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

You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

November 6, 2022

“You Can't Step in the Same River Twice” - led by the Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, senior co-minister. The only constant in our lives is change. How we approach, manage and lead change reveals much about our success and happiness. Using a 1939 sermon from our history - "The Menace of Anti-Semitism,' Rev Scott will show how even an issue like Anti-Semitism - which we recognize - is different when expressed in different ages. Join us as we reflect on the nature of change in word, story and song.

The Courage to Be

The Courage to Be

October 23, 2022

“The Courage To Be” - led by the Revs. Anya and Scott Sammler-Michael, senior co-ministers. We meet one another on a crooked path and collectively find our way toward freedom. Special guest the Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd joins our full ministry team for a special service.

Courageous Witness Over Time

Courageous Witness Over Time

October 9, 2022

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebrations, Rev Scott shares precious gems from the UUCM Archives. We will explore how our congregation has been a leader over time for the major justice issues that confronted them, many which still confront us. This morning, Rev Scott will focus on how UUCM led the fight for Women's Rights.

Let Righteousness Flow like a Mighty Stream

Let Righteousness Flow like a Mighty Stream

September 11, 2022

“Let Righteousness Flow like a Mighty Stream”- led by the Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael, senior co-minister and Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, senior co-minister. Water Communion is our annual ritual of ingathering for the congregational year. It is a celebration of our individuality and the way we merge in shared commitment to bring about the beloved community. 

What Is Your Gospel?

What Is Your Gospel?

August 14, 2022

Rev Scott explores what we revere and why. The hope is we will discover, name and share the sources we proclaim as holding truth.

What God Is and What God Is Not

What God Is and What God Is Not

July 31, 2022

“What God Is, and What God Is Not,” is a fun, participatory exercise in collective theology. We begin with the VIa Negativa - What God is Not - and then move to Proclamation - what God Is ....

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.

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