Rev. Jeff Mansfield has been the Pastor at Glen Ridge Congregational Church since July 2019. Previous to that he was the Interim Minister at Broadway UCC in New York City and he was the Associate Pastor at First Church Somerville UCC in Somerville, MA. Originally from Rhode Island, Jeff studied English and Religion at Boston University and got his Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. While in New York, Jeff worked as the Chaplain to the NYC Restaurant Industry out of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village and he worked as a labor and community organizer at the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY). Jeff also did a stint in construction working for Habitat for Humanity in Miami. He loves theater and grew up acting and directing in high school and college. While running from the call to ministry, he worked as a theater technician in the California Bay Area. Now he puts most of his energies for performing and directing into preaching and creating real good church. Besides sermons, Jeff writes a lot of other stuff—most of it poetry. In 2004, Jeff thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine and he likes to get out into the woods and the mountains as much as possible. After his experience on the trail, he began learning about and practicing Zen Buddhist meditation which led him to a love of interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Jeff thinks a lot about masculinity—what it is and what its spiritual significance might be to a masculine person. Jeff is a feminist, an anti-racist, an LGBTQ ally. He's been proud to be involved with progressive and radical social movements and organizations like the Poverty Initiative and the Poor People's Campaign. One of his passions in ministry is to equip the Church—through the radical teachings of Jesus—to be a new and continuing institution for art, justice, faith and community building in the 21st century.
A native of New Jersey, Thomas Mustachio completed his undergraduate work (Piano Performance & Music Education) and graduate work (Choral Conducting) at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He has performed as a vocalist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center and The Philadelphia Academy of Music.
From 1993 to 2008 Mr. Mustachio resided in the Twin Cities as Minister of Music of historic First Congregational Church of Minnesota (Minneapolis). From 1998 to 2008 he served as Music Supervisor and Resident Music Director of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in Minnesota, the largest professional dinner theatre in the country.
Career highlights include twice being named Twin Cities’ “Outstanding Music Director” for productions of West Side Story and Hair, and spending a summer playing piano on the Crystal Symphony cruise ship. Mustachio has music directed and/or accompanied over 50 theatrical productions and appears on three original cast recordings in the hit Nunsense series. One of his favorite opportunities was to partner with the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization of New York to create the score (vocal and dance arrangements; orchestrations) for the new stage version of Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade.
Mustachio returned to New Jersey during the summer of 2008. In January 2009 he was appointed Minister of Music of Glen Ridge Congregational Church, leading a music program that consists of choral and handbell choirs for all ages. He is also Music Director of the Glen Ridge Choral Society, works as a freelance service accompanist for several North Jersey synagogues, and has a roster of private music students. He is a published author and composer.
Maira Hernandez-Kinloch was appointed as Church School Director for Glen Ridge Congregational Church, effective September 1, 2018.
Maira, or Mrs. H-K as she is affectionately called, recently retired from the Glen Ridge Public Schools where she served as the primary school’s music teacher for the past 9 years. She has over 30 years of teaching experience. She and her husband, Joe, are proud recipients of the Minasian Bible Award at Glen Ridge Congregational Church.
"We are thrilled to have Mrs. H-K lead our Church School. Her faith, her love of children, and her positive energy will help us shape the future of children's faith formation here at the Glen Ridge Congregational Church," noted Stephanie Song, co-chair of the Ministry of Children and Youth.
Mrs. H-K has always been interested in and involved with Church ministry. She has directed youth and adult choirs, di-rected summer camps (most recently Glen Ridge Congregational Church Vacation Bi-ble School) and also serves as the Director of Summer Treasure Camp-an enrichment camp for children in Pre-K through 2nd grade where she managed a staff of six certified teachers and with eight counselors with forty campers.
“I am highly honored to serve in this position,” remarked Mrs. H-K. “It is a dream come true and a blessing from God. I can't wait to welcome GRCC's Church School students in September!”
While the Hernandez-Kinloch family now happily lives in Bloomfield with Mrs. H-K’s father, they previously lived in Glen Ridge and raised their children, Olivia and Matthew, in the Glen Ridge Public Schools.
Mary Duus has been the Pilgrim Preschool Director since 2007. She has a BA from Ithaca College and is certified by the State of New Jersey to teach nursery school through third grade. Mary is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and her teaching experience includes not only a variety of traditional nursery schools but also Montessori programs and Project Head Start. She is the former director of the Atlantic Community College Child Care Center in Atlantic County, NJ. "The warm bonds that the families and teachers form at Pilgrim are the highlight and strength of the school." Mary and family have lived in Glen Ridge since 1987.