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Staff

 

The Rev. David C. Mertz grew up Anaheim, California and Ridgewood, New Jersey as one of four children. After graduating from Carleton College in Northfield, MN with a degree in Economics he worked as a research assistant in a Washington D.C. law firm. He received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he met his future wife, Nancy J. Duff.

David’s first church was in Albert Lea, MN. After he and Nancy married they moved to Fort Worth, TX where he did a year of hospital chaplaincy in a Clinical Pastoral Education program. He then served three churches in the Fort Worth area before moving back to Princeton, NJ where Nancy joined the faculty at Princeton Seminary.

For 10 years David did fundraising for various not for profit institutions before returning to the ministry. Prior to being appointed to the Milltown church in 2008, he served the Rossmoor Community Church, Princeton United Methodist Church and Kingston UMC.

David’s wife Nancy is the Stephen Colwell Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary. They have two children: McKinley who graduated with a degree in Architecture from Miami University of Ohio, and Adam who is studying at Ohio Wesleyan University, just north of Columbus, OH.



Rev. Susan Iliff (Su) is currently appointed as Associate Pastor to FUMC and has been a member of FUMC's staff since September 2008.  Su's primary responsibilities include provision of pastoral care, coordination of the adult education program, Covenant Disciple groups, small group ministry, and support for FUMC's worship, mission, and outreach activities.  She embraces the joys and challenges of preaching, planning, and leading meaningful worship and participates in the music ministry including Sanctuary and Hand Bell choirs.  Previously Su focused on building and strengthening ministries with families and young children of the church and community.  Most of Su's education, in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, was completed at two of the midwest's Big 10 schools: Purdue University and the University of Michigan.  She received a M.Div degree from Drew University in Madison, NJ in May 2010.


Su has served in churches, formally and informally, for several decades, and prior to being commissioned as a provisional Deacon in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, she was a member at the Scotch Plains FUMC.  She has also completed several units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is currently appointed to serve in the Pastoral Care Department at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ.

Su is married, has a daughter MacKenzie and son Tristan, and her household includes a golden retriever, an American Bulldog cross and several tropical fish.  Mountain climbing, tennis, and biking are outdoor activities which Su enjoys (although she found it easier to find mountains to climb while previously living in the Pacific Northwest).  Su loves music and enjoys singing in church and community choral groups including The Starlite Chorale.



Jonathan Evers
was appointed organist during the spring of 2012. He is currently pursuing a degree in organ performance at the John J. Cali School of Music, studying primarily with Renee Anne Louprette (organist at Trinity Wall Street). Along with organ performance, Jonathan will be graduating with a degree in microtonal composition and is an active composer-improvisor. On the side, he also studies improvisation privately with jazz pianist, Connie Crothers. Over the years Jonathan has participated in master classes with such organists as Olivier Latry, Daniel Roth, David Briggs, Dame Gillian Weir, and Frederick Swann. Jonathan also enjoys other artsy hobbies such as drawing, painting, and writing poetry.





Marcee Rogers recently accepted the position of Children's Program Coordinator. Marcee spent several years attending FUMC and participating in the congregation before transferring her membership from the church of her youth - High Street UMC in Muncie, Indiana.  It was there that she was baptized and confirmed, and married to her husband Tim.  Many hours, days and years of her youth were spent developing her sense of faith while she participated in choir; helped with Sunday School classes, children's worship programs and Vacation Bible School; and traveled with the MYF attending summer church camp and mission trips.  Tim and Marcee reside in Westfield and have three children: Patrick (who has participated in RISE as a high school student); Emma (who has taken on her own volunteer tasks with FUMC including helping to coordinate the acolytes when she was in 6th grade); and Suzanna (who is a regular participant at Sunday School and other children's programs of the church).

Marcee completed her B.A. at Drew University in Madison, NJ with a major in Theatre and a minor in Arts Administration.  Her many jobs since then include working for a music school as the office manager and assistant to the Executive Director and then years later returning as a grant writer, managing a performance hall with four venues, a short stint as secretary for a small Methodist Church on an island in Puget Sound, a seasonal experience as a customer service representative for a catalogue company, and a temporary job delivering flowers.  She is currently employed part-time leading music classes and chapel programs at Calvary Nursery School & Childcare in Cranford and volunteers with the local Girl Scout council leading two troops and serving on the town service team.



Susan Granski is the Church Administrative Secretary. Susan is responsible for keeping the administrative engine of the church running smoothly.  She carries out all of the duties implicit in her title and many more.  Her voice is the first that most people hear when they contact FUMC.  Her graciousness is welcoming and her breadth of knowledge amazing.

Susan is the communication hub of FUMC bearing responsibility as she does for the weekly worship bulletin, the monthly newsletter, the bulletin boards, and last but not least, the annual report generated by the church.  She keeps the church calendar current, maintains the church membership data base, and produces and maintains the church membership directory.

In spite of her many other responsibilities, Susan is always there to help!  She designs and makes posters advertising internal church events, designs and makes name tags for meetings, and the list goes on.  Every committee in the church has benefited from her willingness and expertise!










Patty Fowler is the Director of the Wesley Hall School for Early Childhood.  Born in Kentucky and long involved in childhood education, Patty has held positions as teacher, assistant director, and director of schools in Virginia and New Jersey.

Educated at Virginia Tech in the fields of Communications and Family Counseling, she has experience in
day care, science enrichment classes, religious education classes, choral and instrumental music.

Patty has been involved with Wesley Hall since 1987, first as a parent, then as a substitute teacher, a Playcare teacher, and since 1990, as a lead teacher for the Elephant and Frog Pond four year old classes.  Her artistic and musical interests combine to offer children visual, oral and kinesthetic activities.  She, her husband, Glenn and daughter Stephanie, an alumna of Wesley Hall, are residents of Scotch Plains.

Patty is eager to continue and enhance the fine reputation of an outstanding school , "I am excited to meet this challenge by extending my talents, experience and professional services to those current and new families at Wesley Hall.  Our goal is to make a difference one student at a time, and I believe educating young children is a very important job."






Linda Newingham
is the Church Education Ministry Secretary. Linda supports many activities.  She assists volunteers in the Education program, answers questions, and records church school attendance and the offering.  In addition, she does the bookkeeping and orders materials for the curriculum.  

However, Linda's efforts are not limited to the Education Ministry and, in fact you can find her wherever there is a need.  Linda coordinates weekly newspaper releases.  She assists the Youth Ministry with RISE activities, the Music Ministry with its Worship, Music, and Arts Committee, and Community Outreach, specifically in preparing paperwork for various programs such as Homeless Hospitality.  Linda's influence is obviously extensive, reaching as it does some of the major ministries of our church.  The word "No" is just not in her vocabulary!




Joseph Guarraci
is the Church Maintenance Supervisor.  Joe is responsible for keeping the physical engine of the church running smoothly.  In fact, he is responsible for maintaining the health and safety of the 30,000 square feet that make up the church, the church grounds, Wesley Hall Nursery School, and two parsonages.  

With the knowledge associated with his N. J. Black Seal Boiler License he safely operates two- 500 horsepower boilers.  He inspects our buildings, roofs, and all other ground dwellings, carrying out repairs for smaller projects that include electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and masonry.  When large projects arise, Joe bids out, supervises and inspects all contractual work performed by outside contractors.  He also manages all part-time custodians and janitorial services and is our interface to the local Fire Department, the Town Inspector, and the Police Department. 

In line with keeping us safe, Joe makes sure that we conform to all health and safety standards including the uniform fire code and standards.  He maintains security for all dwellings including the Wesley Hall Nursery School, is on call 24 hours for our alarm systems, and is responsible for snow removal. He also keeps us beautiful, procuring all goods and landscaping services for the grounds as needed and efficient by maintaining records for coordination and scheduling of room setups for parties, meetings retreats, and all other outside functions. 

In spite of his heavy workload, Joe is always available to help solve problems. During our recent "Creation Weekend", he came up with the perfect way to display the congregation's artwork.  He even made a long, heavy duty extension cord to use for the greening of the church.  What would we ever do without him!