Area Conference Ministers Team

Area Conference Ministers Team

The Area Conference Minister (ACM) Team seeks to inspire and provoke local churches and associations to discover how God is calling them to be the church in a new era. 

We serve as the face of the Vision of the Southern New England Conference (SNEC) to local churches, associations, and covenant partners.  We help churches identify the gifts they can offer to their communities and discern beyond what is to what is possible through Spirit’s leading.  

Go here for a map that show the regions of the Conference.

Working cooperatively with other Conference Teams, the bulk of our work fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Search and Call and Pastoral Transitions
  • Committees on Church and Ministry
  • Congregational Vitality and Transformation
  • Clergy Professional Development, Ministry and Wellness

To strengthen the ministry and advance the mission of the SNEC, each ACM has assumed responsibility for shepherding areas of the Team’s ministry with local churches and associations (noted below, and in the video above). Shepherds coordinate the development and distribution of resources and coordinate the work of their specific areas of ministry.


The Rev. Liz Garrigan-Byerly

Executive Minister for Area Conference Ministry
508-244-4311

Rev. Garrigan-Byerly provides leadership for the Area Conference Ministry (ACM) team assuring that the ACMs work as agents of transformation. ACM’s bring adaptive change by provoking and nurturing discipleship, new life, and creative partnerships in and through the love and justice of Jesus in our clergy, churches and Associations. She also provides support to the Unified Fitness Review Committees, Conference-wide Committee on Ministry Steering Team and General Synod delegation.

Rev. Garrigan-Byerly enjoys quilting and gardening, wonderful metaphors for ministry, and shares daily life with her husband, tween daughter and dog.

Liz Garrigan-Byerly
She/her


The Rev. Alex Shea Will

Area Conference Minister, Northeast Region
508-244-4769

Rev. Shea Will accompanies clergy, congregations, and committees as they live the love and justice of Jesus in ways that honor their unique contexts and gifts. In this work he is guided by relationship building, traditioned innovation, and covenantal wisdom. Contact him regarding: 

Rev. Shea Will can usually be found looking for a ball – whether it’s for rugby, basketball, or soccer. He also has a love of espresso and is always up for a cup and conversation; so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Alex Shea Will
He/him


The Rev. Dr. Patty Kogut

Area Conference Minister, Southeast Region
508-244-4416

Rev. Kogut accompanies clergy, congregations, and committees to live the love and justice of Jesus. She does so with over 30 years of parish experience, training in church vitality and conflict transformation, and as a PCC level coach.

  • Support of Committees on Ministry, with particular focus on the UCC Manual on Ministry
  • Support of the Search and Call Process
  • Assistance to clergy in specialized settings as well as local church pastors and retired ministers

The Rev. Kogut is excited about her expanded role in the Conference and enjoys her new home, walks, kayaking, and learning new and interesting musical instruments, most recently the "Pocket saxophone."

Patty Kogut
She/her


Lynn Varney

Program Support Associate - Northeast and Southeast Regions
781-369-1396

Lynn Varney assists the ACM, Association leadership, churches and clergy with processing members in discernment, changes in standing, pulpit supply, meetings, and the Northeast and Southeast regional newsletters.  Contact her for:

  • Pulpit supply lists
  • Information for Members in Discernment
  • Clergy information changes

Lynn Varney
She/her


The Rev. Isaac Lawson

Area Conference Minister, South Central Region
860-761-7188

Rev. Isaac Lawson supports and resources clergy, congregations, and associations of the South Central region in their efforts to live the love and justice of Jesus in their locale.  Contact him for support with:

  • Pastoral Transitions
  • Committees on Church and Ministry  

Isaac Lawson
He/him


Roslynn Hooks

Program Support Associate
860-761-7196

Roslynn assists the ACM, Association leadership, churches and clergy with processing members in discernment, changes in standing, pulpit supply, meetings, and the Southwest and South Central Regions.  Contact her for:

  • Pulpit supply lists

  • Information for Members in Discernment

  • Clergy information changes

Roslynn Hooks
She/her


The Rev. Terry Ogawa

Area Conference Minister, Northwest Region
860-761-7192

Rev. Ogawa accompanies clergy and churches through adaptive change; times of transition; and discerning God’s call to meet the needs of their congregations and communities. Rev. Ogawa resources Committees on Ministry in the Northwest Region of the Conference.  Contact her for:

  • Assistance with pastoral transitions.
  • Discernment about next steps in ministry.
  • Healthy solutions to challenges in congregational life.
  • Preaching engagements and celebrating milestones in the life of your congregation.

Rev. Ogawa has always worked at the intersection of land, culture, and spirituality, which is evidenced in her pursuit to explore the hills and valleys of her region and learn regional food traditions—she welcomes your recommendations!

Terry Ogawa
She/her


The Rev. Sam Houser

Bridge Area Conference Minister, North Central and Southwest Regions
860-761-7198

Sam Houser is serving as Bridge Area Conference Minister for the North Central and Southwest Regions through March 1.  She will be focusing on churches in search and call, committees on ministry and urgent issues that arise.

Sam Houser
She/them


Deb Holmes

Program Support Associate, North Central and Northwest Regions
508-244-4399

Deb Holmes supports the Area Conference Ministers for the North Central and Northwest Regions of the Southern New England Conference as well as supporting the Association leadership, churches, and clergy. Contact her for:

  • Pulpit supply lists
  • Member in Discernment information
  • Transfers of standing
  • General inquiries 

Deb Holmes
She/her


Jill Ford

Search & Call Associate
860-761-7112

Jill Ford supports the Area Conference Ministers as they assist our churches seeking new pastors and ministers seeking a new call.  Contact her if:

  • You are an ordained UCC minister or Member in Discernment seeking a pastoral call
  • You are a church Search Committee member needing assistance with administrative matters related to your search

Jill Ford also supports various programs funded by the Trust for Ministers (TFM).  Please contact her for information about:

  • Programs that provide financial support for clergy retired from service in CT who may benefit from financial assistance with the cost of supplemental health insurance (for those most in need)
  • Clergy Enrichment Grants for clergy serving CT churches
  • Continuing legacy scholarship programs from the historic Connecticut Conference

Jill Ford
She/her


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