Our Minister and Staff
Reverend Hank Peirce, Minister
Reverend Hank Peirce was called as UUCR’s next settled minister in May 2017, and began his ministry with us that August. Rev. Hank is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and New England native. After an early career as a punk rock roadie in the 1980s, Hank felt the pull toward his Unitarian Universalist roots. He returned to school to get his Bachelor’s in Religious Studies at UMASS Boston, and graduated from Andover Newton Theological School with a Master’s in Divinity in 1998. Since then he has served four parishes throughout New England, most notably as the settled minister in Medford, MA for 12 years. Rev. Hank is full of passion for our faith and believes that ministry means caring for each other, using reason, love, and laughter to help give meaning to our lives. He has a strong sense of community, and building fellowship near and far is one of his greatest strengths. Hank lives with his wife Rebecca (also a lifelong UU, born in Vancouver) and their two daughters, Ruth and Bethiah.
Liz Weber, Intern Minister
Liz will be UUCR’s ministerial intern through June 2018. Previously, Liz was an intern chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and at Boston Medical Center. She will graduate this spring with her Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a graduate certificate in Religion and Conflict Transformation and a Bachelor of Science in ASL Interpreting. A lifelong UU, Liz was a lay leader at Arlington Street Church in Boston as well as regionally and nationally. She was the 2014-2015 recipient of the Rev. Chuck and Nancy Thomas Scholarship from the UUA for her commitment to Unitarian Universalism before entering seminary. In her first career as an ASL interpreter, Liz specialized in educational and medical interpretation.
Sally Liebermann, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Sally Liebermann joined our staff in August of 2016, excited to join a team of talented staff and volunteers dedicated to nurturing the spiritual lives of children and learners of all ages. She has deep respect for the integrity of children and youth and believes that faith development is a naturally unfolding, lifelong process. After an early career in industry, she transitioned to work in non-profit settings, most recently serving the Unitarian Universalist Church in Haverhill as Director of Religious Education. She is grateful to walk alongside children, youth and adults as they seek meaning in their lives, considering her work one of many blessings.
Melissa Martin, Member Services & Volunteer Coordinator
Melissa Martin joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading staff in September of 2013, as the Member Services and Volunteer Coordinator. Melissa works side by side with the UUCR Membership Team in a variety of ways, including welcoming visitors and members, assisting them in establishing deeper connections, and supporting those making UUCR their spiritual home. Melissa has lived in Saugus, Massachusetts for over a decade with her blended family, including her five children and their Goldendoodle Teddy!
Mary Cunningham, Music Director
Mary Cunningham, a life-long Unitarian Universalist and UUA credentialed music leader, is well known in the Boston area as choral conductor, song leader, vocalist, and flute soloist. She has served the congregations of Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church, First Parish in Bedford and First Parish in Lexington. Earning credentialing from the Unitarian Universalist Association Music Leadership Program in 2011, she has taught on the faculty and chaired it’s steering committee from 2014 to 2016. She is an active member of the UU Musician’s Network, has served as District liaison and 2008 national conference co-organizer. Mary is the Artistic Director of the Halalisa Singers, is on the faculty at the Powers Music School in Belmont and has a private teaching studio in her Lexington home.
Margaret Scharff, Pianist/Organist
Margaret Scharff has served as the pianist, organist, and accompanist at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading since 2014. She began her work with Unitarian Universalist churches in 2002, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder. In 2004-2005, she trained as a music intern at Jefferson Unitarian Church, where she later served as pianist and accompanist for five years. With degrees in piano performance, Margaret has worked with several choirs as accompanist and assistant director, and she has taught piano students of all ages and abilities.
Linda Snow Dockser, Office Administrator
Joining the staff in November 2016, Linda is eager to support a congregation dedicated to nurturing spiritual awareness, building community, and healing the world. An active volunteer and writer in Reading, Linda has devoted herself to organizing Character and Holocaust Education, community and school outreach, and programs to enable social-emotional learning. As Vice Chair of Reading’s Human Relations Advisory Committee and an elected Member of the Reading School Committee, she continues to dedicate her life to the belief that “Together we can make a difference.” She is thrilled to work at the hub of the UU Church of Reading where so many congregants have been making a difference in the lives of so many for so long.