Church Staff List

Pastoral Staff
Nancy Lynn head shot

Rev. Nancy Lynn (she/her)
Senior Pastor
Contact Nancy Lynn

Nancy grew up in a family with deep United Methodist roots, but like a lot of people, she drifted away from church as a young adult. When she felt God nudging her to come back, she spent a lot of time visiting and learning about other denominations. That is when Nancy chose United Methodism because she loves the emphasis on growing in faith and serving others. Before following her call to ordained ministry, she taught high school English, English as a Second Language in Switzerland, and Composition at a local community college. Nancy also stayed home with her child until they started school. She first came to FUMC as the associate pastor in 2010 and was appointed lead pastor in 2018. Nancy loves this congregation and feels grateful every day to serve a church that is so vital, healthy, and joy-filled! More than anything, she believes the church should be a place of hope – hope for today and hope for the future – for all of God’s people. Nancy’s passions in ministry include preaching, teaching, community-building, and social justice. She has one college-aged child, Emmett, three cats and a dog named Turtle.

Nancy Lynn head shot

Rev. Shonagh Taruza (she/her)
Deacon of Social Justice and Community Relations; Assistant Pastor
Contact Shonagh Taruza

Shonagh joined FUMC staff in July 2020. Prior to that she worked as a hospital chaplain. Shonagh oversees all FUMC’s social justice and outreach ministries, and also actively works to build new relationships with organizations and individuals in our greater community. Shonagh also serves as the Assistant Pastor and supports the Senior Pastor in caring for the congregation and leading worship. Contact Shonagh if you have any questions about FUMC’s social justice ministries, or about the church in general. In her spare time Shonagh spends all her spare time in the summer outdoors in her garden, but also has an indoor jungle she loves to care for. When the weather forces her indoors, she loves to paint (oil on canvas), read (non-fiction), crochet, knit, or just play with her pets.

Nancy Lynn head shot

Rev. Tim Kobler (he/him)
Chaplain of Wesley Foundation Campus Ministries
Contact Tim Kobler

Tim has been serving as the Chaplain of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan for two years. He felt God’s call early on in his undergraduate studies, with a desire to serve in higher education and campus ministry. He has served in collegiate ministry for 18 years, including as the Director and Chaplain of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from 2008-2018 and the Chaplain at Emory & Henry College from 2002-2008. Tim received a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1991 and graduated in 1988 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a degree in Music Education with a vocal emphasis. He is a native of Marion, Illinois. His many hobbies include an avid love of music, weightlifting, hiking, cooking, and travel. Tim has also been a beekeeper for more than 20 years.

Program Staff
Adult Education
Debbie Houghton photo

Debbie Houghton (she/her)
Director of Adult Faith Formation and Adult Small Group Ministry
Contact Debbie Houghton

Debbie has been the Director of Adult Faith Formation since January 2012, and is a self-confessed Disciple Bible Study junkie! She loves to search out and lead different curriculums for developing spiritual formation; contact her if you are looking for sessions to either begin or continue your own journey! She has completed the Upper Room’s Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation (2018-2020), which has spurred her to create opportunities of spiritual exploration for others. Reading, traveling, and spending time with her family are favorite activities in her free time. Debbie has been married to Bill for over 30 years, has two amazing sons and a daughter-in-law, and has been a member of FUMC for over 30 years.

Amy Kennedy head shot

Amy Kennedy (she/her)
Minister of Congregational Care
Contact Amy Kennedy

Amy oversees FUMC programs that allow opportunities for us to care for one another. She points folks who are navigating difficult times to helpful resources, both inside and outside our congregation. When circumstances allow, Amy makes in-person visits to listen, to pray and to deliver prayer shawls. She is currently an intern in spiritual companionship at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House. Amy hosts our midweek Rise & Shine worship on Wednesday mornings. Contact her if you have questions about how you can help others or if you need help yourself. In her spare time, Amy loves poetry, walks in the woods, riding bikes and playing tennis.  

Youth Education
Wendy Everett head shot

Wendy Everett (she/her)
Director of Youth Ministries
Contact Wendy Everett

Wendy has been a member of FUMC since 1993 and a staff member since 2000. A lifelong Michigan resident and graduate of Michigan Technological University, she enjoys the energy of youth and creating an environment where they have fun, experience community, and grow in faith. When she isn’t catering to her fur kids, Naomi, Shadow and Sweet Pea, she might be found playing board or online games with her extended family, rubber stamping greeting cards, reading a book from the library, or off on a mission trip to Zeba, Kenya, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, or Colombia. Contact Wendy if you have questions about youth group, Sol Cafe, Confirmation, SoulFull, Zeba, the Wesley Quadrilateral, or maybe even church history…she’s a cradle United Methodist and the longest-employed staff member.

Other Program Staff
Debbie Houghton photo

Jessica Allison (she/her)
Director of Communications
Contact Jessica Allison

Jessica has been the Director of Communications since 2020. In her role, she directs and coordinates messaging both within the church community and with the external community. Contact Jessica if you have questions about FUMC’s communications or website. Prior to her position at FUMC, she worked in nonprofit communications for eight years. Jessica is a graduate of Michigan State University. She and her husband, Peter, have two daughters and a Boston Terrier.

Beth Pascoe

Carole DeHart (she/her)
Director of Worship Development
Contact Carole DeHart

Carole is the Director of Worship Development and Interim Director of Handbell Choirs. She assists the clergy in planning for worship series, provides pulpit and preaching relief, chairs the Worship Planning & Design team, coordinates planning for lay worship services, leads installations of visual displays in the worship space, and acts as staff liaison with the usher teams. Currently Carole is directing both of the handbell choirs.
 
Please contact Carole if you have an interest in reading in worship, creating scripture videos for our online services or have an interest in handbells.
 
Carole been a member at FUMC since 1978. She and her husband, Peter, were married in the FUMC sanctuary, raised their daughters in the church and feel blessed to serve the congregation.
Nancy Lynn head shot

Bryan Ijames (he/him)
Interim Director of Chancel Choir
Contact Bryan Ijames

Bryan Ijames joined the staff in 2021. He is responsible for directing the Chancel Choir. Contact Bryan if you have any questions about the Chancel Choir. Bryan, a native of NC, taught secondary choral music education for six years in Florida. Five years of which at Park Vista Community High School as the Director of Choral Activities. This fall, Ijames begins his second year of doctoral studies at the University of Michigan. In June 2020, he completed a Master of Music Education degree at Mississippi State University after completing a Master of Music degree: Choral Conducting at Eastern Kentucky University in 2014. Ijames holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree: Music from High Point University, 2012. In High Point, he was the Artistic Director of the Genesis Gospel Choir. Outside of teaching, Ijames was the Associate Conductor of The Ebony Chorale of the Palm Beaches and was a singing member of Expressivo, a semi-professional choral ensemble. He has performed as a tenor soloist many times with collegiate and community orchestras and has held church positions as either conductor or singer since 2009. Ijames is an active member of ACDA, NANM, NAfME.

 

Portrait of Naki at the piano

Naki Sung Kripfgans (she/her)
Minister of Music: Organist and Director of Music and Media
Contact Naki Sung Kripfgans

Hailed by Diapason magazine for her virtuosity and musicality, international concert organist/collaborative pianist, competition winner, competition judge and recording artist, Dr. Naki Sung Kripfgans has concertized regionally and internationally, including Japan, Germany, Russia, and South Korea. Naki received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Liturgical, Church, and Synagogue Music and a master’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Northern Iowa. During her studies, Naki received numerous scholarships and awards in piano and organ performance. She won the 2015 UM Life Science Orchestra Concerto Competition to perform Poulenc’s Organ Concerto at Hill Auditorium in 2016. As a virtuoso improviser, she also won 2012 the Robert Glasgow Award for Organ Improvisation Competition at the University of Michigan, and served as one of the judges for the 2019 competition. Naki is the resident organist at First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor since 2002, and a staff collaborative pianist at the University of Michigan since 2012. She has been teaching chamber music classes at the University of Michigan Residential College since 2018.

Beth Pascoe

Beth Pascoe (she/her)
Minister of Connection and Engagement
Contact Beth Pascoe

Beth’s role at FUMC is to help connect people with each other, opportunities, and resources within our church community. She supports staff members and volunteers in initiatives that help people engage in the life of our church. As a former teacher, coach and FUMC’s Director of Children’s Ministries from 2009-2020, Beth has a passion for helping families find their way in our church. She is a big fan of small group ministry and currently co-leads the FUMC Connected in Nature Sunday morning walking group and two adult small groups (Parents of Teens and Young Adults and Parents of Young Kids). Contact Beth with questions about how to make a big church feel smaller, how to volunteer within the church community, or really anything in general.

In addition to being an avid ice hockey player, Beth loves spending time outdoors, biking instead of driving (as much as possible!), hiking alongside rivers, snowshoeing and paddling her inflatable kayak.

Support Staff
Debbie Houghton photo

Tina Alee (she/her)
Administrative Secretary
Contact Tina Alee

Tina has been working at FUMC since May 2001. Some of her job duties are maintaining the church’s database, attendance, keeping the church calendar, coordinating mailings and communicating information to other staff and committee leaders. Some days you never know what Tina will be doing! Contact Tina if you have questions about the church in general. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll connect you with the right person.

Tina is a lifelong Michiganian and a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. Tina has a son named Steven and her hobbies are music and reading.

 

Nancy Lynn head shot

Henry Brown (he/him)
Building Supervisor
Contact Henry Brown

Henry has been with the staff since 2002 and supervises and coordinates the every day management of the building. Contact Henry if you have questions about the management of the building. In his spare time, Henry does stand-up comedy, acting and loves to grill.

Nancy Lynn head shot

Jenn Green
Accounting Clerk
Contact Jenn Green

Jenn assists the business manager with processing monetary gifts and paying the bills. Contact Jenn if you have any special instructions for gifts given. Before Joining FUMC in 2014, Jenn spent seven years as a chiropractic assistant, five years in full-time ministry on the UofM campus with Great Commission Ministries and six years doing home care.

Jenn lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and three teenagers. In her free time, she enjoys riding her motorcycle and catching up with friends.

Nancy Lynn head shot

Marty Javornisky (he/him)
Business Manager
Contact Marty Javornisky

Marty Javornisky has been with FUMC since February of 2011. He has worked full-time in accounting for over 25 years. Marty is responsible for everything involving church finances. He assists the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee and keeps track of all the financial details regarding the various funds of the church. Marty also processes staff payroll and oversees administration of staff benefit programs. Contact Marty if you have any questions about your contributions to the church or if you need a reimbursement for payments you have made on behalf of the church. You may also contact him with any questions about church financial reports.

Although Marty’s personality and training serve him well as a business manager, his real passion is in serving those in need. He finds a great deal of joy and fulfillment in volunteering with various charitable organizations.

Nancy Lynn head shot

Adele Roy (she/her)
Administrative Assistant, Online Worship and Video Artist
Contact Adele Roy

Adele is in charge of putting our pre-recorded videos together and supporting in-person worship with slides, videos and bulletins. She is most excited to add visual and sensory creativity to projects. Adele has learned quite a bit about recording from home and in-person, so if you are preparing something for the church, reach out to her for help. Adele has been with the staff since early 2002. Her background is in graphic design and publishing technology. She’s a transplant to the midwest from many different locations on the east coast — she usually just says she’s from I-95. Her husband, Rob, is an actor, and is a teacher and Theater Director at Pinckney High School. Adele and Rob have a son, Griffin, and a daughter, Lucie, and a Cairn Terrier named Mickie. Adele fills her free time with photography, knitting, reading, cooking, painting, and community theater pursuits with her husband.