The Reverend Tamara Casanova Suzuki was called to Live Oak UU Congregation and began her ministry with us in August 2014. She says ” We come together as a Unitarian Universalist congregation because we know that we are stronger together. Here is a place where the worth of each person is honored while the good of the whole is nurtured. Something unique, amazing, and life-giving happens when we gather together. Here is place of love, and justice, and hope.”
Rev. Tamara graduated with her Masters of Divinity degree, summa cum laude, from Claremont School of Theology in May, 2011 and was ordained by the Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair, CA in June, 2012.
She also has a Masters degree in International Relations from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She studied abroad at the University of Lund, Sweden, and speaks fluent Swedish.
Rev. Tamara identifies as an atheist and spiritual humanist, and states that the beginning of her spiritual journey was in the Girl Scouts!
Before beginning as the settled minister of Live Oak, Rev. Tamara served for two years as the Acting Associate Minister of Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. She has also served as a chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, CA and as a chaplain at the University Interfaith Center at California State University, Long Beach.
Rev. Tamara comes to Live Oak with a strong background in teaching and education having served as a religious educator for 10 years. She was a founding member of the current Pacific Southwest District (PSWD) Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Chapter serving for four years as its president, and enjoys serving as chaplain in our district youth camps at DeBenneville Pines.
Rev. Tamara has served on several interfaith committees and councils including the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion at the Claremont School of Theology. She enjoys spending time with her family, organic gardening, sudoku, camping, reading and beachcombing.