All are welcome here!

Alki UCC Staff and Leadership

Alki UCC Pastor  

Rev. Emily Tanis-Likkel

Rev. Emily Tanis-Likkel sensed the call to ordained ministry when she was eight years old, baptizing her baby dolls and creating worship services for her family. She was ordained in 2005 at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Bainbridge Island.

Her roles over nearly two decades of ministry across several denominations have included associate pastor, church planter, children and family minister, teacher and workshop/retreat leader. When the congregation unanimously called Emily as Pastor of Alki UCC, she came home to her denomination and home to pastoral ministry. 

Emily believes it is essential for churches to be a beacon of hope in their communities, acknowledging that each person is of infinite worth and value. Humanity bears the image of God. Beautifully unique in our diversity of race, culture, disability and ability, personality, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, we reflect God, who is wonderfully reflective of all. Everything that we are, God is.

Emily lives in West Seattle in a multigenerational household with her creative-techie spouse, Brett, daughter and college student Eva (who works as tech deacon at Alki UCC), son and high school student Day, and her parents, Marti and Keith Tanis. The Tanis-Likkel family is known for their giant popcorn bowl, frequently filled to the brim.

 Emily writes, teaches, preaches and leads from a foundation of embodied spirituality, expansive theology and wonder. She loves walking labyrinths and reading novels. She is trained in Nia, a holistic movement practice, which has informed her own spiritual practice of embodying Scripture. Learn more about Emily at

Alki UCC Music Director

Stephen Anthony Rawson

Stephen is a Seattle-based pianist, composer, and music teacher. He started taking lessons at age five, and grew up playing in the praise band at his hometown church, Zion Lutheran. He studied music composition at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and at the University of Oregon. Stephen enjoys being involved in many different musical styles and settings, from classical and jazz to gospel and contemporary music. 

Stephen joined the worship team at Friendship United Methodist Church in Bolingbrook, IL in 2021. As music director and accompanist, he led the chancel choir, men’s and women’s ensembles, and praise band in weekly rehearsals. In the community, he helped plan and perform music for holiday concerts and public picnics, and worked to introduce the “Spirituals” project; an ongoing special offering that provides financial assistance for music education to African American children in Bolingbrook, which is collected each time a spiritual is sung. 

In 2019, he began working with Jennifer Hudson as her piano coach and music assistant. He helped prepare her for the role of Aretha Franklin in the MGM biopic Respect (2021), and for televised performances at the BET Awards and The Late Show. Stephen was also the music director of the Musical Theater Ensemble at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. 

Here in Seattle, he teaches piano and co-hosts the music podcast Relevant Tones. Check out his website here.

Alki UCC Office Manager 

Larisa Wanserski

In-Person Office Hours: 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Thursday: 12:30 to 4:30 pm
and by appointment

Larisa started as our Office Manager in 2005.  She does it all! She manages the church office, keeps us organized, publishes our newsletters and weekly worship bulletins/slides, arranges for building use, answers your questions, keeps track of all the different groups using our building, etc. If you have any questions about anything to do with Alki UCC, Larisa will help you find the answer.

Alki UCC Church Council

In our congregational setting, the business affairs are led by lay leadership within the church membership.  The affairs of the church, except for matters specifically required to be decided by the membership, shall be managed by the church council. The church council is responsible for supporting the spiritual and financial health of the church, as well as directing the church’s mission, strategic planning, policymaking, and other duties assigned to it by the congregation.  


Elected Officers of the Alki UCC Church Council July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023

Moderator, Julia Peeler

In church matters, the moderator leads and performs  duties commonly associated with the office of a board of directors. The moderator presides over meetings of the congregation and the church council. 


Vice Moderator, Cinda Stenger

The vice moderator shall act in the place of the moderator or in a specific responsibility delegated to, and accepted by, the vice moderator.


Secretary (Clerk), Charlie Hinckley

The secretary, in conjunction with the office staff, maintains all corporate and membership records of the church, including minutes of membership and church council meetings, issues letters of transfer, and ensures timely notices of church meetings. 


Treasurer, Gary Gesellchen

The treasurer oversees the church’s finances in coordination with the church council by managing annual budgets, coordination and reporting of church income and expenses. 


Ministry Team Representatives

All other members on the church council represent their ministry team. They report on team activities and may have duties assigned to their team by the council.


Operations Manager, Shannon Peterson

The operations manager is appointed by the council and provides support for issues and activities related to finance, budget, personnel, building and grounds, insurance, and church policies and procedures.