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.
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?
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?
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.
Today’s service, “The Beloved Divine: Women Mystic Justice Warriors”, invites us to explore women mystics through the ages, looking closely at what they wrote, what they did, and what people said about them. In this investigation we will discover how even the best work of female mystics was often co-opted by men for agendas that were often less than holy. We will also see that many of these women were warriors for a greater justice, singing songs the people of their age too seldom embraced, despite the championing of truth and service their lives embodied.
Too often we get bogged down worrying about the way "things might have been." And even though we may have good reasons to regret, at some point we must live the life before us, assuring we do not add new regrets to our history. Join Rev. Scott on a reflection on how to be gentle and kind with ourselves, no matter what mistakes we have made.
We gather again amidst another time of change and challenge to affirm our commitment to community. Water Communion, our annual Ingathering Service, invites all present to share what they bring to and what they need from community.
Today’s service called “People’s Choice” is our annual Question Box service. Questions have been submitted and questions will be solicited from those joining us virtually and those joining us in-person. What are your questions about Unitarian Universalism, Faith, God, Grief, Goodness, Theology, or more? Our Senior Co-Ministers will do their best to answer. Write them down now or when they come to mind. Questions will be solicited during the Offertory.
This service is inspired by “What Is Truth?”, a song written by Country Music legend Johnny Cash in 1970 to share his newfound Truth that the Vietnam War was a mistake, and he needed to help end it. Inspired by Cash, together we will explore notions of truth - how we build it, how we proclaim, how we recognize it. Rev Scott is joined by Rev Anya, Dionne Ford, Michael Gilch, Sam Schumann, Paul Lombardo & Dan Silver. Randy Crafton edits the video, Ann Trip calls and does audio, and Joe Palka monitors the broadcast.
Recognizing the deaths and births in our congregation over the past year.
Join Rev Scott and Dionne Ford Kurtti as they share insights from our Sisters in the Wilderness class. We will explore how to equip one another to tell stories from our particular experience and identities, and the theologies they demonstrate. Even though, as Dr James Cone says, there is no Universal about God, we each have our own individual, rich lens into truth and divinity.
The Power of Story: 2021's Coming of Age Class
It can be difficult to imagine the Earth as Fragile. Earth reliably gives us life and never fails to feed us or provide us with beauty and inspiration. Yet our relationship to the planet we call home continues to suffer from a lack of urgency and a stubborn unwillingness to revise our ways. Join us as we investigate that relationship.
From Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, Senior Co-Minister Our culture has a weird relationship with play. Americans work more hours, with less...
“Be aware of what you worship, because what you worship you are becoming.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson Emerson helps us clarify...
“The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle is over, a new...
Theme of the Month: Renewal One hundred years ago, in 1920, our congregation was emerging from a World War, a...