Interim Choir Director
Church Office Manager
Dir. of Christian Education
Play and Learn
Rev. Kristin Austew
I am originally from the Dallas/Fort Worth area and am the oldest of two daughters. From an early age, I have felt the importance of the Church in my life. My experience with Church prior to the age of 13 came through all of my grandparents. They took my sister and me to
Sunday services and Vacation Bible School as children. These experiences continue to shape me to this day. Following my parents’ divorce, it was no longer enough to simply attend with grandparents, and I began feeling a spiritual hole that could not be filled with anything else. I asked my dad if we could try out churches together, and we were fortunate to find (or be found by) the Presbyterian church in town.
About a year after this, my sister and I were baptized and confirmed together. As I began to understand the immense grace gifted to us through Christ’s love and life, I found both opportunity and responsibility in my community. Through my involvement at both the church and the presbytery level, I learned more about God's love and mystery. I also began to recognize a call to the health care setting, but did not understand what that call meant. I became heavily involved in my high school's Health Science Technology program and was able to do an internship as a nurse aide in a hospice house my senior year, with the thought that I was called to nursing. Continuing to be involved in my church's youth group and in activities at the
presbytery level, I also participated in a Youth in Mission trip with youth from other small churches throughout Grace Presbytery each summer. This is where I learned more about what it means to seek justice in a broken world. It was through these experiences that I began to discern a call to ministry. With the influence of all of these experiences I chose to attend Austin College in Sherman, Texas, a small liberal arts college affiliated with the PC (USA).
During my time at Austin College, I became very involved in the religious life of the campus, and graduated with a BA in Philosophy/Religion. I then began a Master of Divinity program at McCormick Theological Seminary, a seminary I chose due to its emphasis on social
justice and global ministry. I am grateful for what I learned and experienced during that year at McCormick. However it became clear around January that I needed to transfer to Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary for spiritual, financial, and familial reasons. I graduated from Austin Seminary in 2011, having completed a summer-long internship in urban ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth and another internship in camp and urban ministry at
Government Street Presbyterian Church of Mobile, Alabama. I began to clarify a call to chaplaincy during CPE residency at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2014, I was called to full time chaplaincy with Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, soon after the
end of my CPE residency and was ordained to that ministry. Later that year I became Parish Associate for Central Presbyterian Church, where I established a young adult group and program.
Throughout my journey of faith and discernment, God has continued to surprise and bless me. Each time I attempt to “narrow down my call,” I find that it simply expands to encompass more ministry opportunities. These opportunities have helped me live more deeply
into God’s call upon my life to minister to people in whatever shape, color, or location they might find themselves. I look forward to this new chapter in my ministry adventure and how God will surprise me next.
Dr. Bob Lowden (piano, organ and interim choir director)
Music became my real passion from the time I was a little boy. My mother claimed that I sang the song, “Now is the Hour” before I learned how to talk. I knew that when I started taking piano lessons at age 7 ½, that is what I wanted to do with my life as well as teach. Even as a child I was trying to teach my classmates how to play the piano. It always seemed that I lived and breathed music. Throughout my career, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have studied with top notch teachers in the Boston, Trenton, and Philadelphia areas.
I was always taught that it is better to give to others than to receive. To be able to glorify God and make a difference in people’s lives is so very rewarding. I receive back more than people realize. Music is such a wonderful form of expression, and one mentioned many times in the Bible, particularly in the book of Psalms. I receive such a blessing from the Almighty as I always tell people, Soli Deo Gloria-To God Be the Glory. It’s for Him that I serve.
I love performing and bringing to others a sense of gratification through music. The Lord wants me to witness through music-particularly performing, but it’s also wonderful to impart what I’ve learned to others via teaching. The older I get, the more passionate I’m becoming in my performing and my teaching.
I truly feel I was called to be a part of the ministry at First Presbyterian. I’ve served in a variety of churches since 1966, and have always felt that regardless of my other musical duties, God always comes first, as is reflected in my programs.
Don and his wife Dana first joined the congregation in 1998. He became actively involved in 2003 as a member of the Board of Trustees, which later became the Buildings & Grounds Team. Don was ordained as an Elder in 2006 and eventually served for 5 years as chair-person of Buildings & Grounds. Don is currently a member of Session and helps to oversee the financial affairs of the church including the development and management of the annual Budget.
Don was born and raised in the city of Trenton as part of a large Roman Catholic parish where his family was very active. He attended parochial schools in Trenton and earned a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Rider University. When he and his wife moved to Bordentown City they were looking for a smaller church close to home. They immediately found our church to be a comfortable welcoming place and are very happy having their two sons grow up here.
Sheri comes to us with 15 years of experience working in a Presbyterian Church office, and an additional 10 years of secretarial experience. She has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Hightstown since 2001 and is currently spending 25 hours of her work week in their office. At FPC Hightstown, she volunteers as the Kids Club Coordinator and has been teaching Sunday School for about 18 years. Sheri was previously employed by Princeton University at Firestone Library for 10 years before taking time off to care for her family. Sheri began working part-time to help out in the office at Hightstown during that time, and eventually took over as Office Manager when her predecessor retired. Sheri has been married to her high school sweetheart Mark for 28 years at their home in Hightstown where together they raised 5 beautiful children. They currently share their home with 2 cats and a small black dog (Jack Russell-Chihuahua) with a big chip on his shoulder.
When not working/volunteering at church, Sheri enjoys reading, crocheting, word puzzles and relaxing. Between the months of April and November, she and her husband are frequently found in Rio Grande NJ (right between Cape May and Wildwood) at the Beachcomber Camping Resort in their small trailer at the beach.
Dana grew up in the church, attending Sunday School, singing in children's choir, and participating as an active and enthusiastic member of Youth Group. Dana also served as a Youth Member of Session. These combined experiences prepared her well for her current position on the staff of the church. She worked with the Youth Group for the past 9 years, first as a helper and then as Youth Group Leader. In 2012 she assumed the role of Director of Christian Education, placing both areas, Christian education and Youth Group, under her leadership.
Dana attended Rider University majoring in Elementary Ed and Music, programs which enhanced the skills she uses in her work at the church. She has a gift for helping Sunday School kids and Youth Groupers find their place both inside and outside of the church.
Director/Teacher: Jennifer Cicero
Teachers: Raquel Parker
Play & Learn Board
Robert Joe Lee
Casey McEniry - Youth Representative
Clerk: Jane Erickson
Administration: Justin Clark
Building & Grounds: John Burke
Christian Education: Monica Seguin
Fellowship: Judie Martin
Mission and Outreach: Robert Joe Lee
Worship: Kathie Ackerman
President: Blake Bolinger
Vice President: John Burke
Treasurer: Don Ryba
Secretary: Jane Erickson
George Carmichael - Chief
Jane Erickson (Session Rep.)
© 2016 First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church of Bordentown
420 Farnsworth Ave.
Bordentown, NJ 08505