Greetings to you in the name of the Risen Christ! I’m Jason Boyd, the Senior Pastor of Henrietta United Church of Christ. We are a loving and welcoming congregation whose ears and hearts and minds are always open to hear what our Still Speaking God has to reveal to us today.
I’m so glad you are exploring the website for our Open and Affirming congregation. Henrietta UCC is quite a place. You’ll find us to be spirit-filled, overflowing with joy, and yet with a celebratory seriousness that is embodied in one of the expressions of our United Church of Christ denomination: “Our faith is 2000 year old; our thinking is not.” There is always more truth and light to break forth – our God who loves us so dearly always has more to share with us.
Another core aspect central to our shared faith is that no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. My own journey has taken me from coast to coast and back again a few times, through a career in higher education and then a call to ministry. As you come to know the faithful folks who gather each week to worship our amazing God, you’ll see this being lived – folks whose journeys span the spectrum, from lifelong members to new discoverers to exploring seekers, and everyone in between. We rejoice in the beauty of the diversity of God’s people, and we know it is a gift that we may come from so many different places in life and yet be called together in faithful community.
I hope you will come and experience Henrietta United Church of Christ for yourself. You will be warmly welcomed, and you know you that you are loved deeply by God.
Peace and blessings to you,
Rev. Jason Boyd
Welcome to Henrietta United Church of Christ! As you wander around our website, you’ll get a taste of this amazing faith community, of which I am thrilled to be a part. Here’s some of what I bring to the mix:
I love worship! Our services are lively and spirit-filled, with something different each week. Our many musical groups offer various musical styles, shared from the heart. For me, the Sunday service is the high point of the week—it helps me keep body and soul in balance. After a joyful week, I treasure the chance to thank God and share my joy with the community. If I’ve had a difficult week, I count on having a time and space where I can lay my burdens down and be renewed. No matter how I’m feeling, I know there will be something there for me. Often, that something is a challenge to become involved in ministry to and with others. And when I answer that challenge, I find new energy for my journey of faith.
I love kids! Often, when I come to church in need of acceptance and love, it is a child who ministers to me with a hug or a smile or a question, drawing me out of myself and into the circle of God’s embrace. HUCC is a wonderful place for children and adults alike. Our church school is filled to overflowing each week, and our dedicated teachers treasure each child. Our youth are vibrant, with questions about life and faith, and creative ideas about how to reach out. Our parents find support here, for their day-to-day concerns and for their new ideas and initiatives. And our kids are part of it all, sharing their own unique gifts with others. From the tiniest tot to the wisest senior, we invite each person’s participation.
I love learning! The longer I live, the more I discover how much I have to learn. The church is a wonderful venue for learning, because it brings us together with people we wouldn’t otherwise know, and encourages us to share our skills and knowledge. As we look to the people of the Bible, to the great thinkers and actors of history, and to the members of our own congregation, our learning expands and grows. As we share our own insights and questions, we are drawn closer to one another and to God, who has blessed us with curiosity, a wide world to explore, and many traveling companions. With Jesus as our guide, we can journey in faith, setting fear aside, and opening ourselves to the work of God’s Spirit in us. Who knows what we might learn next?
I love hands-on service! When I’m serving a meal at Cameron Community Ministries or the Salem Nutrition Center, or walking with hundreds of people for Crop Walk, or packing up school kits for Church World Service, or building a house for Habitat for Humanity, I feel deeply connected with God and God’s people. There’s nothing quite like putting in time and effort where help is needed most! I’ve even discovered skills I didn’t know I had through the many service projects of the church. After reaching out and helping someone, I often feel as though I’ve gained even more than I’ve given.
I love the United Church of Christ! Our denomination is deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, yet faithfully open to the new insights of each generation. Because of our historical commitments to be a “united and uniting, multicultural and multiracial, accessible to all, open and affirming, justice peace church,” we have often been on the forefront of social change, welcoming those who have been excluded elsewhere into the family of God’s love and grace, and caring tenderly for God’s world. Check out the UCC website (www.ucc.org) to learn about the church that has nurtured me and ordained me as a minister of the gospel.
I would love to meet you! If you’re looking for a church home, or if you just want to chat, feel free to drop me a line or give me a call. Better yet, visit us on a Sunday and experience for yourself our unique and energetic congregation. For an hour or a lifetime, you are welcome here.
Rev. Martha Koenig Stone
Andrea Folan, our church administrator, has lived in the Rochester area for over 20 years, moving here when her husband joined the Rochester musical community by taking over direction of the Rochester Bach Fesitval and entering Eastman School of Music as a doctoral candidate. She raised her daughter Emily here, while pursing her own performance career as a professional classical singer, which included solo performances at Lincoln Center, the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., the Bard Festival, the Brugge and Utrecht Early Music Festival, to name but a few. She joined the music faculty at Nazareth College in 2001, where she continues to teach applied voice, foreign language diction courses, and vocal pedagogy. She is also a Voice Instructor at the Eastman Community Music School. She has degrees in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Syracuse University. She has done specialized graduate studies in voice science and speech language pathology. Her recordings can be found on iTunes, Amazon.com, YouTube, etc.
Andrea has extensive typesetting and graphic design experience, working both for non-profits and in the commercial sector, designing programs, flyers, CD booklets, brochures, etc. She particularly enjoys creating the church publications that include the weekly “Happenings” and the monthly newsletter. She has been the administrative face of multiple ensembles, a print shop, a computer software company, and worked in the Oberlin Conservatory Office full time after graduating, so has a long history with organization, public interfacing, and office management.
She thinks the folks at HUCC are terrific and is proud to be working for a faith community that “walks the walk.”
Musically inclined from the start, I began with trombone and piano studies in elementary school. In high school I played in the band, sang in the chorus and had parts in the musicals, while playing on the football and basketball teams. I began my organ studies at 16, playing at the 1st Presbyterian Church in LeRoy and subbing at the local Methodist and Baptist churches, as well.
I attended SUNY Fredonia, where I majored in Music Education and Piano. I sang in Select Choir, Festival Chorus (including under the baton of Leonard Bernstein on one memorable occasion), and was an active accompanist.
My church music career evolved during college, when I became choir director at the Dunkirk Methodist Church. Since then, through many moves, I held numerous jobs, both as a public school educator, and as either choir director or organist at local churches. In 1979, I took the job with Henrietta United Church of Christ, making it 36 years in service here. My wife and I joined the church, so it is both my musical and faith home.