First Congregational Church of Granby

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Church Office Hours:
The Building is Closed until further notice.

219 North Granby Road , Granby , CT 06035
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860-653-4537

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The United Church of Christ

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Staff

Rev. Dr. ToddYonkman

Rev. Dr. Todd Yonkman

Senior Transitional Minister

Office (860) 653-4537


Rev. Dr. Todd Grant Yonkman is Transitional Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Granby. What is a Transitional Senior Minister? It is someone who specializes in leading congregations toward a sustainable future.

Rev. Yonkman was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was baptized as an infant and made profession of faith as a teenager in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). He began questioning his conservative Christian upbringing when first his mother left the CRC to become an ordained minister (women were barred from ordination at the time) and his father came out as a gay man (the CRC is not open to and affirming of LGBTQ people). This crisis of faith led to Rev. Yonkman joining the United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1995. He was ordained in the UCC in 1999.

Rev. Yonkman is a graduate of Calvin College (1992, B.A. English Literature, German), University of Chicago, (1996, M.Div.) and Andover Newton Theological School (2012, D.Min.). 

Accreditations:

  • Interim Ministry Network accredited Professional Transition Specialist.

  • Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. 

Memberships:

  • Andover Newton Theological School Jonathan Edwards Society.

  • Worcester Zen Temple.

  • Fairfield West Association, United Church of Christ.

Wider Church:

  • UCC representative to the National Council of Churches Buddhist-Christian dialogue.

Publications:

  • Reconstructing Church: Tools for Turning Your Congregation Around, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

Rev. Yonkman and his wife, Rev. Nicole Grant Yonkman, have been married for 23 years. They have served congregations in the Midwest and New England. They served 12 years as co-ministers. They have two daughters in college. They have two house rabbits and a black lab named Mayleen.

 

TheresaSmith

Theresa Smith

Faith Formation Coordinator

Office (860) 653-4537

 
Theresa Seery Smith lives in East Hartland with her wonderful husband, Zach, and her two beautiful children, Charlie and Joshua. She was born and raised in Granby. Her background comes from a foundation built from family bonds, love, nurturing, compassion and caring for all those around me. Her values come from a childhood spent attending Trinity Episcopal Church in Simsbury, then later joining South Church in Granby with her own family. For the past few years, Theresa has volunteered as a Teacher and Shepherd for the children of the South Church faith program, Kaleidoscope Corner. This path has lead her here to First Church as the Children’s Faith Formation Coordinator. Theresa has found her experience as a mother as well as working with children to be the most rewarding and valuable work of her entire life. It’s not only fulfilling, it is not something that she can even truly consider work, it’s a call from above to help share God's message. The message is simple and she is thrilled to teach our children that the message is to be kind, be patient, to forgive, have hope, trust in the Lord, share joy, love and value all people, and spread peace! 
 
JulieHagen

Julie Hagen

Music Director

Office (860) 653-4537

Mobile (607) 280-6775



In her role as Director of Music, Dr. Julie Hagen directs the Chancel Choir and Bell Choir. Prior to her arrival at First Church in 2017, Julie has served churches in multiple capacities: as the Director of Music at First Congregational Church, UCC, in Moorhead, Minnesota, as the Director of Music at Williamston United Methodist Church in Williamston, Michigan, and as the Director of Youth Music Ministry at Trinity Episcopal Church in Elmira, New York.
 
In addition to her music ministry, Julie is an assistant professor of choral music education at The University of Hartford’s The Hartt School where she teaches the choral methods sequence and undergraduate conducting. Originally from Rochester, New York, Julie received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Ithaca College and her PhD in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. Before working in higher education, Julie was a public school music educator in upstate New York, having taught elementary general music and high school choral music for eleven years.
 
When not making or teaching music, Julie loves books, traveling, and cheering on her beloved Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees, and Michigan State Spartans. Often accompanying her to church is her family: husband, Jordan, their two children, Oliver and Kathleen (Kit), and even sometimes their dog, Malcolm (for the Blessing of the Animals service!).
 
LauraMurach

Laura Murach

Organist

Office (860) 653-4537

Mobile (860) 214-7550



Laura joined First Church as the organist/pianist in June of 2003. She grew up in neighboring Simsbury and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ithaca College in the areas of music and business. She was organist and choir director at Prospect Methodist Church in Bristol, CT for 12 years before moving to Granby in 2001. During the week, she works at LIMRA as a research manager. Laura and Bryan have been married 25 years and have two children. They are all involved in various activities within the church and are happy to be a part of the First Church family.
 
SusanMiltenberger

Susan Miltenberger

Office Manager

Office (860) 653-4537



Sue joined the FCC staff in July 2014. She, her husband and two daughters have made their home in Granby for 30 years. She has held corporate positions in finance and has taught and volunteered in the Simsbury and Granby school systems as well as been involved in many community organizations.

 
PeterBetsch

Peter Betsch

Sexton

Office (860) 653-4537

Mobile (860) 392-9664



Pete Betsch, Sexton, is an Ohio native. Pete met his wife, Linda, at church in Colorado where they eventually wed. They moved to Connecticut in 1997 where they raised two children. Pete has experience mucking horse stalls while at college and mucking cow stalls at Town Farm Dairy in Simsbury. Pete further honed his janitorial skills by scrubbing down bathrooms when working at a Denver homeless shelter in 1989 and making repairs in the wake of his kids. Pete’s loving wife would like him to apply his cleaning prowess at home but that has proved futile.
On Sundays, let's let Pete just be here as a member of the congregation. Use the white board on the janitor’s closet to make requests and be sure to include your name.
 

First Congregational Church of Granby

860-653-4537