Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael accepted the call to serve our congregation in 2007. A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School, Rev. Anya is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who first felt the call to the ministry as a youth. She believes wholeheartedly that Unitarian Universalism has a saving message that can nurture spirits and heal our world.
In college, Rev. Anya studied Philosophy, Literature, and the Fine Arts. In Seminary, she continued her philosophy work by concentrating on ethics while expanding to appreciate religious studies and the history of religion.
Married to Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, who serves the Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Anya is part of a co-ministry. On occasion Rev. Anya and Rev. Scott swap pulpits. On even rarer occasions, they get to preach together, which they both love. When they take a weekend off they like to explore, garden, listen to live music, and visit art museums.
Rev. Anya is an avid cook and lifelong vegetarian. She practices Vinyasa, Bikram and Yin yoga. She considers yoga, meditation and prayer all integral to her spiritual practice.
In ministry, Rev. Anya focuses on building interfaith relationships, reaching across the partisan divide and honestly confronting the evils of racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. In her sermons she stresses humility, compassion, and relationship – both with one another and with that which we deem as holy.
Rev. Anya holds office hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Monday is her day off, and Friday is her day for sermon preparation. Please email or call to make an appointment, but note that she is much faster with email communication.
John Monroe is seeking ordination as a UU minister after spending more than 25 years in the field of technology journalism as a writer and editor. He was raised in the Methodist church. Although John felt called to the ministry quite young (fifth grade, in fact), he made the leap only after discovering Unitarian Universalism eight years ago. John draws spiritual sustenance from the teachings of Meister Eckhart, D.T. Suzuki, Frederick Franck, Thich Nhat Hanh, Howard Thurman and other prophets and mystics who have taught him to see the inherent interconnectedness of all beings.
During the last six and a half years, John attended Wesley Theological Seminary while working his day job. He graduated with honors in May 2015 and was also the recipient of the Diedra Kriewald Award for Commitment to Excellence in the Teaching Ministry.
John served in a variety of roles at his home congregation, the UU Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton, Va., including small group leader, pastoral care team coordinator, and acting minister for social justice. He served a part-time internship to fulfill a Wesley requirement and twice was UUCF’s summer minister.
John and his wife Karen have been married more than 27 years. They met while attending George Mason University, where John graduated with a degree in English. Whatever you do, don’t get him started talking about Harry Potter!