The Rev. Bret Lortie served the United States Air Force as an active duty chaplain between 2018-2023. Combined with enlisted military service earlier in his life (as an aircraft inspector and then a trombonist), he has been stationed in Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, California, and Japan.

Rev. Bret served the Unitarian Church of Evanston as its senior minister between 2013-2018. Previously he served as senior minister for First Unitarian Church of San Antonio, Texas. He is a former president of the Central Midwest Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association and served on the national UU Trauma Response Ministry Board. In addition to parish work, between 2009 and 2019 Bret volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol as both a chaplain and search and rescue pilot, a rare combination of duties, and was awarded the National Squadron Chaplain of the Year in 2015.

Nationally, he has served on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Committee on Military Ministry. 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 continues to play low brass in various ensembles whenever he can.