Rev. Terry Sweetser is our interim minister, guiding the congregation through a search process to a settled minister. Rev. Sweetser has been an ordained UU minister for over 40 years and was most recently vice-president of Stewardship and Development at the UUA. UCS is excited to work with Rev. Sweetser in the coming months.
Rev. Emilie Boggis
Emilie is our called minister of Congregational Life. She began her role with the congregation in September 2005 as Assistant Minister. In 2014, Rev. Boggis began taking on more of the ministerial aspects of congregational life, including membership, adult programming and pastoral care.
Emilie is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School (a UU seminary in Chicago) in June 2005. She previously worked as a Americorps*VISTA volunteer at Habitat for Humanity.
Emilie is married and has two young daughters.
Tuli Patel is our Executive Director.
Tuli began her work with the church in 2004 as Director of Religious Education. During her tenure as DRE, she built a robust program for children in grades Prek-8, including a junior youth group. In early 2014, the Board of Trustees asked Tuli to take on executive functions of the church in a new role as Executive Director. She brings her same enthusiasm and energy to the operations of the church as she did to the Religious Education program.
Mitchell has been music director since 1999. He performs Sunday mornings, and often brings in wonderful singers and instrumentalists. Mitchell directs the adult choir, and also invites many of our talented lay members to perform. He is artistic director of Afternoon Music, which presents four concerts a year in our sanctuary. Mitchell performs throughout New York and Europe as a soloist and collaborative pianist.
Mitchell’s active performing career has taken him to Europe, South America, Asia and throughout the United States. He frequently performs with such groups as the Riverside Piano Trio, CantaLyrica, and the Viva Voce Ensemble, as well as piano 4-hands with Paul Zeigler. He has performed extensively with Bernard Goldberg, former principal flutist of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
His teaching experience includes positions with the Aspen Music Festival, Mannes School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and the Harlem School of the Arts. He is a music director for theater, opera and cabaret.
Mitchell can be heard on the CD “American Music for Trumpet and Piano” on Capstone Records, and he is featured on a CD of vocal chamber music by North German composers on the Syrinx label. Recent recordings include a CD of compositions by Paul Zeigler and a recital with Japanese soprano Selena Miyazaki.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Portland State University and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.
Laura Beth Brown
Laura Beth Brown is our Director of Religious Education, responsible for programming for children in grades PreK-8. Laura Beth has a been a religious educator for 13 years. She began her tenure at UCS in July 2015, coming to us from the Ridgewood congregation. Laura Beth is excited about serving a congregation committed to social justice.
Jamaine is our Religious Education Coordinator. She began her time at UCS as a Religious Education Assistant in May 2012 but her work with Children’s RE began much earlier. Jamaine has been an RE Teacher and volunteer at UCS since 2007. In early 2014 Jamaine took on more responsibilities in the RE program as RE Coordinator.
Jamaine spent many years in the entertainment industry as an Assistant Director for film, television and commercials. After growing tired of the commute and 16+ hour workdays, she decided to change careers for something more family-friendly. Currently, she is pursuing Certified Religious Educator credentialing through the UUA and learning to speak Spanish in hopes of communicating better with Hispanic families in our community.
A military brat “from everywhere & nowhere”, Jamaine now considers Maplewood, New Jersey her home, a place where she’s content caring for her husband, Rick, their daughter, Alice, and their horribly spoiled “fur babies”, Spike, Fiona and Shivers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production from the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS!) and a MBA in Media Management from the Metropolitan College of New York (unfortunately, they don’t have a football team).
Photography by Andrew White.
Monica Bottone is our Office Manager and comes to The Unitarian Church in Summit from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, where she worked as an Administrator for twenty years.She holds a Master’s Degree in History from New York University.
Karen Jackson is our volunteer Stewardship Director. She and her husband Steve have been members of UCS since 2007 and her youngest son Montana attended the RE program as well as Coming of Age and the Youth Group.
Kimbery Rossiter is our Membership and Youth Coordinator and began working at UCS in August, 2014. Before joining UCS, she taught Race To Justice and served as lead advisor for the Jr. High Youth Group at All Souls, NYC.
A native of Rochester, NY, Kimberly earned a BFA in Theatre from Hofstra University and also completed the improv and sketch comedy programs at The Second City, Chicago and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, NY. She is a writer/actor and teaches for the A.R.T. Kids Company in New York. In addition to her creative work, Kimberly has spent many years working in the hospitality and event planning industries.
Kimberly currently resides in Astoria, Queens.
Carl Levinsky is our sexton and coffee hour host. He grew up in New Jersey and has a background in electrical engineering, water and waste management as well as site maintenance.
Leslie Almandares is our house-keeper and has been working at UCS for 11 years. She is a native of Honduras and has four children. Her husband is a minister at a Church of God congregation in Honduras and comes twice a year to visit her in the US.