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 Malden with her girlfriend, Isadel, her rambunctious rescue dog, Lyuba, and two brave cats, Doppler and Houdini.
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 Summer Schedule:
June 23-29: Attending UUA GA
June 30-July 6: Vacation
July 7- 13: Study Leave
July 14-20: Working
July 21-27: Working
July 28-Aug 3: Vacation
August 4-10: Study Leave
August 11-17: Working
August 18-24: Working
August 25-31: Vacation
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 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.
Affliliated Community Minister
Rev. Marshall Hawkins (he/him/his) is a community minister who works as a hospice chaplain. 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. Marshall recently worked as an editor for the Unitarian Universalist Association—the denominational headquarters located in Boston.
Marshall often provides ministerial coverage at First Church when Rev. Elizabeth Bukey is away and loves to work on spiritual deepening and retreats.
Music Director Emerita
Ellen McGuire (she/her/hers) was Music Director and organist at First Church from 1979 to 2019. She joined the church in 1980, and was church clerk for ten years, and a member of the Standing Committee. The music program changed a lot during that period, like First Church itself. “When I started, we had a paid soloist but no choir, only one committee, no minister, and the average Sunday attendance was 18,” she reports. “The services were mostly led by students at Harvard Divinity School who were interns at First and Second Church (now First Church) in Back Bay. We heard a lot of first sermons.”
In forty years, Ellen joined many volunteers to create the Adult Choir, the Fellowship Dinner, the Christmas Pageant, Lenten Musical Meditations, Medieval Feasts, and the Children’s Choirs. "Making music with talented amateurs is a great pleasure. And where else but in religious settings do most people regularly have the opportunity to hear the magic of live music?” Substantial work also was done on the historic E. & G.G. Hook organ (1854).
Ellen holds an M.Mus. in Organ Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and an A.B. in Music from Smith College. She is the widow of Rev. Terry Burke, minister of First Church for 31 years; their three daughters grew up in the church. Her current interests include spinning, weaving, and natural dyes, as well as researching the membership of First Church in 1858.
Ellen and friends at the organ, 2019