At the 2020 Annual Meeting on September 26, 2020, the Southern New England Conference celebrated those that have been ordained for 25 and 50 years. The Conference offers their heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to all the ordinands, and hope everyone joined the celebration!
The Rev. Richard Chrisman
50 Year Ordinands
The Rev. Pamela Cole earned a B.A. from Gordon College, an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and an MBA from Anna Maria College. She was ordained on June 7, 1970 at the First Congregational Church, Boxford, MA. She has served Smith Mills Congregational Church, Dartmouth, MA; First Congregational Church at Lunds Corner, New Bedford, MA; Lakeville UCC, Lakeville, MA; and Smith Neck Friends Meeting, Dartmouth, MA. Some other ministries are being "The Church Lady" religious radio Broadcast on WBSM for 9 years; Adjunct Professor of history, Bristol Community College for 8 years; and currently President, ecumenical Church Women United of MA and RI. She is also a liaison among English, Spanish and Portuguese speaking churches in greater New Bedford.
The Rev. Allen Comstock
The Rev. Richard DuVall
The Rev. George Frobig
The Rev. Earl Keirstead
The Rev. Robert Lantz
The Rev. Nancy Milton
The Rev. V. Joseph Milton
The Rev. Michael Moran graduated from Rutgers University, and New Brunswick Theological Seminary, in New Brunswick, NJ. He was ordained at the Classis of Queens, Reformed Church of America in 1970. He served the following churches: Mariner’s Harbor, Staten Island, NY; Bushkill Reformed Church, Bushkill, PA; Union Church of Proctor, Proctor, VT; and First Congregational Church, New Milford, CT. His current activities include visiting his daughters in Philadelphia and Maine, keeping up with his three grandchildren, fixing up a place in Maine and weeding through accumulated belongings in preparation for moving when his wife Eileen Devlin retires.
The Rev. Robert Naylor
The Rev. Worth Noyes
The Rev. Dr. Leslie Simonson earned a B.A. from Bates College, Lewiston, ME, an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, and a D.Min. from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, MA. She was ordained in the historic Rhode Island Conference and served many churches in many different roles. Churches served include: Woodridge Congregational Church, Cranston, RI; Ridgeview Congregational UCC, White Plains, NY; Maple Street UCC, Danvers, MA; Weston Congregational Church, Weston, MA; West Concord Union Church, Concord, MA; Greensboro UCC, Greensboro, VT; First Church of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, CT; Hope Congregational Church, East Providence, RI; Congregational Church of South Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA; Woodstock United Church of Christ, Woodstock, CT; and Saugatuck United Church of Christ, Saugatuck, CT.
Dr. Simonson has worked in Scotland teaching at Pennyburn Primary School in Kilmarnock, and working at Iona Abbey on the Isle of Iona, has been a Hospice Team Chaplain in Rhode Island, and is an Annuitant Visitor for the Pension Boards. Her beloved husband is the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Simonson, and together they have a daughter and son-in-law and two grandteens.
The Rev. Dr. Sheldon Smith
The Rev. Dr. John Terry was ordained in 1970 in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio. He received a BA from Defiance College, an M.Div. from Andover Newton, and STM and D.Min. from New York Theological Seminar. Over the years he has served church in Ohio, New York, Georgia, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He is currently serving as the Interim Pastor of First Congregational Church in Hanover, MA. John and his wife live on Cape Cod.
The Rev. David Thomas
The Rev. William West earned a B.A. from Alfred University in Alfred, NY and an M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, MA. He was ordained at the Green Farms Congregational Church in Westport, CT in the Fairfield West Association on October 25, 1970. He is a Board Certified Chaplain. He served the following churches: West Parish in Andover, MA; Green Farms Congregational Church in Westport, CT; and First Congregational Church in Deep River, CT. Rev. West also served as a Chaplain at Hospital of Saint Raphael, Saint Francis Hospital, and Yale New Haven Health. He and his wife Margaret have been married for 40 years, they have a daughter and two grandsons.
The Rev. Charles Wildman earned a BA in Philosophy from Lake Forest College, and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. He was ordained in 1970 in the New Haven Association of the historic CT Conference. He has served at the First Church of Christ, in Bethany, CT; First Congregational UCC, Kewanee, IL; Vine Congregational UCC, Lincoln, NE; and Rock Spring Congregational UCC, Arlington, VA; and he was an Interim Conference Minister in CT. Currently he is involved with Old South Church in Boston, a group facilitator at Linden Ponds and a guest preacher. He and his wife Anne have been married for 53 years, they have two children and one grandchild.
The Rev. Elinor Yeo
25 Year OrdinandsThe Rev. Dr. Virginia Asel
The Rev. Dr. Candice Ashenden earned a BA from Tufts University in Early Childhood Education, an M.Div from Andover Newton Theological School, and a Doctorate of Divinity. from Bangor Theological Seminary. She was ordained in October of 1995 in the Metropolitan Boston Association of the historic MA conference. She has served many churches including: Central Congregational Church, Orange, MA; Faith United Church, Springfield, MA; First Congregational Church, Westminster, MA; United Congregational Church, Conway, MA; and Athol Congregational Church, Athol, MA. She has been involved with the Franklin Association, on the Board of the historic MA conference, and frequent contributor to the Religion Matters section of the Greenfield Recorder. She and her wife Pam have a son and a daugher in college. Candice didn't know when she began in ministry what it would all entail. she never imagined leading a church through a major renovation brought on by mold, or pastoring people through the loss of the church building due to a freak tornado, or beginning a new pastorate by offering online worship only, but here she is!
The Rev. Dr. Dale Azevedo earned a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, an M.Div. from the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO, and a D.Min. from Drew University, Madison, NJ. He was ordained at the United Methodist Church in the New York Conference on June 4, 1995. He has served the Lakeville UMC in Lakeville, CT, the Middlefield Federated Church UMC/UCC, Middlefield, CT and Barrington Congregational Church, UCC, Barrington, RI. He is currently President of the Rhode Island Association and a member of the Historic Rhode Island Conference Board of Directors. He is married to Elizabeth and they have two children. He thanks his wife and family for supporting him and putting up with him for these 25 years of ministry!
The Rev. Dr. Karen Bailey-Francois earned a BS and MBA from University of Vermont; an M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School and a D.Min from Hartford Seminary. She was ordained in 1995. She has served many organizations and churches including: Union Congregational Church, Cohasset, MA; Ellington Congregational Church, Ellington, CT; Storrs Congregational Church, Storrs, CT; First Church of Christ in Hartford, CT; Union Congregational Church in Rockville, CT; Cohasset Safe Harbor Coalition; Hartford Seminary Trustee; and Hands on Hartford, Inc. She is a Board member of the Pilgrim Association. Karen is originally from Rochester, NY and has a son, Jonathan, who is a graduate student at Roger William's University studying architecture.
The Rev. Rachel Bickford
The Rev. Faith Carmichael graduated from Radcliffe College, and Yale Divinity School. She was ordained at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, UCC in 1995. Her ministries include co-developer of the Spiritual Formation program at Yale Divinity School, Co-Director of Spiritual Formation Program Berkeley Divinity School, Pastoral Counselor, Retreat Leader. She developed and administrated an ecumenical support program for clergy after 9/11 in southwest CT and Hartford area. She served Saugatuck Congregational Church UCC in Westport, CT as an Interim. Currently, she is a clergy affiliate at the First Presbyterian Church, Cooperstown, NY, a Chaplain, and a piano and music teacher at the Calleo Workshop for the Performing Arts. Faith has 3 children, and 5 grandchildren and is living in Cooperstown, NY.
The Rev. Matthew S. Crebbin
The Rev. Dorothy DuBreuil
The Rev. Dr. Denise Esslinger
The Rev. Dr. Christine Fontaine earned an M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, MA, and a D.Min. in Preaching from the Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL. She was ordained on October 27, 1995 at the South Congregational UCC in Springfield, MA by the Hampden Association. Dr. Fontaine has served many churches including: First Congregational UCC, South Hadley Falls, MA; Congregational UCC, Armada, MI; First Congregational UCC, Leverett, MA; Southern Congregational UCC, Springfield, MA; First Congregational UCC, South Deerfield, MA; Trinitarian Congregational UCC, Northfield, MA; First Congregational UCC, Amherst, MA, South Congregational UCC, Amherst, MA; and Trinitarian and Congregational UCC, Montague, MA. She has been a professional storyteller since 1986. She was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome in 1998 and is currently retired, spending her time reading, knitting, quilting and beading. She has two children Kelli Clemens and Curtis Clemens.
The Rev. Jennifer Geary earned a B.S. in Biology from Westfield State College and an M.Div. from Lancaster Theological Seminary. She was ordained on August 20, 1995 in the Hampshire Association of the Historic Massachusetts Conference. She served many churches as an interim minister including: First Congregational Church of Christ, Morristown, VT; United Church of Craftsbury, VT; Brownington Congregational UCC, VT; Irasburg United Church, VT, Lyndonville & East Burke Congregational UCC, VT; Orleans Federated Church, Barton, VT; Union Congregational Church, UCC, East Walpole, MA; and Church of Christ, Congregational UCC, Millis, MA. She also was Director of Irons Homestead Camp & Retreat, Scituate, RI. She currently serves on the Board of the RI Council of Churches and is a Prior of the New England Chapter of Brothers and Sisters of the Way. Jennifer has been married to her husband Bud for 37 years, and they have three children and four grandchildren.
The Rev. Jonathan Goodell
The Rev. Joanne Graves
The Rev. Gary Greene
The Rev. Lee Ireland
The Rev. Harold Masback
The Rev. Dr. Barry McCarthy
The Rev. Phyllis Norman
The Rev. Henry Pascual
The Rev. Suzanne Personette earned a degree in Broadcasting from Carolina School of Broadcasting, a BA in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina, and an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion. She was ordained in 1995 in the Northern California / Nevada Conference. She has served many churches, including the Northeast UCC in Indianapolis, IN, and as an Intention Interim at: First Congregational Church, Ypsilanti, MI; First Congregational Church, Ann Arbor, MI; Hadlyme Congregational Church, Hadlyme, CT; Killingworth Congregational Church, Killingworth, CT; First Congregational Church, West Haven, CT; South Church, UCC, Middletown, CT; First Congregational Church, UCC, Vernon, CT; Middlefield Federated Church, Middlefield, CT; and First Congregational Church, UCC, Branford, CT. She has served on two Association Committees on Ministry, and is involved in anti-racist activities. She is married to the Rev. Kenneth Peterkin and they have a son, Abraham Peterkin, in college.
The Rev. Nada Sellers
The Rev. Dr. Gary Shahinian earned his B.A. and M.A. from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, his M.Phil.F from the Institute or Christian Studies, Toronto, Canada, an M.Div. from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, MN and a Ph.D. from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was ordained at the Armenian Church of the Martyrs in Worcester, MA in 1995. He served the following churches: Park Congregational Church, Worcester, MA; First Church in Marlborough, MA; Pakachoag Church in Auburn, MA; and Armenian Church of the Martyrs, Worcester, MA. His current activities include being a regular contributor to the “Keep the Faith” column in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Secretary and past Commander of the Arshavir Lodge, Knights of Vartan (Armenian service organization) in Worcester, MA. He has been married to his wife Linda Bogosian since 1997 and they have a border collie named Ralphie. In 2019, he was given the key to the City of Worcester for his years of dedicated service to the Armenian community and to the City of Worcester.
The Rev. Dominic Taranowski received a B.A. from McGill University, Canada, and an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion and was ordained by the Vermont Conference in 1995. He has served at the Beavercreek United Church of Christ, Beavercreek Oregon and at the First Congregational Church in Melrose UCC, MA. He is married and they have two adult children.
The Rev. Dr. Mary Waters
The Rev. Heike Werder