Ministry and Staff

Meet Our Ministry and Staff

Rev. Israel Buffardi

Rev. Israel Buffardi

UUCL Minister

Rev. Israel Buffardi

UUCL Minister

Ministry to me means empowering communities and individuals, as together we courageously and imperfectly practice living into our visions of love and justice.

I believe that slowing down to reflect and connect with others in the community is a radical act in a hectic, disconnected world. I am an artist, gardener, cook, proud papa, and Unitarian Universalist minister.

Ministry to me means empowering communities and individuals, as together we courageously and imperfectly practice living into our visions of love and justice.

Of course, you don’t have to be a minister to do those things, though it was only after experiencing a call to UU ministry, that I realized that I had been pursuing a deep spiritual longing through much of my work for a long time. Whether I was cooking and delivering meals to elders with refugee teens, facilitating Theatre of the Oppressed workshops with incarcerated youth and community members, or supporting antiracist work, my work has always been motivated by the same calling: building community, nourishing meaningful spiritual reflection, and inspiring others to act in love.

My preparation for ministry includes earning an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School, as well as completing ministerial internships in North Andover, MA and Portland, ME, as well as a clinical pastoral chaplaincy internship in Lewiston, ME.

I come to Lancaster from Oregon, after serving as Assistant Minister for Religious Exploration at the UU Fellowship of Corvallis, though I am a native of Providence, RI. It was from my childhood experience growing up in an Italian-American community where food and community went hand-in-hand that I draw a deep commitment to the spiritual practice of the welcome table. Some of my other spiritual practices include community gardening and swimming when I am able to get to the ocean.

I have been married since 2013 to my partner Abigail, who is a social worker and licensed trauma therapist. We welcomed our first child, Nicola, the love of our lives, in 2019, and are so excited to be here in Lancaster!

Lenore Bajare-Dukes

Lenore Bajare-Dukes

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Lenore Bajare-Dukes

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

The thread running through my life and work is my love for designing and facilitating processes that help people of all ages and identities gather in community, explore their sacred gifts, create good things together, and grapple with complex pasts to move toward more equitable, hopeful futures.

I’m a facilitator, a listener/teller of life stories, and a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. I learned to value faith development from an early age, growing up in the UU congregation in Charlottesville, Virginia. The thread running through my life and work is my love for designing and facilitating processes that help people of all ages and identities gather in community, explore their sacred gifts, create good things together, and grapple with complex pasts to move toward more equitable, hopeful futures. I’m excited to work with this congregation to support the shared faith journeys of children, youth, adults, and the multigenerational community.

Kelsey Holl

Kelsey Holl

Congregational Administrator

Kelsey is in the office Monday through Friday.

Kelsey Holl

Congregational Administrator

Kelsey Holl joined the team in April 2021 as our Office Coordinator. She gained her experience through office management of veterinary clinics, animal rescues, as well as through community service work. In October of 2021, she took on UUCL’s bookkeeping tasks and became our Congregational Administrator.

Kelsey moved to Lancaster County in 2020 from the West Chester, PA area. She lives in New Holland with her dog, cat, and partner. Kelsey loves animals, people, and the community most of all. She spends her free time doing service work in the community when she’s not exploring the great outdoors or adventuring to new places.

Eli Sauls

Eli Sauls

Choral Director and Music Coordinator

Eli Sauls

Choral Director and Music Coordinator

Eli Sauls is a proud graduate of Mansfield University where he carries his B.A. in Liberal Studies and his minor in Music. He is also a brother of the Beta Omicron chapter of Phi Mu Alpha.

Throughout his time at Mansfield, Eli has had the opportunity to dabble in various aspects of music including: musical theater, vocal jazz, opera, choral directing, and teaching individual voice lessons. Some of his favorite roles in theater include: Jesus (Godspell), Japheth (Children of Eden), Jack (Into the Woods), and Leaf Coneybear (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Some of his more notable experiences include participating in master classes with Rob Fisher, performing in Candide featuring John Lithgow during Leonard Bernstein’s centennial celebration at Carnegie Hall, as well as working with Actor’s Equity members including Dan Sharkey in a run of Bridges of Madison County.

Eli is also a semi-recent addition to the Lancaster Symphony Choir. Every First Friday in Lancaster, you can find Eli singing at the Saint James Episcopal Church on Duke Street under the direction of Dr. William Wright.

During his free time, Eli enjoys staying social online through gaming, going for the occasional jog outside, and continuing to expand upon his eagerness to learn. New to the church, Eli is excited to offer his abilities to both enhance worship and strengthen his skills as both choral director and musician.

Robert Close

Robert Close

Facilities Director

Robert is available most days, except Tuesdays.

Robert Close

Facilities Director

Robert Close comes to the facility director position with 30 years experience in construction industries. He brings a diverse range of experience from custom carpentry to landscaping as well as basic plumbing and electrical. In Jan 2020 he began RFC Carpentry+. He was the lead volunteer and emergency contact of UUCL for 3 years at and has learned the in’s and out’s of our facility.

Robert (and Gina Hart) have been members of UUCL since 2016, and in 2021 their daughter Liaunsai joined too! Though he now wears a personnel hat, he sees our building as a sacred space. He handles the building with concern and care and is always looking for volunteers to get involved in this effort.

Sindy Pollard

Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Sindy Pollard

Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Sindy Pollard is our Communications and Outreach Coordinator, as of November 2021. She will be handling our social media accounts and our LoveLetter submissions.

Sindy can now be reached at communications@uuclonline.org!

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