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 William (Bill) Neely

Rev. Bill Neely

Rev. Bill Neely

Rev. Bill Neely was called to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton in May 2011 and began serving the congregation in July. He seeks to empower and inspire members and friends to deepen the spirit in their own lives, their shared congregational life, and in the broader world. In worship, service, learning, and fellowship, he believes that we gather the strength and courage to grow in the spirit and bless the world. His ministry is guided by love and unity.

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 also ordained him in June 2006. Among his denominational and professional commitments are service to the Southeastern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI), an annual UU family camp that draws over 1,000 participants, serving as Secretary of the Metro NY Chapter of the UU Ministers Association, serving as a Field Education Supervisor for Princeton Theological Seminary, and membership on the Religious Ministries Committee of Princeton Healthcare Systems.

Bill and Shannon Neely were married in 1998 and have two daughters: Rachel Maia, born in 2009, Sara Grace, born in 2013, and a son, John Lester, born in 2012. 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, exercising, good coffee, great pizza, and chocolate-covered pretzels.

Music Director – Marjorie Herman

Margorie Herman

Margorie Herman

Marjorie began her tenure as Director of Music at UUCP 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 UUCP 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 UUCP. 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 and Young Adult Programs Coordinator – Craig Rubano

Craig Rubano'

Craig Rubano

Craig Anthony Rubano leads three congregational ministries: On the Younger Side (a senior-high youth group), a weekly Campus Ministry at Princeton University and a fledgling Younger Adults gathering.
Craig is a candidate for ministerial ordination in the UUA and entering his second year toward a PhD in Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he 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 UUCP’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 Garcia Salas

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 at the UUCP and thanks the congregation for their love and support.

Office Assistant – Shatara Ryland

Shatara Ryland

Shatara Ryland

Shatara joined the UU Princeton 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, 12 and Daijah, 8.  She loves to travel and explore new things with her family.