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Interim Minister

Rev. Dr. Rita Capezzi is an American citizen, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, having moved to Buffalo, New York in 1994 when she was hired as an English professor at Canisius University. After a long and happy career involving teaching, administration, advising, and immersion-learning travel, Rita answered a call to Unitarian Universalist ministry, attending Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois 2015-2018 and serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato, Minnesota 2018-2023. She was ordained in 2018 and reached Full Fellowship with the UUA in 2022.

Rita has been married to her spouse, Jeff Lowry, for 42 years and has two children, a son (33) who lives with his partner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a daughter (29) who lives with her partner in Buffalo. The family includes 6 cats across the three households. They all enjoy camping, hiking, and cooking together. Both Rita and Jeff have extended family in the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania area. They are pleased to return to Buffalo and are busy closing on a house and making a home with many close friends nearby. Rita is thrilled to be serving UCM in this interim time of reflection, transition, and possibility.


Family Life Coordinator

This past Easter weekend marks 11 years since Caitlyn Seale attended UCM with her siblings and mother. Being involved with UCM and the Unitarian Universalist (UU) community has introduced Caitlyn to many opportunities and experiences such as participating in Our Whole Lives (OWL) with her youth group; to being a youth service leader; to travelling across Canada and to the United States for seminars with the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO), Youth Cons, and CanUUdles; and continuing to be involved as a young adult. She completed an Honours Bachelor of Science, majoring in Exceptionality in Human Learning and minoring in English and Biology, and a Master of Information Studies, specializing in Librarianship. Caitlyn appreciates being in the UU community since it adds spiritual balance, provides support networks, and aids her in maintaining a positive lifestyle. She looks forward to being part of the UCM team as Family Life Coordinator.


Our Administrator

I’ve been the Office Administrator here at UCM since February 2012. Before that – and prior to a brief stint as a stay-at-home-mom – I spent 12 years working in the reseach department of an International executive search firm in downtown Toronto.

Among my myriad of reception tasks here at UCM I’m also responsible for getting the Shining Chalice out to you each week and preparing and printing the order of service program and announcements page for Sunday mornings’ worship services. I also spend a large portion of each week handling the many requests we get for rentals of our Great Hall, which includes showing off our beautiful space to those wishing to host weddings, memorials, birthday and anniversary celebrations, music recitals and concerts, and baby and wedding shower events, just to name a few!

I sit on the Rental, Property, and Festive Fair Planning Committees and also assist all Committee heads with various administrative tasks as needed, including the compilation of our Annual Report each spring.

When I’m not at work I, along with my Chiropractor husband of 27 years, enjoy taking both our two active teenagers to their various extra-curricular activities and sports. When I do finally get a chance for some hobbies, I enjoy baking, knitting and crocheting, and trying to stay fit by walking and cycling. This summer I joined the Port Credit Lawn Bowling Club and have been enjoying many bowling games in the beautiful weather we’ve had.


Website Specialist

Brigitte has been attending the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga since 1992. She has been active serving UCM on many committees, including the Board of directors, Finance, Religious exploration, OWL and Communications.

Brigitte has been self-employed for over 20 years as a Web Specialist and French Translator. She works part-time for the Canadian Unitarian Council as their Web Specialist. She is thrilled to be the UCM Web Specialist supporting their work by

  • Creating, maintaining, and updating the website ca with the help of the various committees that provide her with all the latest info ?
  • Optimizing the website content (SEO) to rank higher on search engines, bring in more traffic and more visitors to UCM
  • Creating, maintaining, and managing the SharePoint site, a place for the committees’ documents
  • Creating and updating UCM email addresses and email lists with info from the committees

It combines her two passions, website development and serving the Unitarian community.

She is married to Bert and they have two adult children (who grew up at UCM) and one grandchild. Brigitte is a seasonal camper at Unicamp, an avid hiker and forager. Watch for her on the Bruce Trail.

Contact Brigitte: info@actionebiz.com


Music Director

Abigail Freeman has been the music director at UCM since 2014. She is also the Associate Conductor of the Mississauga Festival Youth Choir and a music teacher at the Toronto French School. She has been a music educator and freelance musician in the GTA since 2002. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music and from Binghamton University with a Master of Music degree.


The Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga has experienced Lay Chaplains who are licensed under the Marriage Act of Ontario, serving the Peel, Halton and surrounding areas. Fees for ceremonies are discussed in advance with the Lay Chaplain. Our Lay Chaplains lead various Rites of Passage for the general public in different locations such as our building, private homes, public gardens and rented halls.

Lay chaplains officiate at weddings, child dedications, memorial services, MAID celebration of life ceremonies, house blessings, coming out celebrations, coming of age rituals, gender transition and other milestone ceremonies. Lay Chaplains craft a custom service for you which is reflective of your personal circumstances and beliefs. The chaplains work with the individuals to create a ceremony that is rich in metaphor and meaning, drawing upon the religious or other values of the people who have come to them for support.

Unitarian lay chaplains are licensed through the Canadian Unitarian Council and by their respective provinces to legally solemnize weddings. The CUC provides the training for new lay chaplains and The National CUC Lay Chaplaincy Committee oversees the program.  The program is foremost one of ensuring the “right to a rite” for anyone – Unitarian or not, whoever wants a religious ceremony including multicultural or mixed faith ceremonies, custom designed for them to mark a significant passage in their individual or family life.

Unitarians have led the way for decades, on same-sex unions and marriages. In 1974, the Rev. Norm Naylor, a Unitarian Universalist minister in Winnipeg, officiated at the first same-sex marriage performed in Canada. In the intervening years, lay chaplains performed hundreds of “services of union” even though they weren’t legally recognized by the provinces. At the national level, the CUC was part of the lobbying effort that led to the legalization of equal marriage in 2005. Today our lay chaplains perform marriages in every part of Canada regardless of gender expression and sexual orientation.

For more information please email.


Lay Chaplain

Back in 2003, when Ontario started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Devin & his partner were married by a Unitarian lay-chaplain, so when Devin became one of UCM’s Lay-Chaplains 20 years later, in 2023, it marked a true ‘full-circle moment’.
Devin started attending UCM services in 2019, and officially joined during a Zoom service at the peak of the pandemic shut-down. He left his 22-year career at the University of Toronto in 2021 to follow a yearning for the simple life of a spiritual path. These days he begins most mornings with a morning walk to Lake Ontario, where he communes with nature & meditates with the sunrise. (Follow along @thedevy.)
Devin has served UCM as a Sunday service leader, and for a time was the Chair of UCM’s Worship Committee. As a lay-chaplain, Devin brings an authentic, personal connection to the spirit of Mother Nature, and a deep reverence for ritual & ceremony. He emanates a sincere, soulful energy and is skilled at holding space for Spirit.

Devin can be reached at devinkreuger@gmail.com


Lay Chaplain

Celebrating all the milestones of life with meaning, whether you are deeply spiritual or moderately spiritual, let’s create a ceremony that speaks to you, your family and friends.

Kathy has been a Unitarian for 25 years and has a deep commitment to our liberal humanist values.  Kathy derives much of her spiritual strength from nature and the rhythm of the seasons.  She carefully crafts each ceremony in a way that suits your life experience and your beliefs.

Our many world religions have much in common and Kathy is committed to continuing to learn more about these many faith traditions through interaction and education.

By way of background, Kathy was born in Toronto and raised in the GTA.  She has a 21 year old daughter.  Kathy has a Masters degree in Social Work and has recently retired from a rewarding career as a school social worker.  She is involved in several social justice issues including refugee support and climate change.

Kathy is interested in working with you to plan ceremonies including weddings, funerals, memorial services, baby dedications, coming of age ceremonies (adolescence, adulthood, elder), coming out ceremonies, gender transition celebrations, Medical Assistance in Dying and other life moments.

Kathy can be reached at kgeczi@rogers.com


Lay Chaplain

Collette Dowhaniuk was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the eldest of six children.  She attended Queen’s University earning a B.A. (Hons) in English and a Bachelor of Education.  She later completed a Master’s of Education at the University of Toronto (OISE) specializing in second language teaching and learning.

A former teacher of French and, later, a principal with the Toronto District School Board, Collette Dowhaniuk retired in 2016 after serving for 15 years as one of the Protective Services Consultants at the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC). At OPC, she provided advice and counselling to Members about professional and legal issues and supported individuals through investigations and hearings.  She has authored and presented legal issues workshops and webinars provincially, nationally, and internationally.

Collette has had a keen interest in all forms of spiritual expression and personally journeyed through various Christian denominations (Roman Catholic, United, Anglican) before landing at UCM in 2012.  She has experienced rituals in several of the identified world religions (Christian, Jewish, Hindu) and has undertaken to broaden her knowledge of other faith traditions through reading, interaction, and education.

Collette can be reached at lc_collette@uucm.ca

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part


The Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga Board of Directors serves on behalf of the Congregation between the meetings of the Congregation.  It strives to set the direction and long-range planning of the congregation and to guide the regular operations of the Congregation. Board members are elected at the Congregational Meeting in May of each year and serve a three year term and the Board meets monthly. For more information or to volunteer email info@uucm.ca.

UCM Board 2023-24

  • Alex Ferworn, Co-President, supports the Leadership Committee
  • Becky Bridel, Treasurer
  • Joan Hill
  • Judy Benger, works with Lay Chaplains
  • Brenda Poole, works with Finance, Communications and CUC Liaison
  • Kath Stobie, Secretary


The Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga has various committees that perform the work of the congregation.  Permanent committees are divided into four teams: The Administrative Team, The Education and Exploration Team, the Membership Team and the Communications Team.  Various ad-hoc committees formed by the Board to carry out specific functions from time to time. UCM also depends on volunteer members and friends to work on our committees and task groups throughout the year.
Our various Committees are listed below:


The Social Justice Action Committee is involved in social justice initiatives both locally and globally.

  • Pathway Community Housing: Together with Solel Synagogue and Streetsville United Church, the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga founded Pathway Community Housing. Members of the SJAC continue to be involved on the Pathway board and with Pathway programs such as the Breakfast Club.
  • UCM Refugee Task Force: Another social justice initiative important to our congregation is the sponsorship and support of refugees through our UCM Refugee Task Force, which reports to the SJAC.
  • Amnesty International : The Social Justice Action Committee sponsors regular Amnesty International hard copy letter writing campaigns, as well as online petitions.
  • Fundraising:  The committee held a service in the spring highlighting The Compass, a local organization that supports low income people in our community with both a food bank and programs.  We also participated in The Walk for The Compass, a recent fundraising event.  Another fundraising walk was in support of the “Coldest Night of the Year”, to raise money for The DAM which provides programs for Mississauga youth at risk of becoming homeless.
  • Speaker Series: The SJAC has connections with Mississauga Climate Action and we are currently sponsoring a Speaker Series to address the 8th Principle. This principle promotes individual action that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.

Read more about our projects:

We meet approximately every 2 months. The work is very satisfying – please join us! For more information or to volunteer email info@uucm.ca.

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The goal of the Property Committee‘s work is to be environmentally responsible and uphold the principles of the Green Sanctuary designation of our facility.

The Property Committee oversees and participates in the maintenance of our buildings and initiates small and large new projects.

Past larger projects were the addition of exterior insulation and stucco to the Administration Building and the installation of more energy efficient furnaces. A past smaller project was the installation of smart thermostats and a recent project was the replacement of all of the light bulbs in the Great Hall with LED bulbs. A new sign to replace the one that had deteriorated will be installed soon.

The Property Committee works closely with the Landscape and Grounds Committee to support the continued integration of the building with the native landscape.

For more information or to volunteer email info@uucm.ca.


The Landscape and Grounds Committee takes care of the grounds on 84 South Service Road. The volunteers trim, weed and water the trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants. They use environmentally sound native gardening practices.

They plan and organize gardening “get togethers” for the volunteers. They oversees the arborist, and lawn maintenance contract. Consult with Arborists, Master Gardeners, and Credit Valley Conservation to find best gardening practices for our specific property. They keep up with current area gardening information from environmental and gardening groups to be aware of impending problems.

The wonderful volunteers are too many to name but we thank everyone who has helped with the grounds this year.

For more information or to volunteer email info@uucm.ca.


The Caring Circle is a committee of 9 – 11 people, and our main focus is to try to identify members of the congregation who may need a visit, phone call, or a card or letter, due to circumstances in their lives, which may involve illness, stress, life transition, or the care of a sick relative.

The Caring Circle also likes to acknowledge joys and includes these announcements in the “Among Us” column of UCM’s monthly newsletter.

For more information or to volunteer email info@uucm.ca.


The Canvass Committee is responsible for the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga annual financial campaign that runs each fall.

For more information or to volunteer email info@uucm.ca.