our pastors, staff and Officers




    I was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1998 after graduating from Yale Divinity School.  After pastorates in New Hampshire and Connecticut, my family and I moved to Middlebury, where I have served as pastor since 2009.  I especially enjoy leading worship and weekly Youth Group meetings, working collaboratively with a gifted team of colleagues and lay leaders, and caring for the members and friends of this church.  Being with people is where pastoral ministry begins, and I am grateful for the opportunity to teach and learn and serve and pray alongside the people here.  Beyond the walls of the church, I have served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Vermont Conference (UCC), coached youth lacrosse, and taught courses at Middlebury College, where I currently serve as an affiliate chaplain.  I like to read and write, walk in the woods, and play the drums in a local band, but my spouse Gwen and our three daughters are my heart’s home.





    I grew up in the beautiful state of Minnesota, where I attended the College of St. Benedict. After college, I moved out to New England to attend Yale Divinity School, and it was there that I discerned a calling to ordained ministry. In this calling, my three passions meet: theology, people, and social justice. I am passionate about the power of church to transform our world into a place where all God's creation can thrive.  

    Since seminary, I have served as a neonatal hospital chaplain in New York City and a pastor in central Connecticut. I served on the board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights of CT from 2013 to 2019, and I was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2017. With my spouse Elliott, who is also an ordained minister, we love to hike, downhill ski, and keep up with two our daughters, Lydia and Theresa.

    I thank God for leading me to serve this amazing church and community.


  • Eliana Cañas PaRra


    Member in Discrenment

    pronouns: she/her/hers

    I grew up in Colombia and after a couple of years living in the USA, I moved to Vermont in 2018. Back home, I had graduated with an English major and was teaching English as a Second Language. The love of languages and teaching inspired me to do an exchange program in New Hampshire, which led me to have some teaching connections in Vermont. After a year of working as a paraprofessional, I started a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature at Middlebury College and started to teach Spanish in Addison Central School District. 

    I started attending this Church in 2019, and this year (2022) I stepped in as the Director of Children and Youth Ministries. In my time as a church member, I've served on the Board of Membership and Communications, the Green Team, as a Sunday School teacher and as a Youth Group Leader. I love being with people, and especially in this community, being in the woods, doing photography and art, and catching up with my family over long video calls. 



    ORGANIST and acting director of music

    pronouns: he/him/his

    I began playing the organ when I was thirteen, after a few years of piano lessons and listening repeatedly to my parents’ album of Bach organ music. That and a terrific teacher and mentor led me to study organ and church music at St. Olaf College. My focus shifted to include choral music through masters and doctoral degrees (Cincinnati and Michigan State), and I have been a church organist almost continually throughout that time and to the present. I live in Middlebury with my wife Jessica, and daughter Greta. I am also Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music at Middlebury College.


  • Jennifer Smith

    Church Administrator

    Coming soon...



    Director of Communications

    pronouns: she/her/hers

    For 32 years I was an educator in New York state where I taught elementary school, directed an after school enrichment program and coached a LEGO Robotics Team. During that time and after retiring in 2006 my entrepreneurial spirit found me creating and running a bed & breakfast reservation service as well as a home staging business.  To realize a life long dream to paint, I studied painting with numerous acclaimed artists and now teach painting in my home studio and online. I bring the variety of skills that I have learned along the way to my job here at the church. I love working with this outstanding team and living in Middlebury Vermont with my husband Dory.


  • Jeff Ellison

    building Manager

  • Leanna Maglienti


  • Nancy Foster


  • Cathy chase and Irene Zaccor

    Treasurer and Financial Secretary