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First Congregational Church of Chappaqua

CHURCH GOVERNANCE

fcc organizational chart

We manage and run our Church through the Boards of Worship and Faith Formation and Trustees, as well as the Stewardship Committee and our Play Care Advisory Board. Everyone serves and gives their gifts of time and talent to ensure that the worshipful work of our Church continues. Generosity beyond belief!

congregation

All are called to serve and so we serve FCC and the wider world together. The Congregation at its Annual Meeting approves the budget, any changes to the by-laws, and votes to call the Senior Minister. Through the work of the Boards and Committees, the Congregation has input into all aspects of our Church life.

church council / moderator

The Church Council, which is composed of members who have been elected by the Congregation, has overall responsibility and authority to set and enforce church policy. Members include the Moderator, Officers and the Chairpersons, or their assigned representative, of each Board and Committee.

What is a Moderator? Our Church Moderator is responsible for chairing the Annual Meeting and the Church Council Meetings, working with the various Boards and Committees as needed, and working closely with the Senior Minister on issues that may arise that need attention. The moderator also convenes the Nominations Committee and creates the slate of Church Officers for the Annual Meeting.

If any of the Church Committees or Boards “speak” to you, please let the Moderator know. We welcome and want all members and friends to help us run our Church.

Trustees

Responsible for all financial and property concerns of the Church.

Board of Faith Formation

Creates a framework for helping the Church to learn more about their faith and to grow in that faith. The BFF oversees:

 

Christian Education 

Responsible for educating all generations of our Church.

Fellowship

Responsible for the care and feeding of our Congregation at events and supporting the work of the BFF and Stewardship.

Mission & Outreach Committee

Responsible for connecting our faith with “work” in the community and wider world. Also responsible for deciding on which Benevolences we will contribute each year.

Board of Worship

Creates a framework for helping the Church to grow spiritually in worship and other events that will grow our faith. The BOW oversees:

 

Compassionate Ministry Team

This team works with and under the supervision of the Senior Minister, providing pastoral care to members and friends of FCC. They have been trained and are available to visit and provide comfort, prayer, scripture reading and other needs that arise for our congregants who are unable to attend church or who are hospitalized.

Deacons

Provide for the spiritual nourishing of our Congregation.

Lay Leaders from the congregation participate in the worship service by being Ushers and Liturgists.

Communion Teams help to set up, serve and clean up after communion.

Membership and Mentoring

Works with the Senior Minister on ways to recruit new members and retain members.

Music

Works with our Minister of Music to provide music for worship and other events of the Church.

Stewardship Committee

Works to ensure that as a Congregation we utilize our time, talents and resources to serve our Church and the wider world.

If you include the church in your will, your generosity and spirit will live on. Please contact the church for more information.

Thank you for remembering our church.

Personnel Committee

Oversees all employment issues and reports to the Trustees.

Play Care Advisory Board

A member of FCC chairs the Play Care Advisory Board.

Check out the Play Care website for more information about Play Care.

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people gathered for outdoor worship
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keith robellard playing organ for church service

keith robellard

Keith has served as the Director of Music at FCC for over 30 years. In 2014, at a luncheon celebrating his 25 years at FCC he was officially given the title of Minister of Music. He was educated at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory; Keith has worked for the Manhattan School of Music, where he was director of chamber music; the First Reformed Episcopal Church, both in New York City; accompanist-choir director at Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester; and served on the faculty of Rippowam Cisqua School. He was dean of the Westchester AGO Chapter from 1997-1998.

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jonathan riedel with sunday school children in front of black lives matter sign

Jonathan Riedel

Jonathan Riedel, our Director of Christian Education, has been a member of FCC Chappaqua since 2018. A life-long student of Judeo/Christian traditions, he also studies Buddhist philosophy, world religions, yoga, meditation, Kung Fu, and considers the Arts and creative expression as integral to his spiritual beliefs, practices, and teaching.  

While undertaking his work with our children, Jonathan discerned a call to ordained ministry. He is currently under care of FCC and the Hudson Mohawk Association of the New York Conference of the UCC. He is enrolled at the New York School of Ministry. 

He began his professional career as a dancer with the Limón Dance Company (limon.org) in NYC, touring and performing throughout the US, Europe and South America. He then began his own company, Riedel Dance Theater (riedeldancetheater.org) that he helmed to critical acclaim for over ten years.  Jonathan has been on the faculties of The Boston Conservatory, Brown University, Pace University, and currently, his alma mater, Purchase College (BFA 2001, MFA 2011).  He has been a guest teacher at the Juilliard School, LABAN (UK), Good Moves Dance Consort (Atlanta, GA) and the Steffi Nossen School (White Plains, NY.)  An artist of many media, Jonathan also leads the industrial rock band, Rubber Skulls (rubberskulls.com). He creates original, punk-inspired hats and jackets under the brand, Righteous Stitch (righteousstitch.org). He is currently working on a series of fantasy children’s books and also refurbishes used stuffed animals with hand-made unicorn horns for his side project, Horns-A-Plenty (find them on FB!).  He is a proud son, brother, husband, father of two, and resident of Pleasantville, NY. 

Jonathan’s Sunday School classes explore prayers, songs, and stories from the Bible and what they might mean. He hopes to inspire in his students spiritual curiosity, self-awareness, inter-religious tolerance, and a life-long appreciation for God, love, and all things divine. He does so through his weekly youth messages, age-appropriate Q&A sessions, outreach and charity initiatives, art and crafting projects, and creating original plays with the class.  He loves his job, his students and the entire FCC community. If you have any questions about the Christian Education program at FCC, feel free to contact Jonathan.

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wedding ceremony reverend martha with bride and groom
reverend martha with confirmation class

the Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

Martha has been our pastor since April of 2014. She came to FCC after a 20+ year career as a professional chaplain. Martha graduated from New York Theological Seminary with her doctorate in 2005. Her book, A Clergy Guide to End of Life Issues, has been a must-read for seminary students, clergy and lay people. She continues to teach and lead workshops both nationally and internationally on end-of-life issues.  For several years, she blogged about end of life issues for The Huffington Post. Martha believes that the greatest gift we can give to our loved ones is letting them know what our wishes are as we near the end of our lives.

Martha was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, the youngest of 4 children. She was raised Jewish, and converted to Christianity when she was 17, having been exposed to Jesus when a friend asked her to sing some solos at his church. She learned about a different kind of God than she had been exposed to growing up. She learned about a God who was inside of her. And, she learned about Jesus, who she uses as her role model, mentor and rabbi. 

Martha loved being a chaplain. However, after more than 20 years of being present with patients and families as they dealt with some of the most difficult times of their lives, she realized that God was calling her to serve in a church. Her greatest concern, when discerning her call to become our pastor, was that she would not being able to come up with a sermon every Sunday. But, so far, more than 8 years after accepting the call to FCC, Martha has had a meaningful message for us each Sunday. She relates it to what is happening in our world and in our lives and tries to give us some respite from the difficulties of our world. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t talk about the difficulties we face, but she tries to put them into perspective and brings God into the conversation around how we live our lives and how we function in our world and how we treat each other. Because FCC members and friends span the spectrum of political and social activists, she preaches about the issues, and how Jesus expects us to handle them and not the politics that can often divide people. 

Martha has a healing and loving and accepting spirit. She has helped us to accept that we are human and make mistakes and that God does forgive us for the things we don’t necessarily do that are in the best interests of ourselves or others. She has also opened our hearts and hands and minds to help us to not just tolerate people who are different from us, but to actually welcome and embrace them for all that they are. 

Martha has been with her spouse, Pat Yost, for more than 40 years. While Pat did not expect to be married to a minister (they met when they were both in the theatre), she has become an important part of our church in her own right. She pitches in and helps us, as does Martha, when we have our Barn Sale, Tag Sale and other church events. They are both hands-on, and have helped us celebrate all that we are. 

Truly, Martha embodies – no matter who you are or where you are on your life journey – you are welcome to FCC.