Elaine Stehel became a member of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier in July, 2017, shortly following her cross-country move to Central Vermont from Salt Lake City, Utah. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside UCM staff and volunteers this 2018-19 Church Year as UCM’s part-time Membership Coordinator.
Elaine studied French and Linguistics at the University of Utah, earning a BA in each, along with a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate. She was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and resigned her membership from the Mormon faith at the age of 21. After coming out to herself, family, and friends as Humanist, Atheist, and Bisexual, in her turbulent twenties Elaine began working and volunteering in myriad capacities as a community organizer, political campaign canvasser & caller, non-profit event planner, and AmeriCorps Alumna. She co-founded and led a chapter of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Utah from 2008 – 2012, and was serving as the Vice President of the Humanists of Utah before moving to Vermont last year. Elaine joined the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City in May, 2010 and has since immersed herself in Humanist, Buddhist, and Unitarian Universalist psychology and theology.
In her full-time professional life, Elaine works as a bookseller at Bear Pond Books and a substitute clerk at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, while teaching private French lessons to students of all ages & abilities throughout Central Vermont. She volunteers as a clerk at the Ainsworth Public Library in Williamstown, the Vice Chair of the Northfield Democrats, and as the Secretary on the Board of the Northfield Farmer’s Market. Elaine lives in Northfield with her foster daughter, Ashley, and their two cats, Colonel Pendleton and Thai Knit. Her wife, Kristen, works as a librarian in Salt Lake City, Utah and they visit one another as often as possible, while hoping and dreaming of one day making Vermont their permanent home.