Rev. Alison VanBuskirk Philip – Senior Pastor
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Pastor Alison believes relationships are the heart of ministry. Christians know God to be a Trinity, a being of relationship. As people made in God’s image, we mirror that. The spiritual journey is one of coming to know we’re loved, understanding that God loves each other person, and living into that reality through action in the world. Prior to getting her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, Pastor Alison worked in New York City for interfaith and ecumenical non-profits. Along the way, she has received training in coaching and spiritual direction. Her writing has been published in multiple books and magazines. She and her husband Sajan have two children, Eve and Rose. They enjoy gardening, cooking, and board games.
Kylie Wofford Haskins – Youth and Communications Coordinator
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Kylie grew up in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with degrees in Psychology and Religion (Go Gators!). She met her husband, Kenneth, at the Methodist campus ministry at UF. They were married in July of 2016 and moved to Jersey City shortly afterward so Kenneth could pursue his comedy dreams in New York. Kylie has been working in ministry since 2012 and swears she has the greatest job in the world (which is true). She loves coffee, Harry Potter, Disney, and most of all Jesus.
Jonathan Evers – Music Director
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Jonathan Evers is the Director of Music at the First United Methodist Church of Westfield and an active freelance keyboardist. He studied Organ Performance at Montclair State University, under the mentorship of Renée Anne Louprette and Vincent Carr. Along with organ performance, he spent two years studying alternative tuning systems and microtonal composition with the late Dean Drummond. Mr. Evers has performed in masterclasses for some of the great organists of our time, such as Olivier Latry, Daniel Roth, David Briggs, Dame Gillian Weir, Judith Hancock, including summer studies with Hans Ola-Ericsson at Mcgill University. He has been awarded with first prize in the NJMEA’s Young Composer’s Competition, and second prize in the NJ American Guild of Organists competition.
Along side his classical studies, Jonathan has spent much time working with artists from the local jazz, R&B, and gospel scenes. He regularly tours and records with artists from the tri-state area.
Marcee Rogers – Children’s Program Coordinator
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Marcee Rogers uses her wide variety of skills and experiences to design fellowship and faith development programs to meet the needs of children and families in our congregation and community. While she is a midwestern girl at heart, having been born in Michigan and growing up in Indiana, Marcee has been living in New Jersey since going to college at Drew University where she earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a minor in Arts Administration. She met her husband, Tim, while working for a performing arts venue in Newark. They married in September of 1993 and have three wonderful children: Patrick, Emma and Suzanna.
In addition to working with FUMC, Marcee is a preschool teacher at Calvary Nursery School and Childcare Center in Cranford and an avid volunteer with Girl Scouts. She is a life long Methodist with a very diverse ecumenical background, having family members from a wide variety of Christian traditions. This experience has driven home an understanding that God loves all in spite of our failings and weaknesses and inspires her to demonstrate God’s love to each person she encounters. Traveling, theatre, music, cooking and reading are some of the ways that she likes to spend her free time – when she has it.
Melissa Romelli – Director of Wesley Hall
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Melissa Romelli – Director of Wesley Hall
Jane Bowman – Church Administrative Assistant
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Jane grew up in Berkeley Heights, NJ and graduated Gettysburg College with BA in Sociology. She and her sister co-own a home in Westfield and have lived there for the past 23 years. Jane previously worked in the Communication Department at Drew University and while she worked there she earned a Master of Arts in Ministry from the Drew Theological School. Jane grew up in the Lutheran church and is very active in her congregation, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ.