Pastor/Fr. Nathaniel was born in Boston and grew up in North Easton, MA. He earned a BA in Philosophy from Luther College (Decorah, IA) in 2007 and a M.Div from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Columbia, SC) in 2011. His fondest memories of seminary include playing flag football for the Southern Seminary “Flying Dove” – facing off against other Lutheran and Episcopal seminaries in the annual “Luther Bowl” tournament.
Attending college in the Midwest and seminary in the South, Pastor Nathaniel had no idea where he would be assigned following ordination. He was very excited to find himself placed in the New England Synod and was called to serve Christ the King 4 years ago. In 2014 Pastor Nathaniel also become “Father” Nathaniel, beginning to serve the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Wilbraham as well.
Pastor Nathaniel is married to Carolyn Starz, a biology teacher at Longmeadow High School. The couple met after the first day of choir rehearsal Sophomore year. Nathaniel thought he was very clever, waiting to bring his tray to the dish room of the cafeteria until Carolyn did the same – “How do we keep running into each other?” You should know that Luther only has 2500 students – it’s not hard to run into someone.
Pastor Nathaniel and Carolyn live in Hampden with their 5 chickens. They enjoy what can only be described as “hipster suburban gardening,” running, cooking and discovering delicious new beers (IPAs are of particular interest for Pastor – brown ales for Carolyn).
At Christ the King-Epiphany Pastor Nathaniel loves preaching, teaching and walking with God’s people in this life of discipleship. He’s often at the Village Store on Wednesday mornings – stop by and have a cup of coffee and get to know him. He’d love that, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan grew up and down the Northeast as a child going to five different elementary schools in six years before attending middle and high school in Villanova, PA. Heading to college to pursue a B.A. in History brought Dan back to New England where he attended the University of Hartford. His strong desire to be a middle school Social Studies teacher next led Dan to UMASS Amherst where he completed student his teaching at Amherst Middle School. The next 10 years were spent as a 7th grade Social Studies teacher in North Andover, MA. Along the way Dan received his M.Ed in Secondary Education and a Certificate of Advanced Gradate Studies in Educational Administration.
Dan then spent six years as a school administrator in the North Andover, Quaboag Regional and Wilbraham schools districts. In 2013, Dan took a break from public education and joined the team at Van Pool Transportation serving as the Director of Administration and Policy. But after two years the “lure of the classroom” brought Dan back to teaching at Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Blake Middle School.
Dan has been happily married to his wife Karen, a special educator at Ludlow High School, for 13 years. The couple has two wonderful children, Sydney (9) and Declan (7) who attend school in the family’s hometown of Wilbraham. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Elissa became our Parish Administrator in 2016 after Fran Selva retired from the position, having faithfully (in both senses) kept everything running smoothly for 17 years. Elissa manages the church calendar, publishes the weekly emails, monthly newsletters, and Facebook posts, updates the website, assembles worship bulletins, and handles many other tasks that help us communicate with each other and the larger community. She also publishes a paper for animal lovers called Happy Valley Animals and has a menagerie at home. She is the one who greets you in the office and on the phone at 413-596-3045. Her in-office hours: Monday, 10-5 and Thursday, 10-5. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Mabrey, Minister of Music for Christ the King and Church of the Epiphany, began studying piano at the age of four. In addition, he took up French horn in Junior High after playing trumpet and euphonium throughout grade school. In high school, he joined the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s youth symphony and also Worcester’s youth orchestra in addition to statewide music festivals and competitions. During Benjamin’s senior year of high school, he went to Italy on an orchestra tour playing at numerous historical venues (including special performances at St. Peter’s in the Vatican).
Benjamin went to Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania where he majored in Music Therapy and Music Education – while also doubling in piano and French horn. During this time, he performed in numerous chamber ensembles, orchestras, concert bands, and choirs (as an instrumentalist, accompanist and also a singer). Performances included Washington National Cathedral, the Kennedy Center, and the Harrisburg Forum.
After college, Benjamin became the Music Director at the Church of the Epiphany in Wilbraham and served there for several years as organist, choir director, and junior bell choir director. Outside of church, Benjamin worked with adolescents with autism in a music therapy setting and served as accompanist and music director for several local theater groups including Wilbraham United Players, Exit 7 Theater, and Cheney Hall in Manchester. Relocating to Pensacola Florida for a couple years, Benjamin was the Director of Music for Pensacola Little Theater. Upon returning to Massachusetts, Benjamin immediately continued his work with the therapy and local theater groups and, once again, was hired by Church of the Epiphany in partnership with Christ the King.
Benjamin lives in Ware with his partner, Brian, and three-year-old Olivia. His favorite hobbies include cooking, traveling, studying/collecting wine, and watching classic films on Turner Classics. He can be reached at email@example.com.