First Parish in Needham Logo

23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

Minister & Staff


Reverend Catie Scudera


The Reverend Catie Scudera began her ministry at First Parish in August 2014.

Previously, Rev. Catie served as the intern minister of Arlington Street Church in downtown Boston, as the student and summer minister of the Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, Massachusetts, and as a student chaplain at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

Rev. Catie’s personal theology is guided by historic Universalism and Unitarianism, as well as progressive Christianity and engaged Buddhism.


Jenna Crawford

Intern Minister & Assistant to Director of Religious Education

Jenna is discerning a call to UU parish ministry and is in her final semester of seminary at Boston University’s School of Theology, concentrating in Interfaith Leadership.

Jenna came to Unitarian Universalism as a teenager when she found a spiritual home at the UU Church in Reading, MA.


Sarah Elizabeth Dyer-Santa Cruz

Interim Director of Lifespan Religious Education

I am coming into this position with professional experience in the field of children’s mental health as well as 7 years of coordinating the high school age youth program at the Unitarian Universalist church in nearby Milton, MA.

Though I did not grow up UU, I have a deep passion for our faith and am currently finishing my second year of seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry in California as a distance learning student.


Laura Nevitt

Music Director

I have grown up and served in many churches, but this will be my first time in a UU Congregation. I am so excited for this, because my beliefs much more align with your principles. I am a member of the Queer community, and am passionate about social justice.

I grew up in South Carolina, where I studied composition, voice, guitar, and music education. I taught 6th grade chorus in a public school and a music intern and Director of the Children’s Music Program.

I love all kinds of music – especially folk music. I am so looking forward to enjoying the many ways we will celebrate diversity together, both musically and in many other ways. I also have a dog named Jim and a cat named Owen who keep me on my toes!


Kelvyn Koning

Collaborative Pianist

My dad is actually a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church and I have spent most of my life playing piano, singing, and writing music in different churches.

I love all kinds of music, including (but not limited to) choral music, musical theatre, jazz, folk, classical, pop, gospel, and more! I play piano with multiple schools and theatres, sing with multiple choirs, and write music for choirs and theatres as well.

I am a member of the queer community and seek to love and learn from all people as they are. I am looking forward to meeting you virtually and in person!


Susanna Whitman

Parish Administrator

Susanna is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, now an active member of First Parish in Lexington.

Susanna’s past church roles include vice-president, co-chair of membership, and working on RE and other committees. She comes to us with impressive list of professional credentials including ten years in the Congregational Life group at the UUA. Prior to that she served as DRE at Melrose UU Church and worked for five years in London for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Most recently she has served as a Project Management Consultant assisting clients with program and curriculum development as well as project management.

Susanna lives in Lexington with her husband Jonathan Kinghorn and their three children. Susanna is currently studying acting in her spare time.


Tom Pugh

Worship Stream Producer


Freddy Soto


Freddy Soto has his own cleaning business and also works as our cleaner.

Freddy was born, raised and had a career as a lawyer in Guatemala. He has lived in Germany, France and Italy before settling in the United States. He has a wife and two children.

Billy Umland



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