Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, Interim Pastor
Our Bridge Pastor The First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan has called Rev. Carol Howard Merritt to be its bridge pastor. Here is a little bit about her from her website:
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt is a minister whose writing, speaking, and teaching are anchored in theological wisdom and sociological insight. She’s a sought-after keynote speaker, especially on the topic of ministering in a new generation.
After being raised as a conservative Baptist and attending a fundamentalist Bible college, Carol studied at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas and became a Presbyterian (USA) minister. She’s known for serving growing Presbyterian (USA) churches, especially those with a deep commitment to serving the poor and disenfranchised.
A pastor for almost two decades, Carol has served Presbyterian (USA) churches in the swamps of Cajun Louisiana, a bayside village in Rhode Island, and an urban neighborhood of Washington, DC. This breadth and depth of practical experience informs her consultations with denominational governing bodies, seminaries, and local churches. Carol is an adjunct Faculty member at Dubuque Theological Seminary.
She is the award-winning author of Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation; Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation; and Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving
God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church, and a frequent contributor to books, websites, magazines, and journals. She is a regular writer at the “Christian Century” where her blog is hosted.
She was a founder and host of UNCO, an open-space “unconference” that attracts church leaders across denominations and generations, and she co-hosted the thought-provoking podcast, “God Complex Radio,” with Rev. Derrick Weston.
Carol is married to Rev. Brian Merritt. When not at a podium, pulpit, or an airport, Carol can be found with her daughter, Calla.
Direct line: 203.408.0822
Rev. Kathryn Kibbie Laird, Associate Pastor
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Rev. Kathryn Kibbie Laird attended college and graduate school in New England, and decided fall foliage and snow-covered stone walls felt like home. Rev. Laird graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in religion. She earned her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1997. For the past 15 years, she has served as an associate pastor for children, youth, and families in three churches: Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich, and First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan. Rev. Laird enjoys tennis, photography, and writing. She lives in New Canaan with her husband, Jim, and two children, Avery and Johnny.
203.966.0002 (ext. 5)
Ms. Shields is conservatory-trained with 25 years of experience as a church musician and organ recitalist, which ensures that our rich tradition of music excellence at FPCNC continues under her wonderful guidance. She has proven excellence in choral rehearsing and conducting techniques, virtuosic organ and piano skills, extensive experience working with children and youth choirs, knowledge of a wide range of sacred music styles and genres, and a history of building multi-faceted music programs for all ages. Victoria firmly believes in the ministry of sacred music and in the role of the church musician as a spiritual leader and educator. Ms. Shields came to us from the Washington D.C. area, and was thrilled to return home to the Northeast to be nearer her family.
203.966.0002 (ext. 3)
Ms. Tate is an inspirational music teacher of young children, as well as a talented vocal soloist with extensive credentials in church music, choral ensemble, and musical theater. As the director of the cherub choir for more than 20 years, Sherry helps the youngest in our musical family discover their singing voices, explore music basics with movement, and perform simple anthems and songs for worship.
Ms. Armand began working part time at First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan in September 1988. Her hours and job description have changed according to her children’s school schedule, and she now works full-time. Married to Art (for more than 30 years), together they have two children: Art (a special needs young adult) and Valerie, a nursery school teacher at First Presbyterian Nursery School.
203.966.0002 (ext. 1)
Direct Line: 203.680.8504
Ms. Hagan joined First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan in 2015 as a part-time administrative assistant working with our youth and young families, and now works extensively with our communications, including the website and database. Ms. Hagan is a 2001 graduate of Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre, dance production, and arts management. She is an active member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Ridgefield, CT, where she lives with her husband, Andrew, and their two boys.
203.966.0002 (ext. 6)