Faith Development Staff

Faith Development Staff Transition

Abby Hannaford-Ricardi and Mandy Beal will be stepping up as our Co-Acting Directors of Faith Development starting Jan. 2. They will continue in this shared role until we have an Interim on board. Mandy will be working full-time, continuing her connections work, continuing to work with our youth groups, publishing the weekly Faith Development newsletter, and providing staff support for Coming of Age and Building Bridges (our middle school classes). Abby will be working half-time, and will supervise our childcare workers, coordinate Children's Chapel and Times for All Ages, provide staff support for preschool and elementary age classes, and meet with the Faith Development team. I will be overseeing adult Faith Development. I'm grateful to Abby and Mandy for their willingness to serve the church in this way.
Rev. Sarah Stewart

Children’s Ministries Coordinator
Abigail Hannaford-Ricardi
Abby has been attending First Unitarian since 1996 and joined the staff in 2006. Known to many as “the creator of the bulletin boards,” Abby taught Sunday school for many years and was a long-time weekly newsletter volunteer in our church office.
Abby received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Clark University and then spent another three years there completing her Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. She was the manager of a craft studio, and is a former case administer for adults with intellectual disabilities. After earning her National Activities Director Certification she worked for 5 years as the Director of Activities at a psychiatric long term care facility. She next got an Associates Social Work License and spent two years as a nursing home social worker, before leaving to be a full time mom to her then very medically fragile child.
Abby is also active in the greater community, having worked 5 years as a hospital volunteer, 3 years as a volunteer crisis intervention /suicide prevention counselor and 19 years as a weekly public schools’ classroom volunteer. She serves on the Steering Committee for Worcester Community Connections Coalition which is dedicated to addressing poverty, educating and empowering parents, strengthening families and preventing child abuse. Abby is also a regional representative for the national organization Stop CMV dedicated to educating the public about cytomegalovirus, the number one cause of childhood disabilities in the U.S. and the world. A step-mother of 3, former special needs foster mother, and the adoptive mother of two remarkable young men, Abigail lives in Worcester with her husband Ken and son James. 

Youth and Connections Ministry Assistant 
Mandy Beal 

Mandy Beal graduated with honors from Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) in 2016 and is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry.  She has an extensive history working with children and youth in several UU congregations and other settings, including the Houston Children's Museum and the Godly Play Foundation.  
Mandy also has a Master of Sciences in Social Work focused on program planning and administration from the University of Texas at Austin. 

While at ANTS, Mandy served as Co-President of the UU student group and participated in weekly worship services, often providing musical accompaniment.   Mandy has a depth of experience working with youth, both as a young adult in her church in Austin, TX. and, more recently, as the Youth Coordinator at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Newton, MA. 
In June 2017, Mandy will complete a two-year ministerial internship at the First Parish in Lincoln (MA).  While in Lincoln, she has led worship services, participated in creating a lay pastoral care program, and taught Adult Religious Education classes on a variety of social justice topics.
Mandy and her partner, Jesse, live in Hadley with a very large gray cat named Linus and a rambunctious puppy named Tonks.

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