605 Morewood Avenue
  Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2999

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Jennifer Halperin, Director of Ministries with Children and Youth

Jennifer Halperin has served as Director of Ministries with Children and Youth since 2000. Prior to her position here at First Unitarian Church, she served for ten years as Director of Religious Education with the East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church in Murrysville, PA. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, and she received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Jennifer is a credentialed Religious Educator.

Nancy Schwartz, Religious Education Assistant

William Larson, Director of Instrumental Music

Bill Larson completed his graduate studies at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in 1992.  He has been featured on  WQED-FM's Arhaus Performance in Pittsburgh. In addition to concerto performances with orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony, Bill has performed as an orchestral keyboardist with the PSO, the Erie Philharmonic, the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. He has played harpsichord continuo on Pitt's Bach and Baroque series, and with the St. Vincent Camerata. As a choir director and organist, Bill has served various churches in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. He is Assistant Conductor for the Renaissance City Choirs, and Keyboardist/Chorus Master for Undercroft Opera.

Jon Erik Schreiber, Sanctuary Choir Director

Emily Pinkerton, Folk Orchestra Conductor

Emily received her undergraduate degree in music, Spanish, and French from Butler University. She holds a master's degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas. She is proficient on piano, fiddle, guitar, and banjo. In 2004, Emily received a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to spend a year in South America studying music of the Andes. She has led several musical ensembles, including the Andean Ensemble at the University of Texas. Currently she teaches in the Calliope Folk Music School, performs frequently in and around Pittsburgh, and has recently released a solo CD recording. You can learn more about Emily and listen to her music by visiting her website at www.emilypinkerton.com.

Celeste Taylor, Social Action Coordinator

A graduate of Westinghouse High School, the Community College of Allegheny County, and the University of Pittsburgh, Celeste has been a social justice activist in Pittsburgh for many years. Her work has included economic justice, racial justice, human rights, voter registration, and political empowerment. She has received the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh Good Government Award, the Three Rivers Community Foundation Campion of Change Award, and the Black Political Empowerment Project Community Service Award. Celeste was honored by the New Pittsburgh Courier as one of the Fifty Most Influential Women in Community Service, and she is on the Westinghouse High School Wall of Fame. A long-time member of the Pittsburgh Friends Meeting, Celeste has four sons and her interests include gardening, floral design, and playing the flute.

Rachel Goss, Campus Ministry Coordinator

Rachael received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor in sociology at Point Park University and Carlow University. Rachael has also served as an Adjunct Instructor at LaRoche College, Duquesne University, and the Community College of Allegheny County. Her employment background also includes serving as Director of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana, PA; working as a community organizer for Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; and doing many different tasks as a member of the Twin Oaks Community in Virginia. Rachael’s master’s thesis was entitled “Politically Queer: A Qualitative Exploration of Queer Identities and Political Activism.” In addition to her teaching at Point Park and Carlow, Rachael also teaches yoga.


Rita Gates, Business Manager

Rita Gates has served as Business Manager since 1997. Prior to her position here at First Unitarian Church, Rita worked in a wide range of organizations. She holds an Associate Degree in Science from Robert Morris University.

Dan Laity, Sexton

Dan Laity has served as Sexton since 1992. After hours, he manages several rental properties that he has refurbished.

Alex Rose, Sunday Receptionist

Prior to her position as Office Assistant and Sunday Receptionist here at First Unitarian Church, Alex Rose worked at South Hills Health System as a Radiologist Technician.

Marlee Keffer, Program Assistant and Wedding Coordinator



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