Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton

Our Staff

Our Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton has a dedicated and vibrant minister and staff to lead, guide, and support the congregation in all its ministries. Please feel free to contact staff members by email or by phone (609-924-1604) with any concerns and questions.

Parish Minister – The Reverend Bill Neely

Rev. Bill Neely

Rev. Bill Neely

Rev. Bill Neely began serving UU Princeton in July, 2011. In his ministry, he seeks to empower and inspire people to deepen the spirit in their own lives, their relationships, and the larger world. Through engagement with the four pillars of congregational life: worship, service, learning, and fellowship, he believes that we gain the wisdom, strength, and resilience to grow with one another and bless the world. He believes that all ministry is, at core, about our relationships, and that relational ministry is best guided by love.

Before coming to Princeton, Bill served as the Interim Minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church, Detroit, and the Settled Minister of Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church near Memphis, TN. He studied at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago and completed fieldwork in St. Paul, MN; Rockford, IL; and Fond du Lac, WI. Before beginning seminary, he was a member of The Unitarian Church of Norfolk, VA; the congregation that ordained him in June 2006.

Bill is the Interim President of the Meadville Lombard Theological School Alumni/ae Association, the Denominational Director of the Southeastern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI), and serves on the Boards of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey and the Religious Ministries Committee of Princeton Healthcare Systems.  Bill is also a Field Education Supervisor at Princeton Theological Seminary and an Affiliated Chaplain with Princeton University.

Bill and Shannon Neely married in 1998 and have three children: Rachel Maia, born in 2009, John Lester, born in 2012, and Sara Grace, born in 2013. Shannon is a yoga teacher and aspiring doula and is the person who introduced Bill to Unitarian Universalism in the 1990s. Their household is rounded out by their two cats, Magnolia (from Memphis) and Della (from Detroit). Bill enjoys Steelers football, Pirates baseball, Penguins hockey, reading, theater, painting, good coffee, and great pizza.

Music Director – Marjorie Herman

Margorie Herman

Margorie Herman

Marjorie began her tenure as Director of Music at the congregation in January of 2005. She holds a Doctorate in Choral Conducting from Indiana University, Bloomington, and has been conducting for most of her adult life. With experience at the university, high school, and community levels, Marjorie brings a wide range of choral experiences to bear in her work with our three ensembles. Her passion for the choral sound is boundless, and she empowers the ensembles to provide real substance in what they bring to worship here. She is a champion of congregational singing and encourages our congregants to lift their voices through our poignant and beautiful UU hymns. Her voice can be heard on Sunday afternoons on the Classical Network, www.wwfm.org, in her syndicated program “Sounds Choral,” which is also available as a webcast any time at the station’s website.

Congregational Administrator – Sara Oderwald

Sara Oderwald,

Sara Oderwald

Sara joined the staff as congregational administrator in July 2005. As of July 2012 she is a member of the Executive Team serving with Rev. Bill Neely. Her responsibilities include supervising the sexton, office assistant, and bookkeeper. She produces the monthly newsletter Skylights and handles all facility use requests. Sara lives in Titusville with her husband Bill and one beloved miniature rescue dachshund who came with the name Wanda but is now called Cricket. Cricket is a naughty little girl and is always finding ways to get into mischief.

Director of Lifespan Religious Education – Lorraine Shiarappa

Lorraine Shiarappa, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Lorraine Shiarappa

Lorraine Shiarappa has spent a lifetime devoted to the education of children and families, teaching programs that include toddlers, parents, teens and adults. She has a degree in music education from the College of New Jersey and earned a teaching certification in Waldorf methodology and curriculum from Sunbridge College, eventually becoming an elementary class teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton.  She is a trained Simplicity Parenting Group Leader, supporting parents in the challenges of parenting in an ever-changing world.  Deepening work in her own spirituality has led her to her position as Director of Lifespan Religious Education at the congregation. She believes that by learning and working together we grow in our understanding of ourselves and the greater world and that small, positive actions can sometimes produce great transformation. She is married and is the mother of an adult son and daughter. When time permits, Lorraine enjoys playing flute and piano, gardening, cooking, reading voraciously and a variety of handcrafts.

Youth Programs Coordinator – Craig Rubano

Craig Rubano, UUCP Youth Adviser

Craig Rubano

Craig Anthony Rubano leads the congregational ministry for our Youth Group (a senior-high youth group). Craig is a candidate for ministerial ordination in the Unitarian Universalist Association and just finished his PhD in Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he also received Masters of Divinity and Theology degrees, the latter in Pastoral Care.
Craig is part of the Design and Moderating Teams of a Seminary-wide diversity-dialogue initiative in conjunction with the Kaleidoscope Institute, serves on the Seminary Council for Institutional Diversity’s Latino/a and LGB &/or TQQI workgroups, and interns as a psychotherapist at Trinity Counseling Services. He continues to enjoy a career as a singer and storyteller which has taken him around the world – from Broadway to the congregation’s vibrant Music Ministry. Craig holds degrees in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from Yale and Columbia universities.

Sexton – Jorge Garcia Salas

Jorge Salas Garcia

Jorge Salas Garcia

Jorge was hired as our full time sexton in March 2006. He’s our go-to man for all facility needs. Jorge lives in Trenton and has two teenaged children who live in Florida; they visit him during the summer. Jorge’s parents and siblings live in Guatemala. He misses his family but is building a house in his village and plans on retiring there someday. Jorge has a Teacher’s Degree from Guatemala and taught grades 1-6 for seven years before coming to the United States. During his free times he is a huge soccer fan and spends summer hours at the Mercer County Community College’s fields watching the Guatemalan Championships. Jorge also loves to read – his favorite author is Paulo Coelho. Jorge is happy here and thanks the congregation for their love and support.

Office Assistant – Shatara Ryland

Shatara Ryland

Shatara Ryland

Shatara joined the staff in July 2013.  Her responsibilities are to assist the administrator, order all office supplies, and organize and print the Sunday Order of Service.  Shatara lives in Lawrenceville with her two daughters, Shadae and Daijah.  She loves to travel and explore new things with her family.