The Rev. Will McGarvey became the pastor at CPC on July 1st, 2004. Will grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and married his wife Becky in 1990. They are fortunate to be the parents of Ian and Megan, 21 and 19 respectively. Becky’s life work is as a Health Insurance professional at a brokerage office in the North Bay. Will received his Bachelor’s degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City with a Social Sciences Composite major and a minor in Religion. After a few years in the print shop business and retail management, he heard God’s call to ministry through youth ministry. He spent five and a half years doing youth ministry in American Baptist (ABC) and Presbyterian – PC (USA) Churches before enrolling in San Francisco Theological Seminary, where he completed his Masters of Divinity.
Will is a progressive pastor within the Presbyterian Church (USA) who has a heart for sharing Christ’s gospel of grace, while connecting the message of the prophets with Christ’s message of social and environmental justice. God’s love and acceptance is offered to everyone, regardless of racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, or social-economic status; and Christ’s Church is called to mirror that invitation. Will leads the church through the scriptures in a way that both challenges and comforts, connecting the historical world of the Bible with the needs and challenges of the present. He encourages all in their journey with Jesus Christ through life’s pains and joys. Christ’s call is both gracious and demanding. Will is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Pacific School of Religionin Berkeley, where he leads one of the Field Education Seminars where Ministers in Training consider their models for their future ministry.
Will serves on the Board of the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations, which is a ministry of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at PSR. Will serves on the Board of the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, a community center for the LGBTQ community which offers social services such as a youth group and counseling services. Will also serves on the National Board of the More Light Presbyterians, a network of people seeking the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Pastor Will has a heart for pastoral care and community involvement. He recognizes the many stresses on East County families, while working with local leaders through CCISCO and the CROP Hunger Walk to seek the realization of the community’s needs. Recognizing God’s continuing call to young people, Will has worked with the fantastic team of adults who walk with the young people – our Middle and High School youth. Community Presbyterian Church is a church becoming – a community emerging into whom God is calling us to be. Come join us on the journey!
Will serves part-time as the Interim Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. He is helping the Executive Board in a re-visioning process as they plan the future of their important work of the Social Justice Alliance, Rev. Dr. Charles Tinsley’s chaplaincy at the Juvenile Detention Facility, the Singing Messengers, and a new Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative.
Will shares some of his personal musings on a blog at http://willymac4.com in which you are welcome to participate. Feel free to read and respond to his irreverent thoughts on the church, the christian life, and our loves. There is a “Comment” link underneath each entry where you can respond and share what you think.
Dr. Karen Hastings-Flegel, M.Div. is our Director of Music – Organist. Karen did her doctoral work in Sacred Music at Stanford University. She is also a graduate of Pacific School of Religion with an M.Div. and an Masters in Biblical Languages. She has served churches throughout the Bay Area in music ministries, and is one of our Youth Leaders at ECSM. Karen also leads our Handbell Choir – truly a talented Minister of Music and more.
Here is where we are most proud of our Director of Music – Organist: Dr. Karen Hastings-Flegel served on the national committee to prepare the new Presbyterian Hymnal, “Glory to God”, which is already in production and will be ready to ship in the fall of 2013. This is an historic volume with more than three years in production. Much has changed in the world of religious music in the past 20 years since the last hymnal was published – the one we currently use. The committee looked at over 10,000 musical submissions in creating this new edition. It will reflect the contemporary diversity of our churches as well as containing some of our old favorites. Many thanks to Dr. Karen for her many contributions to this important work on behalf of the whole church and the church universal.
Elaine has been a member of First Congregational Church since 1979 and has been Music Director since 2008. Growing up immersed in the sounds of southern gospel combined with classical voice and piano training as an adult, Elaine developed a lifelong love and appreciation of music. When visiting the church, you may find yourself humming, tapping or even clapping along to familiar favorites, or enjoying a classical or more contemporary tune. Her love of music is contagious. Elaine is semi-retired, a part-time free-lance writer and full-time grandmother.
Michael Miller joined the CPC staff in the Summer of 2007 to lead our Alternative Worship Team, which prompts the congregation in multi-cultural song and creativity on the fourth Sunday of each month. He lives in Berkeley with his wife Kathryn and has two grown children. Michael is formerly the Music Director at Northminster Presbyterian Church in El Cerrito. He continues to serve on the Presbytery’s Building the Beloved Community Task Force – helping sessions and congregations become inclusive bodies.
Jessica Natal is the Office Manager for both churches. She is fluent in both English and Spanish, and can give tours of the church for those interested in renting the Chapel or Social Hall. Jessica keeps the church going with bulletins, newsletters, calendars. The office hours have been updated to Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.