The Reverend Janet C. Bush
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Janet

The Reverend Janet C. Bush began her ministry with USNF in August of 2009. 

She feels blessed to have found her way to UU ministry and to have been called to our congregation.  She recently ended a six-year term on the Board of Pioneer Valley Habitat for  Humanity, where she continues as a member of the Finance Committee.  She is currently also a member of the Cooley Dickinson VNA Interfaith Hospice Advisory Board.  She was also member of the Steering Committee for Welcome Home: the Northampton Refugee Resettlement Effort, a group which advised Catholic Charities of Greater Springfield's Northampton program from July 2016 through September 2017.

Janet came to ministry after a varied career in business and educational settings.  She held leadership positions in many different organizations, always with an interest in facilitating interpersonal and organizational relationships.  She served as a CFO in several biotech companies in the Boston area, and also worked in a job-training program for disadvantaged adults, most of them welfare recipients, teaching office and communication skills and guiding them in the job search process.

She was active in her local UU church on boards and committees, as an RE parent volunteer, and in the choir.   She also served as a Board member and Treasurer of Discover Roxbury, a Boston non-profit whose mission is to build community pride and create bridges of understanding by increasing knowledge of Roxbury's historic and cultural contributions and foster economic empowerment.

She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School, a Master's in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Master's in Management from the Yale School of Management, and a Bachelor's degree in French from Yale College.

She served as a hospice chaplain in training with VNA Care Network of Needham, MA, and spent two years as ministerial intern at First Parish Church (UU) in Dorchester, MA.  Her husband, Booker Bush, is a primary care physician practicing in Springfield.  They have two adult sons, and three grandchildren.

Janet shares her ministry on our website via her sermons, which can be found on our Sermons page, and with her blog, FromtheMinister.

 

Lisa BritlandLisa_for_website
Congregational Administrator

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Lisa has been the Congregational Administrator at the Unitarian Society since the fall of 2010.  Prior to coming to the Society, she worked as an Administrative Assistant for human resource agencies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as a paraprofessional in Maine public school districts, owned and operated a restaurant along with her husband, and was a technical writer in an environmental toxicology lab.  Lisa lives in the hill towns with her husband, son and daughter.

 

Jessica Harwood, M. Ed.
Director of Faith Development and Community Engagement
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Jessica

Jessica Harwood has recently stepped into an expanded role as our Director of Faith Development and Community Engagement.

She continues her work as what we previously called our Director of Religious Education for children and youth (calling her our “DRE” is still fine with her) and has expanded her scope to include programming for adults as well. In terms of Community Engagement, she will be working with committees and teams that are directly involved in social justice and welcoming, and will provide support for efforts to strengthen connections both with and beyond the USNF community.

Jessica has worked in education for more than 16 years, as an environmental educator and administrator, a counselor for youth with mental illness, and a classroom teacher. Most recently, she taught sixth grade in Colrain and third grade in Easthampton. Community service, leadership development, and hands-on experiences are vital to her teaching.

Outside of teaching and other work, Jessica has coordinated the Gleaning Project for Rachel’s Table for the past twelve years. Working with volunteer teams of religious and school youth groups, the Gleaning Project has harvested and donated almost 100,000 pounds of produce to help feed our food-insecure neighbors.

Jessica lives in Easthampton, with her wife and dog. She serves on the Conservation Commission and takes part in the Easthampton Community Coalition. She loves spending time outdoors, hiking, running, swimming, and exploring. She also enjoys drawing, reading, gardening, and spending time with friends.

 

Dana Maiben 
Interim Music DirectorMaiben D

Dana Maiben is a professional violinist, composer, improvisor, teacher, keyboard player and conductor. She has studied at Oberlin Conservatory and Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, was an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith, and earned a Masters degree in Music Composition at UMass Amherst.

Dana was founding member and principal violinist of Arcadia Players for 15 years, and has been a concertmaster, soloist, and/or conductor for baroque orchestras and choirs in many parts of the country. She was also the founding music director of Foundling Baroque Orchestra and Women’s Advocacy Project, where she designed and directed seven seasons of concerts in Providence, RI. The group was awarded the Women of Excellence Award by the Providence Women’s Center for work to raise awareness about domestic violence, and material support for women and children affected by it.

Dana is a long-time member of the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, where she teaches baroque violin and viola, figured bass, early repertory and performance practice courses, coaches chamber music and vocal ensembles, and directs early opera. She also coaches in her private studio.

Her compositions include a chamber opera, Look and Long, compositions for a capella voices, and chamber music. Her 2013 composition “The Green House,” settings of poetry by Martha Collins for contralto, pentatonic wind chimes, flute, bassoon, and piano, was just awarded the 2018 Miriam Gideon Prize by the International Alliance for Women in Music.

For the past two years Dana served as Acting Director of Church Music for the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She is very happy to be here at USNF, and invites all musicians and would-be musicians to get involved in music opportunities here.

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 Annie Doran
Youth Director and Special Programs Leader
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Annie Doran is our Youth Director and Leader for Special Programs. Her main focus is on our youth programming, and she will work as time allows with Jessica and USNF members in supporting Community Engagement efforts.

Annie has spent her adult life in community-building. In her early twenties, she started a non-profit organization called "Fairloom" that worked in Brazil. More recently, she worked with and lived among refugees and asylum seekers in Maine while coordinating Food Justice programs with youth. Here in Northampton, she is a Pedal Person, is involved in local cooperative development, and is active in a Circle of Care with a family who recently arrived as refugees. She has come to understand that her work has been as much about her own growth and healing as it was about "helping" the folks she was working with. Her work in here and elsewhere is guided by a commitment to help people become more aware of their own stories, to listen deeply to each other's, and to be open to the mutual learning that happens when people work together.

 

Frank Taillon
Custodian

Frank Taillon has been helping us keep our building clean and well maintained since 2015. He is a life-long resident of Northampton.

 

Katherine Messina
Sunday Morning Assistant

Katherine served as our "Clerk of the Works" for eight years, and she now helps out after the service on Sunday mornings September through June.