Dr. Michael Kelly has been our music director since May 2005. He has many years of experience, not only as a music director, organist, and choirmaster in several large churches but also as a performer and professor. In addition to serving as our Music Director, Michael is the pianist for the Portland Symphonic Choir and is an active vocal coach and accompanist. Michael performed at Lincoln Center in New York City as winner of the 1982 Bach Society Competition. He has taught piano and music theory at the Manhattan School of Music, the Brooklyn College of CUNY, and the University of Puget Sound. He earned a Master's degree in piano at the Julliard School and a Doctorate in piano at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. We are thankful for Michael's dynamic ability that reaches across style and genre.
Grant Edwards has been organist of First Congregational since June 1995, on occasion of the 100th anniversary service of the landmark building. He holds a BA in Organ from Lewis & Clark College. Grant has also studied at the Ludwig-Maxmillians-Universitat in Munich and as a Deutsche-UNESCO scholar in Weimar, East Germany. An organ builder as well, he has been a craftsman at Bond Organ Builders since 1993. Grant installed his first self-designed organ at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. In collaboration with Bond, he also constructed the organ in our sanctuary, incorporating mechanical portions of the original 1951 instrument as well as an ornate 1877 organ case. He is currently completing a large-scale choral work based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and has created and performed several original compositions for our worship services. Grant has performed for three National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society. In 2003, he recorded an eclectic album, Musical Feast, (ProOrgano CD7181) at St. Stephen's Episcopal, Seattle. Active in the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Grant is currently that organization's Sub-Dean and chair of the Program Committee.
Steve Eggers joins our staff after having worked for many years in East Africa, training people affected by HIV in sustainable farming and nutrition. He enjoys singing and playing guitar in a local bluegrass band.
TEEN MINISTRY COORDINATOR
Annie joins us after graduating from Western Oregon University in June of 2017 and moving to Portland in July of the same year. During her teenager years, Annie was highly involved in the youth and teen programs at the UCC congregation in Eugene, and she is so excited to bring that continued energy into her work with the youth group at UCC Portland. Some of Annie's greatest joys in life involve supporting those are around her, recognizing their accomplishments, and celebrating them in the process. Annie is eager to support and encourage the youth at UCC Portland, and to help bolster a youth program that is already filled with hope and care. Outside of her work with UCC Portland, Annie supports college student living in the Residence Halls and supervises a staff of 11 Resident Assistants at PSU as a Residence Director with University Housing and Residence Life.
CHILD CARE PROVIDER
I am delighted to join the community at First Congregational United Church of Christ, and I can’t wait to get to know all of you and - of course - your children! I moved to Portland four years ago from Cleveland, Ohio; where I spent five magical years as a nanny to three children. My last four years have been spent both in administration and in the classroom at ChildRoots, where I've built wonderful relationships with families, children, and teachers. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, painting, singing, and snuggling my sweet dog, Rooney.
Leah is joining the UCC staff after working as a community newspaper journalist in Seattle. She was born in Texas, grew up in India and moved to Portland when she was 13 years old. Leah considers herself a storyteller, writer, journalist, creative, empathizing romantic, pessimistic realist, ISFP, Enneagram type 2 and much more.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-946-1041.