Pastor John Wesley Taylor
Reverend Elizabeth Kubota, Music Minister and Deacon
Rev. Elizabeth Kubota has been music director at First United Methodist Church since 1996. After completing her Master of Sacred Music and Master of Divinity degrees in 2004 at Boston University, she was ordained a permanent Deacon in the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 2012 she was nominated Chair of the Order of Deacon in the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church which includes the responsibilities of serving on the conference ordination board and including/ministering to Diaconal Ministers, Deaconesses and Home Missioners of the conference in the Order of Deacon. Other responsibilities include arranging for retreats of the order. In March of 2013 a deacon formation retreat was held at St. Scholastica Priory in Petersham, MA. Rev. Anita Wood, GBHEM national Deacon, Nashville, TN, led this retreat.
Cynthia Hamburger, Handbell Director
Since founding the handbell ministry at First UMC in 1984, Cynthia has blessed our worship through her leadership with handbell choirs for all ages and levels of experience.
She currently leads handbell groups at First UMC for experienced adult ringers as well as two youth ensembles for students in fourth grade and up. Cynthia also offers short-term opportunities for children in Sunday School, women (on Valentine's Day), and men (for Mother's Day). The handbell programs are most widely known for their annual Christmas concert, held for the community in early December each year.
Her handbell ministry has extended beyond First UMC, as Cynthia held the position of Massachusetts State Chair of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers for 6 years. She served on the organizing committee for the Massachusetts Youth Spring Ring for 13 years, 9 of them as chair.
Cynthia teaches music at the elementary school level in the Westborough Public Schools has taught piano privately for several years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Music Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, West Virginia.
Cynthia is a 30-year member of First UMC and has two adult children, Jim and Laura.
For questions on participation in the music program please contact Cynthia Hamburger at email@example.com.
Stephanie Shepardson, Director of Christian Education
First UMC is blessed to have Stephanie serving with us as our Director of Christian Education. In this role, she is responsible for leading an outstanding Sunday School program and confirmation program at First UMC, with the help of many loving, committed teachers and parents.
A native of Springfield, MA, Stephanie graduated from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio, with a degree in Religious Studies, and recently completed her Masters of Arts in Religious Education at Andover Newton Theological School.
Stephanie joins First UMC with prior experience as a Director of Christian Education, working with children and youth. She has also served as a student minister, and as a counselor at a religious camp.
For questions on participation in the Sunday School or other children/youth activities, please contact Stephanie Stephanie Shepardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gina Downing, Operations Manager
Gina Downing, Operations Manager, brings over 14 years of experience as a church staff member and active volunteer within the NE Conference. Gina worked as a program coordinator for the Carter Memorial UMC in Needham, providing support and leadership to 5 ministries (Technology, Welcoming, Missions, Children and Youth) within the church. Prior to that, she attended FUMC Hudson where she taught Sunday School, assisted in youth programming and served as editor for the church newsletter. Over the past year, she has been attending FUMC Westborough and has helped teach in our Sunday school program. Gina and her husband Jim have 4 children- 2 in college and 2 at home- and reside in Hudson, MA.