Rev. Kari Nicewander
Reverend Kari Nicewander, a native of Michigan, earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan and her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Her diverse ministry experience in United Church of Christ congregations includes Associate Pastor in Watertown, MA; senior pastor in Manchester, MI; and co-pastor in East Lansing, MI. In January of 2015, she completed a three -year commitment working with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Zambia, living in Lusaka with her family. In addition to serving as Senior Minister at Immanuel, she is currently on the Board of Directors for the Racial Justice Ministries of the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
She has written articles in numerous publications and was a contributing author for Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family and Friends of Transgender People, which won the 2013 International Book Award for Gay and Lesbian Non-Fiction. Kari has worked on issues of racial justice, poverty, LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS, and gender equality in domestic and international contexts, including Zambia, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua.
Reverend Isaac Lawson has a B.A. in Communications from Goucher College and received his M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary NYC. He also attended Yale Divinity School where he received a Master of Sacred Theology.
For the past five years, Reverend Isaac has worked bi-vocationally as Minister of Pastoral Care and Visitation at Plymouth Congregational, United Church of Christ, Washington, D.C., and as a program associate at the World Bank before joining Immanuel in March of 2017.
Reverend Isaac cares deeply about issues of justice, and has a passion for theology and the intellectual side of religious study. A special focus for Reverend Isaac is outreach to the community surrounding Immanuel.
Minister of Faith Formation
Tracy Gormley has been involved with faith formation/Christian Education programs for nearly 20 years and brings to Immanuel a passion and call for children, youth and family ministry. She is an advocate for hands on learning, integrating the arts and sciences to engage multiple intelligences and providing opportunities for putting one’s faith into action in the local and global communities.
Tracy enjoys providing intergenerational learning opportunities and fostering intergenerational relationships as a means to grow in one’s faith and strengthen the sense of community at Immanuel. She views ministry with children, youth, and families at Immanuel a true blessing and is grateful that God has brought her here.
Tracy currently serves as the registrar for the Connecticut Association of United Church Educators (CAUCE), is a Collaborator for the Innovation Lab at the Center for Youth Ministry Training and is active in Conference level faith formation educational events such as leading Confirmation Retreats at Silver Lake.
Tracy graduated from Post University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and from Briarwood College with a degree in Applied Science/Occupational Therapy. She practices occupational therapy in several sub acute rehabilitation units on a per diem basis around her faith formation responsibilities.
Tracy is a lifelong resident of Connecticut and currently resides in Wolcott with her husband David whom she married in 1994, son Nicholas and two spoiled cats. She enjoys cooking, crafting, reading and spending time outdoors feeling God’s presence.
Director of Music
Stephen Mark Singleton is a renowned conductor, composer and guest speaker. His unique career path has taken him all over the world including China, Africa, South America and Europe. As a frequent guest conductor and clinician, Mark has worked with choirs and orchestras of all ages and styles. His energetic and magnetic leadership has made him one of the most sought‐after conductors in New England.
Mark is a champion of new music ‐ particularly music of composers in the early stages of their careers. He has premiered numerous works for choir and remains committed to performing new works of art.
Immanuel considers itself blessed to have such a talented and passionate Director of Music.
Stephen Scarlato is a collaborative pianist and organist based in central Connecticut. He received his bachelor degree in organ performance from The Hartt School, where he studied under Larry Allen. While at The Hartt School, Stephen received the University of Hartford's Regents Honors Award for academic excellence, won prizes in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival/USA, was a finalist in Hartt's Performance 20/20 competition, and received the Ethel Greenberg scholarship for outstanding performance within the organ department. He graduated summa cum laude. He can be heard on several commercially available recordings, including the Valmarie Music CD 'The Ash Grove' with soprano Julie M. Poole, and a collection of Chinese art songs entitled "Infinite Time" with baritone Chai-lun Yueh. In addition to a wide variety of freelance work, he currently serves as organist at Immanuel Congregational Church, and as a staff accompanist in The Hartt School's vocal studies division.
Bobby Hafner is our Sound Engineer and has been working for the church in this capacity since 1980. Bobby undertook a major sound system upgrade back in 2013 and we have all noticed how clean and clear the spoken words sound. The church even has the ability now to play music via smartphone, tablet or from a cd player. Bobby is undertaking a project that he hopes to complete in the coming year.
The newer lighting system needs to be addressed and certain components will be replaced and Eversource will play a big role in the how this project unfolds. Bobby always thanks those people who have given him the skill and knowledge to perform his duties as the church's sound engineer. They are Russ Hobson, Alexander Watson and Dominic Sack.
Bobby is a dedicated person of the church who will go the extra mile to see that every detail on the church's sound system is addressed. We are truly blessed he was baptized and raised at Immanuel Congregational Church.
Sue joined Immanuel in 2015 with extensive church experience, primarily as Director of Christian Education at Buckingham Congregational Church/UCC in Glastonbury. Sue has her Bachelor's degree from Holy Cross and has done post graduate work at Hartford Seminary. She lives in Glastonbury, and has two children, Lauren and Chris. Sue is an avid runner and beach person, who also loves to read.