Our Staff

Erica Shadowsong Lifespan Religious Education Director

Erica is passionate about Unitarian Universalist religious education and excited to serve at First UU and call Pittsburgh her new home. She has come to us from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County in Media, Pennsylvania where she served two years as the Interim Lifespan Religious Education Director. A religious educator with six years of experience in the field, Erica has a passion for all things creative, especially the performing arts. She enjoys using her storytelling skills in Unitarian Universalist worship settings.

Formerly a middle school English teacher, Erica holds a B.A. in English and a Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Folklore, concentration in Applied Storytelling, from George Mason University. In addition, she is a member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and a 2016 Fahs Research Fellow, representing educational entrepreneurs in the practice of religious education. She explored the subject of devotional reading as a spiritual practice in her Fahs Fellowship, and most recently, presented two workshops at GA on storytelling and multicultural identities, and the needs of transracially adopted children and their parents in our congregations. Erica began employment August of 2017.

You may contact Erica via email at eshadowsong@first-unitarian-pgh.orgShe is generally available Monday through Thursday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, and by appointment. She is off on Fridays and Saturdays and does not consistently check email on those days.  For drop ins, please make sure to call to verify that she is onsite as she may have offsite appointments or engagements. You can also check her Google Calendar, which she regularly updates.

Emily Pinkerton Director of Music 

As a songwriter and ethnomusicologist, Emily’s driving force is to build bridges across cultural divides. Drawing on deep ties with master musicians in central Chile, and she creates music that brings North and South American traditions together on guitar, banjo and fiddle. In Pittsburgh, she is a founding member of The Early Mays, who recently debuted at #2 on the National Folk DJ Charts and were selected as WYEP’s top artist of 2014. In addition, she performs with the South American music collective Chirihue, and is composing a new piece for voice, old-time banjo and NOW Ensemble. She holds an undergraduate degree in voice from Butler University and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has received awards from New Music USA, the Fulbright Commission, and the Organization of American States for research and composition. www.emilypinkerton.com.


Rita Gates Business Manager     
Rita Gates has served as Business Manager for many years. Prior to her position here at First Unitarian Church, she worked in a wide range of organizations.

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

Jennifer Parsons Communications Coordinator

Kensie McElfresh Building Security Provider

Alex Rose Building Security Provider

Kathy Miller Sunday Hospitality Provider

Summer Nursery Care Providers
Rita Richards, Allison Landau, Peirre Abram

Church Year Nursery Care Providers
Rita Richards, Allison Landau, Shea O’Brien

Come to be moved and held in mutual embrace. Come and be made whole.
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-8008     Map and directions
Worship Services
10:30 AM
Office Hours
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Tuesday - Friday
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