About Our Minister
Rev. Michelle and her husband, Les, have returned home to western New York after three years serving the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, SC where she was engaged in promoting interfaith efforts in the community and built upon that congregation’s commitment to being a Welcoming Congregation to the LGBTQ community by providing the only same-sex wedding ceremonies in the county when marriage equality came to South Carolina in November 2014. Unitarian Universalists have led the way to marriage equality across the United States, as well as spearheading many other social justice initiatives that affirm the worth and dignity of each person, as well as justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Rev. Michelle notes, “Social justice is the heartbeat of Unitarian Universalism.”
Born in Buffalo, Rev. Michelle lived most of her first 50 years in Chautauqua County. She holds a BA in Theatre from SUNY Binghamton and a Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School (Chicago, IL). Prior to entering professional ministry, Rev. Michelle taught both Music and Communications at Jamestown Community College for many years and preached throughout the region. She also directed theatrical productions at Falconer Central School, was artistic director of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown, and was the first director of the Lucy-Desi Museum in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, NY. Her husband Les is a theatre professional and educator.
As a Developmental Minister, Rev. Michelle has been contracted by the UUCA Board of Trustees to help the congregation meet specific goals over the next four years. Developmental Ministry in the Unitarian Universalist tradition is an opportunity for congregations to identify areas of growth and to commit to working in partnership with a minister to realize those goals of congregational health and vitality.