Pastor Jeff has served the Parsippany UMC since 1989. He is fascinated and awed by the stories that have shaped peoples’ lives, and by the power of simple acts of kindness. Jeff was born in Mississippi but was raised in Summit, New Jersey. He has a BA from Earlham College (1977) and an MDiv from Yale Divinity School (1982) where he received the Mersick Prize for Excellence in Preaching. Jeff is married to Sarah and together they have three grown children: Andrew, Kate and Bobby. Jeff enjoys his daily walks in the woods, blessed by the marvelous beauty of trees. He also plays banjo and harmonica, enjoys playing softball in an over 50 league, and rooting for his son Bobby in college soccer games. Jeff has written twelve full length plays, all of which have been produced in our church with casts composed of church members ranging in age from four to eighty-five. The dramas employ imaginative story lines that move audiences to both laugh and cry as they experience anew the wonder of God’s grace. Jeff takes a particular pleasure in taking people with little or no experience in theater, conjuring parts uniquely suited for them, and then guiding them through the communal experience of creating something beautiful to the glory of God.
Barbara has been the Director of Music at our church since 1980. In this capacity she plays the organ and piano for services, directs the choir and the bell choir with extraordinary devotion to her members, and organizes concerts. On occasion she gives solos. In the past Barb helped direct “Heart and Soul Productions” which performed concerts to raise money for various causes, as well as to bring pleasure to senior citizen groups around New Jersey. In her spare time, Barb loves reading, crocheting, spending time with her friends and rooting for the New York Mets! A graduate of Centenary College with a degree in secretarial science (1979), Barb has worked for the past 38 years for the company that was first known as Bell Labs in Whippany. Presently she works for General Dynamics in Florham Park as a member of the Quality organization.
Bob is a certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church. In this capacity he fills in for Pastor Jeff when he is away on vacation and organizes a Laity Sunday worship service each year in October. Bob also provides pulpit supply for other United Methodist Churches in the Skylands District of the New Jersey Conference. Bob grew up in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh, PA (Go Steelers!) and 44 years ago married Connie, his high school sweetheart. He is a graduate of California State University and worked for a time as a radio DJ in Florida and Pittsburgh. Bob worked in New York for the Standard and Poors division of McGraw-Hill before retiring in 1996. Bob is very active with the Kiwanis Club, the Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Company, the New Jersey Sharing Network, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Planning Board of the Township of Parsippany. Bob and Connie have two grown sons, Jonathan and Michael. Bob’s favorite verse is: “Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Steve was born in Providence, Rhode Island before moving with his family to Livingston, New Jersey when he was five years old. Steve was nurtured in the Swedish CovenantChurch. Steve’s love of the outdoors which was a big part of what led him to become an Eagle Scout. A graduate the Newark College of Engineering (now NJIT) Steve and his wife June – an artist – have lived in East Hanover for twenty years. They have one grown daughter, Kristen. Steve made a career in the business of large commercial and manufacturing property, mainly in the Highly Protected Risk arena. Steve’s love affair with the outdoors has continued throughout his life and particularly enjoys kayaking with June. He delights in learning about the nature world as well as about human history. “If you pay attention,” says Steve “you will feel God’s grace in your interactions with other people and other living things on this Earth.” Steve is a frequent substitute teacher who enjoys working with all ages of children and youth. He enjoys music, fishing, golf, and cooking.