Meet The Ministers

Ministers at the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock

Natalie Fenimore, Lead Minister and Minister of Lifespan Religious Education

Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore was a religious educator and parish minister in congregations in Maryland and Virginia before assuming settled ministry at Shelter Rock in 2013. She is a past President of the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and was a member of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. Currently, Rev. Dr. Fenimore is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Board of Trustees.

Rev. Dr. Fenimore is an author of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education Curriculum and Renaissance Modules, meditations and readings. Her Doctor of Ministry area of study is Narrative Theology with an emphasis on Story and Faith Identity Development for African American Unitarian Universalists. She was the preacher of the 2021 Service of the Living Tradition at the UUA General Assembly.

A centered, thoughtful person, Natalie is an engaging preacher and worship leader who brings passion to lifespan religious education and faith development. In her own words, “religious education is central to Unitarian Universalism…a process of giving an outline for living. Religious education encompasses all aspects of learning and growing.”


David Carl Olson, Associate Minister for Congregational Life

Rev. Olson began his new role as Associate Minister for Congregational Life in late 2022 with a focus on the coordination of pastoral care and community building. Rev. Olson works closely with the Caring Committee and will be involved in programs, projects, and events which nourish congregational life. As a Shelter Rock minister, he leads Services on Sundays and Fridays, sometimes independently, and sometimes in partnership with others. Rev. Olson has been a Unitarian Universalist minister for 25 years. He came to UUCSR after ministries at the Community Church of Boston (Unitarian Universalist), Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint Michigan, and First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. Rev. Olson has extensive experience in music and community organizing.


Rev. Israel Buffardi, Associate Minister for Member and Community Engagement

Rev. Israel Buffardi’s ministry at UUCSR began on August 1, 2023.

Rev. Buffardi became a minister because he believes that slowing down to reflect, connect, and celebrate life in community is a radical act in our culture. So his ministry is centered on facilitating opportunities for people to cultivate, tend, and nourish their roots in community, at the welcome table, and in connection with the Earth. He joins the ministers at UUCSR to facilitate the deepening of such community connections and hospitality.

Rev. Israel is originally from Providence, RI, and has prior ministry experience at UU congregations in Nova Scotia, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. He earned an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and has as an eclectic mix of prior experience in the theatre, the specialty coffee and culinary arts industries, and has also worked teaching gardening and nutrition education with children and adults. 

Rev. Israel’s motivating philosophy:

  • Community connects & nourishes.
  • Nature heals & Wonder grounds.
  • The knowledge of this One Wild & Precious Life inspires intentionality & presence.
  • Love demands collective action for Justice as well as personal transformation and growth.


Shelter Rock Ministers Emeritus

Rev. Dr. Barry M. Andrews (1993-2011), Rev. Jennifer L. Brower (2002-2022), Rev. Dr. Paul S. Johnson (2002-2016)