North Parish is served by a dedicated staff team led by the Rev. Lee Bluemel, as well as by volunteer lay leaders who take turns serving the congregation. In this section you will find links to staff contact information and bios.
Rev. Lee Bluemel, Minister
Hello, and welcome to North Parish!
My name is Lee, and I’m delighted to invite you into our vibrant Unitarian Universalist community, where I have gladly served as minister since the fall of 1999.
As a life-long Unitarian Universalist, I have chosen this faith over and over again. In my childhood congregation and UU family, I found support for my natural curiosity and joy, as well as encouragement to be kind. I developed an appreciation of the many sources of religious truths and experienced a deep sense of belonging in an intergenerational community, the interdependent web of life, the wider world and the universe.
After receiving a degree in English and Anthropology and working for a year as a VISTA community organizer, I returned as a young adult to theological school (Harvard Divinity, ‘94). Once ordained, I served as the UU minister in Midland, MI for four years (1995-99) before being called to North Parish. It is a serendipitous accident of history that I was “installed” here as minister on October 24, 1999, exactly 354 years from the date of the founding of the church in 1645. The rest is history!
While I identify simply as a UU, my specific theology is that of a Religious Naturalist, a name for an earth-based theology and spirituality that has room for science and mysticism, human agency and awe. I had the good fortune to spend my high school and college summers working for the Appalachian Mountain Club and I still enjoy walking in the woods and hiking on mountains. I also enjoy singing, listening to piano music, looking at art, and spending time with family and friends. I have two children, one in college and one in high school, both graduates of the youth programs at North Parish.
Sometimes folks ask what to call me; many just use my first name, but for those from a more traditional church culture or who are teaching their kids to address adults with a prefix, I’ll also answer to ‘Rev. Lee!’ I’d love to connect with you, to talk about your life or North Parish or anything else on your mind. I’m always up for a cup of tea, a walk around the Common in front of the Meeting House, or a stroll through the gardens. I look forward to meeting you!
Susanne Hinson-Rieger, Director of Family Religious Education
Susanne has over 16 years of experience serving congregations as a Director of Lifespan Religious Education and in church administration. Additionally, she has served on various boards, racial and social justice committees, and religious education councils over the last 20 years. She has completed numerous trainings in her field, and is currently working toward being a Credentialed Religious Educator. Susanne is also a certified Our Whole Lives (OWL) Facilitator. and has completed numerous anti-racism and anti-oppression trainings.
Susanne is married to Rev. Jamie, a UU minister. Their now-adult children, Claudia, Sam, and Jordan grew up in UU RE Programs in Indianapolis and Houston.
Susanne is passionate about radical welcoming, respecting children and youth, and supporting families and volunteers, which for her is an expression of our core UU values.
When she’s not working, she spends time with family, volunteers for an online anti-racism activism group, and enjoys the outdoors.
John Middleton-Cox, Music Director
John joined the North Parish staff in 2007. Originally from Northern New York, he attended the Crane School of Music and The Boston Conservatory and studied voice with Sheila Fiumarello and Iride Pilla. As a classical tenor, John performed various professional vocal roles from Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus to the Duke in Patience, in venues such as Jordan Hall, the Emerson Majestic, and The Old North Church. An all-around musician, John has composed an original musical, orchestrated for a professional symphony orchestra, accompanied professional singers, conducted professional pit orchestras, and collaborated with Broadway Actor/Director Russell Garrett in Anything Goes. John teaches chorus and is the head of the music department for the Burlington Public Schools. He currently lives in North Andover with his husband and two sons.
Christina Brezeale Kennedy, Assistant Music Director
Christina has been teaching professionally for over twenty-five years in a variety of settings, from music studios, church basements, and elementary classrooms to junior high school band/choral rooms and college recital halls. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Choral Conducting from Messiah University and a Master’s Degree in Performance from the University of Maine. Currently serving as choral director at Triton Regional Middle & High Schools, assistant artistic director of the Sounds of Stow Chorus & Orchestra, and alto in NOVA Women’s Choral Project, she also has a home studio of approximately twenty piano, violin, and voice students. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, walking her dog, and hanging out with her daughter and two sons as well as other family and friends.
Stefanie Nolan, Congregational Administrator
Stefanie has been a North Andover resident for over 20 years. She lives with her husband Mike, their daughter Alex and son, Michael, who are currently in college and graduate school. She received her B.A. from Regis College. She previously worked in Human Resources for two local hospitals and was the Office Administrator for 9 years at Second Congregational Church of Boxford, UCC, before coming to North Parish in November of 2017. She enjoys working with the great North Parish staff and kind, dedicated church community. In her free time, she enjoys vacationing in Newport, RI, and Cape Cod with her family and friends.
Mike Antczak, Membership Coordinator
Mike joined the North Parish staff in the fall of 2021 and lives in North Andover with his wife, two cats, and a dog. He comes from a background in digital marketing and received his bachelor’s degree in business from UNC Charlotte. In his spare time he enjoys trail running, kayaking, hiking, and studying eastern philosophy. He is also an avid yogi and certified yoga teacher. In addition to his membership duties, he also edits and publishes the weekly eNews, and makes updates to the North Parish website.
Jessica Carter, Child/Youth Coordinator & Rentals Coordinator
Jessica began in the Fall 2022. She currently works about 13 hours per week to assist Director of Faith Formation Susanne Hinson-Rieger and 3 hours per week to assist with space rentals. She enjoys working for an organization that benefits the community. Jessica has been active on the Sargent School PTO for a number of years, including serving as President. She is skilled in tasks essential to the job: managing details, planning events, working with volunteers, and communicating with families.
Kim Adami, Rentals Sexton
Photo coming soon
Manuel Tejeda, Sexton
Manuel has been our sexton since December 2021. He also works for the City of Lawrence in Cemetery Maintenance, supervision of workers and equipment purchasing. A resident of Salem, NH, he is also the husband of Sadia Jiminian, a key member of the Interfaith Group that responded to the MV Gas Disaster, and the father of two young adults.
Sarah Spaulding, Nursery Coordinator
Sarah Spaulding currently works as a nursery coordinator, a paraprofessional for Salem public schools, and an assistant teacher for early intervention. She is also going to school for psychology. In her free time she enjoys painting, scrapbooking, and walking with her dog.
Natalie Cordio, Youth Nursery Assistant
Natalie Cordio is our Youth Nursery Assistant. She has grown up at North Parish and is a member of the Senior Youth Group. She is excited about the job and is really good with small children. She’ll be working with two adults to take care of our littlest ones.
Sarah Waters, Youth Nursery Assistant
Photos coming soon