UPCOMING EVENTS // Christmas Eve Lessons & Carols
Dec. 24, 5:30 p.m.
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  • Pastoral Staff

    Andrew Foster Connors, Senior Pastor andrew@browndowntown.org

    Andrew is now in his ninth year as the senior pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church. He is passionate about leading a church with a commitment to welcoming all God’s children into the life of faith, particularly people who have been frustrated by the insular, exclusionary tendencies of church communities. Andrew is happy to be in a church that welcomes a prophetic witness from the pulpit to the streets. He has been married to his partner for life, Kate, for more than a decade. Kate and Andrew have two children, Anna and Aidan.

    Tim Hughes, Associate Pastor tim@browndowntown.org

    Although Tim grew up in North Carolina, he was born right here in Baltimore City. He says that moving back to town in January 2013 for his first ordained call to ministry felt like “Back To The Future.” After graduating from Davidson College, Tim spent a year doing urban ministry in West Philadelphia, and he’s been hooked on city living ever since! Tim has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University. He has worked with youth in settings ranging from church to high school to non-profits. He looks forward to helping creating a space where young people can experience spiritual formation and begin to see themselves as God’s hands and feet in the world. He’s very grateful to be ministering at a church with historic commitments to justice, inclusion, and creative worship.

    Photo of Tim Hughes

    Education

    Rachel Cunningham, Director of Children and Family Ministries rachel@browndowntown.org

    After longing for more purpose in her vocation Rachel is thrilled to have finally found her calling. She joined the staff in 2005 after eight years of membership in the church. “It is a true blessing,” Rachel says, “to be able to feel passionate about my work and to feel like I’m making a difference.” Rachel loves working in a community where people are not only valued but also nurtured. Plus, she has the best commute – just 2 blocks. In 2012, Rachel completed her Master’s degree in church ministry with a religious education focus at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary. Of Brown Memorial she says, “There’s no better place to be!”

    photo of Rachel Cunningham

    Martha Socolar, Tutoring Program Director

    Martha came to us in 2001 after working at the Maryland Historical Society and the Baltimore City Life Museums. There she realized how much she enjoyed working with school children who came to the museums on class trips. While pursuing a Masters degree in Elementary education, Martha met Sharon Winternitz, the then director of the Brown Memorial Tuturing Program. Martha signed up to be a volunteer and promptly fell in love with the program. Martha became the director after Sharon Witernitz retired in 2008. Martha is married to Serge Socolar. They have two teenage children, Madeleine and David.

    Coppie MacFarlane, Tutoring Program Assistant Director

    After more than 10 years of working in marketing, Coppie began to work with children at the Church of the Redeemer Parish Day School. Starting as a gym and substitute class teacher, Coppie became a resource teacher, teaching a science class and a reading readiness/ phonics class to the Kindergarten and pre-irst classes. She found she loved working with children and particularly with struggling readers. Coppie is an Independent Member of the Phono-Graphix Association of Reading Therapists (after completing course work at the Odyssey School in Baltimore) and has been trained in Orton-Gillingham by the Dyslexia Tutoring Program. Prior to taking the job as assistant director at the Brown Memorial Tutoring Program in 2008, Coppie worked as a private reading tutor and a substitute classroom teacher and volunteered for the Dyslexia Tutoring Program, St. Ignatius Loyola School and the Brown Memorial Tutoring Program. Coppie feels it is a privilege to be part of such a wonderful and important organization as Brown Memorial Tutoring and is grateful to be involved in something that brings so much joy to the children it serves and to the devoted tutors who make it all happen. Coppie lives in Roland Park with her husband, Ian, two dogs and a cat, and at various times, their three children.

    Maryann Povell, Tutoring Program Assistant Director

    Maryann Povell has been working in the field of education and learning disabilities for more than 30 years. She completed her Orton-Gillingham training in the late 1980’s working directly with Dr. Lucia Karnes in North Carolina. In the early 90s she moved to Baltimore and began a longstanding position at the Jemicy School first as language tutor and later moving to the Outreach Department as a master teacher. It was during this time that she became interested in working with public education and teacher training (and first began working with the tutors at Brown Memorial). Since the early 2000’s she has been working in various settings to bring effective research based instruction to “at-risk” students in Baltimore City. Along with her general Orton-Gillingham training, Maryann is a certified Project Read trainer and has received extensive training in Lindamood Bell and Wilson Language Systems. Maryann has two children.

    Tamara Crooms, Caregiver

    Tammy, as she’s known by most, joined the Nursery care team in 2006. Tammy enjoys working in the nursery because she “loves the children.” She “likes being able to help parents with their children while they are listening to the service.” She also appreciates that the worship service is typically close to an hour long.

    Tida Nelson, Caregiver

    Tida grew up at Brown Memorial with her brothers and sisters. She loves children of all ages and personalities. Her tenure as a caregiver at Brown Memorial began when she was a teenager and we are fortunate that she was able to rejoin the staff at the end of 2011.

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    Music

    Grace Maldarelli, Director of Handbells 545

    Grace has been singing with the Chancel Choir since the fall of 2010, and started ringing with the bell choir shortly there after when Lydia Beasley discovered her ringing experience. Grace grew up ringing handbells at Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church in Montgomery County, Maryland, for the most part under the direction of Ann Y. Schmidt. While in college, she rang with the University Baptist bell choir in Charles Village, under the direction of Ron Gretz. In the non-handbell world, Grace is a second year PhD student (fourth program year overall) in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She has also been known to bake cookies and play the hammered dulcimer on occasion.

    Michael Britt, Minister of Music

    MICHAEL BRITT, a Baltimore native, is thrilled and humbled to have been appointed Brown Memorial’s new Minister in June 2012. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, he comes to us from St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church in Bel Air, Maryland where, as Director of Music, he oversaw an extensive music program in a parish of 5,500 families. Before that, he served for 25 years as Minister of Music at Baltimore’s Shrine of the Little Flower. He also is Assistant Organist at Beth-El Congregation.
    In his career as a sacred musician, Michael has been active in commissioning new music for organ, choir and congregation. He was one of the founders of the Baltimore Archdiocesan Choir and served as Co-Director for four years. In May of 2009, Michael gave a recital on the great Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and studied organ at the Paris Conservatory with Marie-Louise Langlais. A frequent recitalist of classical organ literature, Michael is a well known performer of theatre organ music and is in demand throughout the country as a silent film accompanist. Michael is the Sub-Dean of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

    Robert Tracy, Director of Children's Music

    Rob has been involved with Brown since 2002. He is the tenor section leader, Director of Children’s Music Education, and he and serves as assistant conductor for the Chancel Choir. He also enjoys the comraderie of singing with Soulful Revue. Rob earned a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH, and a M. Ed. in Kodaly Music Education from Loyola University Maryland. He teaches vocal music and guitar at Lansdowne High School in Baltimore County. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Caroline, near Belvedere Square. Rob says, “Brown has been a great place for me to grow spiritually as a person and professionally as a musician. You will not meet a more accepting, caring group of people anywhere.”

    John Walker, Minister of Music Emeritus

    Dr. John Walker retired as Minister of Music at the end of 2011. Since age 13, when John was asked to substitute for the ailing church organist, John has felt his calling to the ministry of music. This path has led through several denominations and two synagogues and from California through New York. Feeling compelled to nurture another generation of church musicians, John presently teaches several excellent young organists at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Brown Memorial’s longtime commitment to the integrity of music in worship attracted John to this church. He is grateful to be honored as Minister of Music Emeritus and looks forward to continuing his faith journey as a part of Brown Memorial.

    Administration

    Rob Brown, Facilities Manager robb.cambria@gmail.com

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    Sharon Holley, Administrative Assistant sharon@browndowntown.org

    Sharon came to Brown in 1987 under then-pastor David Malone. A lot has changed since then but not Sharon. We can’t remember a time when Sharon wasn’t here cheerfully answering our phones and greeting visitors. If you want to know something about Brown, Sharon is the one to go to. Sharon enjoys her grandchildren, reading and watching old movies.

    Sharon Lucas, Financial Administrator slucas@browndowntown.org

    Sharon Lucas began her journey with the Brown Memorial staff in the summer of 2010. She and her husband, Dave, live just around the corner from the church with their two children, Jake and Julianna. Sharon is pleased to be working for an organization that is making a positive impact on the community. We are pleased that her hopes aligned with our church’s mission. In addition to the requisite skills, Sharon possesses the kind of integrity and respect for confidentiality that a church needs from someone in this position.

    Sharon Lucas

    Parish Associates

    Rev. Kate Foster Connors, Parish Associate

    Kate is Director of The Center, an urban mission partnership of The Presbytery of Baltimore. The Center works with local Presbyterian congregations to help them engage in their neighborhoods, and also hosts out of town church groups for urban mission trips. When she’s not working at The Center, Kate is probably at a soccer game for one of her two daughters, Anna and Aidan. She also enjoys running, hiking, and gardening. She is married to Andrew (yes, Andrew the pastor), and is an ordained Presbyterian minister. Kate previously served as Associate Pastor for Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN, and as Youth Pastor at Brown from 2005 to 2010.

    photo of Kate Foster Connors

    Rev. Dr. Christopher Leighton, Parish Associate

    Chris has been the Executive Director of the ICJS since its founding in 1986. He is married to Betsy Leighton who is the head of the lower school at the Park School in Baltimore. Chris and Betsy have three children, Ben, Hannah, and Sam. Chris, whose office was formerly located in the church house at Brown Memorial, says, “Brown is home away from home and extended family.”

    Rev. Dr. Ed Richardson, Parish Associate

    Ed Richardson currently serves as Chaplain for Springfield Hospital Center and is on the Faculty of The Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary’s Seminary and University. Ed is no stranger to many folks at Brown and has been participating with the Youth program of Brown since 1997. He has been involved in the Dakota Presbytery Partnership from the beginning of the project. Ed is renowned for his South Dakota astronomy skills and for his encounters with buffalo.