Community Church of Sebastopol

United Church of Christ

Come and Find the Quiet Center

1000 Gravenstein Hwy North           707.823.2484

Church Staff

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin J. Broadbent, Senior Minister

Pator Ben

Pastor Benjamin (or Ben) began his ministry at the Community Church in August 2016. Ben comes to us with his wife Brooke Bell and their son, Marin (11), and daughter, Sophia (7), from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he served for 17 years at The First Congregational Church. They are happy to return to Northern California – Ben grew up in Santa Cruz and Brooke is from San Jose. He and Brooke met for the first time in our Pilgrim House in 1997, at a meeting of counselors for Camp Caz!

Ben earned his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1998 and received his Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 2012, writing a dissertation on Preaching as an Embodied Practice.

In addition to ministry, Ben loves playing guitar and ukulele, listening to live music, beach cruiser bicycles, craft beer, speaking Spanish and traveling.


Rev. Rachel Knuth, Associate Minister to Children and Families

Rev. Rachel Knuth is here Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings and Sunday mornings during worship as she presents the Children's Message during worship. Under Rachel's tutelage, our Sunday school teachers work with the youngest members of our church families with Bible stories and projects appropriate for their age groups. Rachel was ordained and called as our Minister to Children and Families in August of 2015. Rachel and her husband, Nathan, live in Sebastopol with their four children.



Ross Galleto, Director of Youth Ministries

Ross has been a volunteer Youth Group Leader at the Community Church for the past 4 years for both the Middle School and Sr. High Youth Groups. He has also served as a volunteer for the Northern California-Nevada Conference (NCNC-UCC) Youth & Outdoor Ministries program for more than 8 years. Ross lives in Santa Rosa with his husband, Silver, and two foster sons, Eian and Elias. He is a graduate of Santa Rosa Junior College and is currently pursuing a B.A. in Sociology from Sonoma State University.


Karin Seder, Office Manager and Facilities Coordinator

Karin is in the office Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4 pm and can help answer most of your questions, or find someone who can. Have a facility or calendar question? Karin is the person to ask.

Karin has been the Office Manager at the Community Church since January 2002. She is a Sonoma County native and enjoys spending time gardening, riding motorcycles and keeping track of her grandchildren - not necessarily in that order!


Jennifer Halleck, Bookkeeper, Receiving Treasurer


Jennifer Halleck joined our staff in April 2014. Jennifer has three sons who all participated in our youth groups, summer camps and apple pies, so she is familiar face around the Community Church and she brings with her a wealth of bookkeeping experience.

Jennifer is in the Financial Office on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and can be reached at 707-823-2484 ext.103 or by email: Financial@uccseb.org.


Keith Blackstone, Custodian and Campus Maintenance

Although Keith has been very active at The Community Church for a number of years, he officially joined our staff on July 1, 2012 as our Custodian and Campus Maintenance person. Keith is responsible for our facilities set up, cleaning and supplies for each of our buildings as well as light maintenance issues that arise.

To leave a message for Keith, please contact Karin in the church office.

Brian Plaugher, Minister of Music

Rev. Brian Plaugher earned a Masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological seminary in 1987, after and served as pastor in Presbyterian churches and, for 17 years, as pastor of the Community Church, UCC, in Guerneville. He has been our Minister of Music since 2005, supporting our music program where he leads the Chancel Choir, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. As our Minister of Music, Brian coordinates worship music with the directors of the Handbell Choir, the Children's Choir, Acoustic Folk Group, the Divine Connection and a wide variety of other music.

Brian also works as a chaplain at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Brian and his wife Pam have two grown sons and a high school daughter, and has lived in Guerneville for 27 years.


Karna Roa, Handbell Director


Sunday Morning Childcare Providers

Jamie

As part of the Safe Church Policy, and from a desire for our members to attend worship services regularly, the church has hired three Nursery Attendants. The Safe Church program requires that we have two adults (background-checked, over 18) working with our children at all times. We welcome Jamie Holmes, Laurelin Lewis, and Elana Altman Roberts to our Nursery Staff.

Jamie is a student at Sonoma State University, working towards her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education, and is an experienced child care provider.

Laurelin

Laurelin Lewis is a gymnastics instructor, mother, and comes to us after working in the Nursery at Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa.

We also welcome Elana Altman Roberts to our Nursery Staff. Elana is a former soloist ballerina with the San Francisco Ballet, now an organic farmer and yoga instructor, and comes to us as an experienced babysitter with San Francisco’s Urban Sitter program. Highly recommended for her personal integrity, professional demeanor, and kind spirit, we are blessed to have Elana attending to our youngest churchgoers in the Nursery.

Jamie

We are delighted to welcome these safe, calm, patient, experienced child care providers to our Nursery program. We also welcome Jenna Gonzales, our new Nursery Coordinator. She has volunteered to help manage the scheduling and weekly oversight of the Nursery Attendants. We thank you Jenna for your continued service! Our high school students, Libby Plaugher, Margaux Jame, and Jane Rasmus will continue to volunteer in the Nursery on a rotational basis, and we are so grateful for their ongoing presence in our Nursery. If you have any questions or concerns about our childcare program, please contact Pastor Rachel.

Safe Church Policy (PDF)



Keyboardists

Althea

J. Althea has joined our staff as Pianist and we are delighted to see her at the keyboards on a regular basis on Sunday mornings. Althea has worked in music and theatre for 45 years, as a professional pianist, actress, theatre director, music director, playwright, arranger, composer, and piano teacher. Althea has also been playing in churches for the last two decades. Having returned to her native Bay Area from 36 years in Alaska, she works with various Bay Area regional community theatres and high school drama departments.

Althea is absolutely thrilled to be at Community Church!

Judy





Also new to our music staff, organist Judy Kinsey will join us occaisionaly on Sunday mornings.