Meet the Gen Y Bios


Meet the Gen Y Bios

Avery Hulog-Vicente

I first stepped into a UU church in San Diego in 2007. I was active with the local Amnesty International chapter and I saw posters around the campus about acceptance and welcome. When I checked it out, I immediately felt welcome. The sermon that locked me in was part of a Valentine’s series that discussed how sex is a spiritual experience. Since then, I have moved several times and always visited the UU in town. When I moved to Sacramento, UUSS became my home and I have been a member here since 2011. I’ve assisted with the Welcoming Committee, participated in and facilitated Beloved Conversations, volunteered at the Adult Enrichment table, and revived the Young Adults group now known as Gen Y-20s & 30s group. I love the friends I have made here and the meaningful conversations I’ve had.

I enjoy traveling, hiking, rafting down the American River with a beer, and spoiling my two pups.


Brett Hendrickson

My name is Brett Hendrickson and I have been a member of the UUSS officially for just over a year. This is a little embarrassing but here is how I discovered Unitarian Universalism: In high school I took one of those silly online quizzes and it was something like “What religion should you belong to?” And I got Unitarian Universalism! So about ten years later my wife Hannah and I were looking for a church and I thought we might as well check out UUSS. Now here we are as members! What I love about UUSS is the community and sense of higher purpose it gives to folks who otherwise might have a hard time finding them.

I love music and have been playing piano for about 20 years. My goal in life is to make everything and everyone around me better. I still have a lot of work to do!


Dirk Tuell

When I was in High School I became a Christian. I believed in that fairly strongly (with struggles here or there) for the next 15 or so years. When I finally did end up walking away from those beliefs I evolved towards beliefs that were mostly atheist and secular humanist. I did miss church though and having a community with spiritual rituals (like singing, sermons, etc.)

Eventually I decided to see if I could find a “liberal” church out there to attend. I found UUSS and really liked it immediately. There was a bunch of new 20s 30s around that time – some of whom are still there (like Taylor Lewis). I never quit coming and very soon (5 years later! haha) became an official member.

I’ve enjoyed woring with the youth at the church. I have been a Coming of Age mentor twice. Taught OWL to our junior highers (which I am teaching again this fall) and been a SHYG volunteer. I have also helped with pledges and the Auction fundraiser.

For work I fix computers and the last three years I have been paid by the church to do their IT work and to build our new website.

I’ve enjoyed my time at UUSS and look forward to many years to come.


Hannah Hendrickson

Hi! My name is Hannah and I have been a member at UUSS for a little over a year. My husband Brett introduced me to Unitarian Universalism a few years ago. Frankly, I had never heard of UU before, but was open to trying something new. I was raised Catholic but it was clear that my beliefs no longer aligned. The very first time I stepped into UUSS I immediately saw the rainbow flag and was so surprised and excited. These were my people! After coming for several months I attended the new member orientation and then began attending the intro to UU classes. In June of 2016 my husband and I became official members. Since joining I have been active in the Gen Y group and recently volunteered at the Spring Auction. I work as a Sales Consultant at Carmax in Roseville. I enjoy cooking, dancing, and cuddling with my dog Amadeus.


Melanie Dahl

I grew up in Unitarian Universalism, attending the U.U. Fellowship of Northern Nevada in Reno with my family. After moving to California in 1998 we began attending the Sierra Foothills U.U. church in Auburn. My attendance declined during high school and my 20s, but I still feel that growing up U.U. had a big impact on my values—and I always identified with the religion even during the period when I did not attend services. I began attending UUSS in fall 2015. I love the community here, because I feel it nurtures and challenges my desire to live as a responsible and respectful tenant of the earth.


Nancy Castignetti

I’m Nancy Castignetti, and I’m happy to have found a community with the Unitarian Universalists here in Sacramento! My Jesuit education primed me for a respect of social justice and the interconnectivity of all living creatures. After searching and exploring several religious groups, I’ve been especially drawn to the UU’s, for their promotion of these values among others. I am glad that my two young children can grow up as part of this caring network. As a mom and early educator, I have enjoyed becoming involved with UUSS’s Spirit Play program, and am grateful to have met peers through the 20s/30s group. I hope to continue to grow in spirituality and activism as part of this congregation.


Sara Gandara

I found out about UUSS when I started dating Dirk. The idea of a church that did not have a dogma sounded really strange, but it also seemed like the perfect spiritual community for an atheist like me. Realizing that non-believers still can benefit from spiritual practice and a commitment to values, I felt that being a part of UU was exactly what I needed. This community is such a pleasure to be a part of and I have just recently decided that I would try to become more involved so that I can enrich my life. I have done a show with Theatre One (and hope to do more), just joined the choir, and am going to be volunteering for Spirit Play. I am happy to be involved in putting on this fundraiser as a way to support the church financially, and allow us all to have a fun night together and get to know each other more.


William Hatrick

I was first introduced to Unitarian Universalism when my sister got married at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena 10 years ago. After living in LA for 14 years and a quick pit stop in Albuquerque, I have been in Sacramento since Dec. 2014. Not knowing many people here in the area I started coming to UUSS and immediately felt welcome and met some of the others in the Gen Y group. As the lone member of my family living on the west coast, it has been wonderful to have the spiritual community and fellowship of UUSS. I enjoy travelling, music, and heading to the mountains for skiing in the winter. My fiancé Mario and I look forward to getting to know more members at UUSS!