Minister and Staff
Rev. Elizabeth Bukey (she/her/hers)
Rev. Elizabeth joined First Church as its minister in August 2017. A lifelong Unitarian Unversalist, Rev. Elizabeth has a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and is in full fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association's Ministerial Fellowship Committee. She joined First Church from San Diego, CA, where she worked at Chalice UU Congregation and interned with First UU Church of San Diego.
Rev. Elizabeth writes:
"My call to ministry is a call to be close to the well of love and spirit created in vibrant religious community, and to lead such a community in its spiritual and organizational growth. It is also a call to “harness love’s power to end oppression,” as our denomination has put it. In a time of rising and ascendant threats against people of color, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and the earth, our congregations must nurture resilience and resistance.
I care deeply about Unitarian Universalism, particularly about fostering engaging worship and welcoming, warm communities within our liberal tradition. I believe that such congregations can not just nurture spiritual and emotional growth and healing, but by transforming lives, can equip people to heal our broken world.
I was drawn to First Church's dance between its history as a Christian UU congregation, and its growing self-understanding as a theologically and spiritually diverse community drawing on the wider UU movement. We are in a moment of great potential to honor history and tradition while moving forward and welcoming change."
Rev. Elizabeth lives in Roslindale with her rambunctious but lovable rescue dog, Lyuba.
Rev. Elizabeth is very interested in receiving feedback on her ministry. Whatever comments you have, positive, negative, or questioning, about the Sunday services or other aspects of her ministry to First Church, please speak with her directly or via email at minister [at] firstchurchjp [dot] org.
Rev. EB's Sundays Away:
April 19 (Sunday after Easter)
May 24 (Memorial Day)
July 5 - August 2
The standard UU Minister contract specifies that the Minister will be off and relieved of all responsibilities on at least one Sunday per month, in addition to Sundays while on vacation and study leave; 4 weeks of vacation and 4 weeks of "study leave" are provided.
Andrei Baumann (he/him/his)
Andrei Baumann is excited to be Acting Music Director at First Church; especially starting a new musical adventure in choral music and organ literature. As a pianist, Andrei has performed internationally as soloist and chamber musician. Notable venues include Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall and the Caramoor Festival. Currently living in Providence, RI, he performs regularly with members of Community Music Works. Recent collaborations have included programs with the Newport, RI dance group Island Moving Company. He teaches locally at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School and in West Roxbury, MA.
Office & Facilities Administrator
Rev. Joanna Lubkin (she/her/hers)
Rev. Joanna Lubkin is a UU minister, raised and rooted in Judaism. She serves half time as the minister at All Souls Church in Braintree, sings with The Sanctuary Boston band, and has a background in non-profit administration. She lives near Hyde Square.
Email Jo at office at first church jp dot org.
Abby Crum is our Childcare Provider.
Director of Religious Education
Andrew Coate (he/him)
Andrew Coate is excited to return to serving as the Director of Religious education at First Church. He previously held the role from 2015-2018 before taking a year to serve as the ministerial intern at First Unitarian in Worcester, MA. Andrew graduated with his MDiv from Boston University School of Theology in 2015.
Affliliated Community Ministers
Rev. Marshall Hawkins (he/him/his) is a community minister who works as an editor for the Unitarian Universalist Association—the denominational headquarters located in Boston. He came to First Church as a ministerial intern in 2001 and never left! The congregation ordained Marshall in 2003, and voted to endorse his ministry and accept his affiliation. Before working at the UUA, Marshall spent five years serving as a hospice chaplain.
Marshall often provides ministerial coverage at First Church when Rev. Elizabeth Bukey is away and loves to work on spiritual deepening and retreats.
Rev. Elizabeth Assenza (she/her/hers) is a community minister who works as a hospice chaplain. She has been occasionally attending First Church since she moved to Jamaica Plain in 2017 and in June 2018, the First Church Standing Committee voted to welcome her as an Affiliated Community Minister.
Elizabeth Assenza's current ministry is as a full time hospice chaplain in Bristol County, MA with Compassionate Care Hospice. She was welcomed into Preliminary Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association in March 2017. Elizabeth A will preach one sermon per year, offer 1-2 workshops for the congregation, and be available for pastoral care coverage when Rev. Elizabeth and Rev. Marshall are unavailable.