Welcome to Our New Minister

Zackrie Vinczen, enthusiastically called as Cedars’ next settled minister last month, will begin service with our congregation next week and is scheduled to give his first sermon on August 18. We will be his first congregation, but he is well-prepared to inspire our further growth and development as a religious community.

Graduating in 2017 with a Master of Divinity degree from the Starr King School for the Ministry, Zackrie has subsequently been on the staff of the nearly 400-member Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley CA as the Acting Director of the congregation’s Family Ministry program. That multi-dimensional program is dedicated to helping prepare young UU’s and their families for a lifetime of spiritual exploration and growth.

While still a seminary student, Zackrie spent time with the San Francisco Night Ministry program, working primarily with homeless and marginally-housed people. His experience there taught him a lot about ministerial authority in the public sphere, affirmed his call to pastoral ministry, and demonstrated the important role that pastoral care can play in a community. The experience also helped him more deeply understand his call as “a longing to be pastoral — to help people find meaning and navigate the complexities of their lives.”  

Coming to Cedars will be a return to Washington for Zackrie. Although born in Alaska, he spent most of his childhood in Grays Harbor County and earned an AA degree from the community college there. Upon transferring to Western Washington University in Bellingham, he declared a double major in philosophy and creative writing. He graduated with a BA in English. It was also in Bellingham that Zackrie met his husband, Elliott Smith. Zackrie and Elliott both were active in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bellingham.