Reverend Dr. Susan Veronica Rak – Interim Minister
Reverend Dr. Rak was raised in New Jersey and attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), studying art with an eye toward later focusing on art history.
In 1981 she began working as a Director of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Society of Albany NY, where she began professional training in the Unitarian Universalist Association’s newly developed “Renaissance” program. She served on the UUA R.E. Futures committee and the Saint Lawrence District Religious Education Committee. Toward the end of her time in Albany, she entered the UUA’s Independent Study Program in preparation for the Ministry of Religious Education.
After relocating with her family to Delaware, Rev. Dr. Rak continued work as a religious educator at the UU Fellowship of Newark DE and then the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill NJ, continuing her involvement in District R.E. activities. She enrolled in Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster PA, joining several other UU’s completing Masters of Divinity degrees there. She also pursued studies in ministry thorough Meadville-Lombard Theological School’s “modified residency program”. Her “call” to ministry turned in its focus from religious education to the preaching ministry of the parish. She completed her internship at Cherry Hill, graduated from Lancaster Theological and was ordained to the parish ministry by that congregation in May 1996.
Rev. Dr. Rak continued her professional development and pursued a Doctor of Ministry degree at Meadville-Lombard Theological School. Her doctoral project explored the theological tensions that exist with our Unitarian Universalist congregations and the presented thesis is entitled “What’s God Got to Do with It? Living and Loving the Tension of Unitarian Universalist Theological Pluralism”. She was awarded the degree of Doctor of Ministry in May 2009.
After ordination, her ministerial experience includes serving the Community Church of New York as Interim Associate Minister (1996-97); the UU Fellowship of Lower Bucks (Levittown PA, 1997-98); the Unitarian Universalist Association (as Program Consultant for the Joseph Priestley District, 1997-2001); the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport (Stratford CT, 2001-03); Unitarian Universalist Church of Flushing, NY (where she aided in the consolidation of the Flushing and Hollis congregations, forming the UU Congregation of Queens, 2003-05); The Unitarian Society (East Brunswick, NJ, 2005-2014). And more recently, she served as interim minister at The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia from 2014-2016.
As an Interim Minister, she has put into practice all the skills and learnings from these varied experiences as a Unitarian Universalist leader, both lay and ordained.
Jess Bors – Acting Director of Religious Education
Jess has been a UU for almost 15 years. She and and her husband were searching for a faith community for their family of five. Jess was born and raised outside Reading, PA and attended “the red church” in her hometown of Blandon as a child. Jess earned a degree in Fine Arts with a Crafts concentration from Kutztown University. She and her husband Frank have two grown sons and a teenage daughter. Jess and her family reside in the Lehigh Valley; Easton RD really does take you to Easton. After many years of being a stay at home mom and loving the Sunday classroom Jess looked into a career as a DRE.
The call to the ministry of religious education came when a beloved friend and fellow UU passed away. She took this as a sign to do what spoke to her heart. Jess enrolled in a Renaissance module in Teacher Recruitment in New England that spring and so began the journey. Since that first 15 hour course she has gone on to complete over 75 hours of training as a professional religious educator. Jess has served as the Director of Lifespan Faith Development at Thomas Paine UU Fellowship in Collegeville for the past two years.
Jess looks forward to serving as the Acting DRE at BuxMont and getting to know each member and family. There is always something to learn and room to grow in our faith.
John Hook – Music Director
John Hook founded the BuxMont Choir in 1990. John is retired from his ’day job’ as a chemist with The Dow Chemical Company (formerly Rohm and Haas) where he developed new products which helped significantly lower the environmental impact of latex paints and other coatings while enhancing performance. John became interested in folk music at a Methodist youth camp, traded a never-well-played trombone for a guitar, and found his true musical love: helping groups make music together. In college he was inspired by Bryan Bowers to learn melodic-style autoharp. John joined BuxMont in the early 1980s and helped its Religious Education program as a teacher, song leader, and youth advisor. At the national level, John served on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians’ Network (UUMN) and helped to develop the UUA’s Music Leadership Credentialing Program. John has studied voice with Robert Wallace and John Kennedy at the Settlement Music School.
Rachel Leslie – Administrator
Rachel joined our team in July, 2017 as our Congregational Administrator. Rachel has a varied background in engineering, project management and office management. She finds the Non Profit industry quite interesting and is looking forward to helping BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship bring out the best in its congregation. She primarily handles the administrative and receptionist duties related to BuxMont, and various other administrative tasks. She is the friendly voice that will most likely greet you when you call the BuxMont office!
Board of Trustees
|Vice President||Rick Anderson|
|V.P. of Finance||Dick Irwin|
|Trustee at Large||Martin Kaplan|
|Trustee at Large||Howard Barkan|
Reverend Dr. Susan Veronica Rak
Acting Director of Religious Education: