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!

Curtis Smith, Director of Music

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Curtis Smith began studying piano at a young age. His interest in the pipe organ began as an undergraduate piano major at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Since then he has played many pipe organs of varying sizes and shapes, each with their own sound and personality. Curtis is enjoying getting to know the Casavant organ at First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury with it’s wonderfully prominent bass and sonorous overtones.

Curtis received his Master’s of Music degree in piano performance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He received his vocal training at the Pädagogische Hochschule in Freiburg, Germany and at the International Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary. As a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, Curtis also enjoys teaching people about sensory motor integration.

 

 

 

 

 

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 began training in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the staple treatment for individuals with Autism. Since then, he has worked with multiple private insurance-based ABA providers in the Greater-Worcester area and MetroWest Boston area as a Behavioral Therapist to children from infancy through adolescence. He works closely with behavior analysts to implement functional behavioral assessments (FBA) to diagnosis and treat Autism and is trained in Early Intervention (EI) to spot early signs in babies. Leo has led social groups, ADL skills training and music therapy groups for children with and without mental health struggles.

Leo was very active in his hometown Church, UCC Church of Groton, MA, where he grew up as a child. During his confirmation, he preached sermons during worship service that he wrote while studying the Bible. He was the lead singer of a rock band in High School that performed in clubs in Boston, MA. During college, Leo worked as the Pianist for Orchard Covenant Church, an evangelical congregational church in Indian Orchard, MA. In the summer months, he was employed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) at Tanglewood Music Center, where he led backstage security, managed public participation and served directly under the Director of Artists Services in Andris Nelson’s inaugural season as the Ray and Maria Stata Music Director.

Leo lives in the Shrewsbury area and in addition to serving as FCC’s Director of Christian Education, he is also the Children’s Ministries Director at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Framingham. Leo loves the Netflix show Stranger Things, yearns to travel more often and is really a kid at heart. He believes kids today need a champion in their lives – God – more than ever before and he works to ultimately strengthen a kids confidence in themeslves and love what makes them different.

Our Staff

Ellen Jones, Office Administrator
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Lauren Morse, Finance Administrator
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Brian Scott, Sexton
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