Newsletter column of introduction


KaleidoscopE (December 2012)
From the desk of Rev. Kathleen Ellis, Assistant Minister

In this column of introduction let me first say that I am so pleased to be here at First Unitarian, right in the Museum District, and in collaboration with ministers and staff from Copperfield and Stafford-Thoreau. What an exciting venture!

My portfolio here has four major areas: membership, pastoral care, social justice, and worship. These Teams are already in place, so I have stepped onto a moving sidewalk and have needed to step lively to get up to speed! I will also assist the Rev. Daniel O’Connell, Senior Minister, as needs arise.

Now for some personal history: My first husband and I lived in the Houston area for 15 years (1978-92) and raised two sons as members of Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church in The Woodlands. Before going to seminary I worked as a Resident Advocate at the Montgomery County Women’s Center Shelter and also served as a volunteer at Northwoods. The combination of congregational service and shelter work ultimately merged into a call to ministry.

I attended Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and enjoyed a student ministry in Arlington as well as regular guest preaching opportunities in many locations. I earned a Master of Divinity degree, completed other requirements for UU ministry, and was ordained by Northwoods in 1993. Part of my training included a summer chaplaincy at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1990 and an internship at Emerson Unitarian Church in 1992 under the supervision of the Rev. Jan Knost.

I have served congregations in Waco, College Station, and Austin; started Young Adult groups in College Station and Austin; and have been active in the Southwestern Conference and the larger UU Association. I have visited Unitarian churches in England, in Transylvania (Romania), and in the Khasi Hills of India.

Meanwhile, sons Rob (and his wife Lin) and Fred Nugen have grown up and live in Tokyo and Austin, respectively. Rob is a computer programmer who also develops applications for iPhones. Fred is a Ph.D. candidate in engineering, doing biomedical research. My husband Jon Montgomery continues to live and work in Austin. We enjoy our “visits” back and forth between Houston and Austin—they keep our relationship stimulating!

Thank you for your warm welcome as I become acquainted with you. To reach me, call 713-526-5200 (extension 210) or email


About Kathleen

Spiritual Companion since 2016: A spiritual companion simply converses with one person or small group at a time to explore their connections with the universe or higher power of their understanding. Support, companionship, and mutual growth are keys to successful spiritual direction, along with a safe space for exploration. For 25 years I served several congregations as Pastor or as Consultant to pastors and/or congregations.

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