Meet the Staff
The Rev. Dr. Sue Foster
Pastor Sue grew up in Connecticut and has been active in the United Church of Christ since childhood. She has fond memories of learning about God and being with friends through Sunday School, youth choir, and youth group. After graduating from Allegheny College with a B.A. in German, she spent several years living in Germany experimenting with a variety of career options including being a teacher, tour guide, nurse’s aide, and export manager in a glass manufacturing company.
After discerning God’s call into ministry, Pastor Sue attended Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. She graduated magna cum laude in 1987 and was called as the pastor of the East Woodstock Congregational Church in the fall of that year. Since that time she has engaged in numerous continuing educational courses and events. Her particular areas of interest include helping others explore their personal relationship with God, approaching God through many forms of prayer, worshiping God through music, and interfaith dialogue.
Pastor Sue completed her Doctor of Ministry studies at Hartford Seminary in December 2014. She studied theologies of hospitality and how to live out the welcoming and inclusive love of God. The title of her dissertation was “A Theology of Hospitality: Discovering who is missing and inviting them in.” The purpose was to be aware of who might be missing from worship and from our church community and discover creative ways to reach out to them.
Pastor Sue has served on many wider church as well as community groups. Currently she is serving as the chair of the Spiritual Care Advisory Committee at Day Kimball Hospital, chaplain to the Muddy Brook Fire Department, and a mentor/facilitator of a “community of practice” group, supporting new clergy.
Sue is also an experienced retreat leader, offering retreats on a variety of topics. Pastor Sue often leads retreats to encourage people to take time to nurture their spirit and reconnect with God’s love. She is currently working on a book of planned retreats as a resource to other spiritual leaders.
You can read Sue’s reflections on discovering God in our everyday lives on her blog: www.fosteringyourfaith.wordpress.com
Pastor Sue and her husband Roger Solomon are the parents of three adult children. They live in Woodstock and enjoy kayaking, gardening, traveling, and being outside.
East Woodstock Congregational Church has always been a part of Heidi’s life. She visited as a child with her grandparents, Dot & Einar Hansen, was married to her husband Dennis here in 1982, and later became a member and for a time, a Sunday School teacher. A graduate from Smith College with a degree in Elementary Education, Heidi has been the Administrative Assistant of the church since February 2012. Heidi and Dennis own and operate Brunarhans, which specializes in beautiful hand-crafted cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms. They have four grown children (all of whom went through Sunday School and Confirmation here). When not busy with her two jobs, Heidi loves to read and sew. She enjoys cruising on South Charlton Reservoir in Charlton, MA on their pontoon boat with friends.
Music Director and Adult Choir Director
Nancy grew up in a musical family and started formal piano lessons at the age of 5. She attended Hartt College of Music where she majored in Music Education with an emphasis in Special Education. As an accompanist, she has worked at The Bradley Playhouse, The Little Theater, Woodstock Academy, Marianapolis Preparatory School, Nichols College and many other schools in the area, and has accompanied private voice lessons at the University of Connecticut. In addition to her fabulous work at the East Woodstock Congregational Church, she is currently an accompanist/piano teacher at the Pomfret School and has a growing private piano studio.
Bell Choir Director
Andy started playing handbells in the fourth grade at the Christ Church Episcopal in Avon CT and continued throughout high school and college. He graduated from Plymouth State College (now University) with a degree in music and psychology. Andy and his wife Taryn have two children in our Sunday School and Youth Ministries programs. Andy and his son enjoy hiking and camping with the Boy Scouts.
Co-Director of Youth Ministries
Anne became a member of the East Woodstock Congregational Church shortly after moving to Woodstock in 1998. She felt immediately at home in our church and knew she wanted to be an active member of the congregation. She served as the Christian Education Director from 2002-2007. During that time, she completed the ACE program, Associates in Christian Education, at Hartford Seminary.
After her time as CE Director, Anne started volunteering with combined Senior Youth Group of the EWCC and our sister church, the First Congregational Church. She did this for many years enjoying the time with her two high school aged sons and their friends. Currently, she is the Co-Director of Youth Ministries with Kate Murdock from the First Congregational Church. She has served in this position since 2014. Anne’s hobbies include photography, cooking, gardening, and keeping up on the latest trends in social media. All skills helpful when working with the Senior Youth Group!
Co-Director of Youth Ministries
Kate grew up in Woodstock and has been an active church member her whole life. She has been a youth leader and church school teacher, and is excited to be serving now as co-director of youth ministries, along with Anne Sorensen and the youth from the First Congregational Church of Woodstock.
Kate is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she majored in Human Development & Family Studies, concentrating in Early Childhood Development & Education. She works as an Infant & Toddler Teacher for Early Head Start. She lives in Thompson with her husband John and daughter Emma. In her free time she enjoys running, jewelry making, cooking and reading.
Co-Director of Christian Education
Sherry has been the Co-Director of Christian Education since 2015. She has been a member of EWCC since 2009. Sherry is originally from North Dakota and lived in a number of places before settling in Woodstock CT. Sherry has a Bachelors of Science in Education, a Minor in Business Management from University of Minnesota – Moorhead, and a Master in Business Management from St. Mary’s University in Bismarck, ND. Sherry is employed full-time as a Business Initiative Consultant, by Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS), an affiliated company of Zurich North America, based out of Minneapolis. Sherry and her three children live in Woodstock CT.
Co-Director of Christian Education
Dawn has been a Woodstock resident since 1999 and has worked as a substitute teacher in the Woodstock Public School System since 2007. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Eastern Connecticut State University, majoring in English, with a minor in Psychology. She is the proud of Kaleb, age 14 and Mary, age 12, and Corey, age 9. (Ok, she’s a Doberman, but fur babies still count, in Dawn’s book!)
Dawn and her children began attending EWCC in the Fall of 2013, and Dawn became an official member in November of 2014.
In the past, she helped co-establish the Woodstock Mom’s Club, in 2005, and has been a PTO volunteer since 2007, including two years as its co-president. Dawn is active in Scouting and enjoys reading, going on adventures with her kids, family and friends, and most importantly, humor!