President of the Board – Deb José (she / her)

I joined First Parish in Waltham in 2011, having been brought by a dear friend. I was surprised at the warm welcome during coffee hour. I’ve stayed because it is just the right spiritual fit for me, and because of the many dear old and new friends I have here.  I like to volunteer at WATCH (Waltham Alliance for Teaching, Community Organizing and Housing) in the housing clinic;  I enjoy leading a book group for adult English learners, also at WATCH. I love to read and garden and visit with my grown children and my grandchildren. I also love to walk with my dog, Cami. She’s a great companion, and we love to go for walks with human friends, too.


Commissioner of Finance – Donna VanderClock (she / her)

I have been a Unitarian Universalist since joining First Parish in Waltham in 1997 with my husband Bill, son Dan and daughter Perri. When I’m not traveling, which I try to do as often as I can, my preference is to be doing something that helps others. My current volunteer role at First Parish in Waltham is Finance Commissioner, but I have also served as Treasurer, President of the Board of Managers, and Membership Commissioner, along with various committees and task forces. One of my favorite volunteer jobs is washing the dishes, because I have a chance to socialize a little while getting something done!


Assistant Treasurer – Dan DeHainaut (he / his)

Dan and his wife Muffy Young joined First Parish in the early ‘90s with two young children in tow. Since then, Dan has served on the Board of Managers as Property Commissioner, Finance Commissioner, and President, and has worked on several committees, including the COVID Response Team and the Committee on Ministry. Now, as a non-voting member of the Board, he is proud to say he has never missed a non-vote.

Four years into retirement, Dan enjoys such leisure activities as photographing Muffy’s handwoven shawls, planning woodworking projects that will never be completed, and stringing wires from one place to another. When he is not at church stringing audio wires from one place to another he is often found in his living room balancing a computer on his knees with a cat on his lap.

Commissioner for Music and Worship – Bethany Templeton Klem (she / her)

Bethany Klem started exploring UUism and First Parish in Waltham in 2008. When not serving as the Commissioner for Music and Worship, she’s a librarian who sometimes dabbles in sewing and soap-making. Energetic children consume the rest of the hours in her day.

Commissioner for Religious Education – Pam Penton (she / her)

I have been a member of First Parish of Waltham since 2006 and raised my daughter Chandra here.  I have had many volunteer jobs, currently as the Commissioner of Religious Education.  I am an Early Childhood Director in Newton and also enjoy traveling, camping and gardening.

Clerk – Peter Duane

I have been a Unitarian Universalist since joining First Parish in Waltham in 2008. I Retired from a research and teaching position to the Philippine Islands in 2019. My wife Lorna (originally from the Philippines), and our daughter Alexandra are with me here. I am very fortunate to be able to maintain contact with my friends at First Parish through the technology that was implemented for the pandemic.

Commissioner for Social Outreach – Elisse Ghitelman

Raised as a secular Jew, Elisse Ghitelman came to First Parish in Waltham when her husband, John Allen, a lifelong UU, wanted their son Jacob to have a UU religious education. She joined soon after, in 1997, and has served on the board as Religious Education Commissioner and Membership Commissioner in the past. She is also a Buddhist practitioner and a founding member of the Waltham Buddhist Meditation Group. She is active in a variety of local and national organizations that focus on democracy and climate justice issues.

Membership Commissioner – Gary Morrison

I grew up in the Universalist church in my home town of Augusta Maine. Breezing into Waltham, living around the corner from First Parish and meeting Kris brought me back to this wonderful community. We were married here by Rev. Charity Rowley accompanied by Larry Phillips with special guest Dan Taylor (Cameroon). Here I have been able to hone skills in my public speaking, AVZoom tech, community building and leadership.

Community organizations: founding member/Community Liaison (man on the street) Waltham Local First; film festival organizer at Charles River Museum;  working group Moody St. Marketplace; WATCH board member.

I think of myself as a HuBuUU=Humanist, Buddhist, Unitarian/Universalist.

Property Commissioner – Dan Taylor

I grew up at First Parish and it is like a second home to me.  The wonderful community keeps me coming back.  I like imagining what an incredible world it would be if everyone were as caring, thoughtful, and loving as folks at First Parish.  I am proud to have brought up all my kids at First Parish and they have all embraced the values of the UU world.  As well as being Property Commissioner and I have served in various other positions in the past.  Outside of church I have recently retired from teaching middle school science although I am not ready to retire from working in general.  My primary job right now is caring for my 97 year old mother.  I am proud of my three young adult children who are facing the challenges that come from making their own way in our crazy world.  I am blessed to face all the challenges of life with my wife Joan Smith.


Treasurer – Janet Riley (she / her )