Rev. Wendy Bartel and Rev. Lynn Gardner

Rev. Wendy grew up in Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Ann Maria College (MA) in 1989/90 (graduation ceremonies were held at the completion of 4 years of coursework for students (back then) and the diploma was issued after an additional 6 months required internship.) Rev. Wendy then moved to California and worked as a Music Therapist with children and adults with severe and profound developmental disabilities.

Rev. Lynn is from the West Coast and has lived in California and Oregon.  She earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood education from De Anza College (CA) in 1988 and ran an in-home daycare, which included several employees and served many families. In preparation to attend seminary, Rev. Lynn earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Oregon State University in 2005.

Rev. Wendy and Rev. Lynn met while attending Starr King School for the Ministry. They were married in 2008 and earned their Masters of Divinity from Starr King in 2009. Rev. Wendy did an internship at the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) and served as Summer Coverage Minister in 2009. During seminary, Rev. Lynn served as the UUA Regional Organizing Consultant for Young Adult and Campus Ministries in the Pacific Western Region. Upon graduation, she served as the Worship Arts and Education Specialist for the First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

In 2010, they were hired as Consulting Ministers at the Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists in Auburn, CA. After a six-month adaptive call process, the congregation voted unanimously to call them as their settled Co-Ministers in 2012.

Rev. Lynn and Rev. Wendy have been very active in the Pacific Central District (PCD) and the Pacific Western Region (PWR) of the UUA. Rev. Lynn currently serves as co-chair of CENTER Committee of the UU Ministers Association (UUMA) and is a Good Officer for the UUMA. Rev. Wendy currently is President of the PCD Chapter of the UUMA. Together they have served on the Worship Faculty for the Russell Lockwood Leadership School, have answered the call to Standing Rock, and led the Opening Celebration of General Assembly 2015 with colleague Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley.

Rev. Lynn and Rev. Wendy are the co-parents of Meghan, their young adult daughter who lives and works in California. They also are “the people” to a small, shy dog named Luna. Between them they have many interests and passions including spending time with family and friends, dark chocolate, drumming, organic gardening, poetry, strong coffee, hiking, reading, yoga, cooking, acrylic painting, spending time in or near bodies of water, Harry Potter, photography, meditation, camping, and risking joy.

Rev. Wendy Bartel and Rev. Lynn Gardner

Email Rev. Lynn:

Email Rev. Wendy:

518-374-4446 Ext. 1002

Lifespan Religious Education

Julie Rigano
Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Julie Rigano is the Director of Lifespan Religious Education as of July 2015. She served at the Religious Education Intern at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY before beginning at UUSS.

Monday 1-4pm, Tuesday Day Off
Wednesday, Thursday, 11am-3pm
Phone: (518) 374-4446 Ext. 6

Congregational Life Coordinator

Kristin Cleveland
Congregational Life Coordinator

Kristin Cleveland, a native of Liverpool, NY, comes to UUSS with a background in communications and program coordination. She has worked for a New Hampshire land trust, a New York agricultural research institute, farmers’ markets, a zoo, a teacher’s union, and the Adirondack Museum. She has also served as the Coordinator of Member Support & Development for the First Unitarian Society in Newton, MA.
Phone- (518) 374-4446 Ext. 7


Gareth Griffiths
Music Director

Gareth “Gary” Griffiths has served as our music director since 1992. She has a BA from Connecticut College and did graduate work at the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City (now the Yale Institute of Sacred Music). Before coming to Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady (UUSS), she had been an arts administrator in the Capital Region for many years, serving as general manager of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, then the Albany Symphony, and also as concert manager at the Performing Arts Center at the University at Albany.

At UUSS in 1993, she was the founder of our medieval solstice celebration, Yuletide Revels, and ever since has served as its producer and music director. This major event in the life of the church is now presented every other year and about 100 congregation members are involved in the production.

Gary directs the entire music program at UUSS, finding guest artists, and leading both the Society Choir and the Junior Choir. She is an avid gardener and paddler and serves on the Board of the Empire State Youth Orchestra.

Phone – 518-374-4446 Ext. 9


Helen Freeland

Helen Freeland has the skills to operate everything from a database to a bulldozer

In her extremely varied career, she has driven construction vehicles, operated heavy equipment and managed a production database. She worked as a corrugator operator in Amsterdam; a sandblaster in Scotia; a cleaner at Proctors Theater; and most recently served as custodian at the First Reformed Church in the Stockade area.

Phone: (518) 605-5551 Ext. 9

Susan Marino
Church Administrator

Originally from Utica NY, Susan came to the Capital District and started working part-time for a new Advertising Agency. She stayed and grew along with the agency for over twenty years. From 2001-2005 Susan had the wonderful opportunity to serve as Office Manager at Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital District where she was responsible for a variety of functions. Susan is now pleased to be able to contribute to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady!

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm
Phone: (518) 374-4446 Ext. 4