Typically, when a person joins a church, they’ve at least had a chance to visit that church in person. Not so in 2020! This year we were blessed to be joined by 23 new church members, many of whom were able to worship with us before the pandemic caused us to move online, but some who have only come to know our community remotely. Still, they come to Old South bringing talents, gifts and an enthusiasm for being a part of our church family that has “made a way out of no way”. We received our first group of new members in person last February, but the remaining new members joined via online worship, so many of you have not had a chance to meet them yet. As we begin 2021 we wanted to share again each new member’s photo and bio so that if you see them pop up in the comments during online worship, or at a church program, (and eventually, dear GOD, when we meet in person) you’ll know them a bit better.
Shayna Gleason is a New Jersey native, but comes more recently from Minnesota and Pittsburgh. She is a doctoral student in the Gerontology Program at UMass Boston, and does research on transportation for older people and "age-friendly community" initiatives. Shayna was sold on OSC when she asked Nancy whether she could be part of the climate change task force, and Nancy replied—"Which one? We have four."
Harry Hanson and Annie Hollingsworth moved to Boston in 2016 from Wayland MA where they lived for nearly 30 years and raised their family. Annie is involved as a director of her family's industrial manufacturing company based in Walpole MA and Harry is a lawyer in a boutique corporate law firm on Boylston Street in Boston. Annie and Harry are both involved with board work for environmental organizations. They have been happy and excited to both find a welcoming community and place of worship at Old South. Annie comes from a long Episcopal tradition. Harry was raised as a Presbyterian but has never been a member of a church before, and is looking forward to the adventure ahead.
Duy Nguyen is currently attending Boston College Law School. Prior to coming to law school, he worked as a legal assistant for a law firm in Atlanta before joining the Episcopal Service Corp in New York and worked as Ministry Assistant for Children and Outreach at Grace Church in Manhattan. Although he was not born in Georgia, he moved there from Vietnam with his family at the age of 12, and considers it his home state because it is where he spent most of life and it's where most of my family still lives. When not at school or working, Duy likes to work out, explore the city, try out new food, reading, and Netflix.
Carl Sciortino lives in the South End with husband Pem, and their two cats. He currently works at Fenway Health, and is a former State Representative. Carl is also on the board of the Old South Meeting House's stewarding organization, Revolutionary Spaces, which preserves OSC's historic home. He enjoys yoga gardening and cycling. Carl was raised Roman Catholic, and is grateful to have found such a welcoming new church home at Old South Church.
Esther Seguin grew up in Connecticut and moved to Boston after graduating from college in Chicago. She lives in the Back Bay with her husband and two college kids -- whenever they choose to be at home. Esther works in the information technology field and focuses on marketing cybersecurity products to multinational corporations. Esther enjoys hiking, cooking, reading and singing and is excited about being an active participant in the Old South community after a very long search for a place to call her spiritual home.
Matt and Ellen Simmons moved to Boston after graduating from LeMoyne College (Syracuse, NY) in 2008. They live in Charlestown with their 5 month old daughter Isabella and their 8 year old rescue pup, Chloe. Together they enjoy family hikes, going to the beach and running. Though they both grew up in the church, they have never joined a church as a family. They are looking forward to raising their daughter in Old South Church and connecting with the church community! (Matt is Financial Reporting Accountant at STAG Industrial, Inc., Ellen is Director of Development for Ronald McDonald House)
Katie and Dante Spurlock: Katie is from Sacramento, CA. Dante is originally from Honolulu, HI. She and Dante met in 6th grade, and moved to Boston in 2017 shortly after getting married. Katie works for SharkNinja - the people who make Shark vacuums and Ninja blenders--and leads the Food Science team there. Dante finished his JD at Boston University in May 2020. They enjoy trying local breweries and watching new movies with their two cats. Dante and Katie welcomed a new baby - Eva - on October 27th!
Beth Young is a long time resident of Natick Massachusetts but was born and raised in the south. A long time Presbyterian, the faith and hope that the Congregational Church has provided for her at Edwards Church in Framingham and now at Old South Church continues to inspire her belief that we are on this earth to love and care for each other in God's name. She hopes to work with the people at Old South to improve lives and create equal opportunities for all. Beth works long hours as a lawyer and loves to garden, raising both flowers and vegetables. The Handel and Haydn Symphony Orchestra, good restaurants all over the world, yoga and good movies and good books fill her spare time.
MaryKate Farber is the Manager of Stewardship and Administration at Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and a native of Upstate New York. She lives in the North End and is a regular participant in the Thursday evening Through the Bible Study.
Jody Mahr is from Newtonville and is retired from a career in banking and finance. She is so pleased to have found such a multi-dimensional church and faith community at Old South. Jody has spent the last 19 years at a small UCC church, and the number of worship options and small groups offered at Old South are a big and welcome change for her. Jody’s outside interests include gardening, woodworking, cycling and music.
Dawn Milstead and Laura Groppo-Milstead have lived in Boston for 3 years -- making this their last stop before retiring to their home on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Laura is a retired High School Assistant Principal from New Jersey. Dawn works for Commonwealth Care Alliance where she leads a team of clinicians coordinating care for individuals with the most significant health needs. In their spare time, Laura and Dawn love creating memories with their family and friends. They also enjoy the outdoors (hiking, golfing, tennis, fishing). Laura loves reading. Dawn loves Audible! They have a beautiful 14 year old rescue dog named Georgia, who they adore.
Carlos Aoun is from the country of Lebanon. Photographer by career, he recently finished his theology studies in Beruit, Lebanon and is looking foreward to becoming a member of the UCC. He loves reading, writing poetry, biking, swimming, and practicing yoga. Carlos comes from the Maronite Oriental Church tradition, and this is his first time joining a church remotely from outside his country. He’s very curious about how it will be!
Alana Baker was raised with her sister Sarah by her parents David and Joan in Riverton, CT. After high school at the Masters’ School she moved to Providence, RI to attend culinary school at Johnson and Wales University. Post-college brought her to Boston for ten years off and on. She found her passion of working in eyecare eight years ago, so returned to school at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and works as a licensed optician at the Boston Teachers Union. Cooking is still a passion, along with reading, writing, hiking, biking and yoga. Alana was raised in the church and now is returning by God’s amazing grace to walk and grow daily in Him with the fellowship of Old South Church. She re-committed her life to Christ over the summer and is looking forward to being baptized for the first time.
Danika Bayard is originally from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but moved to Boston from Miami, Florida. She speaks four languages, and is currently working on her fifth! Pre-Quarantine life, Danika cherished time spent with her friends and family. An avid sci-fi/fantasy fan, she also loves reading, going to the movies or to the theater (yes to all the musicals, please), cooking (and eating) dancing, trying new things and taking long walks around the Pond in JP. She has been coming to Old South services for about two years, but is so excited to affirm her membership (officially) in such a welcoming and affirming community. Cheers to the adventure ahead!
Maura Curran has moved around a lot in the last few years and is happy to be home in Massachusetts again! She had a church home in Delaware and since moving has loved attending virtual worship with Old South. She loves reading, and is getting into home cooking more these days.
Susan Pepin has enjoyed living in Boston since 2008 when she moved here from Bedford, MA. She was active in the Congregational church there, serving as a deacon, playing bells and working on church fellowship and fundraising events. She retired in 2012 after a full career in IT and management consulting for health and human services agencies across the US. Sue is currently active on non-profit boards including Boston by Foot, Caring Canines Boston and the UNH College of Health and Human Services. She enjoys travel, theater, reading, movies and cooking in her free time and is pleased to find a new place of worship to call home at Old South.
Clara Kim and John Mussman met in Cambridge and got married in 2018. They love singing, dancing, and reading. Clara grew up in Seoul and is a resident physician at Cambridge Health Alliance. John grew up in Chicago and is a science fiction novelist. They previously attended the University Church in Yale and Fourth Presbyterian Church (Chicago). They are excited to become members of Old South.
Madeline Sorenson is originally from Circle Pines, Minnesota but moved to Boston 5 years ago for college. She enjoys baking, fantasy novels, and spending time with her pet gerbils. She’s also a regular participant in the Thursday Through the Bible Study.
Welcome to Old South Church! We are so glad to have you!
Interested in becoming a member of Old South Church? Reach out to Rev. Katherine Schofield at email@example.com.