Meet Our Teachers
A letter from our new Director of Religious Education, Charla Bregante
April 20, 2021
Dear USSB members and friends,
It is with great joy that I have accepted the position of Director of Lifespan Religious Education at The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. As a twenty year member of the congregation and a former Religious Education staff member, I know what this job entails and am called to pursue it.
Early on in my membership at USSB I was drawn to working in Religious Education. In 2005, when Ann Anderson approached me to apply for the part-time position of RE Assistant, I took advantage of the opportunity to put my toe in the water. I worked under three RE Directors during my five years on staff, and was promoted to Children’s Religious Education Coordinator after three years. During that time, I also served as the Children’s Choir Director for three years.
I have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in working with families. Although I did not become a licensed therapist, I have served children, teens, and families throughout my career in a variety of settings, including foster care and group homes. My work for the past six years as a Resident Programs Coordinator with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) has provided me with many opportunities to develop skills that will serve me well in my role as DLRE. In nearly all of my positions I have worked alongside parents and caregivers, and strongly believe that serving children means serving the whole family.
The opportunity to serve as the USSB Director of Lifespan Religious Education feels like a calling. Unitarian Universalism has informed my values and life choices for over twenty years. I have raised my own children in this community and strive to live my UU values in all of my work in the world. My professional, personal, and spiritual experiences both in and outside the church have led me to this moment. I promise to support the children, youth, families and adults of this congregation in personal faith development in spirit and action. And I will whole-heartedly partner with Julia, the USSB staff team, and the congregation to continue the work of building a Beloved Community both within our congregation and beyond our walls.
Charla Bregante, M.A.
Janey grew up in Cambridge, England. At 18, she moved to Canterbury, Kent, where she went to University and studied a BA in English and Radio, Film and Television Studies. After graduation she began a long career in journalism working in radio and TV and then music programming in London where she met her husband. In 2008 she had a son, studied to become a teacher, and taught in public school for five years. Janey has a black cat called Oreo, and she love singing, cycling, and playing chess with her son. Email Janey
Christina is a Santa Barbara native. She graduated from Scripps Women’s College and is a Neuroscience Master’s student at the University of Strasbourg, in France. She has returned home to finish her thesis. When not in lab or church you can find her playing board games or catering to the demands of her cat, Tigern. Email Christina