Minister & Staff
Rev. Laurel Gray, Minister
Rev. Laurel Gray is a native New Englander – she grew up in southern Rhode Island and then attended college in Vermont – and is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. She did her graduate work at Yale Divinity School in addition to spending a year at Starr King School for the Ministry. She previously served as the Ministerial Intern and Summer Minister at First Parish in Concord, MA, and as the Membership Coordinator at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, CT. Between college and graduate school, she lived in San Francisco and worked in the wedding and event industry. Rev. Laurel decided to go into parish ministry because she believes in the importance of having a space to search for meaning together and experience belonging. (revlaurelgray.com)
UUCSW celebrated Rev. Laurel’s ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister on February 6th, 2021. View the video here.
Cynthia Menard, Director of Religious Education
Cynthia has been a UU professional for three + years, working as the Director of Lifelong Learning for the Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson before coming on board with UUCSW.
Prior to finding her way to UU Religious Education, Cynthia worked in non-formal education for more than 20 years, teaching environmental and challenge/adventure education to groups of all ages, experiences, and abilities. During that time, she worked as a Camp Director, Naturalist, Challenge Course Manager, and Experiential Educator, among other roles.
Cynthia is a practicing Wiccan of over 30 years and finds her deepest spirituality in the outdoors. She lives in Lunenburg with her husband, also an educator, two sons, and a bouncy German Shepherd. When not immersed in UU work, Cynthia reads tarot, studies Taekwondo with her youngest son, and teaches violin and fiddle.
Kala Farnham, Music Director
Kala is an award-winning singer/songwriter/instrumentalist. She brings a world of experience in many aspects of music such as a pianist, cantor, piano and guitar teacher, vocal coach, accompanist, composer, choir director and music theater director. Kala has studied music creation, music performance, and a variety of aspects of vocal performance.
When asked why she felt called to be a music director at a Unitarian Universalist congregation Kala said, “I believe music has a distinct power to unify us and elevate us to a spiritual state, and it’s an honor for me to share the gift of music with others through my work.” Regarding Unitarian Universalism, she continued, “After being introduced to Unitarian Universalism by a friend I felt a strong resonance between my personal beliefs and Unitarian Universalism. That led me to the UUCSW congregation.” (kalafarnham.com)
Colleen Munson, Office Administrator
Colleen Munson has worked for several years in church administration, in various denominations, and currently works at both UUCSW and St. Michael’s on-the-Heights Episcopal Church in Worcester. She has been an active member of First Unitarian church in Worcester since 2007 and loves incorporating both her professional and spiritual backgrounds at UUCSW!
Colleen’s biggest social justice passion is disability rights, particularly autism awareness. She taught yoga for 11 years and specialized in teaching classes for people with disabilities. Colleen has been a choir girl most of her life, is currently learning guitar, and generally enjoys all kinds of music. She’s also a huge baseball fan! Colleen lives in Worcester with her husband, four teenage & early 20’s young men, and two dogs.