Rev. Fred Small is Senior Minister of First Parish in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Unitarian Universalist) and co-chair of Religious Witness for the Earth, a national interfaith network dedicated to public witness on critical environmental issues, especially global climate change. He is a spiritual teacher, a singer and song-leader, and an advocate for peace, justice, and earth care.
After graduating from Yale (BA, American Studies) and the University of Michigan (JD, MS Natural Resources), Fred worked as a staff attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation. Fred left CLF to tour internationally as a folksinger and songwriter, releasing seven albums over two decades. After earning his MDiv degree from Harvard, Fred was called to serve First Church Unitarian in Littleton, Massachusetts, where he was ordained and installed November 7, 1999. He was called by First Parish in Cambridge April 20, 2008.
Fred has received the Peace and Justice Award from the Cambridge Peace Commission (1995) and the Religious Leadership Award from the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry (2006).
In 2007, Grist Magazine named Fred one of 15 Green Religious Leaders worldwide. Fred and the Pan-Latin ensemble Sol y Canto (www.solycanto.com) have recorded “Three Five O” in both English and Spanish as a powerful call for climate justice. See and hear their performance of Three Five O.
Fred lives in Cambridge with his wife, environmental advocate Julie Wormser, and daughter, Lucy Dao Lin Emerson.
Rev. Lilia Cuervo is our Associate Minister. A native of Colombia, she came to this country as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Demography, invited by the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. After many years as the Evaluation and Research Associate at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, she became the first Latin American woman ordained in the Unitarian Universalist tradition.
As the Extension Minister at the First Unitarian Church in San Jose, California, Lilia was instrumental in the creation of the first-ever full time ministry in Spanish in our denomination. After six and a half years in San Jose, Lilia returned to her home on Long Island where she was a Chaplain with Hospice Care Network, was a Consulting Minister with the UU Fellowship in Bellport, a preacher at the UU Fellowship of Muttontown, and Affiliate Minister at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.
Lilia has a BA in Mathematics and Physics from the Teachers College in Bogota, an MA in Demography from Georgetown University, and an MA in Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She is a published author, loves art in all its forms, enjoys hiking, especially in the mountains, is fluent in English and Spanish, and enjoys conversing in Portuguese.
Lilia lives in Medford with her husband, Sam, a consultant in Ultrasonics an historian in transportation. Her three children and two grandchildren live in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York.
Jonathan Barnhart came to First Parish in 1986; he has enjoyed providing music for UU services for 30 years! A classically trained pianist, organist and singer, he enjoys music of all styles, including musical theater, and he and First Parish's choir, soloists and instrumentalists continue to present a wide-ranging variety of music for First Parish's services. When not working on music for church, temple, or choral society, he is a total cable news junkie (MSNBC!), and enjoys science fiction and comedy programs. Jonathan has lived in Jamaica Plain since his student days at the New England Conservatory, and shares his home with two cats, Felix and Xena.
Mandy Neff has served as a Director of Religious Education for the Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church, the First Universalist Society of Salem, and is now proud to serve First Parish in Cambridge. In that time she has grown religious education programs in size and deepened them in faith, creating a children’s chapel and leading worship for children for over 10 years. She has created multigenerational worships and events, writing a children’s Pageant which tells the birth stories of three religious figures. Ms. Neff works towards a broad and multicultural understanding of our movement, and most recently wrote two curriculum for children entitled “You’re Welcome,” a series on immigration issues and justice in the United States today.
Ms. Neff combines art and spiritual practices in a variety of media, including storytelling, SoulCollage, and events for all ages such as creating giant sawdust floor mandalas. She has a strong interest in archetypal story themes that cross cultural lines, especially creation stories, and she believes that every story is one “for all ages.”
Ms. Neff has her BA in Drama and Biology from Kenyon College, as well as Renaissance Recognition from the UUA. She currently serves on the board of UU Massachusetts Action Network and the LREDA Fall Conference Planning Committee. She lives in Reading, MA with her husband, three children and an assortment of pets.