Mission and History
Explore spirituality. Engage community. Transform the world.
UUCSH traces its beginnings to 1996, when the UUA identified Somerset County as an area that could support its own UU congregation. The congregation began as part of a UUA program that “planted” congregations in certain areas around the country.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills officially launched in 1997 with Reverend Craig Hirshberg hired as our Organizing Minister. We rented office space in Pluckemin, and held services at the Raritan Valley Community College starting in the fall of 1997. We were known as a “church in a box” because we carried everything we needed for worship, religious education, and coffee hour in a van to the college every Sunday.
In 2010, after years of searching for an appropriate property, we purchased a building from the First Church of Christ, Scientist congregation in Somerville, NJ. Members, friends, and contractors put in hundreds of hours of work to do minor renovations and repairs, replace ceiling tiles, paint, organize new spaces, spiff up the yard, tune the piano, and make a host of aesthetic changes to suit our needs and worship style. We started using the building in 2011 but still needed to do additional work to make it accessible to all. After we renovated the building to add ramps and an elevator, we dedicated it in May 2015.
In 2017, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our congregation. We continue to work within our mission to Explore Spirituality, Engage Community, and Transform the World!
- Rev. Craig Hirshberg, founding minister and Minister Emerita (awarded in 2011)
- Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister (2005 – 2007)
- Rev. Julie Newhall, Settled Minister (2007 – 2011)
- Rev. Marcia Marino, Interim Minister
- Rev. Jennifer Kelleher (2013 – 2018)
- Rev. Len De Roche (2018 – 2019)
- Rev. Ann Marie Alderman (2019 – present)