Rev. Wendy Fitting, Minister
The Reverend Wendy Fitting came to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church as Extension Minister in 1989. She was called as its settled minister and installed in 1994. Rev. Fitting was educated at New York University and Antioch University, and received her Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1989. Prior to entering the ministry, Wendy worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, starting in 1974 as a ward attendant at the Walter E. Fernald State School for the Mentally Retarded in Waltham. Raised as a Unitarian Universalist, it was Wendy’s early ambition to serve in its ministry; a dream that would be realized more than 20 years later.
Her work in the Fernald Institution, and later for the Central and Harbor Area Offices of DMH, greatly influenced Wendy’s deepening interest in religious subjects, especially the dignity of the human person, the reality of the human spirit, and the power of grace. She was further inspired to study for the ministry by her association with the writings of Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen, and Wolf Wolfensberger, who acquainted her with the L’Arche and Social Role Valorization movements. These philosophies, closely associated with liberation theology, have had a profound and positive effect in dignifying and humanizing state-funded treatment of people with developmental disabilities.
Wendy’s studies in divinity school focused on Process Theology and the idea of grace – especially in the fiction of Flannery O’Connor. The focus of her Master’s Thesis was the history of the eugenics movement in the United States, and its influence on the Nazi euthanasia program of the 1930′s.
In addition to her ministry in Gloucester, Reverend Fitting is a regular consultant to the Northeast Regional Office of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation.
R. Harrison Kelton – Music Director
I’m delighted to be your Music Director. My resume includes five years as music director at First Parish in Lexington and thirty years at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wellesley. My musical education includes a master’s from New England Conservatory in organ and choral conducting, and a doctorate from BU in musicology. In addition to church music, my special musical interests include music composed by women, the keyboard music of the Baroque, choral music from all ages, and new hymnody.
In addition to being your Music Director, I am an Associate Professor of Music History at Suffolk University.
I live with my family in Newton. My wife Elizabeth is an interior designer, but she is currently staying at home with our two children, Piper (age 6), and Sebastian (born in August 2011).
Tabitha Carty-Mercier – Director of Religious Education
I grew up in Salem and am a life long resident of the North Shore. I was raised a Catholic, however I stopped attending church as an early teen. The Unitarian Universalist Church became my spiritual home about four years ago. I have a strong belief that people of many faiths – or no faith at all – can come together and be one in the name of community and spirituality. I believe greatly in the power of service and the need for that in urban communities. I’m the mother of two children: Kevin and Aaron and am engaged to my long-time partner, Bradley. [Tabitha and Bradley Mercier were married in January, 2013.] I have an Associates degree in Elementary education from North Shore Community College and love working with children.
Karen Rembert, Church Administrator
Karen assumed the post of church administrator on May 6, 2008. She brings 20 years of knowledge and experience to our church, having served the First Unitarian Society in Schenectady, New York first as co-custodian (with her husband), and then as Church Administrator. For more than 12 years, Karen and her husband, Chuck, spent all their free time visiting Gloucester, and commuted from New York State for 18 months before moving permanently in 2008. Karen treasures her involvement in the life of this special community: Gloucester.
Kerry Mullen, Sexton
Kerry Mullen joined the church in October 1998, along with her wife, Deb Hardy. Both are talented musicians, with Deb being one of Cape Ann’s best guitarists and singer-songwriters. Kerry is an artist by trade and is currently focused on sculptures made with clay, cement and glass.
Kerry says she experiences grace in the simple, physical, day-to-day work of caring for “this old house.”