Joel cherishes the many different ways of believing among Unitarian Universalists. He also finds himself continually in transition between different beliefs since the world seems too amazing to be limited just one belief. Joel started the first congregation he served, the Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church in Littleton, Colorado. He has also served congregations in California, Oregon, and New York. He is accredited as an Interim Minister with the Unitarian Universalist Association and with the Interim Ministry Network. Joel practices interim ministry with an understanding that congregations, like people, have inherent worth and dignity. He finds the world changing more and more rapidly, challenging us all to live increasingly interim lives. Joel and his wife, Wendy, have two grown children. Their cat, Sugar, moves with them when a new interim ministry calls.

Email: jMiller@rochesterunitarian.org  Phone: 585-271-9070 x106



Tina believes that people are whole and worthy of grace no matter what circumstance has come their way, and that given the opportunity to listen deeply to their inner spark of life, they will find their way home to their true selves.

She is an Interfaith Minister educated and ordained through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York and holds a certificate in Spiritual Counseling. In addition to her work at First Unitarian, she provides individual spiritual direction and counseling and is committed to respecting all faith traditions and assisting individuals in navigating life’s transitions in light of their spiritual needs and beliefs.

Tina is an Associate Member of the UUMA, and has served First Unitarian since 2010. Prior to studying for the ministry, Tina worked in the Rochester, NY community as a director of non-profit social service organizations, and as a counselor and workshop facilitator for 25 years.

She travels this life with her soul mate Joe, her three children, abundant grandchildren and her delightful dog, Roscoe.

Email: tsimson@rochesterunitarian.org • Phone: 585-271-9070 x104



A western Pennsylvania native, Rita grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, where She attended college and graduate school, earned a PhD in American Literature and Cultural Studies, married her high school sweetheart, and gave birth to their two children, a son aged 26 and daughter aged 22. In 1994, she moved the family to Buffalo, NY when she accepted a teaching position in the English Department of Canisius College, where she holds the rank of tenured Associate Professor. She also served the college as Director of Academic Advising, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Core Curriculum.

Rita and her family joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo in 2004, and they quickly became very involved in congregational life. Rita facilitated a small group ministry for many years and worked on governance renewal in several capacities and on the worship team. Over time and through work on summer services, Rita felt the call to ministry and, in 2015, she entered Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL. Her two-year internship at Canandaigua and First Unitarian is part of her ministerial formation.

With the guidance of Rev. Joel, as well as the support and advice of the ministerial staff, Rita’s ministry is focused on helping Canandaigua move through the interim period. She aims to help them reach a renewed understanding of their sustaining role for congregants and the wider community, as well as to assist them in planning for the church’s continuing presence and growth.

Email: capezzir@gmail.com



Sheila served as Director of Religious Education for six years in Syracuse and has been with us at First Unitarian since 2009. Fun Worship! Social Action! Sacred Stories! The Arts! These are her loves in the ministry. In a culture of many forces which conflict with our UU Principles, Sheila is committed to supporting parents in their roles as spiritual guides.

Sheila is a licensed Creative Arts Therapist, has won awards for intergenerational worship, helps create workshops, retreats, and webinars through the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and is a Credentialed Religious Educator.

To relax, she loves to run, play volleyball, dance, climb trees, x-country ski, and spend time with her three children!

Email: sheilas@rochesterunitarian.org Phone: 585-271-9070 x109



Kim Joy recently joined the Church’s Office Staff in November 2016. Kim is a native of Rochester with degrees from SUNY Buffalo and RIT, having spent her career in the field of Human Resources. Kim is enjoying early semi-retirement and is happy to have joined the Church’s staff where she uses her background to process our Accounts Payable and Payroll as our new Bookkeeper. Kim enjoys reading and gardening and has a new interest in cooking (Kim’s husband Jim is the primary cook at the Joy house!). Kim appreciates the friendly and open atmosphere at the Church and is proud to support an organization that actively and generously gives back to the Rochester community and other communities within the US and abroad that need help.

Email: kjoy@rochesterunitarian.org Phone: 585-271-9070 X105



Hailing from Northeast Ohio, Thom holds a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College. As a baritone soloist, he specializes in baroque oratorio and American art song.

He has performed as a choral singer with the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Staatskapelle Berlin. When he’s not making music, Thom enjoys baking, textile arts, and researching prohibition-era mixology.

Email: firstumusic@gmail.com Phone: 585-271-9070 x110



Carol Anne is a native of Rochester and a graduate of Nazareth College. She has held previous arts administration positions at Nazareth College, Hochstein Music School, and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. Carol Anne has been a part of the staff at First Unitarian since 2012, and a member of the congregation since 2008. She volunteers for the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN), Supper at St. Joe’s, our UU/Schools Partnership Backpack program, and our Religious Education program. Her hobbies include photography, music, reading and hiking. Carol Anne lives in Brighton with her daughter, Sarah.

Email: cacleary@rochesterunitarian.org • Phone: 585-271-9070 x102