As we enter into this new year, we joyfully welcome Pastor Jessica Shine to the pastoral staff. Pastor Jessica will be working throughout the week, with Mondays and Fridays as her days off. Pastor Jonathan’s days off are Thursdays and Saturdays, so you can reach out to the church office, Pastor Jessica or our church board moderator Steve Carmichael on those days.
Research tells us that healthy pastors need to be mentally, physically and spiritually nurtured. Our church family helps facilitate that by being mindful of these times of rest. As we enhance our inner capacity for wholeness and freedom, we strengthen our outer capacity to love and serve.
REV. JONATHAN MORGAN, Senior Minister, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan joined First Congregational Church as senior minister in August 2013 after serving three congregations in Simsbury, CT; Belmont, MA; and Glastonbury, CT. Jonathan provides the vision and overall tone for our ministry by working closely with our staff and church leadership. He is passionate about ministry and believes that our church is richly blessed whenever our members are empowered to bring their gifts into the life and mission of our ministry. Jonathan is married to Lisa who is a nurse at McKenzie Surgery Center, a member of the Chancel Choir and is one of our chefs for the Third Act Ministry for Elders. Lisa and Jonathan have three beautiful children who live in Los Angeles, Nathan, 31; and Boston, James, 26; and Laura, 21. Jonathan enjoys photography, auto mechanics, most sports, hiking and camping, and driving his Pentecost Red Miata! He also hopes to recapture his love (and required skill) for downhill skiing in the very near future.
REV. JESSICA SHINE, Associate Minister, email@example.com
The Reverend Jessica Shine, MDiv (she/her) serves as Associate Minister at First Congregational. Jessica earned degrees in theology and divinity, but says, “I still haven’t figured out how to walk on water.” In 2021, she completed the Privilege of Call process while serving at the national setting of the United Church of Christ. Jessica was ordained to ministry by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and has continued offering spiritual care as a clergy member of The CHI Interfaith Community (based in Berkeley, CA). With over two decades of experience pastoring church communities, police officers, hospice patients and staff, teenagers, and most recently as Community Minister of The Chaplaincy Institute, she brings a passion for people and a skill for communicating in transformative ways.
Jessica is a descendant of Mexican, Indian, and Northwestern European immigrants. Her spirituality began in childhood and continues through expansive relationships, reading, music, wine, travel, theological processing, sports, and food! Shine co-hosted a podcast on death and dying called “Done For” (available on iTunes, Google, and at doneforpodcast.com). She has written for ProgressiveChristianity.org and ProgressingSpirit.com, and serves as CHI Seminary Guest Faculty. Jessica celebrates life with her wife, Deshna (an ordained interfaith chaplain), bonus daughter Kaila, and their four-legged friends.
MARK LINDBERG (he, him, his), Youth Minister, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark began his work as Director of Youth & Family Ministries in May of 2017. He brings a wealth of knowledge about our community and our church, having been a member of First Congregational Church since 2001, along with his wife Julia, and children, Annika and Joren. He is passionate about youth and focused on developing a ministry program that is both vibrant and comprehensive. Mark helped spearhead the effort to develop our “We are Family” Christian education program on Sunday mornings over 6 years ago and he now seeks to enhance the support for parents during these challenging days. Over the years at FCC, Mark has led a HS youth mission trip to Villas del Sol, Mexico, served as HS Sunday school teacher, Mission Committee Chair (now Justice & Witness), Congregational Preschool Board, Family Ministries Committee, Church Board Member and Vice Moderator. Mark is very grateful for this opportunity to serve the church and prays that with the support of the congregation, together we will keep our hearts and minds open to where the Lord is calling us in our youth and family ministries!
A Path to Ordination
In February of 2020, the FCC Board requested that the Central Pacific Conference (CPC) take Youth Minister Mark Lindberg under care as a “Member in Discernment”. The past year since then has been a busy time of writing, reflection, meetings, evaluations, interviews, psychological testing,
further study, networking, and most importantly…listening for God’s call.
Throughout this time, Mark has worked with the Rev. Dana McBrien, who is Mark’s Member in Discernment Advisor with the conference Committee on Ministry.
In November, the CPC Committee on Ministry formally approved Mark’s path to ordination. Part of that path includes Eden Seminary, to which Mark was admitted this month; he has registered for classes beginning on February 4th! Eden Seminary is located in St. Louis, Missouri and Mark will be completing his coursework online during this time through Zoom classes and the Brightspace
platform. He is planning to visit Eden Seminary during the years ahead, hoping to sit in on his classes in person, while also getting to visit with his family in St. Louis.
During this last year, The Center for Ministry in the West also completed their own, independent assessment, highly recommending Mark for the ministry. Our own FCC Local Church Discernment Committee (LCDC), will continue to work with Mark during this time and the days ahead, comparing his skill sets against the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers in the United Church of Christ – supporting him throughout the journey towards ordination. Mark’s LCDC includes: Brenda Kame’enui, Doug White, Suzanne Congdon, Todd Grigsby and Wayne Martin. Many other members and pastors are also supporting Mark on this journey, such that he is feeling very “well held” during
this time. He is deeply grateful for this love, care and support!
In his “down” time, Mark also manages PDI, LLC, a local print brokerage and graphic design firm. Mostly, he enjoys spending time with his family, especially in the great outdoors. Hiking, camping, whitewater kayaking and snowboarding are among his favorite pastimes. He also manages, coaches and plays for several soccer teams in the area, as this has been a lifelong passion. Mark is actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America, currently serving as a leader (and playing bugle!) for Cub Scout Pack 20. Having spent time in Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica, and graduating from Missouri State University with a B.A. in International Affairs / Latin America, Mark continues to have a great deal of interest in the region – specifically around human rights and restorative justice issues.
GRETCHEN JEWETT, Director of Children and Family Ministries, email@example.com
Gretchen joined the FCC staff in 2014 and came on board with a host of skills and experience and a true love for First Congregational Church… having been raised in this church! She spent the past six years as the Director of Nontraditional and Veterans Education and Support in the University of Oregon Office of the Dean of Students. She has also served as a Middle School teacher in Arizona and California for several years before moving back to Eugene to be closer to her family.
During her years in our church, Gretchen was a teacher and facilitator for the “Our Whole Lives” program. Gretchen brings many gifts to our staff and ministry including a keen intellect, a positive and open spirit, a very warm personality, and a solid and growing faith that was built on the foundations of our Progressive Christianity. Gretchen and her partner Marisa, an elementary school teacher at Camas Ridge Community School, have a ten-year-old son, Sam and a six-year-old son, Skyler.
JARED FISCHER, Director of Music Ministries, firstname.lastname@example.org
A warm welcome to Jared Fischer! We look forward to meeting him in August when he begins working with First Congregational Church as our Director of Music Ministries. Read on to learn about Jared.
There is an abundance of good news for us in selecting and hiring Jared as our Director of Music Ministries, who has been making music in church since age 11. Jared was the director of music at Holy Covenant UCC in Charlotte, North Carolina from 2009 to 2018. We are thrilled to have him bring his love of liturgical worship and appreciation for music to inspire vibrant worship experiences that utilize both traditional and contemporary elements.
A committed educator, he and six colleagues founded the annual workshop, Porterville Summer Strings, in Porterville, California, with the mission of making music education accessible to children disenfranchised by poverty and at risk of gang recruitment. During the summer of 2010, he taught music at House of Peace Orphanage in southern India.
Jared has most recently worked in the collegiate setting as a graduate instructor in conducting at the University of Oregon, where he earned two master’s degrees, one in orchestral conducting, the other in choral conducting.
BARBARA BAIRD, Organist, email@example.com
Dr. Barbara Baird has been on the staff of First Congregational Church, Eugene, since April 1, 1982. She has served as organist over 30 years, as well as being Director of Music Ministries for over ten years. Barbara has been a member of the University of Oregon music faculty since 1988, teaching organ, harpsichord, and piano. An active recitalist since 1971, Baird has performed throughout the United States as well as Argentina, Brazil, Europe and Australia. A frequent adjudicator and clinician, she regularly conducts workshops and master classes for keyboardists, particularly on Baroque and Classical Period Performance, and Keyboard Pedagogy. Baird has been a presenter and recitalist at both national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and for the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, the Organ Historical Society, the Historical Keyboard Society, the Oregon Bach Festival, several chapters of the American Guild of Organists, and for piano teachers’ guilds in the United States and Australia. She is particularly known for her presentations on organ manual and pedal techniques for beginning organists.
VICKI BRABHAM, Keyboardist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicki is a local pianist, singer, arranger, and music educator. She has made First Congregational Church her home for nearly 20 years, and enjoys integrating jazz, blues, gospel, and other contemporary styles into the worship at FCC. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, crossword puzzles, the beach and the mountains in nearly equal measure, a good cup of coffee, and the everyday joys of life with her family.
JENNIFER SELLERS, Bell Choir Director, and Children’s Music/ Joyful Noise Director, email@example.com
Jennifer has been involved in Church Music since she began planning and leading “Sunday School Opening Exercises” at 8 years old. From her start as one of the “Singing Sellers Sisters,” she has sung in School, Church and Community Choirs her whole life, and sings presently with The Jewel Tones. She enjoys community theatre and making music of all kinds. She teaches private piano lessons out of her home studio.
JENNIE SHERLOCK, Our Whole Lives Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennie and her family started coming to FCC in 1999, drawn in by the warm and familiar community. In 2006, with her children’s adolescence on the horizon, she took the Our Whole Lives (OWL) middle and high school training to fortify her parenting toolbox, never expecting it to go further. She fell in love with the curriculum though, quickly recognizing its importance and relevancy. In 2007 she volunteered to help facilitate an 8th grade OWL class at FCC, and literally hasn’t stopped since! In June of 2019 she took over as OWL Coordinator at FCC. Jennie is trained in all levels of OWL: K-1, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, Young Adult, Adult and Older Adult. In addition to coordinating the OWL program at FCC, Jennie also teaches 6th grade, 8th grade and 10-12th grade OWL and Health at Oak Hill School, and 8th grade OWL at the Village School. Jennie considers it a blessing and a privilege to get to walk alongside so many youth for this sacred part of their growing-up journeys.
Jennie earned a degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She enjoys hiking, gardening, bee keeping, cooking, fermenting and furthering various artistic endeavors. She has two beautiful children, Bodin 19, in his first year at OSU, and Carmin, 23, a 2021 graduate now “adulting” in NYC.
DANA CLARK, Director of Fellowship Ministries, Office Administrator, email@example.com
Dana joined our staff in 2017 and is committed to offering warm welcome and fellowship for our congregation and visitors. If you have any questions on how to be involved with our many thriving church groups, be sure to talk to Dana and she will find multiple ways you can participate.
KIM DORR, Bookkeeper, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Dorr is the Bookkeeper for the Church and for Congregational Preschool since 2016. She is in the office on Monday & Tuesday. She will graduate from Lane Community College in June with a degree in Accounting. She lives with her husband and daughter in Cottage Grove.
FRANK SPANGLER, Director of Facilities, email@example.com
We are delighted to announce that on July 19, Frank Spangler began work as our new full-time Facilities Manager/Custodian. Frank joins our staff with deep experience in industrial flow processes, as a leader in emergency management situations and in facility management and maintenance. Scaling back from a high-paced career, Frank welcomes this opportunity to manage and maintain our church and the FCC grounds and to work with an engaged staff and congregation.
We’re lucky to have Frank onboard, bringing his broad base of knowledge, thoroughness and experience. He’ll be working Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be tackling maintenance and painting projects, and preparing for greater use of the building as we gradually return to pre-pandemic ways.
Please say hello and welcome Frank when you see him.