mitrajafazadeh 2011-forweb

Rev. Mitra Jafarzadeh begins her role as settled minister at St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church on Aug. 1, 2013. As she says,

“Though I know it is more poetry than fact, I believe we are all beloved children of the universe. As such, we are here to continue creation by building up the beloved community, seeking justice, and caring for our shared world.

“I believe grace abounds and love wins. Confident in these truths, I embrace the adventure of working with the congregation of St. John’s to create beloved community inside the church and beyond our walls.”

Before coming to St. John’s, she was the settled minister at Westside Unitarian Universalist Church near Knoxville, Tenn., and an acting minister at Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church in Louisville, Ky. She taught a Survey of World Religions course for four years at Pellissippi State Technical and Community College. She has been active in a clergy task force on domestic violence for several years, served on the board of Family Promise of Knoxville, which provides shelter for homeless families, and has served in other interfaith and service organizations over the years. Mitra’s master of divinity degree is from Lexington Theological Seminary and her bachelor of arts in sociology is from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Her family enjoys hiking and camping. She also enjoys cooking, playing the recorder, watching “Dr. Who” and reading mystery novels.


Minister of Music

Dr. Catherine Roma 

Catherine Roma became one of the founding mothers of the women's choral movement, an international network of over 70 women's choruses, when she started Anna Crusis Women's Choir in her native Philadelphia in 1975. She began MUSE in 1984 after coming to Ohio to do graduate work at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music where she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 1989.

Catherine is currently Professor of Music at Wilmington College. Through her association at Wilmington, Catherine founded and directs UMOJA Men?s Chorus at Warren Correctional Institution, in Lebanon, Ohio. She is Minister of Music at St. John's Unitarian Universalist Church in Cincinnati, and is co-founder and director of the Martin Luther King Coalition Chorale. Recent honors include the Jane Schlissman Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women's Music (1993), Race Relations Recognition Award (1999), the GALA Legacy Award (2000), the Maurice McCracken Award (2000), the Cincinnati Leading Woman Award, Arts/Entertainment category (2001), the Image Maker Award (2002), the Enduring Spirit Award (2003), the Community Service Award from the Council of Christian Communions (2004), and the Governor's Award for the Arts, in the category Community Development & Participation (2008). In January 2006, Roma's first book The Choral Music of Twentieth-Century Women Composers: Elisabeth Lutyens, Elizabeth Maconchy, and Thea Musgrave, was published by Scarecrow Press.

Catherine retired from her Founding Artistic Director position with MUSE in 2013, after a triumphant 30th Season. She currently serves as the MUSE Clio Alumnae Network Chair.


Associate Director of Music

Rachel Kramer, NCTM, holds Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Master of Arts Degree in Music from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Music in piano performance and pedagogy from The University of Michigan and is an adjunct faculty member at Wilmington College where she teaches piano classes and accompanies the College Chorale and College-Community Chorus.   She is the President of Music Learning Center, Inc. in Cincinnati, and President and Co-Founder of Cincinnati Center for Adult Music Study, Inc.   From 1990-1996, Kramer served as the Manager of Educational Programs for the Baldwin Piano & Organ Co.

She is the Associate Director of Music at St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church and is Associate Director and Accompanist Emerita of MUSE – Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir.  She is the Director of Member Development for MTNA where she has also held the positions of Assistant Executive Director, Director of Education and Member Liaison since joining the staff in 1998.    

Rachel serves as immediate past-president and VP-Communications for the OMTA -Southwest District Music Teachers Association, serves on the Greater Cincinnati Area Coalition for Music and Wellness, served on the 2012 World Choir Games Music Advisory Committee and is the Co-District Liaison for the Heartland District of the UUMN.  

Rachel is the 2009 Ohio Independent Music Teacher of the Year.   She is a certified MTNA Specialist in Group Piano Teaching and Recreational Music Making and is co-creator of the piano program at Warren Correctional Institution in Lebanon, Ohio where she teaches.    Rachel is also the accompanist for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition Chorale in Cincinnati.

Rachel has published many articles on various topics of teaching and piano pedagogy, has done workshops across the country, adjudicated and has taught group piano to students of all ages for over 25 years  from colleges to country clubs to cruise lines!


Director of Religious Education



Elizabeth Wilson is a native Chicagoan who moved to Cincinnati in October 2001. Not too long thereafter, she joined the St. John’s family, along with her husband David and their two daughters, Alexandra and Hannah. Elizabeth attended the University of Illinois, majoring in English and worked as a writer and editor for a management consulting firm in Madison, WI prior to motherhood. For the next 15 years she had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom—as well as being a “professional volunteer.” During this time she worked extensively with children and youth, serving as an elementary school reading tutor, events coordinator for the Hopewell Elementary PTO, Girl Scout troop leader for two troops (1999-present), and as Events Coordinator and Communications Consultant for the Woodland Mounds Service Unit of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

Elizabeth has been involved with Unitarian Universalist religious education programs since 1995. She has served in a variety of volunteer capacities—as a Sunday School teacher at every grade level from preschool through eighth grade, as grade level team leader, and several stints on RE committees, including four years as RE Committee chair at the UU Church in West Lafayette, IN. She also served on the St. John’s Board of Trustees as Director of Religious Development Council for two years. She became the Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth in November, 2009.

In addition to her human family members, Elizabeth shares her home with a dog, a cat, and two guinea pigs. In her spare time she enjoys reading (spiritual journeys and contemporary fiction are faves), watching baseball (Baltimore Orioles!) and good movies, and schlepping Hannah to a variety of music lessons and rehearsals. Despite pressure from her family, she resists learning/playing video games…though she has learned a lot about Plants v. Zombies and Minecraft from our UU kids!


Office Administrator

Nancy Greenlee

Nancy Greenlee   Nancy comes to St. John's from 27 years with the Hamilton County Public Library.   Nancy lives in Monfort Heights with her husband Ira and utterly spoiled dog, Bailey.  In her spare time she enjoys baking, reading and shopping.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tim Johnson is a Cincinnati native. After high school Tim spent four years serving in the Marine corps and touring the the far east. After the service, he attended the Ohio State University for three years and graduated from the University Of Cincinnati.

Tim worked for the City of Cincinnati Water works and Sewer treatment before retiring after 25 years. He is a highly experienced industrial 
electrician and an award-winning wood worker who won a blue ribbon for wood working at the Ohio State Fair.

Tim is married to Jo E Ellen and they live in Mt. Washington.