Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael

Senior Co-Minister

Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael in a headshot wearing a black button up shirt. His straight brown hair falls just past his shoulders.

Rev. Scott takes time for photo booth fun between services.

Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael was borrn in Jacksonville, Florida, and grew up in Baltimore, MD. There, in 1983, Scott co-founded the Maryland chapter of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign. In 1994 Rev Scott helped organize the Southwest Baltimore “Tree-Mendous Maryland” initiative, bringing fresh, live plants and playgrounds to vacant city lots. He also worked as a labor organizer for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 24.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UMBC and a Masters in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis; he is also a licensed electrician and building inspector. Reverend Scott prepared for the ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School. At Meadville, Rev. Scott received the Jenkin Lloyd Jones Scholarship, the Atherton Scholarship, and the Von Ogden Vogt Scholarship for liturgical studies. It was also at Meadville that he met his partner in life and ministry, Rev Anya. 

In 2007 Scott founded TUUL-Belt Ministries, a practical ministry training people with construction experience to respond to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. In 2011 Scott recipient of the Outstanding Contribution by a Minister Award from the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice. Scott served as a leader of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement. V.O.I.C.E. is a congregation based community organization promoting immigration reform and economic justice for Northern Virginia’s middle and low income families. 

Rev Scott and his wife Rev Anya Sammler-Michael have served as Senior Co-Ministers of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair since August 1, 2017. Besides participating in various Justice and Arts initiatives in and around Montclair, Reverend Scott thrives outside the congregation as a musician and music producer, currently working on the second release of his Celtic Rock Fusion band, Dragons Head.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.

Commander Spock, The Wrath of Khan

The glorification of one race and the debasement of others always is and always will be a recipe for murder. There is no way around this.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Sermons

Masculinity Need Not Be Toxic

Masculinity Need Not Be Toxic

June 19, 2022

“Masculinity Need Not be Toxic!” - led by the Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, senior co-minister and lay leader Geoff Zylstra. In honor of fathers and parents of all genders Rev. Scott and Geoff explore and celebrate the many ways that masculinity can serve the just and the good.

Abetting Love’s Blossom

Abetting Love’s Blossom

April 24, 2022

This month of "Awakening" includes the coming of spring, when our natural world erupts in fervent beauty and blossom. Join us as we explore how to plant seeds that will yield blossoms of love, justice and beauty, knowing that our tending is what makes the garden of community rich and vibrant.

Turning the World Upside Down

Turning the World Upside Down

April 17, 2022

In the book of Acts, Paul and Silas are freed from prison by what seems like a miracle when the world is turned upside down. Join us as we explore how joy and justice can stop corrosion and destruction... now wouldn't that be a miracle! This is an Easter Sunday service though we will not forget to honor Passover and Ramadan. Also included in our service is a child dedication of a grandchild of the congregation.

Awakening the Power of Less

Awakening the Power of Less

April 3, 2022

Today’s service is called "Awakening the Power of Less" Here, during Lent and on the 3rd day of Ramadan, we will explore spiritual disciplines like Fasting and Simplicity. We will consider that perhaps Enlightenment is not necessarily the creation of a new state of affairs but engaging the richness of what already is. Rev Scott is joined by Markus and our awesome worship band, with songs led by Paul Lombardo and Juliana Carr. Ami Brabson returns to serve as Liturgist!

Faith in Repair, Faith in Reparations

Faith in Repair, Faith in Reparations

March 27, 2022

This service is about repair - necessary repair. It is also about the political crime of denying that repair. And this service is a call to faith - to act on the faith that repair is possible. Today’s sermon is an open letter to Governor Murphy, asking him to support and then pass the Reparation Task Force Act for New Jersey, Bill A938/S386. These readings stand as faithful touchstones from scripture and national history that further compel this action.

Faith is a Confidence, Not a Belief

Faith is a Confidence, Not a Belief

March 20, 2022

Join Rev Scott for a Pastoral exploration of the nature of faith. Faith is not about belief. It is instead a conviction, a confidence that we have searched hard to discover the truth, and have committed to living in accord with that awareness. How do we feel confident in the age of COVID, when so much we have known has been in flux for two years?

Social Sin and Salvation

Social Sin and Salvation

February 27, 2022

This services invites us to redefine Sin and Salvation in ways that speak to us as Unitarian Universalists, focusing on what they mean in a social context. Members of the autumn 2021 UUCM Great Works class who examined the book "A Theology for the Social Gospel" by Walter Rauschenbusch will join Rev Scott for this important work to become part of the Interfaith conversation to share our unique vision of what is wrong and what saves us.

How Lucky You Are

How Lucky You Are

February 13, 2022

"How Lucky You Are" explores the truth that beliefs have consequences. Too many religious systems believe fantastical notions many people cannot grasp or explain.

Joy Comes Back

Joy Comes Back

December 12, 2021

As we strive to thrive amid this global pandemic, joy teases us from every corner. Yet, joy lies there ... awaiting us to dance with it. And even though we may find it hard to embrace joy in the midst of so much uncertainty, how do we prepare to celebrate life and love when Joy Comes Back? How do we embrace the chances to invite joy more deeply into our hearts despite the state of the world?

The History We Are Making Together

The History We Are Making Together

November 14, 2021

It is so easy to forget that in every moment we make choices that affect the history of our lives, our families, our communities. How do we assert our power with greater intention, making choices that have considered potential impacts on our posterity, in hopes that we will be deemed good ancestors by our descendants in the ages to come?

The Power of Covenant

The Power of Covenant

October 24, 2021

In religious community to guide our time together we rely on Covenants not Contracts. Contracts are made for a limited period of time, involve the specific actions of offer and acceptance, and are intended to protect the interest of the parties. Covenants, however, are open-ended and are intended primarily to protect relationships by establishing processes for the peaceful resolution of differences or conflicts. Covenant manage, maintain and nurture relationships.

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