CHURCH STAFF

Links: Pastor | Director of Music | Director of Christian Education | Office Admin | Sexton | Mascot
Rev. Katja Gruening, Pastor
Greetings and peace to you. I welcome you to explore our church’s mission and ministry through our website, and by visiting with us, whether on a Sunday, or by checking out one of our many group and activities.
 
As a pastor, I care deeply about creating a welcoming church environment for those with big doubts and large questions, for those disillusioned by a previous church experience, for people who are differently abled, and for those who are seeking a safe and affirming space to explore and grow in their faith. As a disciple, I believe we are called to be out in the world, putting the faith we have nurtured into action: social witness and community outreach. As a preacher and teacher, I am passionate about bringing holy scripture to life for those who struggle relating to our ancient sacred texts. I believe in servant leadership, gentle shepherding, and bringing creativity into our spiritual lives.
 
I previously served as pastor to Sandusky Presbyterian Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Yale, in Michigan, a joint call. Prior to that, my ministry experience included hospital chaplaincy, music ministry, and leadership as ruling elder and deacon. I was educated at Princeton Theological Seminary and The College of Wooster. I am a lover of crafting, coffee, and classic music, best enjoyed together, and with friends.

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Director of Music Ministries Marcello Velame
Marcello Velame holds an undergraduate degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ where he was awarded the Alexander McCurdy Organ Scholarship. He also studied at Julliard School of Music. He has appeared as guest conductor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada and he has sung under the direction of acclaimed conductors Robert Shaw, Kurt Masur, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.
 
Marcello has conducted major choral and orchestral works, both in and outside the church. He has also prepared choral works such as Beethoven Mass in C for performances at Carnegie Hall and conducted the ALLEGRO1 chorus in performances in several venues in New Jersey. Marcello is also a music teacher at Shark River Elementary School.
Director of Christian Education - VACANT
Office Administrator Billie McNally
Billie McNally became the Office Administrator on February 5, 2018. Billie attended Caldwell College. She has owned and operated a myriad of businesses, including a conversation English business in Hong Kong and an avocado farm in Kula Maui. She has just published her first book.
Sexton Douglas Silk
Douglas is semi retired. He spent most of his career in the Advertising and Marketing industry working in agencies in New York and New Jersey as well as photography and design studios. Douglas also designs and creates silver and gold jewelry, and likes to cook.