Our Elected Leaders
Westminster’s Trustees for the 2020-2021 congregational year are:
Nancy Reed has been a member of Westminster Unitarian Church since 2010. In addition to serving as president elect and now president, she has acted as co-chairperson on both the Worship Committee and the Youth Religious Education Committee. On the Worship Committee, Nancy had the challenging and rewarding job of setting up the lay services throughout the church year and summertime. Nancy continues to be a part of the YREC as a regular committee member, and has the responsibility of coordinating the Middle School Neighboring Faiths program which she is passionate about. Outside of church, Nancy works as an Occupational Therapist in the Scituate school system, teaches group exercise classes and is a dancer/choreographer in Balliamo Dance Collective. Nancy is grateful to be a part of such a vital and progressive church. Westminster has been a wonderful spiritual home for her and her two sons, and she looks forward to doing her part to uphold its mission.
Janet Searles joined Westminster when she, her husband and three children moved to East Greenwich over 35 years ago. They had discovered the Unitarian Universalist faith when living in Duxbury, MA and consciously chose East Greenwich because of the proximity to Westminster. They have never regretted their decision. Janet has had the good fortune over the years to preside as President of the congregation including during the construction of the Parish House, to be a member of the church’s Search Committee after the retirement of Minister Emeritus, Fred Gillis, to be the director of religious education as well as church school teacher, has enjoyed being a mentor to Coming of Age students, has weeded every square inch of the church gardens, has served on every committee, has felt emboldened to work for social justice efforts, and much more. The Westminster community of members and friends is near and dear to Janet’s heart. This place of loving friends has supported, encouraged and prodded her into living out the UU values that strive to make the world a better place.
Amy Abel came to Westminster in the summer of 1996 and it was love at first sight. She found a home for her passions for storytelling, traditions, and the beautiful architecture of the sanctuary. Now, two decades later, Amy is amazed that she has written and given multiple sermons. Amy has served on the Board of Trustees, and various committees. Amy lives in North Kingstown with her young adult, Lee Giruzzi. Ten years ago, Amy considered relocating to another state. The decision to stay was the connection to this warm, loving, embracing community.
Jeff Haan and his family, Laura Giusti and daughters Eva and Aria, have been coming to Westminster since 2012. Jeff and Laura have volunteered as religious ed teachers for a number of years and are both interested in finding new ways to serve the church. Jeff works as a software development manager in Johnston.
Karen DeCesare has been a member of the Westminster community since 2014. She is married to Hutch Smith and has three children, Alexander, a recent graduate of UVM, Claudia, who will be starting college in the fall, and Charlotte, a rising 6th grader. Claudia and Charlotte have been participants in the youth religious education program for the last 6 years. After volunteering as an RE teacher, Karen became a member of the Youth Religious Education Committee and has enjoyed working with the group on curriculum and teacher recruitment. This is Karen’s first time as a board member.
Amy Prisco and her family have been a part of the Westminster community since September 2014. In addition to serving on Westminster’s Board, Amy serves as a Connection Group Facilitator and teaches Coming of Age, Compass Points, and Neighboring Faiths in the Religious Education Program. Amy is a native Rhode Islander who was raised on a steady diet of clam chowder and stuffies. She has a professional background in urban planning and design and after living and working in Boston, moved back to the Ocean State to raise a family of her own. Currently, she is a stay-at-home parent to her two children who keep her on her toes and laughing (mostly). Amy greatly benefits from the fellowship and support she experiences at Westminster- a place she now considers her second home.
Member at Large
Bob Walker has been a member of Westminster Unitarian Church since 2015 when he moved to East Greenwich and attended a Sunday worship there. Bob says, “It had been a while since I had been drawn to attending any Church on a regular basis, but when I stepped into Westminster’s beautiful sanctuary, met the parishioners who immediately sought to engage me in the Social Justice activities the Church was involved in—there was no turning back—I was destined to join.” Bob currently is a faculty member of Clubhouse International, the Fountain-House model psycho-social rehabilitative service with 300 Clubhouses around the globe today.