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 2002. 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.
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!
Jessica Weaver Boose
Director of Christian Education
Jessica joined us as CE Director on December 1, 2021. She grew up in South Woodstock. While she was raised Catholic, she attended VBS at the Woodstock Covenant Church and youth group at the Hill Church (First Congregational Church of Woodstock). After graduating from Woodstock Academy, she attended Smith College in Northampton, MA. Shortly after graduation she met her husband David. They have two daughters.
Jessica and David lived on Cape Cod for 12 years. There they attended the Cape Cod Covenant Church and over the years Jessica ran the nursery, taught Sunday School for various ages, ran the summer Sunday School program, helped with a VBS program led by two churches, was a youth mentor, ran an annual lasagna dinner fundraiser, helped with yard sales and basket auctions, and was the official Christian Education Chair for many years. That was the beginning!
When the family moved off Cape, Jessica was hired to be a youth ministry coordinator for Wellesley Hills Congregational Church. During her time there she became certified in Faith Formation for Youth within the Southern New England UCC Conference. From the large church in Wellesley she moved to a small congregational church in Millis, MA. She was the Youth Minister in that church for three years, before moving back to Woodstock in order to be close to her parents (Kent and Mary Weaver) and for their youngest child to attend Woodstock Academy.
Jessica brings an abundance of knowledge, experience, and resources to the role of DCE. She is excited to join the amazing community of this congregation and to take a leap of faith with them, reimaging Christian Education in our ever changing world.
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.