Staff

Our staff may be reached by calling the church office at (860) 928-7405.  Office hours are generally 8:00 am to 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday.

REV. DR. KEVIN DOWNER, PASTOR 

A positive, joyful leader; Rev. Downer teaches, preaches, pastors, and ministers in spiritually-grounded, practical ways. An openly gay man, Rev Kev believes our challenges present opportunities to express, extend and experience grace, love, compassion and justice.  He welcomes and affirms all wherever you may be on your life or spiritual journey.

He grew up in the area; spent a decade as a business consultant; started an emerging church in Chicago; and pastored diverse congregations in East Hollywood Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Toronto, and Worcester.  He has worked with interfaith, eccumenical, and social-justice organizations; was a member of the Chicago LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Task Force and the LGBT Asylum Task Force.

He enjoys running, gardening, baking and exploring life’s journey with his spouse Toby and their two cats. You can address him in whatever way you feel comfortable, e.g., Rev. Kev, Kevin, Pastor Kevin, Rev. Downer, etc. and contact him on Facebook, his cell phone or by email revkev@firstchurchwoodstock.org

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LISA HAUPT, DIRECTOR OF FAMILY MINISTRIES

Lisa is joy-filled to join the First Congregational Church of Woodstock as the Director of Family Ministries.  She and her husband Bob, recently arrived in Woodstock after a move from North Carolina.  Working with children of all ages, teaching cooking and sewing and leading both of her daughter’s (Emma, 25 and Alex, 22) Girl Scout troops from Daisies through Ambassadors, Lisa has facilitated God and Life programs, Sunday school classes and Godly Play and co-created Mission Possible, a middle school outreach ministry.

With a BS in Home Economics Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Lisa taught in Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina schools. Curiosity and desire to learn more about the Bible and our Christian faith prompted Lisa to complete an MA in Practical Theology through Pfeiffer University in 2016. Email Lisa at families@firstchurchwoodstock.org

STAFF-Boylan, Ellen-2ELLEN BRADLEY, OFFICE MANAGER

Ellen has been the office manager since 1999.  She spent many years playing guitar and bass with the Hill Church Hillbillies, the Junior Choir, The Skillet Lickers;  singing in the choir, and playing in the Handbell Choir.  She currently is a member of the Norwich Diocesan Choir. She also graduated from QVCC and is a licensed phlebotomist.   In her free time she enjoys cooking, canning, sewing, chess, cribbage, shooting pool, writing, gardening,  her pets, and jamming with family and friends.  Email Ellen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TED BRADLEY,  SEXTON

Ted has been music director here from 1995 to September, 2020, and continues to be the Sexton.   He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music at Rhode Island College. After graduating college he spent twelve years manufacturing, rebuilding, and maintaining harpsichords and pipe organs.  He leaves a legacy of  numerous Messiah Sings and special concerts and programs, has involved the church music program in many community and ecumenical functions, and vastly enlarged the music library during his many years as Music Director.   He currently sings with the Norwich Diocesan Choir and Wings of Song.   In his semi-retirement he plans on continuing working on the pipe organ he is building in his garage, and playing the electronic organ he recently installed in his house.  He also enjoys woodworking, hiking and brewing his own beer.  Email Ted.

LA-DIR-STAFF-Nixon, LeilaniEILANI NIXON, ORGANIST

Leilani has been the organist at the Hill Church since 1995.  She began her organ studies at Eastman  while she was an undergraduate at the University of Rochester and later studied at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.  She has been organist of several churches in the Chicago area before moving to the Quiet Corner in 1988.  She is a member of the American Guild of Organists and enjoys participating in master classes and playing in member and solo recitals.  She likes to hike and kayak when she is on vacation where she’s frequently found in music stores searching for new music.