Reverend Anya Sammler-Michael

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.

Summer Ministerial Intern – Ashley Burczak

Ashley Burczak graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 2010, and went on to serve as a chaplain in Dublin, Ireland, Philadelphia, PA, and locally at the National Institutes of Health and Jewish Social Service Agency Hospice, where she continues to work part-time. Prior to pursuing a career in ministry, she worked in the nonprofit world, and served as the founding Executive Director of the national organization Students Active For Ending Rape. She lives in Bethesda with her husband Derek, son Pearse, and a very large rescue greyhound, Moose. She can be reached at