Rev. Erik David Carlson, Lead Minister
The Reverend Erik David Carlson has served as Bradford UU's settled minister since 2016 following a unanimous congregational vote. Rev. Erik is a life-long UU who has held leadership positions at every level of our Association, including the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the Central Midwest District (now part of the MidAmerica Region) the UUA Board of Trustees, and served from 2010 to 2016 as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton, IL.
Dedicated to the spiritual growth of our young people, Rev. Erik is a recipient of the UUA’s Donna DiSciullo Award for Young Adult and Campus Ministry and consistently donates his time to serve as Chaplain for youth and young adult events in the MidAmerica region.
Prior to ordination, Rev. Erik served as intern minister for the three New Orleans area UU congregations who were struggling with rebuilding their churches and communities in the post-Katrina period. He was instrumental in their joint capital campaign that raised over $1M for Katrina-affected UUs and worked closely with the leadership of the Center For Ethical Living housed at First UU New Orleans.
His work on technology and UU evangelism was a featured essay in the 2008 Jenkin Lloyd Jones Press publication Reverend X: How Generation-X Ministers are Shaping Unitarian Universalism and upon graduation from seminary received the coveted Meadville Lombard Theological School Faculty Leadership Award for his leadership within and outside the seminary community.
Since arriving at Bradford UU in August of 2016, Rev. Erik has served as Chair of the Religious Leaders Caucus of Congregations United to Serve Humanity, helping to fund-raise for CUSH, author statements of conscience condemning religious bigotry and lead vigils in support of immigrant justice and an end to community violence.
An accomplished musician, Rev. Erik often performs original compositions and leads community singing during services at Bradford UU.
Rev. Erik lives in Kenosha with his wife Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson (Minister of Religious Education at First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee), their son Miles, and two opinionated felines.
Listen to select sermons from Rev. Erik here >>>
Contact Rev. Erik here >>>
Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cummings, Assistant Minister of Pastoral Care
Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cummings first joined the Bradford UU leadership as our Affiliated Community Minister in 2019, helping represent UUism in the public sphere through her numerous ministries. During the time of COVID-19, however, Rev. Monica took on a larger role in the communication and coordination of the church's pastoral response to members in need, and starting September of 2020, is our Assistant Minister of Pastoral Care.
Rev. Monica received her Doctor of Ministry degree at the Claremont School of Theology where she studied and practiced Pastoral Counseling at the Clinebell Institute. In her private practice (Cummings Counseling and Consulting) at the Beloved Wellness Center, she provides Spiritual Guidance, Reiki Healing, Trauma sensitive Yoga and Meditation and Substance Abuse Counseling.
The Rev. Dr. Cummings has served the Unitarian Universalist Association in the Youth Ministry and Faith Development Offices, was the consulting minister for the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, senior minister for the UU Fellowship of Lower Bucks, chaplain for Senior High Camp at De Benneville Pines Camp and was the Co-Chair of the UUA Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee for two years.
Rev. Dr. Cummings’ podium presentations include:
"Meeting People Where They Are: Creatively Designing Diversity and Inclusion Programs that Eliminate Barriers for People with Marginalized Identities" in Washington, DC.
Veterans Day Ceremony Keynote Speaker at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, IL.
"The Influence of Culture on Identity Formation" and "The Influence of Culture and Spiritual/Religious Beliefs on Treatment Outcomes" in Chicago, IL
Rev. Dr. Cummings’ published work includes:
"Facing and Embracing Fear", in Synapses: A Creative Journal of Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
"Bless a Stranger with a Smile” and "Let It Be Done," in An Anthology of Meditations: Voices from the Margins, Skinner House Books.
"Making the List" in Twelve-Step Unitarian Universalists from Skinner House Books.
Dr. Cummings is serving a two year appointment on Gov. Tony Evers Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council, she is a member of NAADAC (The Association for Addiction Professionals), Spiritual Directors International, Yoga Alliance, and a former Director-At-Large for the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, served on the Board of Directors, American Red Cross Bucks County Pennsylvania Chapter, and spent 26 months as an education and community development Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa.
Dr. Cummings was an adjunct faculty member at Meadville Lombard Theological School, a Lecturer at Chicago Medical School, and is a Substance Abuse Counselor in Training (SAC-IT), Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT® 200), and a Reiki Master Teacher.
Alex Poyner, Music Coordinator
Alex has been playing the piano since 2005 and it has developed into a life-long passion. In 2015 Alex earned a Bachelors in Piano Performance from UW Parkside and later attended University of Michigan for harpsichord and fortepiano performance. Besides degrees in music, Alex has performed both piano and classical organ for many churches as well as for assisted-living facilities and nursing homes around the Kenosha area. He has shared his joy of music with many people.
Alex has also competed in many musical competitions and festivals including Oberlin Baroque Music Festival. Since starting piano Alex has developed an interest in playing diverse musical styles: classical, ragtime, blues, early jazz, popular music of the early 20th Century, and even some classic country music.
From Alex: “I love to enjoy and share wonderful music. Music is something to be enjoyed and it enriches everyone’s lives. I am honored and delighted to be at Bradford UU.”