Clergy and Program Staff

 

The Reverend Arlen Vernava
Interim Minister and Head of Staff

The Reverend Cari Pattison
Associate Minister

The Reverend Jonah Smith-Bartlett
Youth and Family Minister

The Reverend Samuel T. Clover
Associate Minister and Communications Director

Dr. Sándor Szabó
Minister of Music

Dr. Dawn Ravella
Minister of Mission Outreach

Alexis Mastromarino
Christian Education Directo

Judith McCandless
Volunteer and New Member Coordinator

Lee J. Corbett
Handbell Director

Margaret Murtagh
Director, Reformed Church Nursery School

Helga Bartus
Assistant Organist

Administrative staff

Housekeeping and maintenance

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The Reverend Arlen Vernava

Interim Minister and Head of Staff, ext. 131

avernava@reformedchurch.org

The Reverend Arlen Vernava joined RCB in November 2017 as Interim Minister and Head of Staff. He holds an M.Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed church consultant and facilitator training with Wake Forest University and the Center for Congregational Health. For over 32 years, he has partnered with leaders and faith communities as they live into their holy vocation: the powerful and life-giving ways one’s deep gladness responds to the world's profound need. He enjoys bread-baking, fly-fishing and watching small and big screen movies.

 
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The Reverend Cari Pattison

Associate Minister, ext. 115

cari@reformedchurch.org

Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Cari was installed at The Reformed Church of Bronxville in 2007. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Cari's ministry focuses on making disciples of all ages through preaching and teaching, pastoral care, confirmation and sacraments, women's Bible study, retreats, and worship liturgy. A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Cari graduated from Kalamazoo College (B.A., English and Art) and completed her Teacher's Certificate at the University of Kansas. When not at church, Cari teaches a variety of fitness classes- currently focusing on the barre method. Awarded the Gurfein writing fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College, Cari's work has been featured in Read650, The Huffington Post, The Villa Voice, Yoga Haven Threads, and d365.org. Reading, hiking, and visiting family in the Midwest are her favorite ways to spend vacation days, and photos of her three little nieces fill her house and phone.

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The Reverend Jonah Smith-Bartlett

Youth and Family Minister, ext. 124

jsmith-bartlett@reformedchurch.org

Jonah joined RCB's staff in September 2014, after serving for five years as children and youth pastor at a Congregational church in New Canaan, CT. At The Reformed Church, he oversees the youth program for fifth- through 12th-graders and nurtures the spiritual development of parents. The son of a pastor, Jonah earned his BA in English from Lynchburg College, a Master of Arts and Theological Studies from Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, VA), and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, where he won the William Sloane Coffin Scholarship Award and preaching award. He was ordained in the American Baptist Churches in 2009. His wife, The Reverend Elizabeth Smith-Bartlett, is Associate Minister at Larchmont Avenue Church. Jonah enjoys reading and writing fiction, and also plays the tin whistle, which he calls "a much underrated instrument."

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The Reverend Samuel T. Clover

Associate Minister and Communications Director, ext. 134

sclover@reformedchurch.org

Ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America in April 2014, Sam joined RCB’s staff the previous year after graduating from Union Theological Seminary (M.Div.). His call to ministry came after working for more than 10 years as an arts and culture journalist at a number of small magazines and newspapers in NYC. A graduate of Lafayette College (B.A., English and History), Sam also holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from The New School, and earned a diploma in spiritual direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. An avid singer (and sometime trombonist), Sam has sung with a variety of choirs, including Marble Collegiate Church’s Festival of Voices and gospel choirs, which performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, and Harlem’s Apollo Theater, among other venues. At RCB, Sam oversees all communications initiatives, from the website to the Messenger newsletter, along with organizing The Gathering and participating in morning services. He is a proud board member of Room for All, a network of church members, clergy and congregations in the Reformed Church in America engaged in a cooperative effort to support LGBTQ people and allies across the denomination, as well as advocate for a radically inclusive welcome and affirmation of the full spectrum of God’s people in all aspects of congregational and denominational ministries.

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Dr. Sándor Szabó

Minister of Music, ext. 126

sszabo@reformedchurch.org

A native of Yugoslavia, Dr. Szabó holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Novi Sad and a Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Belgrade. He holds a Master’s degree in organ performance as well as a Master’s degree in sacred music, both from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Additionally, he has earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano from Boston University and is a Fellow of The American Guild of Organists, their highest level of professional certification. Dr. Szabó has performed extensively in major concert halls and cathedrals throughout Europe and North America. At RCB, Dr. Szabó oversees all music programming and directs The Chancel Choir and Kirksingers Choir. An avid chess player, he is married to Shelly Szabó, with whom he has three children.

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Dr. Dawn Ravella, LMSW, D.Min.

Mission and Outreach Director, ext. 114

dawn@reformedchurch.org

A licensed social worker who has been dedicated to ministry for more than 25 years, Dawn joined RCB’s staff in 2008. Since then, she has overseen all of RCB’s mission and advocacy efforts, ranging from youth trips and panels on social justice issues to the design and development of Coming Home, RCB’s prison re-entry program, which is being replicated at several churches in partnership with Fordham University’s Beck Institute for Religion and Poverty. A graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s College (B.A.) and Fordham University (MSW), Dawn earned her Doctorate of Ministry degree at New York Theological Seminary in 2013, and received NYTS’s Excellence in Ministry Award. She has also worked as a psychotherapist, integrating hypnotherapy, aromatherapy and spirituality. Among Dawn’s favorite accomplishments are the founding of a public policy education network that mobilized Catholics on Long Island to become a moral voice in the public arena; establishing two NYC homeless shelters; co-organizing the East Side Congregations for Housing Justice in Manhattan, which organizes religious leaders in NYC to dialogue with elected officials to end homelessness; and creating a partnership of church leaders in NYC and Zimbabwe. Her other interests include travel, hiking and music—especially the “positive message” music of her husband Glen Roethel.

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Alexis Mastromarino

Director of Christian Education, ext. 118

alexis@reformedchurch.org

Alexis has been a part of the RCB staff for 13 years. She received her BA in Communication Arts from Manhattan College in Riverdale. Her work in public relations included event planning, writing for several publications, and designing advertisements. While focusing her energy on raising her children, Alexis did a lot of volunteer work.  She was co-editor and a writer for the Westchester newsletter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as a member of the board; a Girl Scout leader; a Cub Scout leader; the coordinator of the parent volunteers at St. Paul the Apostle School; an adult supervisor for the Dead Theologians Society (a parish youth group); Vice President of the Parents' Club of Maria Regina High School; and a member of the Parish Council.  Alexis received certification for Parenting Leadership Training from the Education for Parenting, Family Life, Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York and used some of the skills to co-lead “parenting workshops.” Alexis enjoys shoe shopping, going to “off-beat” movies with her daughter Erica, and going to hear her son Eddie sing and play the guitar, whether it is in a pub or at The Gathering service.  Alexis has been practicing yoga for six years and each day works on being still, staying centered, and moving peacefully. At RCB, she oversees the Church School, including shepherding the teachers;  keeping parents informed; planning and coordinating special family events; and planning and coordinating special Church School events.  She also leads the Nursery School Chapel in church on Thursdays, plans and schedules the Sunday Adult Education series, coordinates the lay volunteers for Christian Education and leads the Lectio Divina group on Friday mornings.    

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Judith McCandless

Volunteer and New Member Coordinator

jmccandless@reformedchurch.org

Judi McCandless joined The Reformed Church in 1993, and came on staff in January 2015. Over the course of her membership she has served as elder, deacon, Chair of the Pastoral and Congregational Care Council, Consistory Nominating Committee Chair, confirmand mentor, adult education speaker, and prison ministry volunteer. She was also involved with the Senior Minister Search Committee, women's retreat planning committee, Strategic Planning sub-committee and the Accessibility Committee, which advocated for the construction of the church elevator. In her current position, Judi facilitates church membership by following up with visitors and those who have expressed interest in RCB, and supporting new members as they become better acquainted with the Church's programs. Judi also reaches out to current members to encourage participation in church activities and volunteer opportunities, works with staff to create opportunities that reflect members' interests, and encourages the development of programs that support and train volunteer leaders. Her goal is to be a visible presence to answer questions and encourage new connections. Outside of the church, Judi serves as Secretary and Board member of the Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe. Judi loves to play recreational and competitive tennis, loves to read and is a secret Cheeto addict. She lives in Eastchester with her husband, Tom, and children, Brad and Kathleen.

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Lee J. Corbett

Handbell Director, ext. 128

lee@reformedchurch.org

Lee joined The Reformed Church in 1972. In 1986 she became the director of the newly formed Concert Ringers, and a year later took over the existing Youth Bell Choirs. For over 20 years she has overseen the Clothing Closet and the Clothing Sales, which now raise up to $30,000 per year for the church’s outreach programs.  Lee also has an active piano studio and is celebrating 50 years as a piano teacher.

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Margaret Murtagh

Director, Reformed Church Nursery School, 914-337-6332, ext. 143

margaret@reformedchurch.org

The Director of the Reformed Church Nursery School since 2003, Margaret brings over 20 years of experience as an early childhood educator to her current role. Prior to her appointment as Director, she taught pre-K and jr. K at RCNS for two years. Margaret received her B.A. in philosophy from Fordham College and her Juris Doctor degree from the Fordham University School of Law. As Director, she has expanded programming while building on the school’s six-decade tradition of caring and excellence. Recently, she spearheaded a new school security project that was completed this year with the generous donations from the RCNS families.  In addition to her dedication to the families of RCNS, Margaret is a board member of the Counseling Center, where she recently helped institute a special speaker series on mental health issues in the community. Margaret also enjoys volunteering at the church where she participates in the church school Sunday chancel talks, Thursday RCNS chapels and as a member of the Gathering Band.  Margaret lives in Yonkers with her husband John and has two grown children: John, a USMC reserve officer, and Jim, a Junior at Fordham College. Margaret enjoys reading, needlepointing, knitting and crocheting in her spare time.

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Helga Bartus

Assistant Organist,

hbartus@reformedchurch.org

Helga Bartus is a graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary having studied with renowned Hungarian organist Gábor Lehotka. She holds the Master of Music degree in organ performance and teaching. She has concertized extensively throughout Europe and America, and taught both organ and piano in Hungarian music schools. In 2003, she was awarded a scholarship to Montclair State University, where she spent a year as a visiting scholar, studying organ. She is currently Assistant Organist at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, and accompanist for Verona Voices of New Jersey.

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Alexandra Pierre 

Associate Director of Mission, ext. 149
apierre@reformedchurch.org

  Alexandra Pierre is a criminal justice and anti-poverty reform advocate. Before joining The Reformed Church in Bronxville, she worked at a non-profit organization in Westchester County where she spearheaded a program at the Westchester County Jail to provide incarcerated youth with pre-release training and coordinated planning to support their transition into the community. In 1996, Alexandra served as an original board member for Dress for Success, which today is a global entity. She has served as an Advisory Board member of Hudson Link and most recently has served on the Westchester Ban the Box Task Force. She is featured in a documentary released by the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. In 2015, Alexandra was honored with the Brian Fisher award for her work to promote social justice. She has an MSW from Lehman College, an MBA from Mercy College and currently is pursuing a Doctoral degree at Fordham University, where she also serves as a research consultant for the Beck Institution for Religion and Poverty. Her scholarly focus extends to the patterns and causes of intergenerational crime within the United States as well as the increasing criminalization of mothers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative staff

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Alan Zanzano
Chief Operating Officer
azanzano@reformedchurch.org, ext. 117

 

 

 

 

 

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Joe DeBisceglie
joseph@reformedchurch.org, ext. 155

 

 

 

 

 

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Teresa Flocco
teresa@reformedchurch.org, ext. 123

 

 

 

 

 

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Janice Sachtjen
Executive Administrator
jsachtjen@reformedchurch.org, ext. 132

 

 

 

 

 

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Louanne Mitchell
louanne@reformedchurch.org, ext. 153

 

 

 

 

 

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Carla Savage
csavage@reformedchurch.org, ext. 112

 

 

 

 

 

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Belle Hann
Communications Associate
bhann@reformedchurch.org, ext. 154

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Tennille Lambert
Administrative Assistant for Mission
tlambert@reformedchurch.org, ext. 151

Housekeeping and maintenance

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Pedro Santana, Sexton
pedro@reformedchurch.org, ext. 125

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marilyn DeCamilo

 

 

 

 

 

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Onel Pierre

 

 

 

 

 

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Leudy Santana

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chris Toro

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