Staff

The Reverend Lucas Hergert became the Minister of North Shore Unitarian Church in 2017. He grew up in a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio, and first heard his call to the ministry in high school. Lucas holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Miami University, a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion. This is his second ministry, having served the Unitarian Universalist Church in Livermore, California from 2009-2017. Lucas was also previously a college faculty member, teaching courses in philosophy and comparative religion. His interests include yoga, Shakespeare plays, biking, process theology, fantasy novels, interfaith work, and humor. Church members describe Lucas as a warm and empathetic pastor, and his office door is always open for those in need of spiritual support.

Email:  minister @ nsuc.org

Preferred pronouns: He/Him


SB for webpage

Stephen Blackwelder returned to NSUC as Music Director in 2016. He’s also Director of the DePaul Community Chorus (since 2005) and the Chicago Bar Association Chorus (since 2017). Previous positions include Music Director of the Waukegan Symphony (2000-2018) and Music Director of the Hinsdale Chamber Orchestra (1983-94), plus numerous civic/educational orchestral and choral ensembles in the greater Chicago area. 

Stephen served on the conducting staff of the Harford Opera Theater of Baltimore, Hinsdale Opera, Opera Illinois, Opera da Corneto and Chicago Opera Theater and also on the faculties of Lake Forest College, East Carolina University and DePaul University. As a professional singer, he performed frequently under conductors Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Robert Shaw and Margaret Hillis while a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Aspen Chamber Choir.

Blackwelder holds a BM from the University of North Carolina and a MM from Northwestern University. Professional study included four seasons with the Aspen Music Festival and conducting master classes with Sir Georg Solti, Max Rudolf and Erich Leinsdorf.

Email: musicdirector @ nsuc.org

Preferred pronouns: He/Him


Oslo Brewster, our Interim Congregational Administrator, just moved to the Chicago area from Austin, Texas, with their partner Sarah. They recently completed a doctorate in American Studies from Indiana University, focusing in Critical Race and Postcolonial Studies, and are delighted to be able to contribute to NSUC in the capacity of Interim Congregational Administrator while they re-acclimate to life in the Midwest. Oslo has two adorable rescue dogs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and say hello!

Email: churchadmin @ nsuc.org

Preferred pronouns: They/Them

 


Phyllis Denise (P. D.) Barnes is our Bookkeeper.  She prefers to be called by her nickname P. D., which was accidently given to her by her father when she was born. She studied Accounting at DePaul University and Finance at Loyola University. Her love of finance started when she took her first Accounting Class; “it was love at first Balance Sheet”.  In addition to working as a Bookkeeper, she is also a Real Estate Broker and Property Manager. She attends church on the southeast side of Chicago. P. D. lives in Chicago with her Sister and real estate Business Partner, Gwen Barnes Robinson. P. D. and Gwen, both, have a passion for “fur”, i.e. they are owned by four dogs and five cats. 
 
Preferred pronouns: She/Her
 
 

Anne Clough started as our Intern Minister in September 2019.  She is a student in the Master of Divinity program at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary in Chicago.  Anne did her undergraduate study at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Marquette University in Milwaukee.  She is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin where she sang in the choir, led adult and high school religious exploration, and was chair of the worship team.  She lives in Algonquin with her husband and two of her three children.
 
Email: intern @ nsuc.org
 
Preferred pronouns: She/Her
 
 
 

Our Community Life & Education Coordinator, Jonathan Schlesinger, is passionate about building community, all-ages education, and using the power of community for individual growth and societal change. He has a B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Teaching and has completed additional studies in math, science, and applied technology. Jonathan and his wife have two little ones and a dog.

Before coming to NSUC, Jonathan was a middle school science teacher. He has also worked as a Volunteer Program Specialist for the Forest Preserves of Cook County and co-founded a 501(c)3 organization, The Illini 4000, while a student at the University of Illinois. He is eager to work with NSUC members to develop transformative Religious Education and Community programming for all ages.

Email: congregationallife @ nsuc.org

Preferred pronouns: He/Him


Myron Silberstein is our Pianist/Organist at NSUC. He holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Chicago, where he translated Sanskrit literature, interpreted Kierkegaard texts, and composed. Since then, his professional life has involved accompanying and coaching classical singers, preparing and recording programs of 20th-century American piano music, and composing.

Myron’s career as an accompanist and vocal coach spans nearly thirty years. He has been a staff accompanist and vocal coach at North Park University, Resident Music Director of Chicago Opera Vanguard, and Artistic Associate of Storycatchers Theatre. He is also a staff accompanist for CS Music’s annual Vocal Competition. 

As a solo pianist, Myron is a specialist in overlooked and contemporary repertoire. His recording of works by Peter Mennin and Norman Lloyd was acclaimed by Mark Lehman of The American Record Guide as “an indispensable addition to the discography of American piano music.” This recording, and his debut recording of piano works by Franck, Bloch, and Giannini, received mention on Fanfare’s annual Want List.

Email: pianist @ nsuc.org

Preferred pronouns: He/Him


Lydia Clough is our Freelance Worship Video Editor. She is an elementary school music teacher located in the Milwaukee, WI area during the week. On the weekends, she is the video editor for NSUC’s weekly church services that premiere on YouTube. She has helped with many technical projects since the beginning of Covid lockdown, and has continued to be a resource to technology questions and making NSUC’s presence online look and feel like home. She continues to hone her video editing skills through her work at NSUC and through her virtual lesson planning in her teaching career. 
 
Preferred pronouns: She/Her