Our Ministers and Staff
Rev. Schuyler Vogel
(currently on Family Leave)
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.
In addition to his role at Fourth Universalist, Rev. Schuyler serves on the Core Team of Faith in New York, the Advisory Board of the Andrew Romay Center New Immigrant Center, the Executive Team of the Metro New York UUMA Chapter, and the Leadership Team of Sanctuary Neighborhoods. Since joining Fourth Universalist in 2016, the congregation’s ministry has been featured in the New York Times, The Nation, WNYC/NPR, and Democracy Now!.
Rev. Schuyler is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lives with his wife, Kristen, and son, Rowan, on the Upper West Side. He is available by appointment and is best reached via email between Sunday and Thursday.
Rev. Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone
Affiliate Minister & Covering Family Leave Minister
The Rev. Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone serves as an Affiliated Community Minister at Fourth Universalist. She holds degrees in biology (Ithaca College, BA), science education (Western Washington University, EdM), International Educational Development with a specialization in Peace Education (Columbia University, PhD), and inter-religious engagement (Union Theological Seminary, MDiv). Rev. Leonisa served the UU Congregation of the Catskills from 2019-2021. Drawn to youth and young adult ministry, she is a member of the faculty at Vassar College and founder and director of the Peace Education Center of the Hudson Valley (launched in fall 2021). Although Rev. Leonisa was ordained by Fourth Universalist in 2019, she became a member of the congregation back in 2011. At that time, she was volunteering in RE, curating the Jazz Vespers program, and leading a Buddhist-UU study group.
Prior to ministry, Rev. Leonisa taught in K-12 schools, ran a non-profit in NYC, owned her own business, and consulted with numerous organizations as a teacher educator and curriculum coach. She is also a writer and musician. Currently, she lives in Rosendale NY with her husband Michael and daughter Rafaella.
Rev. Jill Bowden
Rev. Jill Bowden serves as an Affiliated Community Minister at Fourth Universalist. 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). Rev. Jill retired from health care chaplaincy in the spring of 2021.
Rev. Jill is the former Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Before her position at Memorial Sloan, she was Director of Pastoral Care at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY. Previously a respiratory therapist and a health care administrator, Rev. Jill’s background provided significant experience in bedside care and health systems leadership, growth, and management.
Now relocated to southern California, Rev. Jill is available via telephone and Zoom for participation in virtual worship services, consultation, and pastoral care at the direction of the Senior Minister or in his absence.
Rev. Mark Cutolo
Affiliate Minister & Covering Family Leave Minister
Rev. Beth Putnam
Rev. Elizabeth (Beth) Putnam serves as an Affiliated Community Minister at Fourth Universalist. She holds degrees in history from Wellesley College (BA) and the University of Texas at Austin (MA), as well as a degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York (MDiv). She serves as a Chaplain at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (VA NYHHS), where she has served veterans for over a decade.
Before being ordained by Fourth Universalist in 2008, she joined as a member of the congregation in 2002. During that time she served as an active layperson, including as Board President. She and her husband Alex have made the Upper West Side their home for almost three decades.
Beth is available by appointment. She will generally respond to e-mail requests or voice messages on her home phone within one day.
Director of Religious Education
Ember Kelley joined Fourth Universalist as the Director of Religious Education in July 2020. She is a 2018 graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. Ember also holds a Masters 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 for continuous learning, a better understanding of the world through a lens of faith, and the ability to communicate big ideas in relatable ways. She is accompanied on her journey by her wife and two sons. Some of her recent experiences include working as a Youth Director, Ministerial Intern, and English Teacher. Her passions include social justice, LGBTQ+ issues, LGBTQ+ religious inclusion, religious trauma recovery, mindfulness, developing self-understanding, and creating and growing community through education.
Director of Membership and Hospitality
Soyal feels joyous and fortunate to serve Fourth Universalist as its Director of Membership and Hospitality. She was raised within the Unitarian Universalist faith from the age of 3 years old and couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to welcome folks into the tradition. She loves to engage with newcomers at Fourth Universalist and share with them what it’s like to be a part of this amazing community.
Soyal has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Performance Arts from SUNY New Paltz. With this background, she performs as a puppeteer for an ecologically centered non-profit theater company. She also has her Master’s in Public Administration (Public Management) from Marist College.
Soyal lives in Poughkeepsie, NY with her husband and daughter. When she is not engaged with the Fourth Universalist community, Soyal spends her time coordinating activities for her home UU congregation, puppeteering, and relaxing with her family.
Director of Music
Sean is delighted to have served as the Director of Music at Fourth Universalist since 2017. As a native of Toronto, Canada, Sean possesses a diverse background as a music minister in various churches and denominations throughout Canada, the US, and the UK.
Outside of church ministry, he is an active member of the Broadway community as a music director, vocal coach, accompanist, orchestrator-arranger, and pit musician. His past work has also included music direction and adaptation on the West End in London, as well as musical direction in theaters and institutions across Canada. As an equally passionate arts and music educator, Sean is a staunch advocate of arts education for people of all ages. His work has offered him the privilege of visiting as a guest artist and educator in numerous institutions throughout the US, Canada, and the UK.
Sean is also an advocate of musical theater and education scholarship and its intersection with inclusion and diversity work. His work can be seen in publication through books, art journals, and texts, as well as in presentations at arts and theater conferences across North America and Europe.
Associate Director of Music
Cynthia is a New York based music director and pianist. She is a member of the music team for the the Tony- and Grammy-winning production of Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN, currently playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City. In addition, she has played keyboard for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and currently plays keyboard in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY (starring Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone), fresh off a successful run on the West End. This past summer she worked as the Associate Vocal Supervisor for an Apple TV+ movie, SPIRITED.
As an orchestra member, she has played with Lea Michele, Jason Robert Brown, Laurence O’Keefe, David Byrne, Kirstin Maldonado, and twelve-time Grammy-nominated artist Ledisi, among many others. Other select favorites from the theater realm include the FROZEN 1st National Tour, MEAN GIRLS, MOULIN ROUGE! at the Emerson Colonial Theatre, IN THE GREEN at Lincoln Center Theatre, and the Broadway-bound musical LEMPICKA (dir. Rachel Chavkin).
Head of Nursery Ministry
Indra Payne emigrated 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 with families in New York City. 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.
August Forest serves as the Administrative Assistant for Fourth Universalist. She has worked, studied and farmed in New York City. Before joining Fourth Universalist, she was farming, pickling and cooking for students at Kingsborough Community College while hosting social justice huddles. August graduated from the Borough of Manhattan Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. During that time she learned American Sign Language and perfected her native Spanish language.
Rehime Crane serves as the Sexton for Fourth Universalist. He graduated from Park West High School, where he especially enjoyed classes in the culinary arts. Rehime also studied Communications at New Rochelle College and would like to continue his studies to become a counselor.
Rehime serves his community by volunteering at West Harlem Pantry and enjoys spending his time going to the library, reading books, and spending time with his children.
Ilan Natter is thrilled to serve Fourth Universalist as the A/V Technician. As an audio engineer, Ilan is always looking for new opportunities to work with talented musicians. As a native New Yorker, Ilan is looking forward to helping bring the Upper West Side community together through sound and music.
Field Education Intern
Ben Heaney is a second-year Masters of Divinity Student at Union Theological Seminary, concentrating in Interreligious Engagement. This year, he will be pursuing his Field Education internship at Fourth Universalist, working primarily with the Racial and Environmental Justice Teams. Originally from Evanston, Illinois, he holds a Bachelors’ degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religious Studies from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Prior to divinity school, Ben worked with children as a camp counselor, and with adults as an associate English as a Second Language school. At Union Theological seminary, he is an editor of The Heretic, the student publication, and is a member of the Eco-Justice Caucus.
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 interests lie in social justice ministry and in service to animals and the environment.
Erol King Delos Santos
Erol is a first year seminarian at Union Theological Seminary and also works as a communications coordinator at The Community Church of New York UU. His family immigrated from the Philippines to New Jersey in 1992. He studied at Rutgers University, where he received an undergraduate degree in healthcare informatics and a masters of science degree in clinical trials sciences. Erol has attended Fourth Universalist since 2018 and officially joined the congregation as a member in April 2020. Currently, he lives in Harlem, NY.
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. While at Wooster, 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 both 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.
Co-Director of Administration
Melanie Van Orden
Co-Director of Administration