Rev. Julie-Ann Silberman-Bunn joined the staff of UUSGS in August of 2020. As part-time Assistant Minister, Rev. Julie-Ann’s primary portfolio is pastoral care, extending and deepening the shared caring ministry of the congregation. Working closely with the Rev. Jason and the Beacons, Rev. Julie-Ann also leads worship and officiates rites of passage.
Rev. Julie-Ann Silberman-Bunn is a life long Unitarian Universalist with a social and cultural connection to Judaism. Julie-Ann grew up in the central New Jersey communities of Trenton and Lawrence Township, where she and her family belonged to the UU Church at Washington Crossing and the Unitarian Church of Princeton. Julie-Ann was active in the UU Youth program at a local, regional and continental level including designing programs and planning conferences.
Julie-Ann began her college career at Bennington College in Southern Vermont where she studied ceramics, printmaking and creative writing. In her sophomore year of college, Julie-Ann was selected to serve in the youth office at the Unitarian Universalist Association as they launched a new Association Wide Youth Program called Young Religious Unitarian Universalists. Julie-Ann spent nine months living in the Boston area and working at the Boston Offices of the UUA, planning and leading workshops and conferences around the continent, working on the writing and publication of the Newspaper of the youth organization, Synapse, and in the writing team for a curriculum called Life Issues for Teenagers.It was during this time working for the UUA, leading worship for a congregation in the South that Julie-Ann first understood and accepted her call to ministry.
After leaving the Youth Office, Julie-Ann spent a year studying at the University of Stirling in Central Scotland where she expanded her study to Art History and began studying religion. Julie-Ann ended up leaving Bennington and enrolling at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton where she completed her degree while working in a school for emotionally disturbed and autistic children. Being back in New Jersey let Julie-Ann strengthen her UU leadership skills as she served as a youth group advisor, board member and launched the first UU student group Princeton University had had in decades. Julie-Ann Continued leadership in Continental UU Youth and young adult ministry.
Following her college graduation in July of 1987 Julie-Ann moved to Richmond Indiana where she enrolled at Earlham School of Religion, at the time the only Quaker Theological School. Earlham helped Julie-Ann delve into the academic and applied aspects of ministry challenging as well as spirituality. Julie-Ann currently serves as the first non-Quaker alumni chosen to serve on the school’s Board of Advisors. While in Richmond, Julie-Ann was instrumental in the founding of a new UU Congregation, and provided support to UU students on the Earlham College Campus. In her graduate career Julie-Ann engaged in two units of chaplaincy training, and the study of ministering to persons with handicapping conditions, Julie-Ann also served on and as the chair of the UUA Nominating Committee.
In May 1992 Julie-Ann was Jointly ordained by the UU churches In Washington Crossing and Princeton, at which the chalices were lit by Julie-Ann’s very first Sunday School teacher and the father of friends from her youth group.
In August of 1992 Julie-Ann began her first ministry as the Extension (Growth specialist) minister at the UU Church in Kent, Ohio. The Kent congregation which was first organized in 1865 had an aged and crumbling building and a small congregation with an average worship gathering of 15. When Julie-Ann left 12 years later the congregation was healthy with over 175 active members and building that had been given a new lease through significant repairs and upgrades, even more importantly it had become an important presence in the social justice, arts and cultural community of the region.
Rev. Julie-Ann has also served congregations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She has also worked as a hospice and hospital chaplain. In September of 2019, Julie-Ann and her husband Ken made the move to western Massachusetts where they have turned an inherited summer cabin into their full-time home, and are building the life they thought would have to wait for retirement. They have two sons who are adults, and building their own lives.