Rev. William Burhans began his ministry at First Congregational in September of 2015. He received his M.Div. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 2000 and spent 15 years as pastor of the Charlotte Congregational Church, UCC in Vermont. He is married to Tracy Vartenigian Burhans, an oil painter, and has 3 young adult daughters in various stages of launching into adulthood. Rev. Will loves to sing, play guitar and write music of a contemplative spiritual variety, self-producing a few albums over the years, and is known to break into song during sermons and prayers. He took up snowboarding in Vermont and has served for many years on the Stowe Mountain Chapel team, performing weddings, memorial services, and blessing ceremonies half-way down the mountain both on and off his snowboard. Raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, nurtured for a time by a Benedictine monastic community, and educated in a United Church of Christ seminary, Rev. Will explores, embraces, and teaches a Christian faith that seeks through sacred scripture God’s incredible and transformative truth for our lives, while resisting interpretations that narrow and limit the unconditional love and grace of God bestowed on Their precious beloved creation.
Ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Maeve Hammond began her journey to vocational ministry in 2018. As a student of English and Hispanic Studies at Davidson College, Maeve quickly became immersed in religious and interfaith life and found her way to the PCUSA. Maeve graduated with her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in May 2022. A few months later, she joined the beautiful, welcoming, and spiritually-rich community of First Congregational Church in Winchester as a pastor. Previously, Maeve had served as a Ministry Fellow at First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a hospital, university, grief, and small-group chaplain, and as a language educator. She is passionate about faith formation, spiritual care, social justice, and fellowship along the spectrums of age and identity. In her free time, Maeve loves to visit bookstores, chant Taizé songs, be in nature, and spend time with her loved ones, including cats.
Maggie Keeler has been serving the church since her family first began attending in 2013. With more than twenty years of experience as a science educator, Maggie has put her talents to good use at the church: teaching Stepping Stones, co-chairing the Children and Youth Faith Formation Ministry, and most recently joining the staff as the Interim Children’s Program Coordinator in 2021.
Maggie grew up in a small town in North Carolina, where she was raised in the Episcopal church. Having a church community was an important part of her childhood and continued to be something that she sought out in college and when she moved to the Boston area. She and her husband, Ben, and two children, Georgia and Nathan, are grateful to be a part of such a welcoming and spirit-filled community as FCCW.
Maggie has had a diverse career in science and education, which encompasses research in behavioral ecology and conservation biology, instruction at the middle and high school levels, and teacher mentoring in technology integration and life sciences. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College and an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Tufts University.
Maggie agrees with Louis Pasteur: “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings [us] nearer to God.”
Jane Ring Frank has been our talented Minister of Music and Worship Arts since 2003. From 1998-2003, Ms. Frank was Director of Chapel Music at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, where she worked extensively with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to that post, from 1991-1998, Ms. Frank was Director of Music at Boston’s Arlington Street Church, where she conducted a 65-voice volunteer chancel choir.
With degrees in conducting, as well as collaborative piano, Ms. Frank is a Resident Senior Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center of Brandeis University, Artistic Director of the 60-voice Concord Women’s Chorus and Artistic Director of Cantemus, a 40-voice chamber chorus located on Boston’s North Shore. From 1997-2009, Frank was the Artistic Director and Founder of Boston Secession, one of the city’s premiere professional choral ensembles. Critically acclaimed by the Boston Globe (“extraordinary chorus, notable for its beautiful balance, and musical surety…”), Ms. Frank conducted and produced two CDs which were outstandingly reviewed by the New York Times, Gramophone, and American Record Guide, along with other journals, magazines and blogs. For a number of years, she served as Conductor for E. C. Schirmer’s professional recording choral ensemble, Philovox, as well as a 10-year faculty member at Emerson College.
Ms. Frank is a frequent guest conductor, lecturer and pianist, touring Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Canada and the United States. She is also a respected Producer/Editor of CDs, working with some of Boston’s best professional artists and labels.
Jeffrey Mead has been delighting our ears at First Congregational Church since 2005. In his musical career, Jeffrey has been an organist, harpsichordist and pianist in churches, solo recitals, chamber music ensembles and orchestras. He has collaborated with ensembles in New England and abroad, most notably while serving as accompanist for the acclaimed Boston Cecilia chorus, as well as the New Hampshire Symphony and the Bad Reichenhall Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany). He currently serves as the keyboardist to the Cantemus Chamber Chorus, based in Hamilton, Massachusetts, and as the Treasurer of the Old West Organ Society. Jeffrey also holds the position of Vice President and Trust Officer with the Investment Management Group of Rockland Trust Company.
Jeffrey holds degrees in Organ Performance and Classical Civilization from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and a Master’s degree from Westminster Choir College, with further study at the New England Conservatory and the North German Organ Academy in Bremen, Germany.
Sarah has been with us since 2008. She started with a one page job description and it has gone up to three. She handles parts of the communications, administration, and bookkeeping.
Before joining us, Sarah has worked in coffee shops, restaurants, an animal hospital, and for the Green Party. She moved behind the scenes at Dick’s Sporting Goods where she barely knew what Excel was. She is self taught and has held administrative positions with the Green Party and a state government office right before she came to us.
Sarah lives with her husband Ryan, dog Jaxl Rose, and their ginormous cats: Winston, and Vader in Tewksbury. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, fishing, going to flea markets, singing show-tunes, and Jeopardy! Unfortunately for her husband Ryan, she has been known to sing and fish at the same time! In 2011, she was a crowds person in a community theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar with her twin sister. Sarah recently finished up a three month term as a Grand Juror for the Commonwealth. She has a vast knowledge of the criminal justice system including the frustrations that both sides of the law feel. She is an advocate for peace, refugees, and progressive causes.
Ed joined the staff in July 2018, having previous experience as the Church Administrator and Building Supervisor at both The Congregational Church of West Medford and First Church Somerville UCC, along with over twenty years of operating a Mechanical Engineering consulting business.
Ed grew up in Somerville and currently lives in Woburn with his wife Pia, who works with special needs children at the Cotting School in Lexington and adult children, son Alex, daughter Amanda, Shadow the dog and FJ the cat. In his spare time, Ed likes to garden, enjoys watching sports and enjoys the challenge of Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
Over the past ten years, Ed has been involved with a number of volunteer organizations. He is a past 9-year member of the Parental Advisory Board at Arlington Catholic High School, where he currently coaches varsity boys soccer; is a member and past Secretary of Mount Horeb Masonic Lodge in Woburn; past member and Chair of Trustees for the Woburn United Methodist Church where is a member and past 10-year Treasurer for the Dwelling Place Soup Kitchen which serves three nights a week from the United Methodist Church.
Bill joined the staff in March 2018, having previous experience as Assistant Property Manager for R&D Management for 17 years. Bill grew up in Everett and is currently a Stoneham resident, he lives with his wife Barbara who works at Tufts University as an Administrative Coordinator, along with his two dogs Bailey and Dice and cat Mable. In his spare-time he likes going to the gym with his grandson Billy. Bill has five grandchildren and one great grandchild. In the past he has coached Everett and Medford little league.