Ministers & Staff
The Reverend Alison Wilbur Eskildsen
Rev. Eskildsen takes a sabbatical from March 1 thru August 2017. Click for sabbatical details.
Parish Minister, Rev. Eskildsen joined the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Georgia, in August 2010. Prior to her arrival she was Assistant Minister and Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church in Reston, Virginia. A fourth generation UU, her family moved around during her childhood but joined Unitarian churches each place they lived. Formative experiences at the Unitarian Rowe Camp and in Rev. Eskildsen’s Liberal Religious Youth group during high school drew her to ministry. Upon graduation from Albion College Rev. Eskildsen began working at the National Geographic Society (NGS) expecting to stay long enough to earn tuition for seminary. Somehow 25 years passed while directing elite photographers and developing books, articles and other projects. In 2001 she left NGS and began her pursuit to ordained ministry.
Rev. Eskildsen graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, and was ordained in 2009. During her training she served as Summer Minister at the UU Congregation of Fairfax, VA, and Intern Minister at the UU Church of Arlington, VA. She served as Student Chaplain at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, and participated in a housing mission at South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Rev. Eskildsen describes herself as a humanistic religious naturalist. She derives spiritual renewal from the vast wonder of nature and aspires each day to live out our UU principles. She is passionate about energetic and meaningful worship and is committed to transforming lives and making the world more just.
Rev. Eskildsen and her husband, Paul Eskildsen, an attorney, have two children. Their older son, Scott, is an orthopaedic surgeon in residence at UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC, where he lives with his wife, Dr. Jenny Feldman Eskildsen, an anesthesiologist at UNC Hospitals, and their son, Connor. Rev. Eskildsen’s younger son, Brian, is an Assistant Coach for Harvard University’s Men’s Basketball program in Cambridge, MA.
Except while she’s on sabbatical, please contact Rev. Eskildsen by email (that’s best), or by cell phone (706-424-9449), or by phone at the Fellowship (706-546-7914).
For information about her sabbatical, click here.
The Reverend Dr. Don A. Randall
Affiliated Community Minister, Rev. Randall is a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional counselor with Athens Associates for Counseling and Psychotherapy. He has special interests in marital therapy, spiritual development, mind-body healing, and hypnosis. Don provides consultation to the pastoral care team and occasional pulpit supply. He and his wife Sally have three adult daughters and six grandchildren.
As a service to members of the Fellowship, Don offers a free consultation session to those seeking a referral to the most appropriate psychotherapist.
Contact Rev. Randall at his Counseling Office: 706-353-0709 or at home: 706-769-7540
Music Director at UUFA since 2001, Amber Fetner leads the Chalice Choir, Palms of Fire drum circle, small vocal ensembles, and coordinates additional music activities. Amber regularly takes Fellowship musical groups into the Athens community in support of local organizations and justice activities, such as the Human Rights Festival. An active member of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) Amber serves as Mid-South District Liaison for the UUMN.
Amber successfully completed a credentialing program sponsored by the UUMN which then recognized her with its ‘Certified UU Music Leader’ designation in 2014. Previously, Amber completed her Master’s work in Ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter College in Rome, GA.
Contact Amber by email
Director of Religious Education, Morgan Watson has been responsible for designing and overseeing programs for UUFA’s children and youth since joining the staff team in August 2009. Since then, Morgan has participated in a variety of professional development courses for religious educators, including Administration, Youth Ministry, Puzzle of Leadership, Adult Faith Development, Race/Ethnic Identity Formation, and Pastoral Care for Religious Educators- LGBTQ Youth and Addiction. Such coursework brings Morgan closer to her goal of becoming a Credentialed Religious Educator.
Before coming to UUFA, she received her Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia in 2005 and served as a special education teacher in Clarke and Madison Counties for four years.
Morgan has had a long time passion for working with children and youth. During her undergraduate studies at UGA, she volunteered at Sandy Creek Nature Center as a Trail Guide and helped with events such as Snake Day and Earth Day. Upon graduation, she served as an Outdoor Education intern for one summer at Bradford Woods Outdoor Education Center in Martinsville, Indiana and was a camp counselor at Camp Kippewa for Girls in Monmouth, Maine for another summer.
Morgan has two children. When they were a bit younger, she was the Girl Scout Troop Leader of her daughter’s troop for six years and the Cub Scout Den Leader of her son’s troop for four years. As a scout leader, she planned and supervised a wide variety of overnight campouts, field trips, social events, community service projects, workshops, and badge activities. Current certifications include American Red Cross’s First Aid, CPR, and Basic Water Rescue/Small Craft Safety and Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Training, Safe Swim Defense, and Scoutmaster Training.
When not supporting faith development programs here at the Fellowship, Morgan enjoys camping, hiking, boating, swimming, dancing, and socializing.
Coordinator of Religious Education, Ms. McConnell joined UUFA in mid-May 2017 after serving the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia for three years. During her prior career, Kelli has worked with children in a variety of ways, including as a substitute teacher for Waseca Montessori School. In addition to joining our staff team Kelli will continue teaching Reiki and counseling at the Heart Path Studio. Kelli shares our UU values and looks forward to getting to know the children, youth, and adults of the Fellowship.
Congregational Administrator, Ms. Gambrell began as a quarter-time bookkeeper in 2002, Shaye Gambrell has served in the UUFA office over the years under several job titles. As Congregational Administrator s
he is responsible for the smooth operation of the office and internal and external communications.
Shaye holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Drama and Journalism from the University of Georgia. In addition to her work at UUFA, she is the sole staff member for the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators (www.AUUA.org).
Her love of travel has taken her all over the world, often as a teacher of English as a Second Language. Shaye has been active in local politics and with several non-profit organizations over the more than twenty years she has lived in Athens.
Contact Ms. Gambrell at UUFA: 706-546-7914
Crystal Wehn-yuh Wu
Pianist, Crystal Wu obtained her Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Minor in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the Kenan Music Scholarship. Following that, she obtained her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Georgia. While in Athens, she has dedicated much time to teaching. She continues to teach and lead private lessons and group classes for children, college students, and adult students for the UGA Community Music School.
Throughout the last 19 years, she has been actively participating in recitals, masterclasses, festivals, and competitions. Most recently she was named the first place winner in the Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition and honorable mention in the GMTA competition in the Young Artist Solo division.
Ms. Wu has been awarded a teaching assistantship and will be pursuing her DMA in Piano Performance with possibly a double minor in piano pedagogy and theory at UGA in the Fall of 2015. She has been UUFA’s pianist since July 2015.
Nursery Caregiver, Erin Favre has taken care of UUFA’s youngest members since 2011.
Nursery Caregiver, Marcus Prince has taken care of UUFA’s youngest members since 2011.