The Rev. Bret Lortie has served the Unitarian Church of Evanston as its senior minister since 2013. Previously he served congregations in San Antonio, Texas, and Geneva, Illinois. He is currently president of the Central Midwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association and locally serves on the Interfaith Action of Evanston Advocacy Team. In addition to full-time parish work, Bret has served the Civil Air Patrol (U. S. Air Force Auxiliary) since 2009 as both a chaplain and search and rescue pilot, a rare combination of duty assignment. He has served as Illinois Deputy Wing Chaplain and was awarded the National Squadron Chaplain of the Year for 2015.
Nationally, he has served on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Committee on Military Ministry and his publications include: Reverend X: How Generation X Ministers Are Shaping Unitarian Universalism and “The Boots Worked Either Way,” in Not for Ourselves Alone, Theological Essays on Relationship.
Ministry is Bret’s second career. Before entering seminary in 2002, he was the managing editor for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists —a magazine that reports on peace, arms control, human rights, and global security issues. He served the Air Force on active duty from 1984-1987 as an aircraft inspector, and from 1987-1991 as a trombonist with the “Gateway to the West” Air National Guard swing band. He continues to play low brass in various ensembles here and there.
Bret lives with his wife, Cindy, a Montessori teacher, in Evanston. Their adult son, Jevin, lives in Madison and works as a therapist for children with autism.