Our Ministry Team

We are blessed to have an experienced and enthusiastic ministry team.

Rev. Kathy Cunliffe

Senior Minister - I am thrilled to have been called to serve as the 18th Senior Minister of this lively and authentic gathering of faithful people! My ministry passions include: Creating vibrant worship that helps deepen spirituality and our experience of God. Having fun! I love a good sense of humor, laughter, and occasional goofiness. I believe God's heart sings when we play and express our joy! I am excited about intergenerational ministry. Everyone has unique gifts to offer, from infants to seniors ... [ more ]

Rev. Margaret Jay

Minister of Outreach and Program Development - A Maine native, Margaret grew up in the Lewiston-Auburn area, graduating from Edward Little High School in Auburn and attending Bates College in Lewiston. While a graduate student in history at the University of Virginia, she began a research study on the social mobility of day laborers in Lewiston, Maine during the early decades of the city's industrialization and urban transformation 1850-1880 ... [ more ]

Dr. Jeanette Gross

Minister of Music - Jeanette Gross has been Minister of Music at First Congregational Church since 1993. She has a Doctorate in Organ Performance from Hart School of Music, an MA in musicology from Syracuse University and a BA from Connecticut college. She has studied organ WITH Arthur Poister, Ludgar Lohman and John Holtz. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the life and career a late 19th century organist, Nathan Hale Allen, who developed a rich musical community around Center Church in Hartford, CT ... [ more ]

John Myska

Director of Youth Ministry - John Myska is the Director at Winding Trails Day Camp in Farmington, CT and a paraprofessional in the Southington school system, working with special needs students who are practicing life skills as they get ready to transition into adult lfe. [ more ]

Lisa Lape

Office Manager -  Lisa Lape comes to us from St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church in Windsor. She worked there for over 16 years, serving as Religious Education Secretary, Parish Secretary and School Secretary. She has a breadth of experience and a warm and welcoming manner. [ more ]

Bob Westervelt

Collector- Bob grew up at First Church and continues to worship here with his wife, Lorraine, and their two young adults, Katelyn and Chris.  He has served on numerous boards and committees, most recently the Senior Minister Search and Call Committee, and also enjoys playing the carillon in the belfry ... [ more ]

Sherry Perkowski

Sexton - Sherry Perkowski has attended First Church since her childhood—and in fact, met her husband, John here! She has 3 daughters, Heather, Kelly and Megan, and 2 delightful grandchildren. Sherry has been a Deacon and served our church in many capacities. She currently enjoys playing with the bell choir. [ more ]

Heidi Bonassar

Church School Superintendent - Heidi was brought up in Minnesota and moved to Connecticut when she was married. Raised in the Lutheran faith, she started attending First Congregational church in 1999. Heidi also serves on the Family Life Board and was part of the Search and Call Committee that called Reverend Cunliffe to our church. She lives in Wallingford with her two children, Andrew and Emma. [ more ]

Pam Perkowski

Church School Superintendent - Pam grew up in Wallingford and has been a member of First Congregational Church most of her life. She has been a Youth Group leader in past years and a Girl Scout leader of two troops throughout her daughters' school years. She enjoys working with children of all ages. Pam resides in Wallingford with her husband Steve and daughters Kayla and Kyssandra ... [ more ]

Brynn Slicer

Youth Ministry Leader - Brynn Slicer is a sophmore at the University of New Haven. She is majoring in National Security Studies with a minor in Russian. She is originally from Newark, Delaware, but is now a Resident Assistant for UNH and living in New Haven. [ more ]

Kayla Perkowski

Youth Ministry Leader - Kayla Perkowski has been a member of our church "since before she was born." She was a member of both the Junior and Senior Youth Groups growing up.
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