About Our Minister
Reverend Lisa Romantum Schwartz
Rev. Lisa Romantum Schwartz has served as the Fellowship’s minister since August 2012. Lisa left the traditional Protestant church as a young adult, and spent several years saying “I’m not a church kind of person.” (The universe, she is fond of saying, has a great sense of humor.) She discovered Unitarian Universalism in 1983, and it was love at first sight.
Rev. Lisa believes that the universe is abundantly loving and that religion should strive to connect all creatures in a harmonious relationship. In her words, “Unitarian Universalism is a uniquely relevant faith for the 21st century, and may offer our culture some real alternatives to what might be called a ‘hole in our collective soul.’”
Someone once said that the creator made people because of a love for story, and Rev. Lisa loves to oblige. She is a gifted storyteller, and always weaves some stories into her sermons. Her B.A. in Anthropology (KU, 1985) engenders a love for a diversity of tales from many sources, and leads to a fascination with the way cultural change affects congregational life. (Rev. Lisa earned her Master’s of Divinity at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City in 1994.)
Rev. Lisa is an advocate for various social justice causes, because “it is worth hoping that congregational life can effect cultural change, as well.” She is proud to have been named to the “Roster of the Damned” by Topeka’s own Fred Phelps (and she has waited in vain for years for the T-shirt to arrive).
Before accepting the call to UUFWS Lisa served for nine years as the minister at the UU Fellowship of Topeka. Prior to that she worked for seven years as the Chaplain at a residential addiction treatment center in Topeka. She has also served as a chaplain at Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center and Topeka State Hospital. Her basic Clinical Pastoral Education training was at the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center, and she served a year-long residency in advanced CPE training at Topeka State Hospital.
Lisa lives in Winston-Salem with Jim, her beloved husband of nearly 30 years. Their daughter Libby is an artist living outside of Asheville. In her free time Lisa enjoys walking with Jim and their dog, riding her bike, gardening, hiking, and reading.
Rev. Lisa keeps office hours Monday through Thursday afternoons, though sometimes she facilitates a group or steps out for visitation so it’s best to call ahead for an appointment. She is often available for meetings at other times, and welcomes walks in the woods and coffee shop chats. Email Rev. Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Fellowship office at 336-659-0331 to make an appointment.