Caught in the Act of Generosity: Geri Knoebel

by Christina Socorro Yovovich of the Radical Generosity Committee
Geri Knoebel describes her younger self as a “shy introvert,” someone who never “quite fit into my Catholic upbringing.” But then in her late 30’s she found the Unitarian Universalist Church and “felt embraced—for all of me!” Soon after, she met Linda Skye, the “love of my life” and “partner/wife for 33 years.” Surrounded by all these supports, she found herself opening up, becoming more at ease. Her confidence grew, and she found herself able to try and do new things.

In 1994, she and Linda moved to Albuquerque, and Geri joined First Unitarian, which was already very large church—400 members—compared to the 100-member church in Montclair, CA where she first learned about Unitarian Universalism. They joined the Penguin Extended Family and made connections and acquaintances who over the years became dear friends.

Geri is a familiar face around the campus. She has chaired many groups, been elected to the Board, and served for two years as President. She currently serves as the chair for the 75th Anniversary celebration Task Force. But her greatest joy comes from “taking pictures, dressing up silly to promote events, blowing bubbles with kids and adults alike.” She loves connecting with people and seeing them smile.
Geri has seen and been a part of many changes in the church during her time as a member. First U doubled in size (from 400 members to 800), went from one minister to two full-time ministers, became an Intern Teaching Congregation, adopted the Welcoming Congregations and Safe Congregation programs, adopted the 8th Principle, and much more. She helped, as the church grew, to change it to policy governance. When she joined, much of how the church operated was inside the Rev. Christine Robinson’s head. Geri chaired the Policy Governance Committee, which made sure that church policies were written down and were not reliant on one person.

When Geri is not at church, she loves puttering in her shop at home, “surrounded by… saws, ratchets, and nails” and also “bird nests, rocks, and crystals.” She’s currently working on making a Minion, a character from the animated 2015 film, from an empty helium balloon tank—just for the joy of it, and because she loves Minions. Geri is generous with her time and talents because of “the people of the First Unitarian Church, the community that surrounds us, and all of their gifts!”

You may also like...