Staff

The Rev. Laura Everett

Executive Director

The Rev. Laura E. Everett serves at the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.  A graduate of Brown University, Laura received her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Ordained by the United Church of Christ, Laura is formed by many parts of the Church.  She is happiest exploring somewhere new, preferably by bike. A dedicated urbanist and bicycle evangelist, Rev. Laura is the author of “Holy Spokes: The Search for Urban Spirituality on Two Wheels.”  Committed to the renewal and thriving of vibrant Christian institutions, she serves as an advisor with Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School.  Laura is also the co-host of the podcast “Can These Bones” with Bill Lamar, from Faith & Leadership at Duke Divinity School. Laura aims for attraction not persuasion. A moderately competent seamstress, Laura loves working with her hands.

Rev. Laura can be found at www.RevEverett.com and on Twitter at @RevEverett.

The Rev. Meagan Manas

Director of Internal Relationships

Rev. Meagan Manas is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  A graduate of The Ohio State University with a BA in Hebrew and Union Seminary in the City of New York with a Master of Divinity, Meagan now makes her home in Somerville, MA.  In addition to her work at the Massachusetts Council of churches, she serves as the pastor of The Presbyterian Church in Clinton, located in Clinton Massachusetts. Meagan is energized by this multi-cultural congregation that has committed itself to welcome and joy.  Meagan is also pursuing a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  When she has free time, Meagan loves singing, hosting dinner parties, and hanging out with her husband and two cats.

Rev. Kenneth Young

Director of External Relationships

Rev. Kenneth Young earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology from American Baptist College, graduating with honors, in 2010. While in Nashville, he served as Overseer of Christian Education for the College Ministry of over 2,500 students at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Bishop Joseph Walker III, pastor. He also worked as a manager at Kroger where he was nominated for the Division’s President’s Award.

He has completed a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master’s Degree in Church History graduating with honors at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is a: Michael Haynes Scholar, Byington Scholar, member of the Theta Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, and served as president of the Black Student Association. He is honored to serve as Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Haverhill, MA.

Rev. Young believes that ministry needs to take root in desolate areas. He hopes to carry his ministry to impoverished regions helping in the areas of education and employment. Rev. Young is a native of Sylvester, GA. He is the middle of three children to Robert and Sue Young. Rev. Young is married to the love of his life, Adrianne D. Gladden-Young.

Working Board

Anthony J. Barsamian, Esq.

Managing Partner, Hutchings, Barsamian, Mandelcorn & Robinson, LLP. As the firm’s managing partner, Anthony concentrates on making sure all clients of the firm are properly served by both attorneys and staff. He has advised family-owned businesses in areas including business wealth transfer and generational business planning as well as asset protection estate planning and business succession for over 18 years. He has also advised on family estate and trust planning, representing many successful business owners and families in the region. Anthony also strategizes with litigation counsel on litigation issues that impact individuals and business. Recognizing that each client’s situation is unique, Anthony tailors his approach to the client’s needs, and involves specialists with the firm when the need arises to produce the best possible outcome.

Anthony has served on the boards of national non-profit organizations and has spoken on the topic of online dispute resolution throughout the US.

Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman

Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman serves as the Episcopal Chaplain and Campus Minister for the Episcopal and Anglican Community at BU. She also serves as a Spiritual Director through the Office of Spiritual Life at BU STH. Rev. Coleman recently served as rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Somerville from 2010 until October 2017. She was the first African-American woman installed as a rector in the history of The Episcopal Diocese of MA.

Prior to becoming rector/chaplain, she served as the priest-in-charge of Trinity Church, Randolph, and as an assistant priest at Christ Church in Needham. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she holds a B.A. in Art History and a masters and Doctor of Ministry degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. The title of her thesis was “Episcopal Female Clergy Leaders of African Heritage: Trailblazers and Colleagues”. She served two years as a seminarian at Trinity Church, Boston, and as a transitional deacon at St. James’s Church in Cambridge. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2004. Prior to her seminary studies, she worked as the assistant director of alumni relations and development at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and as a fund development consultant for Girl Scouts of the USA, NYC.

She currently serves on the Episcopal Diocese of MA Diocesan Council, is a member of the Diocesan Disciplinary Board, and is the diocesan clerical representative to the Provincial Synod of New England Episcopal dioceses

Leonardo Espinoza

Leonardo Espinosa. Musician, visual artist, and educator. He has worked in church settings for more than two decades as a musician, liturgist, teacher, and consultant on Worship and the Arts, and is a Licensed Minister with the American Baptist Churches of MA. Leonardo has served as an adjunct instructor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and currently works professionally in the field of Applied Linguistics. He is a violinist with the New England Philharmonic, and plays in other ensembles and orchestras in Boston.

MR. THATCHER FREEBORN

Thatcher L. Freeborn serves as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer, Specialty Lending, for Boston Private. He brings more than 14 years of experience in the financial industry, with a strong foundation in working with nonprofit organizations, giving him a deep understanding of the unique needs of the nonprofit segment.

Previously, Thatcher held the positions of Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer – Healthcare & Not for Profit as well as Vice President, Branch Manager at Century Bank, where he served as a trusted adviser to individuals, businesses and nonprofit institutions on a wide variety of banking concerns. He also led various retail banking groups at Century Bank, where he served as a trusted adviser to individuals, businesses and nonprofit institutions on a wide variety of banking concerns.

Thatcher is a graduate of Hamilton College where he studied Economics and was an All-NESCAC athlete.  He is currently a Ruling Elder at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Treasurer of The Vinton Street Hope Initiative, Inc., and Board member of the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program within the Presbytery of Boston.  He is a Past Moderator of the Presbytery of Boston, Past Chair of the Stewardship and Budget Committee of the Presbytery of Boston, and past Trustee for the Synod of the Northeast of the Presbyterian Church USA.  He is married to Erin Freeborn, M.Div. JD, Executive Director of Communities for Restorative Justice.  They reside in Melrose Massachusetts with their three daughters.

The Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris

Bishop Harris was consecrated in January 2003, and serves as a suffragan (assisting) bishop alongside the diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates.

She is the past vice chair of the Church Pension Fund Board of Trustees and has served on the Board of Directors of CREDO (a national resource program fostering Episcopal Church clergy leadership and wellness) and the Steering Committee of Bishops Working for a Just World.  She currently serves on the House of Bishops Pastoral Development Committee and the Board of Directors of the Episcopal Church Investment Group.  In the Diocese of Massachusetts she is vice president of Episcopal City Mission, and she is the past president of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.

A native of Cleveland, she was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 in the Diocese of Newark. Prior to her consecration, she served most recently as rector of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene Church in Rochester, N.Y., where she was also an adjunct professor at Colgate Rochester Divinity School.

REV. DR. BARBARA E. HEADLEY

Rev. Dr. Headly was called to be the Senior Pastor of Zion Community Baptist Church in August of 2015. She served for 17 years as the first African American and the first female Deputy Chaplain of the Connecticut State Senate and as the former Senior Pastor of Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, CT, the third oldest African American congregational church in the U.S. She was a founding partner and certified trainer with The John Maxwell Leadership Team, a national and international team of leadership trainers and coaches. She has worked as a leadership consultant, trainer, speaker and coach for community and faith-based organizations. She is also an adjunct professor of leadership in ministry at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, MA.
Rev. Headley served seven years as associate minister at Trinity Baptist Church, New York, where she was the founder and Dean of the Trinity Bible Institute. She served as Assistant Dean and Director of Degree Programs at Hartford Seminary, where she was also an adjunct professor and on the Board of Trustees. She was the host and teacher of the radio broadcast, “Sounds of Faith” in Hartford CT. She was also the founder and president of “Faith Community Initiatives”, a church based non-profit organization in Hartford, which was established to improve the quality of life of the residents of the North end of the city of Hartford, CT.

Dr. Headley was born in Brooklyn, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy from Ithaca College, her Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and her Doctor of Ministry degree with distinction from Hartford Seminary. She has a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Bay Path University and is a graduate fellow of Leadership Greater Hartford leadership program. Pastor Headley is an ordained American Baptist minister.

Rev. Jennie Barret Siegal

Jennie Barrett Siegal recently became the Senior Pastor of Old South Union Church after serving for six years as our Associate Pastor. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received her Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. Prior to serving at Old South Union Church, she completed her first two years of ordained ministry as a Pastoral Resident at Wellesley Congregational Church in Wellesley, MA. Jennie is originally from Rochester, NY, where she was born and raised. She grew up in a large United Methodist Church in Rochester, where she first experienced God’s call to the ministry. During the ordination process, however, she found her home in the United Church of Christ.

Jennie hasn’t yet discovered an area of ministry that she doesn’t enjoy. Her particular interests include preaching and worship leadership, Christian faith formation, and intergenerational fellowship and service opportunities. Jennie is eager to connect with church members and visitors to learn more about their stories and to discover how God is at work in their lives. She will gladly invite you to coffee or tea if you would like to chat!

Jennie has been active in the wider life of the United Church of Christ through the Pilgrim Association Church and Ministry Committee, the Commission for Evangelism and Congregational Vitality of the Massachusetts Conference, and the 2030 Clergy Network (a network of UCC clergy in their 20s and 30s).Jennie and her husband Jon have a dog named Vegas, who serves as the official office greeter at the church. Jennie enjoys reading both fiction and nonfiction, and she loves to cook. She and Vegas also enjoy their early-morning walks.

Rev. Dr. Demetrios Tonias, Ph.D

The Rev. Dr. Demetrios E. Tonias is the Dean of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England. Prior to entering seminary, Fr. Tonias was a professional engineer and member of the Adjunct Engineering Faculty of Union College in Schenectady, New York. He is the author of several works on civil engineering, including an award-winning textbook on Bridge Engineering. In 1996, Fr. Tonias left his career as a professional engineer to pursue Holy Orders in the Greek Orthodox Church. He attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA where he graduated with the degrees of Master of Divinity and Master of Theology. Fr. Tonias earned his Ph.D. in theology at Boston College where he specialized in Jewish-Christian relations with a focus on the Eastern Christian-Jewish dialogue in general and the early church Jewish-Christian relationship in particular. A book based on his dissertation, Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom, was published by Fortress Press in March 2014.

Fr. Tonias is involved in a variety of ecumenical and interfaith dialogues where he represents His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. He is the author of numerous theological articles and is an adjunct professor at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA.

REV. DR. JAY WILLIAM

Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Jay despises the snow and dreams of life in Wakanda. To wit, he is pretty much obsessed with “Black Panther”—as well as the 1980s cartoon series “The Thundercats.”

Rev. Dr. Jay Williams returned to Union United Methodist Church as lead pastor on July 1, 2018, having guided this congregation September 2012 – June 2017. An ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church, Jay has served congregations in New York City, Boston, and San Francisco, including Glide Memorial.

Rev. Williams holds a Master of Divinity with highest honors from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (2009) and the Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard College (2003). In May 2017, Jay received the Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Williams’s work explores the meaning of “Spirit” in black cultural discourse at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality: particularly how spirit-talk has been a marginalizing language of power. The dissertation, entitled “Unholy Ghosts in the Age of Spirit: Identity, Intersectionality, and the Theological Horizons of Black Progress,” develops a constructive theology of spirit that rethinks hope, courage, and vitality, premised on insights from W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Howard Thurman. Through his pastoral and academic work, Jay strives to help more disinherited folk find their voices.

Advisory Board

Member Denomination Representatives

Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian
Diocese of the Armenian Church in America (Eastern)

Rev. Joel Anderle
East Coast Conference, Evangelical Covenant Church Community Covenant Church

Rev. Dr. Jim Antal
Massachusetts Conference, The United Church of Christ

Rev. Kevin Baxter
Massachusetts New Church Union (Swedenborgian Church)

Rev. Dr. William Bergmann
The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts

Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson
The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Ms. Sarah Gant
New England Yearly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends

Rev. Gretchen Grimshaw
The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Rev. Jocelyn Hart
New England District, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Cindy Kohlmann
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Synod of the Northeast

Rev. Lloyd McKenzie, Presiding Elder
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Boston District

Rev. Mary day Miller
The American Baptist Churches in Massachusetts

Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson
New England Conference, The United Methodist Church

Mr. Robert Sarly
MCC Investment Committee

Rev. Dr. Mikel Satcher
The American Baptist Churches in Massachusetts

Rev. Chad Smith
New England District of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. John Stendahl
New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Pastor Joseph Wilson
New England Conference, The United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Thomas Wintle
Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Joe Zarro
Massachusetts Conference, the United Church of Christ

Friends and Non-Member Churches

Rev. Dr. Rodney Petersen
Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries

Fr. Samuel Hanna
Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of New York and New England

Ms. Marilyn Lariviere
Church Women United

Rev. Edward J. Healy
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River Ecumenical Officer

Dr. Vito Nicastro
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston; Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs,

Dr. Martin Pion
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield Ecumenical Officer, Elms College