|Rev. Elizabeth Garrigan-Byerly|
“During Rev. Michael Ciba’s sabbatical Liz served as the Team Leader for our Area Conference Ministers," said Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister for the Southern New England Conference. "During that time her leadership, insight, and love of the church was tangible and palpable for the team. Liz brings pastoral leadership, non-profit management experience, relevant Area Conference Ministry experience and a deep desire to see the mission and vision of the SNEUCC come to fruition to her upcoming role as Executive Minister. I had the opportunity to serve as Chaplain of the Week while Liz was Dean of Family Camp at Silver Lake. I noted the ways in which she was present for our youth and families, provided pastoral care, and nurtured her own family in the love and justice of Jesus. While we had an amazing pool of candidates, Liz stood out as a continued investment in the dream we are building in New England.”
In her time on staff, Garrigan-Byerly collaborated with folks from the Faith Formation, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Communications teams to produce two worship services offered to the wider church. She worked with local church leaders and the Center for Transformational Leadership to facilitate the Small Church Summit. She was a co-dean at Silver Lake this summer. Along with Rev. Isaac Lawson, she has created, produced and launched the enhanced Search & Call Process.
“I am delighted that Rev. Liz Garrigan-Byerly has been promoted to the role of Executive Minister for Area Conference Ministry,” said The Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba, Area Conference Minister and Team Leader. “Rev. Garrigan-Byerly has provided exceptional leadership to the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. She has provided excellent guidance and wisdom to the Local Churches and Associations of the North Central Region and to her colleagues on Conference Staff. As one of the shepherds for Search and Call and Committees on Ministry, she has taken the lead in developing new resources and approaches that will be a blessing to the whole Conference. Her approach to ministry combines a pastor’s heart with creative thinking and visionary leadership. She is a collaborative team member and leads by example. She is a trusted colleague who will provide the ACM Team and the whole Conference with the leadership it needs to fully live into the vision of living the love and justice of Jesus. “
We previously wrote about Garrigan-Byerly when she was appointed ACM, and noted her extensive work with the immigrant community, volunteers, and culturally appropriate food distribution programs. She has served churches in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, from rural to suburban, small to large. Her last pastorate was as the Associate Pastor at the Wellesley Village Church, Wellesley, MA. While there, she also served as the Director of the Pastoral Residency Program, where she worked to align the program with the Marks of Faith and Effective Ministry.
Prior to joining the Conference staff, Garrigan-Byerly was the Assistant Director of the Metrowest Worker Center/ Casa del Trabajador/ Casa do Trabalhador in Framingham, MA, where she partnered with immigrant leaders to advocate for protections for worker rights. During the pandemic, they facilitated a culturally appropriate food distribution program for 500 families. She is also the co-founder of the Metrowest Immigrant Solidarity Network, which mobilized over 300 volunteers to act in solidarity with their immigrant neighbors.
As a member of the Metrowest Nonprofit Network Board of Directors, she serves on the Strategic Planning Committee and Program Committee. She is also a mentor for the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program.
“It has been a joy and privilege to work closely with the churches, pastors and committees of my region these last 20 months,” said Garrigan-Byerly. “In that time, I’ve gained an even deeper respect for the faithful ways our churches are adapting to how they embody the gospel in this time and place. The ACM Team is called to be agents of transformation, and we are being transformed right alongside our covenantal partners in the Associations and local churches of the SNEUCC. Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba provided us with excellent leadership as we formed. I am humbled and privileged to lead this amazing team of creative, passionate and wise people as we enter the next stage of our development. I am also very excited to work more closely with our Executive Conference Minister, Rev. Darrell Goodwin, and the entire senior leadership of the Conference; God has blessed us with gifted leaders!”
Rev. Garrigan-Byerly earned her Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School, and also holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Bloomsburg University in PA. Liz and her husband are raising their middle schooler in Framingham, where they are members of the Edwards Church.
Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane is the Storyteller for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, and a member of Tewksbury Congregational Church UCC.