Our Staff

Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, Senior Minister (Rev. Ana is on Sabbatical until August 15, 2020)

ana@fuub.org

Rev. Ana is Senior Minister at First Unitarian. She brings to her ministry a passion for social and environmental justice and a belief in the power of liberal religion to transform our world. She also brings a love of creative, embodied, music-centered worship from a previous life as a musician. More

 

Meagan Henry, Director of Education & Family Ministry

meagan@fuub.org

Meagan has two decades of experience in Religious Education.  She studied World Religions in college and has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of TN, Knoxville. She was an adjunct professor at UTK for three years after graduation and taught several classes on Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. While attending the University and teaching religion classes, she served as the part-time Youth Ministry Coordinator at the Tennessee Valley UU Church. Meagan and her husband, James, were married at TVUUC and her daughter, Starling, grew up in the RE program. In July of 2006, Meagan and James moved to Alexandria, VA where she served as the Director of Religious Education (DRE) at the Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church for 6 years. Following that, she served as the DRE at All Souls Unitarian in Washington, DC for 15 months before moving to Brooklyn. More

Adam Podd, Director of Music

adam@fuub.org

Adam is a Vermont-bred, Brooklyn-based music director, pianist, organist, bassist, composer and arranger. His first connection to church music started at age eleven, when he played for a Christmas Eve service in the sleepy town of Holland, VT.

He has worked with some of the top artists and organizations in his field including The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, New York Pops, Houston Symphony, Idina Menzel, Megan Hilty, Darlene Love, James Monroe Iglehart, Frankie Moreno, Stephen Kellogg, Milton Delugg, Macy’s Entertainment and The Young People’s Chorus of New York City in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Symphony Space, New World Stages, and others.

As a pianist, Adam specializes in blues, jazz, and gospel. He plays every Sunday night at the Rum House here in NYC with his twin brother Matt, and their jazz and blues band Mimi and the Podd Brothers. He also plays keys, bass and music directs for singer/songwriter Dan Mills. 

Adam studied classical and jazz piano, organ, orchestration, conducting, and music production at The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, CT where he received his Bachelors of Music. 

Click here to watch videos of Adam’s work with the choir and musicians here at First U. Click here to read more about Adam’s approach to music in worship.

Garnett Losak, Director of Congregational Life

garnett@fuub.org 

Garnett has been a member of First U for almost 30 years.  She raised her now grown children, Katie Falzetta-Murray and Joseph Falzetta, in our Sunday school, and has served the congregation as a volunteer in more ways than she can remember.  Garnett is here to help newcomers find their way.  She loves hearing the many stories that our visitors bring with them.  Nothing makes her happier than when a newcomer connects deeply with our congregation and becomes a voting member.  Garnett Lives in Bay Ridge with her dog, McKenzie and loves visits from her two adorable grandsons, Simon and Micah.

Christopher Johnson, Director of Facilities

chris@fuub.org, 631-816-4412

Chris Grew up in Nassau Country and has a grown daughter.  He was raised in an 1870’s Gothic Revival Episcopal church and has a deep respect for tradition and great affection for historic structures. He is a former merchant marine and boat captain.  Before coming to First Unitarian, he worked as a licensed contractor and estate caretaker.  Chris is a vibrational healer in private practice as a culmination of years of experiential spiritual study and initiation in both Christian and non-Christian based faiths.

Ethan Loewi, Intern Minister

intern@fuub.org

Ethan is a seminarian at Yale Divinity School, and thrilled to be serving our congregation part-time for two years through June of 2021. He grew up in beautiful Portland, Oregon, and was an English major at Harvard, before earning an MFA in creative writing (fiction) at New York University. Ethan is an aspiring minister in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, and recently worked as a chaplain intern at the VA hospital in West Haven, Connecticut. He lives in New Haven for its proximity to his classes, but lived in Brooklyn prior, and plans to move back the second he gets the chance. “My body is usually in Connecticut; my heart is always in Gowanus.”

Sophie Major, Religious Education Assistant

sophie@fuub.org

Sophie graduated from SUNY New Paltz in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Sociology. 

She attended the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation in White Plains where she started going to RE classes as a student and later taught and worked in childcare. Throughout the years Sophie has continued to work with youth of all ages in different environments like swim instructing, babysitting, and camp counseling.

Sophie is super excited to be part of First Unitarian Congregational Society. She looks forward to becoming a better advocate and ally for our UU community in Brooklyn and continuing her passion for working with children! She can’t wait to connect with like-minded folks but also learn from those that have walked a different path.

Nicole Tuszynski, Ceremonies Coordinator

nicole@fuub.org, 718-404-2348

Nicole comes to First Unitarian with a passion for event planning!  With over five years of professional planning experience for a renowned global legal advocacy organization, she looks forward to combining her expertise in event design and implementation with the creativity and joy inherent in weddings and dedication ceremonies.  Nicole has an MA from New York University in Human Rights Studies and a BA in Political Science from Stonehill College.  When she’s not at First U, you will find Nicole working on her latest DIY project or jogging laps around McCarren park with her pomeranian, Emmit.

Wendy Russell, Office Manager/Bookkeeper

office@fuub.org  718-624-5466

Wendy is a working singer, songwriter, voice teacher, organizer, and bookkeeper. She is also a part time innkeeper who supports her mother’s B & B in the Berkshires on summer weekends.

 In Wendy’s words, “I am a native New Yorker. I have 2 amazing daughters and 3 delicious grandchildren. One of my favorite places to have worked was Brooklyn Botanic Garden; walking through the gardens every day was heavenly and life affirming. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the First Unitarian Congregational Society.”

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  1. Shari Halliday-Quan will be our Intern Minister starting in September

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