Rev. Kaaren Anderson, Senior Co-Minister | email | 271-9070 ext. 106
Kaaren is particularly interested in integrating the arts in worship and emphasizing the quest for boldness in our living and loving. Scott's ministry emphasizes the importance of spiritual development and is shaped significantly by his Christian upbringing which stressed the power of kindness, humility and service. As a team, they are committed to cultivating an "evangelistic" church culture in which members feel so grateful for what they've discovered in their spiritual community that they can't help but want to share it with others.
In addition to their degrees in divinity, Kaaren has done graduate work in the arts and Scott has a family therapy degree. They are parents to three children – Nils, Solveig and Neva.
Kaaren's book, Glad to Be Human, is available through the church bookstore.
|Rev. Tina Simson, Minister of Pastoral Care and Spiritual Development | email | 585-330-9177
Tina believes that people are whole and worthy of grace no matter what circumstance has come their way, and that given the opportunity to listen deeply to their inner spark of life, they will find their way home to their true self. Tina Simson is an Interfaith Minister educated and ordained through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York and holds a certificate in Spiritual Counseling. In addition to her work at First Unitarian, she provides individual spiritual direction and counseling and is committed to respecting all faith traditions and to assisting individuals in navigating life's transitions in light of their spiritual needs and beliefs. Tina is also a facilitator and consultant for the UU Wellspring™ Spiritual Deepening Program. Tina has worked in the Rochester, NY community as an administrator for non-profit social service organizations, and as a counselor and workshop facilitator for 25 years. She travels this life with her soul mate Joe, her three children, assorted grandchildren and her delightful dog Roscoe.
|Ellie Kilpatrick, Ministerial Intern | email
Ellie comes to us as a graduate of Yale Divinity School. She has extensive background in the area of interfaith dialog and is a life-long social justice activist. She also has many years of theater and vocal experience. As part of an one-of-a-kind internship, we are sharing Ellie with our sister congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua. Ellie’s work at First Unitarian will focus on Saturday children’s RE, social justice, the youth group and our Soul Matters small groups.
|Erin Julian, Director of Membership and Fund Development | email | 271-9070 ext. 105
Erin is excited to join the team at 1st Unitarian. She has spent that last 9 years at Paychex. She is a Rochester native and has been involved with many charitable organizations in the area, including Gilda's Club, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Monroe Community College Foundation. Erin is a member of the congregation and enjoys singing with the JUMP chorus.
|Sheila Schuh, Director of Religious Education | email | 271-9070 ext. 109
Sheila served as Director of Religious Education for six years in Syracuse and has been with us since 2009. Fun Worship! Social Action! Sacred Stories! The Arts! These are her loves in the ministry. Supporting parents in their roles as spiritual guides is also a passion, especially in a culture of many forces which conflict with our UU Principles.
Sheila is a licensed Creative Arts Therapist, has won awards for intergenerational worship, and is currently Vice Chair of the Seaway Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association. To relax, she loves to run, play volleyball, write, picnic with her three children, and listen to 100.5 The Drive!
|Chris Davis, Religious Education Assistant | email
Chris started attending First Unitarian since 1999, and found her "home" here. While at First Unitarian, she participated on the Religious Education Committee, with one year as Chair person, the Caring Committee, taught all levels of OWL, and taught various other classes. She has a B.A. in Economics from Dickinson College, a J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law and an LL.M. from The University of Washington. Chris is originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, and currently lives with her husband, Tim, children, Collin and Zoe, and step-children (part-time), Anna and Abby in Webster.
|Anne Wilcox, Director of Junior High Youth | email
Anne Harris Wilcox is excited to join the First Unitarian Religious Education staff as Director of Junior High Youth. Anne is Artistic Director of the contemporary dance company, Present Tense Dance, which she founded in 1991, and is a permanently-certified K-12 teacher of dance. She is President of New York State Dance Education Association and is a founding member of Rochester Contemporary Dance Collective. Anne has taught a wide-range of ages including elementary, junior high, high school, university, and senior citizens. She loves each age for its unique stage in human development. Anne specializes in interdisciplinary arts and arts integration, which will certainly inform her work with the First Unitarian classes. While choreographing for her company, Anne also teaches dance at the University of Rochester.
|Robert Putney, Director of Youth Ministry | email
I am so very excited to have joined the First Unitarian staff. I am a learner and relator by nature and have trained professionals and coached youth sports for many years. I am passionate about making the most out of our opportunities and fair play. My family and I have regularly attended First Unitarian since October 2010 and became members in the summer of 2011. My wife, Ali, and I were married in Highland Park in 1993 and have lived in the Village of Pittsford since 2000. We have three children: Cassidy, Elias and Beckett, a dog Appa and two cats Macy and Millie.
|Emma Kilmer, Lead Childcare Provider | email
Emma has been working at First Unitarian Church for a year. She is the youth representative for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Alliance as well as an active member of the church's youth group. She loves any opportunity to work with kids, and volunteers at Strong Memorial Hospital as well as her work in the Religious Education program at church. She is currently a student at Monroe Community College, and plans to go to medical school for pediatric surgery. She loves reading a good book, swing dancing, and spending time with her siblings.
|Lindsey Knisley, Teacher for Three and Four Year Olds | email
Lindsey has a BA in English from the University of Buffalo, M Ed in Elementary and Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and M Ed in Birth - Grade 2 Children with Disabilities. She taught preschool for two years with Doodlebugs Childcare Center in Webster and currently teaches students Grades K-12 in basic reading and math skills from Educate Online, Inc. She will begin teaching students grades Pre K - 5 for the Educare program through Greece Central School District, where she currently resides with her husband Tim and their dog Lucy.
|Kristen Rogers, Director of Early Childhood Ministry | email
Kristen has a degree in Child Care Administration and for twelve years served as owner/operator of a Licensed Group Family Daycare. Within that role she had the pleasure of forming meaningful relationships with children and families. Kristen has been able to continue her passion for working with children and families in her current role as an Early Head Start teacher and it is this same passion that she bring with her to First Unitarian Church.
|Luis Torres, Social Justice Coordinator | email
Luis Torres-Rivera's past position was Lead Organizer for Workers United. Prior to that he worked as director of the western NY office of Rural and Migrant Ministry and as project manager for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Washington DC. Having lived and worked in Rochester for the past 6 years, Luis is connected to many local leaders and aware of the many challenges facing Rochester and the wider region.
Currently he balances his time between First Unitarian Church, being a stay-at-home dad, and serving as an active board member of Metro Justice and Rural and Migrant Ministry. He is committed to working towards social and economic justice in Rochester, NY and its surrounding rural areas.
|Mark Hare, Provocateur-in-Residence | email
Mark recently retired (sort of) from the Democrat and Chronicle, where he worked as a columnist, editor, editorial writer, and reporter for nearly 28 years, writing about a wide range of topics including public education, local and national politics, family life, religion, hospice care and extraordinary acts of kindness.
He has a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters degree in Speech Communication. In his 20s he was a high school teacher and spent several years as a Roman Catholic seminarian studying for the priesthood.
He is married to Kim Hare, and they have two sons, Ryan, 26, and Sean, 19. They live in the city's Maplewood neighborhood.
Mark is looking forward to his year in residence, hoping to share his thoughts on living well, learning to love our community, using our faith principles to shape our public lives and, just as important, listening to the wisdom of the congregation at Fiirst Unitarian. He hopes to challenge and to be challenged. Mark's blog about his role this year (including texts of sermons he preaches) can be found here.
|Rupert Dubler, Deaf Inclusion Ministry Co-Coordinator | email|
Having graduated from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a degree in Political Science, Rupert found upstate New York to be a refreshing change for this Southern California native; First Unitarian of Rochester made this town so much more of a blessed place to live. His passions in life center around healing the disconnection that all of us experience to various degrees in this modern society and how we as a people can live in harmony with the natural world. In his spare time he enjoys imagining how the future can be even more wonderful and then considers how he can play a part in making that happen. Oh, he happens to be deaf and communicates fluently in American Sign Language. No big deal.
Equipped with an extensive background as an educator and in community building, he grew quite naturally into this position where he now work towards the creation of an inclusive spiritual home for deaf people. First Unitarian is uniquely positioned to become a model for this type of inclusion, for our faith centers around inclusiveness and this church happens to be located at the heart of world's largest deaf community. Rupert travel along this life path side-by-side with Brooke Schmeltz and their family of five furry animals in their Brighton residence.
|Brooke Schmeltz, Deaf Inclusion Ministry Co-Coordinator | email
Brooke has been on a lifelong journey to foster deeper connections with the natural world that surrounds her and all living things, while simultaneously exploring those bonds in a more scientific approach. She believes that the more ways we can attempt to understand a particular phenomenon of interest that occurs in the world around us, the closer we are to understanding our deepest, truest selves and the ties we all share as living organisms - as spirits.
Currently Brooke is working on her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Rochester, with a focus on trauma and victims of human trafficked populations. Prior to that she attended the same institution where she studied psychology, brain and cognitive science, and American Sign Language. It was through her neural plasticity research comparing deaf and hearing brains that she met her life partner, Rupert. This poor fellow was charged with the task of convincing Brooke, an atheist, to attend Saturday services with him at First Unitarian. She was shocked to find out the Co-ministers were non-theists themselves and decided this was the place for her. And the rest is history!
|Wendy Black Mancarella, Creative Worship Director | email
During Wendy's 10 years with the church she has served on the Religious Ed Committee, taught religious ed classes, choreographed several performance pieces, and directed the 2011 "Coming Home" music video. Wendy has a Bachelors degree from Alfred University in psychology with a minor in dance. While at Alfred she did independent study in dance therapy. She then worked in the creative therapies and activities therapy in inpatient psychiatry. She has a dance background including professional ballroom dancer and instructor. She was a Jazzercise owner/instructor, and Jazzercise continues to fulfill the frustrated dancer inside her. She teaches exercise classes at a local senior center. She is a writer and is in the final stages of her first screenplay. Wendy is happiest when engaged in a creative project. Her most fulfilling "project" has been home schooling her children. Wendy feels closest to Spirit when in the quiet of nature or in the throws of passionate music and dance.
|Thomas Snell, Sunday Worship Music Director | email | 271-9070 ext. 110
Hailing from Northeast Ohio, Thom holds a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College. As a baritone soloist, he specializes in baroque oratorio and American art song. Recent solo engagements include Dvořák's Te Deum, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert's Mass in G, and Handel's Messiah. He has performed as a choral singer with the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Staatskapelle Berlin. Passionate about vocal pedagogy, he maintains a private voice studio. When he's not making music, Thom enjoys baking, textile arts, and researching prohibition-era mixology.
|Adam Wilcox, Saturday Worship Music Director | email
Adam first became involved with Unitarian Universalism through the Youth Group in his hometown of Binghamton, NY, attending 20 youth conferences and spending parts of several summers at Unirondack. He returned to Unitarian Universalism 8 years ago with his family and is ecstatic to be a part of our amazing community in several capacities. He is currently Saturday Worship Music Director, bassist in Orange Sky (the Saturday service house band), assistant director of junior high religious education, and a member of the church's pastoral care team.
Professionally, he is owner and president of Writ Wilcox, an information design firm. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Colorado Review, Cairn, and Folio. He writes food columns for many Rochester, NY publications, and plays bass and sings in the Dan Eaton Band and in Meghan Koch and the Gentleman Callers. He lives in the City of Rochester with his choreographer wife, Anne Harris Wilcox; their three children, Lila, Iris, and Oscar; and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Violet.
|John Barthelmes, Junior High Drama Coordinator | email
John has been working as a director/author/producer/teacher in Rochester's theatre scene since he moved to Rochester in 1996. John is a regular performer with Nuts & Bolts Comedy Improv, Joey and Maria's Comedy Wedding with Great Lakes Productions and regularly performs in a two-man variety act titled "Solo." During the day John is an instructor of Computer Science and Acting at St. John Fisher College. John's greatest joy is working with children in theatre and his goal is to make sure children are having fun on stage while helping them discover and develop their own talents.
|Timothy Burns, 9:30 AM Sunday Pianist and Choral Accompanist | email
From Philadelphia, collaborative pianist Timothy Burns started lessons at the age of six, and has since completed a BM in Piano Performance and MM in Collaborative Piano, studying with Carol Schanely-Cahn, David Allen Wehr, and Jean Barr. Mr. Burns is a versatile pianist with significant choral, vocal, and instrumental accompanying experience. In addition, Mr. Burns has given lectures in music theory and piano accompanying, and recently has participated in Francis Smith's documentary Columbia: America By Another Name, tracing the history of the US national hymn "Hail Columbia." Currently, Mr. Burns is earning his DMA in Collaborative Piano at the Eastman School of Music, continuing his studies with Jean Barr.
|Chris Farnum, UU/Schools Partnership Cooordinator | email
Chris began coordinating our church's Schools Partnership program in August 2011. The Partnership recruits, trains and supports church volunteers at Rochester's School 22 (Lincoln School) and School 15 (Children's School) and dates back to 1988. The program also raises money to pay for school supplies and student enrichment activities.
A Rochester City School District graduate herself, Chris has been a long-time weekly volunteer in city schools with the goal of helping today's students succeed. She especially values the impact that one-on-one relationships can have on both a child and a volunteer. Her extensive volunteer experience also includes being a Big Sister and a summer camp counselor; leading teams to prepare/serve soup kitchen meals and coordinating Saturday-service greeters at our church. Chris' 23-year career as a journalist shapes her knowledge of the community.
Chris and her husband, Tim Farnum, have been active church members since joining in 1996 and have found it a great place to help raise their now teenage son, Mark.
|Clare Kerber, Church Administrator | email | 271-9070 ext. 101
Clare joined the staff at First Unitarian Church in 1991. Clare lives in Webster, where "Life is Worth Living," and has three daughters: Madelyn, a nurse who resides in California; Jessica, who lives in Hawaii; and Katie, who is at school at Northeastern University in Boston. Clare enjoys home repairs, sewing, antiques, gardening and crossword puzzles.
|Carol Anne Teague, Administrative Assistant | email | 271-9070 ext. 102
Carol Anne is very happy to be a part of the staff at First Unitarian, where she has been a member of the congregation since 2010. She served on the Religious Education Committee for the last two years, and also volunteers for RAIHN and Supper at St. Joe's. Carol Anne is a native of Rochester and a graduate of Nazareth College. Having most recently worked as a paralegal for a local law firm, her professional background is diverse. She has held previous positions at Nazareth College, Hochstein Music School, and the University of Rochester. Her hobbies include photography, music, reading and hiking. Carol Anne lives in Brighton with her daughter, Sarah.
|Sara Turnbull, Administrative Assistant | email | 271-9070 ext. 100
Sara began her relationship with Unitarian congregations in January 2012, when she became the Administrative Assistant for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua. In November of that year she joined the staff of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester as well. A native of Bloomfield, she and her husband, Steve, returned there after graduating from Sterling College in Northern Vermont with degrees in Sustainable Agriculture. They began Chicory Farm in 2011 with the goal of selling locally made, organically-fed goat cheese and goat milk soap in the Greater Rochester area. She really enjoys goats, making soap, canning, and fiber arts.
|Allen Gundlach, Finance & Database Coordinator
| email | 271-9070 ext. 103
Allen joined us after 26 years with Kodak, Kodak subsidiaries and Kodak joint ventures. He has a MBA in Finance and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Al lives on Cranberry Pond in Greece with his wife Laurie and daughter Emily. He enjoys water and snow skiing, volleyball, tennis and hiking.
|Caroline McClendon, Evening Administrative Assistant | email | 271-9070 ext. 102
Caroline graduated from the University of Rochester in 2008 with a BA in Health and Society. This past summer she received her MS in Health Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology and will soon be heading back to school for her Doctorate in Health Education. Currently she works full-time at the Arc of Monroe as the Work Experience Assessment Coordinator and at First Unitarian part-time. In her free time she volunteers with the Red Cross and as an activities volunteer at St. Johns home. Caroline loves reading, music, sleeping and writing.
|William Hayes, Custodian | email
William Hayes joined the staff in November 2007. He lives in the 19th Ward of the city with his grandson, Quamae. He has two children, William Patrick and Tiffany Ryane and two other grandchildren, Madeline and Stephan. He enjoys music, fishing, camping, woodcarving and working in the garden.
|John Grego, Custodian | email
John was born and raised in Rochester. He follows the NFL and is interested in political science and is currently working on his degree. John enjoys reading, music, and running.
|David Chamberlain, Sunday Custodian | email
David joined the church staff in October 2010. He and his wife of 40 years are the proud parents of two sons, Christian and Mathew and grandparents of Nathan. David is a native of Monroe County and is currently semi-retired. Licensed as a New York State Professional Land Surveyor, he has worked managing survey departments for several local engineering firms. He is also a member of the Planning Board for the Town of Gates. He enjoys music, reading, history, genealogy and gardening.
May 20 2013