The Worship Committee occasionally coordinates and arranges for Sunday services during the year which are not provided by the ministers—whether in cooperation with committees/groups or outside speakers, generally incorporating themes developed in cooperation with our minister. This may involve an average of six to eight services during the regular year. In addition, the committee provides some twelve services during the summer season, either in collaboration with committees/members or independently arranged with outside speakers. For more information, please contact our Worship Committee Chairperson, Deb Ellis.
Previous Worship Committee Services Include:
August 16, 2015
“Us and Them”
Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain
Rev. Gina C. Jacobs-Strain serves as the Associate Regional Pastor for Women in Ministry for ABCNJ, Interim Pastor for St. Paul, Baptist Church, Atlantic Highlands and as an Associate Minister of Christian Education at St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair NJ. She is a lecturer, leads Bible Study, and preaches at Nyack College where she is also the Chair of Developmental Education. She preaches, teaches, and leads workshops and works to build community relationships through interdenominational and interfaith efforts. She earned a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and she graduated from Drew University’s Theological School Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Divinity in May 2009. She is married to Cliff Strain for almost 27 years; they have three sons and reside in South Orange, N.J.
August 2, 2015
“True Masters Learn Through Joy”
Lori Bryant Woolridge
Lori Bryant Woolridge is an author, coach and founder of Stiletto University, a virtual institution that promotes healthy, sensuous lifestyles. An Emmy award winner, she has written eight books, including The Power of Wow. Her work is centered around the idea that living a sensory life, experiencing the world through your five, God-given senses, is the bedrock of a pleasured and empowered life and the difference between merely living and being alive. An engaging motivational speaker, she has also spoken around the country to women of all ages about sensuous living and feminine empowerment. www.stilettou.com
April 12, 2015
“Deep Time Reverence – Grounding Action in an Evolving Universe”
Ms. Jennifer Morgan
Jennifer Morgan is an award-winning author, storyteller, educator, and president of the Deep Time Journey Network (more info can be found at www.deeptimejourney.org). She gives programs for adults and children exploring an evolving universe as a foundational context. Her “Universe Story” Trilogy (Born with a Bang, From Lava to Life, and Mammals Who Morph) are used in classrooms around the world, and has received numerous awards and endorsements from renowned scientists, educators and thinkers. For more information, go to www.universestories.com.
March 22, 2015
“Selma: Looking Back and Moving Forward”
Rev. David Miller
Rev. Miller is a 2008 graduate of the Claremont School of Theology receiving a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Social Transformation. His professional experience includes working with national organizations such as the American Heart Association and Easter Seals as well as numerous regional & community based organizations, educational institutions and nonprofits. He also serves Unitarian Universalism as a Member of the Pacific Southwest District’s Ministerial Transitions Team, a National Advisory team member for the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign and district consultant for congregation boards.
February 15, 2015
Dr. Gwen Parker Ames
Gwen Parker Ames is a servant leader and educator, committed to uplifting and promoting human potential through collaborative efforts within the community. She holds a doctorate degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University and completed post graduate study at Princeton Theological Seminary. She and her family reside in Montclair.
January 4, 2015
“Don’t Be Hating: How to Bring Mindfulness and Compassion Into Your Life and Work”
Ms. Susan Wilson and Ms. Sharyn Taylor
Susan Wilson is an Experienced Registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher certified to teach and also to trainer teachers through Yoga Alliance. Susan dedicated 8 years studying the Yoga of Sound (focusing on mantra, Vedic chanting, philosophy and Chakra system). She has been studying Tibetan Buddhism for over 15 years. Sharyn Menegus Taylor is a mindfulness trainer with 20+ years in mind-body awareness training and practice. When she saw how her personal mindfulness practice enhanced her focus and skill in managing global teams, she became passionate about bringing mindfulness practice to the workplace.
October 19, 2014
“Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror and the Criminalization of Youth”
UUCM’s Undoing Racism Committee and guest speaker Mr. Ed Barocas, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union – NJ
August 10, 2014
“The Naked Truth About Love”
Ms. Robin Reichert
Through the art of storytelling and her peace ministry, Robin Reichert builds bridges of harmony and kinship between humans and from humans to the natural world. She enjoys telling stories that uplift, inspire, and spark the wonder of imagination, both from her personal experience and those of others. She was recently featured in a curtain warmer for John Lithgow’s “Stories by Heart,” is often on WDIY public radio, is the author of “Feather Gifts for all Ages,” and the editor/publisher of the Lehigh Storytelling Guild newsletter, “Teller Times.”
June 29, 2014
“All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are My Rituals”
Ms. Deborah Lipp
Deborah Lipp is a well-known member of the Neo-Pagan community and an author on topics related to Paganism, Wicca, and the occult. Her focus is traditional Wicca, also known as Neo-Pagan Witchcraft. Deborah became a Witch in 1982, a High Priestess in 1986, and has been teaching Wicca and running Pagan circles ever since. In addition to writing seven books, she’s been published in many Pagan publications and has lectured all over the U.S. and the world. Deborah has appeared in various media discussing Wicca, most notably on the A&E documentary Ancient Mysteries: Witchcraft in America. She has also appeared on MSNBC, in The New York Times, and in many smaller TV and print sources. By day, Deborah is a Business Analyst. She lives in Rockland County, New York, with her spouse Melissa and an assortment of cats.
January 5, 2014
“The Heart of Democracy”
Rev. Craig Hirshberg
Craig is minister emeritus of the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills where she served as the founding minister. Before that she was an active lay leader of the UU Congregation at Montclair. Craig currently serves as the District Ministerial Settlement Representative. She has served on the District Growth and Outreach Committee, District Search Committee, and the UUA Trauma Response Team. Currently, she is a community minister in private practice as a spiritual director. She hosts meditation classes, retreats and other spiritual development activities. She has co-authored a couple’s communication curriculum for the UUA. She lives in Califon, NJ with her husband, Dominick De Pinto, and has three children.
December 1, 2013
“To Lead Where No One Has Led Before”
Mr. Bruce Knotts
Bruce was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia. He worked for Raytheon in Saudi Arabia and on a World Bank contract in Somalia before he joined the Department of State as a U.S. diplomat in 1984. Bruce retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 and joined the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) as its Executive Director at the beginning of 2008. He began the UU-UNO’s very successful LGBT advocacy program in 2008. Bruce has been chair of the UN NGO Committee on Human Rights since June 2010 and of the Faith and Ethics Network for the International Criminal Court since April 2010. He is the President and CEO of the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security and a member of the NGO UN Security Council Working Group.
November 10, 2013
“Crossing into Deep Time: A Calling and a Response”
Miriam MacGillis, OP
Miriam is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ. Since 1980 she has lived and worked at Genesis Farm, which she co-founded in Blairstown, NJ with the sponsorship of her Dominican Congregation. The Farm explores the new insights and implications for the human community derived from the scientific story of an evolving Universe and living planet. It promotes bioregionalism, sustainability and a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of ethics for resolving the ecological crises of our times.
October 13, 2013