She was attracted to this church both by its moving music each and every Sunday and by the quality of sermons delivered by the minister.  Diana works full-time as a teacher of English Language Learners in Omaha Public Schools, and she enjoys gardening, hiking, and travel. 

 

Since joining First UU, Diana has been been a member of a hospitality team, served on the fellowship team, participated in listening circles, and she and Daniel hosted a listening circle for one year. Prior to election to the Ministerial Search Committee, Diana served on the Governance Committee, and she has participated with YES meals.  Diana has also engaged in a number of activities such as book discussions, video/film screenings, workshops, retreats, Heart & Hand functions, and forums.  Diana looks forward to working with the other members of the MSC to learn more about the needs and desires of our church community as we move toward selecting the best candidate for the next phase of our ministry.

Jessica Eman

Jessica was born and has lived most of her life in Omaha. She currently works as a special education teacher at Ralston Middle School. She and her husband, Taylor, have two cats, a dog, and recently gave birth to their son, Ezra, in July. In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing board games, traveling, and spending time with her family.

 

Jessica first discovered Unitarian Universalism through a student group while attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. She attended First Unitarian Church of Lincoln for four years, before moving back to Omaha. Jessica has been attending the First Unitarian Church of Omaha since 2016.

 

Jessica has primarily been involved with First Unitarian’s youth since joining the church. Jessica has served as a leader of the Young Adult group for individuals ages 18-35, a leader of the YRUU group for middle and high school students, and has volunteered in the Religious Education program for elementary students.

Kate Godfrey

Since 1997, Kate has called First Unitarian home. She writes: My husband and I have raised our three children here (our youngest is still in YRUU), and we are both active members. It is difficult to describe how this congregation has touched me over the years. When my kids were born, the church celebrated with us. During a particularly difficult year, I lost my mother and my husband's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This church family was there for us with hugs and support. We are part of a community.

After so many years, I have done quite a lot of volunteering: RE, Membership, Ministerial Advisory Committee, CUUPs, Stewardship, Listening Circles (now Soul Matters), and President of the board. I've been to GA, Regional Assembly, and Leadership school. This is my second go round on the Search Committee, and I am grateful to be on such a wonderful team.

On a personal level, I am a dabbler: writing, fabric art, cooking, copper bas relief, poetry--all when the mood strikes. I consume period mysteries avidly. Through my work as a chiropractor, I pursue an interest in nutrition. I am a holistic practitioner, and that carries through to my personal philosophy. We aren't just a collection of parts; the whole is more when it comes to the human body, to our church community, and to life. 

Mark Loscutoff

Mark writes: I became a member of First Unitarian Church in 2015, after attending occasionally for 40 years, usually with my mother, Yvonne (Loscutoff) Price. My extended church family comforts me, challenges me, and nurtures my inner extrovert. My roles in the church have been with a hospitality team, the Right Relations Team, the Transportation Team, and Chief Coffee Grounds Composter. I am married to Jeanette Loscutoff, who is involved as deeply with her Nazarene church as I am with First U. We have interesting conversations. Jeanette volunteers with me and several other Unitarians at Wakonda Elementary School. Our son, David (28) just graduated from Nazarene seminary.


For the past 10 years, I have operated a business doing residential energy-efficiency consulting and testing. It helps me feel that I am pushing back against climate change. It gives me schedule flexibility, a good mix of physical and mental work, and I love my boss. For 20 years before that, I sat at a computer for 9 hours per day, designing equipment to automate factories (sorry, factory workers!) 


I enjoy bicycling, growing food, solar cooking, and creating ways of living more lightly on the Earth.

Lita Magisana

Originally from Louisiana, Lita moved to Omaha fifteen years ago to raise her family. She is a self-proclaimed ECLECTIC SPIRITUAL STUDENT/SEARCHER which doves nicely with her love of reading, nature and a desire to connect with others in a compassionate manner. 

 

Lita’s initial involvement with First Unitarian Church was six years ago through the Women’s Religious Studies Group. She was later drawn to the Sunday services and CUUPS group. 

 

She was impressed with what the children’s RE program had to offer her younger children, one of whom is currently a “card-carrying” member of the YRUU.

 

Lita recently attended the Midwest Leadership School. The experience deepened her commitment to being a part of the ministerial search committee’s dedication to bring a minister to the church who will be a part of its steps along the path into the future.

Dave Richardson 

Dave writes: I have been a member of First Unitarian for over twenty years. I have served as a member of the Board of Trustees. I also served a term as Board President. My main interests in church work lately has been with church history. I was our archivist for several years and I was the author of our recently completed congregational history titled Pillars & Dreams: a History of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha. The book was written to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of our founding in 1869. I also have worked on the Worship Arts Team, Book Club and the Ministry Teams Council. 

 

I am looking forward to the Ministerial Search before us.

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