Minister and Staff
Rev. Janet Parsons, Minister
Many factors contributed to Rev. Janet’s decision to enter the ministry, but two stand out: working for a Unitarian Universalist church for several years, and participating in or leading 10 relief trips to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Through her job, Janet learned that she loved church life. Through the hurricane relief work she learned that service is life-transforming and a vital way for UU’s to embody our values in the world.
Janet has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Tufts University in Medford, MA, in political science and urban policy, respectively, and a Master’s of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA. She is the proud parent of two young adult sons and is owned by a large, exuberant standard poodle.
Being called to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church is a homecoming of sorts for Rev. Janet: her family has lived here for generations and she has fond memories of summer days at the beach and family cookouts at her grandparents’ house in East Gloucester. As a history buff she is eager to serve a church so important to Universalist history.
Contact Rev. Janet at email@example.com
Rev. Wendy Fitting, Minister Emeritus
The Reverend Wendy Fitting retired from the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church on June 30, 2013, after having served as minister for 24 years.
Robert E. (Bob) Wech, Music Director
Our Director of Music, Robert E. Wech (Bob) was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, grew up across the Susquehanna River in Kingston, began piano study at 8 years of age, and organ study at 14. He is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, with a degree in Music Education and a minor in organ. He began regular church organ playing while a sophomore in high school, and has played and directed choirs in Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Roman Catholic churches and Synagogues.
He has taught in the public schools of Parma, Ohio; Salem, Massachusetts, and West Cape May, New Jersey. In 2011 Bob realized a long-time dream of moving back to Cape Ann, and is now a resident of Rockport. He says: “I enjoy playing the magnificent pipe organ, working with the fine choir, and getting to know the congregation and staff!”
Rose Sheehan, Director of Religious Exploration
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Rose is a life-long Bay Stater. She’s lived in Boston, Greenfield and Cape Cod. Gloucester has been her home since 2004. Rose has had a lifelong passion for children, learning and creative expression. She studied early childhood education at Greenfield Communuty College, holistic education at UMass Amherst and Waldorf education at Sunbridge College. Rose is a licensed early childhood educator and holds a certificate in Waldorf Elementary Education. During the early 1990’s, she served as Director of Religious Education for All Souls Church, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Greenfield. During her tenure with All Souls, she participated in the UUA’s Renaissance Program for religious educators and completed the Ministry with Youth, Teacher Development and Worship modules.
In addition to her work in education, Rose is an active folk performer. She plays music for Morris Dance ensembles and sings at a variety of venues from small coffee houses to festival audiences. Adelphi Records is producing a CD of Rose singing with her two sons Owen and Colin. A release date in late 2014 is anticipated.
Rose is also a founding member of Folk Life Studio, whose mission is to keep folklife vibrant in our contemporary culture. She has organized a series of contra dances on Cape Ann and has developed a series of traditional music classes for children called “Sing through the Seasons”.
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.”