Our Ministers and Staff
Rev. Ann Marie Alderman
I hope you will visit UUCSH. This is a warm and welcoming small congregation where you will feel both comforted and challenged.
I am The Reverend Ann Marie Alderman and I am new as well, having just begun a period of what UU’s call “developmental ministry”. Things will be changing. If you have visited in the past, come check us out again!
I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, as an active Southern Baptist youth and later graduated from Florida State University with a major in religion. That education led me to be fascinated by all things religious, and I soon found myself at Vanderbilt Divinity School, just when the first woman dean of a major seminary was taking over. It was exciting times way back when. I changed denominations and became a United Methodist. (At least, they were ordaining women ministers!)
But, upon graduation from seminary, I soon realized that the traditional Christian ministry was not for me. So, I spent several years in alternative careers, including being an automobile mechanic, an automobile service advisor and then spent nearly twenty years managing my family’s wood flooring business. By mid-life the urge to find a deeper purpose motivated my move to Savannah, Georgia. It was while living there, that the giant welcome extended to me by the then tiny UU fellowship in Statesboro, Georgia, helped me recognize where my life path was leading. In 2001, I was fellowshipped by the UUA and jointly ordained by both of the UU congregations in my hometown.
I bring it all to what I do now; years of experience in small business administration, a year of intensive training as a hospital chaplain, two years as a Director of Religious Education, three as an Associate Minister, two years as the sole minister of a thriving small congregation in Pennsylvania, then a 5-year called ministry with the UU Congregation of Greenville, North Carolina. Now I specialize in developmental ministry. I have done development with the UU Church of Greensboro, NC and most recently with the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, and now I couldn’t be happier to share this time with the UU’s in Somerville, NJ, who are ready to make a turn towards a more vibrant, more healthy, more relevant congregation. Won’t you join in the fun?
Rev. Ann Marie and her wife the Rev. Robin Tanner, the Minister of Worship and Outreach with Beacon UU in Summit, NJ, have three young children, twins, Kirk and Ella, and a toddler named Benji.
Rev. Craig Hirshberg, Minister Emerita
Rev. Craig Hirshberg is a UU minster who retired after serving for five years as the Executive Director of UU Faith Action NJ (formerly the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey (UULMNJ). She has a wealth of experience in the pulpit and in the community. She is Minister Emerita of the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills where she served as the founding minister. She brought to her ministry extensive non-profit experience including training, planning, community organizing, and program development. She is a spiritual director and hosts meditation classes, retreats and other spiritual development activities. Craig is a graduate of Drew Theological School, and a lifelong student at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. She received her spiritual direction training at Shalem in Washington DC and from the Rowe Spritual Direction Program. Rev. Hirshberg currently serves as an adjunct consultant with the UU Central Eastern Region and serves as a UUA Transitions Coach for congregations seeking new ministers. She serves on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Trauma Response Team board, being deployed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. She currently lives in Easton, PA with her husband, Dominick De Pinto, and has three grown children.
This vibrant team of professionals helps the congregation to deepen their spiritual connections and put their faith into action.
Stephanie Baum, Office Administrator
Stephanie’s previous work experience includes digital content creation, educational book distribution, and business management. She lives in Jamesburg, where she loves to cook and spend time with her grown son and daughter, and her beagle, whom she rescued shortly after a hurricane in 2011.
Jennie Stilwell Belmonte, Religious Education Coordinator
Jennie has been attending UUCSH with her family for over a decade. In that time span, she has served various roles within the UUCSH community, including RE Lead Teacher, and member of RE Vision Team, Committee of Shared Ministry, and Choir. In the larger community, she has also served as a Cub Scout leader and is currently a co-leader for 4H Robotics club – Somerset Servos, and also co-leads Girl Scout Brownie Troop 61144. Previous work experience includes roles at Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson. She loves to spend time with her husband, Greg, and two children, Evan and Grace.
William Magalio, Music Director & Accompanist
Will has been working for UUCSH for over 13 years. He has played piano for 36 years, but has also studied violin, tuba and voice. During the week, Will serves as the Marching Band Director and Director of Orchestras at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. His bands and orchestras consistently earn superior ratings and high scores in competitions and festivals throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Will received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) and his Masters in Music Technology from the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Will is also very active in local community theater. He serves on the Board of the Readington Community Theatre where he and his wife, Cindy, have participated in the cast and have served as music director and choreographer for many musicals over the past decade.
Susan Schneider, Choir & Music Director
Soprano Susan Schneider has sung twentieth and twenty-first century music, as well as standard repertoire, in the US and Europe with companies including Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening Institute, American Chamber Opera, Composers Concordance, Downtown Opera, Die Zeltmusik Festival (Germany) and the Vesprem Chamber Orchestra (Hungary). Several composers, including Eric Ewazen, Charles Kuskin and John David Earnest have written roles and song repertoire for her. Her recording of Akanthos by Iannis Xenakis on Mode CD’s was praised by the New York Times as “superb.”
Susan studied conducting at the Eastman School of Music, where she got her degree in voice and opera, and has conducted children’s choirs and high school choirs. She teaches voice privately and owns a small virtual assistant business in her home in Chatham, where she lives with her husband, and has two sons.
Susan has been serving as the UUCSH Choir Director since 2012, and enjoys being able to enrich the music program at UUCSH.