Our Ministers and Staff
Rev. Schuyler Vogel
Rev. Schuyler Vogel serves as the Senior Minister of the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. He holds degrees in religion from Carleton College and Harvard Divinity School and has served as a pastor to congregations in Wisconsin and Illinois. Prior to becoming a minister, Rev. Schuyler led religious education programs in Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago with an emphasis on youth and young adult ministry and helped found the Sanctuary Boston, an emergent Unitarian Universalist community. Since joining Fourth Universalist in 2016, their ministry together has been featured in the New York Times, The Nation, WNYC/NPR, and Democracy Now!. Rev. Vogel is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Rev. Schuyler is available by appointment and is generally in the office between Monday and Thursday.
Rev. Jill Bowden
Rev. Jill Bowden serves as an Affiliated Minister of the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. She holds degrees from Mercy College (BS in psychology), Long Island University (Master of Public Administration in health care), and Union Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity). She serves our free faith as Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Before that, she was Director of Pastoral Care at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY.
Previously a respiratory therapist and a health care administrator, Rev. Bowden’s background provided significant experience in bedside care and health systems leadership, growth, and management.
Jill is available for consultation and pastoral care at the direction of the Senior Minister or in his absence.
Rev. Beth Putnam
Rev. Elizabeth (Beth) Putnam serves as an affiliated community minister of the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. She holds degrees in history from Wellesley College (BA) and the University of Texas at Austin (MA), and attended seminary at Union Theological Seminary in New York (MDiv). She serves as a Chaplain at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (VA NYHHS), which she joined as a staff member after completing Chaplaincy Residencies at both Albert Einstein Hospital (Philadelphia, PA) and VA NYHHS. She has been a member of Fourth Universalist since 2002. Before being ordained by Fourth Universalist in 2008, she served as an active layperson, including serving as Board President. While growing up mostly in Rochester and Buffalo, NY, she and her husband Alex have lived in New York City for over two decades and she now considers herself a New Yorker.
Beth is available by appointment, she will generally respond to e-mail requests or messages on her home phone within one day.
Rev. Mark Cutolo
The Rev. Mark Cutolo, LCSW serves the Fourth Universalist Society as an Affiliate Community Minister. A born-and-raised resident of the state of New York, and a Millennial, he has both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Social Work. Besides serving at Fourth Universalist Society, he works full-time as a psychotherapist at a local college counseling and wellness center, helping students to achieve improved mental well-being. Mark is passionate about liberal religion, especially the historic Universalist theology in which the Eternal, who is greater than all yet present in each, is so generous, that in the end, all are loved and saved. As a fellow urbanite who strives to not get lost in the faceless masses, Mark looks forward to building spiritual community with newcomers and existing members alike, as we incarnate our common values and living tradition for the wider world. Mark also currently serves our faith as board trustee of the New York State Convention of Universalists.
Director of Religious Education
Ember Kelley joined Fourth Universalist Society as the Director of Religious Education in July 2020. She is a 2018 graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, and also holds a Master and Bachelors in Theological Studies from Calvin Theological Seminary and Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Her life journey has taken her through Virginia, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Michigan, China, and Vietnam. These travels have fostered a desire to constantly be learning, seeking to better understand and engage the world through a lens of faith, and communicate big ideas in relatable ways. She is accompanied on her journey by her wife and 2 sons. Some of her recent experiences include working as a Youth Director, Ministerial Intern, and an English Teacher. Her passions include creating and growing community through education, social justice, LGBTQ+ issues, and LGBTQ+ religious inclusion, discussing religious trauma, mindfulness, and developing self-understanding.
Director of Membership and Hospitality
Soyal feels joyous and fortunate to serve the Fourth Universalist Society as its Director of Membership and Hospitality. Since the age of 3 years old, she was raised within the Unitarian Universalist Faith tradition. Soyal couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to welcome and engage with folks whose journey brought them to Fourth Universalist, all the while sharing a little bit about what it’s like to be a part of this amazing community. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Performance Arts. With this background she serves on the board of an arts and culture nonprofit organization and performs as puppeteer for an ecologically centered theater company. She has recently completed her Master’s in Public Administration (Public Management) from Marist College. Her home is in Poughkeepsie New York, which is located in the scenic Hudson Valley, north of New York City. She lives there with her fiancé and two-year-old daughter. When she is not engaged with the Fourth Universalist community, Soyal spends her time coordinating activities for the young adults of her home UU congregation and relaxing with her family.
Director of Music
Sean Mayes is humbled to be joining the family of the Fourth Universalist Society as Music Director. A native of Canada from Toronto, Sean has been an active music director across Canada with numerous credits and premieres in Toronto and Montreal. His work has also been inclusive of music direction and adaptation on the West End in London. As an equally passionate arts & music educator, Sean is a staunch advocate of arts education for people of all ages, and his work has offered the privilege of visiting as a guest artist & educator in numerous institutions throughout Canada & the UK.
Sean is also an advocate of musical theatre & education scholarship, and his work can be seen in publication through art journals and texts, as well as in presentation at arts & theatre conferences across North America & Europe. With a diverse background as a Music Minister, Sean is thrilled at this opportunity to be a part of such a vibrant and progressive community in the heart of New York City
Head of Nursery Ministry
After making one of the biggest decisions of her life, Indra Payne decided to migrate to the US from South America in 1991. Ever since then, she has worked as a child caregiver, allowing her to build many deep and long-term relationships families. She has been taking care of children at Fourth Universalist since 1995 and has two daughters who have also served the congregation’s families. Indra earned her GED after arriving in the U.S. and is now entering her 23rd year with our congregation.
Assistant Director of Religious Education
Colin Wulff is an Oberlin College graduate (BA in Theater, Highest Honors) with a Unitarian background starting in elementary school when he attended the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society (CVUUS) in Middlebury, VT. In addition to pursuing theater (he is a recently joined member of Actors’ Equity Association), he has spent much of his creative and professional energies on being an educator in Unitarian, theatrical, and academic contexts. He has previously worked as both the Drama Instructor and Assistant of Religious Education at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, and has served as a childcare worker, academic tutor, camp counselor, and theater teacher in a variety of regions for many years.
Ali Peters is in her third year at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She joined Fourth Universalist as a member in 2017 and is also currently working as a student minister at First Unitarian New Jersey. She grew up in Stirling, New Jersey and graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio in 2010 where she majored in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and minored in Mathematics. Prior to enrolling in seminary, Ali worked as a middle school math teacher in Newark and Plainfield, New Jersey.
James Underberg is a graduate student at Meadville Lombard Theological School. Born and raised on the Upper West Side, James is starting on the path to ministry after a prior career working to advance clean energy policy in New York State. James’ spiritual background has been primarily in contemplative traditions, including time in Buddhist and Quaker communities. He has also trained as a meditation teacher and an Internal Family Systems psychotherapy practitioner. James’ interests include supporting the congregation in individual spiritual development and discernment as a foundation for collective social justice action.
Olas Carayannis is currently a seminarian at Union Theological Seminary and the Deputy Chief of Special Operations with the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. They grew up in the mountains of Colorado and moved to New York City in 2010 to obtain a master’s degree in philosophy. Olas’s spiritual development has been informed by the ecology of the American wilderness and a career spent in service to vulnerable populations. Their interest lie in social justice ministry and in service to animals and the environment.
Abbee Wendt (they/them) is a business student at Laguardia Community College and a digital marketing
specialist currently based in Queens. They grew up in Central Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia/Greater Washington, D.C. before moving to New York in 2018. Their main interests lie in religious nonprofit marketing and communications and database management.
Director of Administration
Greg Swint, Sexton