Leadership

Now there are a variety of gifts,
but the same Spirit.
— 1 Corinthians 12:4

Our Ministers:

The Rev. Lynne M. Dolan, Senior Minister

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Rev. Lynne Dolan Preaching at First Church, Shrewsbury, MAThe Reverend Lynne M. Dolan attended Wesley Theological Seminary where she graduated in 1993 Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree. In seminary she served as a student minister for four years at People’s Congregational Church, UCC in Washington, DC where she was ordained in 1994. In addition, Lynne received a fellowship from the Fund for Theological Education where she spent a year studying urban ministry and serving a small congregation in St. Paul, Minnesota. After completing her unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Washington Hospital Center, she continued to serve as an on-call chaplain for three years.

Rev. Dolan has previously served as Associate Minister in three churches in Springfield and Wilbraham, Massachusetts and Glastonbury, Connecticut. She has a passion for helping the church discern its mission and empowering parishioners to name and claim their gifts for ministry. She loves worship and brings her creative energy to this endeavor. Lynne brings a love for youth ministry and a fervent desire to connect the urban and suburban churches in mutual ministry. Lynne has served in many capacities beyond the local church. She has been an active member of several Committees on Ministry, an on-call chaplain at Baystate Medical Center, a member of the board of directors for the Springfield chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Colony Homes in Worcester, MA. She will begin a term on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ in June 2016.

Lynne grew up in North Andover, MA and received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA in 1986. Soon after graduation she answered the call to ministry. She is the single mom of two amazingly, wonderful young adult children, Audrey and Bruce. Lynne loves to sing, knit, explore the trails of Central Massachusetts and spend time with her dog Brash. Lynne’s second great love is the Boston Red Sox!

The Rev. Robert Henry Hyde, Minister of Congregational Life

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Rev. Robert Hyde preaching at First Church, Shrewsbury, MAThe Reverend Robert Henry Hyde attended seminary at Andover Newton Theological School, where he graduated at the top of his class with a Master of Divinity degree. He also has obtained an Advanced Master of Theology degree from Boston College, which allowed him to focus his studies on biblical languages and Scripture. His field education was spent at First Church Somerville, United Church of Christ, a vibrant and growing progressive church in the Boston area. In the summer 2015, he attended a fellowship in Europe called the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), where he examined ethical issues surrounding the church during the rise of Nazi Germany and used these examples as a springboard for studying contemporary ethical dilemmas facing the church today.

The First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury is Robert’s first called position in the United Church of Christ. As a child, he was baptized and raised in the American Baptist Church. After falling away from the church during his young adult years, he reentered the fold through his home church, the First Church of Christ on Park Square, UCC, in Pittsfield, MA, where he discerned his calling to attend seminary. Over the years, he has been an active member of the UCC, serving on various boards and ministries at his local church and the Berkshire Association. Additionally, he has attended several Mass. Conference Annual Meetings and UCC General Synods.

Robert grew up in the rolling hills of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. He is married to his amazing wife, Catherine, and has been blessed with a beautiful baby girl and boy, Penelope and Ezra. He is a veteran of the Second Iraq War, during which he served in the United States Air Force. Robert loves to travel, is an avid backpacker, devout Red Sox fan, passionate about social justice, and looks forward to answering God’s call into the ministry with the members of the First Congregational Church as the Minister of Congregational Life!

Jeffrey Cutts, Interim Minister of Music

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Jeffrey Cutts has spent the last several years in music ministry, working as an organist, choirmaster, liturgist, and singer in the UCC, Episcopal, and Lutheran traditions. After spending three years as the minister of music at Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Jeffrey accepted the call to serve the music ministry at his home parish of South Church in Andover, MA, where he has spent the past year directing three choirs, a handbell ensemble, and the Pentecostal Pickers folk music ensemble. Prior to his work as a full-time music minister, he also worked as a parish section leader and substitute organist. Cutts holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Arts from Vanderbilt University, where he studied organ with Carl Smith and voice with Amy Jarman. He also holds a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College, where he received the Renackar Scholarship for Sacred Music, studying conducting with James Jordan, Joe Miller, and Ryan Brandau and liturgy with Steve Pilkington.

Jeffrey is a native of Andover, MA, which he is happy to again call home. When he isn’t playing the organ or directing choirs, Jeffrey is also a professional choral and solo singer. A self-proclaimed musical omnivore, he loves listening to, talking about, or performing just about any kind of music imaginable. When he is not making music, Jeffrey is an avid cook and homebrewer.

Leo Biocchi, Director of Christian Education

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Leo attended Westfield State University where he studied Sociology and music. After earning his Bachelors degree in Sociology in the spring of 2016, Leo immediately began working as an ABA Therapist, providing treatment and teaching to children, from infants through adulthood. Leo has worked in public and private schools, treatment centers and in the child’s home. He is certified in Early Intervention Care and has developed and led social skills groups and activities for preteens and teenagers with Autism, OCD and mood disorders.  During his time as a therapist, Leo also began working as a Preschool Teacher to receive valuable experience in the education realm and to widen his work with children to other diverse populations.

Leo was very active in his hometown Church, UCC Church of Groton, MA, where he grew up as a child. During his confirmation, he had the blessing of being able to write and preach his own sermons to the congregation.  In High School, he served alongside his music director, while an active student, as their primary accompanist and Assistant Music Teacher for both chorus and chamber chorus. 

Leo lives in Worcester, MA and in addition to serving as FCC’s Director of Christian Education, he is a strong advocate for domestic violence victims, with a particular focus on children who have experienced severe trauma and sexual abuse growing up. He will be beginning a role as a Court Appointed Special Advocate at the beginning of 2018.  Leo loves the Netflix show Stranger Things, yearns to travel more often and is really a kid at heart. He believes in and trusts kids and will always stand up and fight for them when it counts most.

 

Our Staff

Marianne Brodrick, Office Administrator
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Lauren Morse, Finance Administrator
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Brian Scott, Sexton
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