Our Ministers

Rita Capezzi, Interim Intern Minister

Hello, people of UU Canandaigua!

I am Rita Capezzi and will serve you as interim intern minister August 2016-June 2018. I am supervised by Rev. Joel Miller, Interim Minister at First Unitarian Church of Rochester.

A western Pennsylvania native, I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, where I attended college and graduate school, earned my PhD in American Literature and Cultural Studies, married my high school sweetheart, Jeff Lowry, and gave birth to our two children, Evan Lowry (26) and Helen Lowry (22). In 1994, I moved the family to Buffalo, NY when I accepted a teaching position in the English Department of Canisius College, where I hold the rank of tenured Associate Professor. I also served the college as Director of Academic Advising, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Core Curriculum.

Jeff and I joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo in 2004, and we quickly became very involved in congregational life. I facilitated a small group ministry for many years and worked on governance renewal in several capacities and on the worship team. Jeff has been a continuous choir member and is now the Vice President of the Board of Trustees. Over time and through work on summer services, I felt the call to ministry and, in 2015, I entered Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL. My two year internship here in Canandaigua is part of my ministerial formation, and I will be away attending classes periodically (with lots of advance notice!).

I am so pleased to be working with you and look forward to meeting all of you over the next few months.

Reverend Joel Miller, Interim Minister

 I’m coming to the Rochester area after having served for three years as the Interim Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton, NY (north of the Adirondacks). I am an Accredited Interim Minister (AIM) with the Unitarian Universalist Association and specialize in interim ministry. The interim period follows the ending of ministry relationships and precedes a congregation’s decisions on how it will minister in the future. Interim ministry in this time gives a congregation the breathing-space to review its goals, assess its ministries, learn how to adapt in a rapid-change world, and enter into its future with excitement and clarity. Your Interim Intern Minister, Rita Capezzi, will assist you in continuing the customary ministries of a congregation, and also work with you as a congregation on these five areas of interim development:

  • Heritage: reviewing how the congregation has been shaped and formed
  • Mission: defining and redefining sense of purpose and direction
  • Leadership: reviewing the congregation’s ways of organizing and developing new and effective clergy and lay leadership
  • Connections: discovering all the relationships and networks a faith community builds beyond itself, and
  • Future: synthesizing the interim work and coaching the congregation on sustaining its ministry after the interim period.

I will be supervising Rita’s internship as well as serving as a consultant to your congregation’s leadership during this interim period.


Previous Ministers:

Reverend Kaaren Anderson

Reverend Kaaren Anderson served our congregation from 2013-2106.

Reverend Scott Tayler

Reverend Scott Tayler served as our consulting minister from 2009-2013.

→ Listen or watch some of Reverend Tayler’s sermons

 The Reverends Maureen and Carl Thitchener

The Revs. Maureen and Carl Thitchener co-ministered at UUCC 1997-2008.
Maureen continued to minister UUCC until summer ’09 and now serves as our Minister Emeritus.

Several of Maureen and Carl’s sermons can be found in our audio archives here.