Spiritual Care
Shares with the Pastor the oversight of the spiritual life of the Church
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Supporting Worship, Spiritual, Care, and Prayer needs of the Congregation

The Senior Deacons are Bruce Lyman adn Christina Manuilow.

Each deacon was asked to answer the same three questions about themselves.  The questions were:

  • Why did you choose to become a deacon at FCCW?
  • Where were you born and raised?
  • What kind of activities bring you joy?


Why did you choose to become a deacon at FCCW?
I believe in trying to say ‘yes’ to new opportunities, even if I feel it may be out of my comfort zone. I have grown in my spirituality since becoming a member of FCCW ~ 10-11 years ago and I wanted to pay homage to that, grow that, and offer support to others in their spiritual journey.

I was born and raised between two brothers (13 months apart all of us!) in Falmouth, MA, on Cape Cod.
I grew up in the Catholic Church, Saint Elizabeth Seton of North Falmouth, MA where we were a very involved ‘church family:’ Youth Group, CCD, Lectors, Alter Servers, Christmas pageants. While I ultimately felt a calling to another church, growing up as an active church family gave me a sense of belonging and community and empowered me as a leader. These are all traits I continue to appreciate at FCCW and hope my daughter, now 13 yo, will appreciate growing up in ‘her’ church.
I attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; graduated from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, MA; spent a year in Charlottesville, VA, in an equine (horse) internship where I met my now husband. I moved back to New England with Tim and after working at a couple regional equine veterinary practices, we have owned our own equine veterinary business since 2005; we have lived in Woodstock, CT, since 2007.

Many activities can bring me joy….ultimately anywhere with my husband, Tim, and our daughter, Carolina. We are an active family and find joy in hiking, traveling, camping, and cooking. I find joy also in those moments of solitude on an isolated beach listening to the waves and seagulls or watching our flock of hens ‘scratch about’ & ‘stretch their wings’ while I sip a glass of wine on the back patio.


Why did I become a deacon? Well, I was asked, and it’s hard to say “no” to Bob Kirk! I was a deacon in the distant past, and then served the church in multiple other capacities more recently.  We believe that “God calls us to celebrate the fellowship of a loving, supportive community of friends,” and I can think of no better way to both celebrate and complete my service to this congregation than by serving once more as a deacon.

I was born in Glens Falls, N.Y., raised there and in Poultney, Vt. and New London, Conn. I continue to be drawn to the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains, but Woodstock has been our home for over 43 years.

What do I enjoy? Being in service to others – as a physician during my professional life, and helping with our Community Kitchen meals during retirement.  Getting outside into “God’s big book,” as Jamie Harrison once described it, by walking or running, hiking, or even doing yard work.  And singing, or listening to good music, especially if performed by one of my children or grands! Joys abound, actually.


I chose to become a Deacon because being a part of the FCCW community has been so meaningful to me. I was honored to be asked and grateful to have the opportunity to give back as much as I’ve received. Serving as a Deacon has deepened my relationships within the community and allowed me to extend God’s love through supporting others on their spiritual path.

I was born and raised in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Although I enjoyed growing up and being part of the community there for most of my life, moving to Woodstock, CT in 2014 felt like coming home to me.

Spending time with my husband, Dennis, and our son, Collin, brings me incredible joy. I love family game nights and attending Collin’s soccer games. One of my favorite activities is playing in the woods. I enjoy hiking with Dennis on almost a weekly basis from October through May. I also love backyard birdwatching and I am an avid reader – anything from spirituality and health to science fiction and love stories.


Why did you choose to become a deacon at FCCW?
I served as a deacon several years ago and I am pleased to take this role again. I have found that participating in worship has been a way to strengthen my faith and I hope that I can help welcome others more fully into this community.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Erie, PA and raised in Rockville, MD where I attended a UCC church throughout my childhood. Though I am not a native of Woodstock, I have lived here over 40 years and have family ties to the area. My grandfather was the pastor at Putnam Congregational Church and my mom was born in Putnam.

What kind of activities bring you joy?
I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and gardening. One of my favorite things to do is to visit with my three grandchildren, Ben, Ham, and Josie.