Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Cady II has hosted 84 episodes.
Stephen joined the pastoral staff of Asbury First in 2012 and became the Senior Minister in 2015. A lifelong Methodist, he entered ministry in 2004 in the hope of offering a voice for inclusion and justice. During his tenure, Asbury First has become a reconciling congregation (a network of United Methodist churches clear about LGBTQ inclusion) and has renewed its commitment to racial equity and justice. Regularly preaching and speaking around the country, Stephen has been the keynote speaker for the Rochester Citywide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and received the Denman Award for Evangelism from the Upper New York Annual Conference.
Prior to his appointment at Asbury First, Stephen served as the minister of Kingston UMC in Kingston, NJ, which was designated during his time as a teaching congregation for young adults. He also served for four years as the associate minister of Park Ridge Community Church in Park Ridge, IL.
Stephen received his PhD in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. His dissertation put the rich theology of Howard Thurman in conversation with the worship practices of contemporary youth and young adults. Stephen has been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism, was twice the recipient of a Dempster Fellowship through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and is a John Wesley Fellow. He attended seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Stephen grew up in Olathe, KS and attended Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH) where he received a BA in Theatre. He was active on the stage and in commercials prior to entering seminary. Stephen and his wife, Emily, have three children, Ellie, Charlie and Hannah. Stephen enjoys running, collecting Superman memorabilia, and teaching people how to yo-yo.
Rev. Rachel Ann Dupont has hosted 13 episodes.
The Rev. Rachel Ann Dupont is excited to be joining the ministry team at Asbury First. Trained in Spiritual Direction, Congregational Formation, and New Faith Community Development, Rachel is passionate about guiding individuals, groups, and congregations in discerning and living out God’s unique call on their lives. She believes Christian Formation is all about living our professed values of love and grace, which transforms the world!
Baptized as a baby in the United Methodist Church, Rachel has never left. Rachel has lived her whole life in New York State and loves to explore this beautiful place with her family. She is a partner, a parent, a pastor, and a friend. She loves good food, fresh air, and reading memoirs.
Rev. Dupont is an ordained elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference, where she serves as the Coordinator for Annual Conference Worship, and as a delegate to General Conference. She has served as the pastor of four churches in Upper New York, as well as on the Oneonta District as a New Ministry Cultivator, and carries a high level of connectional and community participation. Rachel earned her M. Div from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2010.
Mike Mullin has hosted 14 episodes.
Mike joined the staff at Asbury First in August of 2013 as the youth minister. Mike grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, received a B.A. in Christian Education and Music (percussion) at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, and completed his M.Div. at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in 2017. Mike has a wife and two children, and loves to go on adventures. From geo-caching, to rock climbing, to mountain biking, it seems there is always a great reason to get outside and enjoy creation. The spirit of adventure also includes discovering new experiences, traveling, and trying new foods. As the Minister for Youth and Discipleship, Mike hopes that Asbury First is a place where everyone might be invited to partake in an adventure of faith. All are encouraged to engage, to listen, to question, and to help expand our understanding of what it means to come together as a diverse community seeking to do more good—even as we push the boundaries of our own comfort zones.
Rev. Kathy Thiel has hosted 19 episodes.
Kathy joined the Asbury First staff in July 2015 after her residency as a chaplain at St. Mary’s hospital in San Francisco, California. Kathy grew up in New Jersey, and attended Hampshire College where she studied the intertwining of psychology, literature and religion. Between her undergraduate work and seminary, Kathy founded and managed for fifteen years, a small environmental consulting firm in Massachusetts. She attended Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School here in Rochester.
As Minister for Congregational Care, Kathy provides pastoral leadership in the areas of hospitality and on-going spiritual support. Kathy finds God in being with people throughout the ups and downs of their lives. Her deep and abiding relationship with God provides a constant source of strength, peace and joy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has found a home in Zoom, where she continues leadership to many weekly groups, and where she has started several new groups. In her spare time, Kathy raises and breeds guinea pigs.
Rev. Patrick Dupont has hosted 10 episodes.
The Rev. Patrick Dupont is grateful for the opportunity to join Asbury First in ministry. Pat is a Provisional Deacon in The United Methodist Church and feels particularly called to lead the church in ministries of compassion and justice with those who find themselves on the margins of society. He believes it is through authentic relationships with our neighbors that we move from being Jesus worshippers to Jesus followers.
Pat is excited to be joining the Asbury First community at such an important moment in the life of the Outreach Center. He looks forward to helping both the Outreach Center and congregation reach their fullest potential in service to Christ and to the broader community.
Before coming to Asbury First, Pat served several United Methodist congregations and spent three years living and working at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, a Catholic Worker community that operates a soup kitchen, clothing closet, and emergency shelter, and engages in activism and advocacy alongside Rochester’s poor and homeless.
Pat holds a Bachelors of Music in Composition from Syracuse University and a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary. He enjoys long distance running, Syracuse basketball, Yankees baseball, and camping with his wife, Rachel, and children, Louisa and Jed.
Favorite Scripture Verse -- Luke 6:20b
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."
Rev. Jacqueline Nelson has hosted 18 episodes.
Jackie, a native of Teaneck, NJ joined the Asbury First staff in August 2017. Prior to her arrival at Asbury First, she served as an Associate Minister at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, NJ. From 2014-2015, while pursuing her academic studies, Jackie participated in field education opportunities as a student pastoral intern to the First Baptist Church of Princeton, NJ and Hope Presbyterian Church of Memphis, TN.
Jackie received both a Master of Divinity (2016) and Master of Theology (2017) from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). Upon graduation, she received a Certificate in Black Church Studies, a Certificate in Women, Theology & Gender, and the 2016 Bryant M. Kirkland Award for Excellence in Practical Theology.
Jackie is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, and in her spare time enjoys traveling and reading.
Dr. Carl Johengen has hosted 2 episodes.
Carl has earned a reputation of excellence as a conductor, voice teacher, singer, and composer. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music, as well as Bachelor and Master of Music from the Ithaca College School of Music. Prior to joining the AFUMC Staff full time in 2019, Carl served as Interim Director of the Sanctuary Choir and was a member of the Ithaca College School of Music faculty. Other past positions include Music Director of the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, Ithaca’s elite a cappella chamber chorus, and Co-Minister of Music of St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Bath. He is passionate about the role of music in worship, loves to nurture congregational singing, and particularly enjoys helping choirs achieve expressive and artistic communication.
Sarah Brubaker has hosted 1 episode.
Sarah joined Asbury First as the Communications Coordinator in January of 2019. Originally from northeast Texas, Sarah started out with a journalism degree from Texas Christian University. She worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News as a graphic designer for about nine years combined and enjoyed informing the community about local news and entertainment.
Sarah and her husband, Jeff, moved to Birmingham, UK for a few years, where she worked as a graphic designer for the University of Birmingham. In her time there, she developed broader-ranging marketing skills and worked on branding, signage, e-blasts and more to promote ongoing projects, research and courses at the university.
Sarah now calls Rochester her home and really enjoys the cold weather and snow. She loves museums and delights in exploring new places and taking copious photographs. She is also happy hanging out at home watching movies and shows with her husband and friends.
Rev. Susan S. Shafer has hosted 2 episodes.
Senior Minister Emerita
Rev. Héctor A. Burgos Núñez, Bishop of the Upper New York Conference has hosted 1 episode.
The Rev. Héctor A. Burgos Núñez was elected Bishop on Nov. 4, 2022, at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church held in College Park, Maryland. He is the first Hispanic-Latino bishop in the Northeastern Jurisdiction and the first Puerto Rican bishop in The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Burgos was assigned to serve as the Episcopal leader of the Upper New York Area effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez holds a M.Div. from the School of Theology at Drew University in Madison, NJ, a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in Management and Strategic Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico, and a graduate certificate in Information Systems Technology. At the time of his election to the episcopacy, Bishop Burgos was serving as District Superintendent of the Central District of the Greater New Jersey Conference.
Bishop Burgos served pastorates at West Creek United Methodist Church 2004-2005; First United Methodist Church, Iglesia Casa de Esperanza 2005-2009; and Oasis United Methodist Church 2009-2014. He also served as Director of Worship and Urban Ministries 2014, Executive Director of NextGen Ministries of GNJ 2016-2018, and Director of Connectional Ministries 2015-2019 for the Greater New Jersey Conference.
Bishop Héctor A. Burgos, a Community Leadership Fellow from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, a certified ICA coach, and an Outward Mindset facilitator, also served as Director of Communications for MARCHA, the National Hispanic/Latino caucus within the United Methodist Church, 2010-2022.
Bishop Burgos envisions the United Methodist Church and the Upper New York Conference being a Holy Spirit-led global movement that is:
- Thriving and united in the mission of transforming the world by nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ who share faith, hope, and justice
- Spiritually alive and culturally relevant
- Committed to personal and social holiness, celebrating its rich diversity as a gift from God
- A multi-generational network of faith communities that embrace all people as beloved children of God and allow them to live to their full God-given potential.
- An organization that is agile, innovative, and creative, and while global in its nature and impact, it is local and contextual in its ministry so that it can reach as many people as possible with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Burgos’ interests include racial and organizational equity, leadership development, contextual evangelism and worship, and strategic communications in a digital era. He finds joy in cooking for his family and friends and is known for his famous meat marinades and BBQ ribs. Bishop Burgos also enjoys blogging. His blog, Mensajes de Esperanza has more than 150,000 followers throughout Latin America. He shares life with his wife, Jazelis Adorno, and their children, Fabián, Joel, Marcos, and Valeria.
Rev. Jess Winderweedle has hosted 1 episode.
Jess Winderweedle (she/her) is a PhD candidate in Practical Theology (Homiletics). She holds an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary as well as a Bachelor of Musical Arts from Oklahoma Baptist University. Jess’s current research centers on the experiences of LGBTQIA+ preachers in Mainline Protestant traditions as well as the performative impact of queer presence in the Mainline pulpit. Her work seeks to put these matters into conversation with the theology of Marcella Althaus-Reid and the theoretical work of José Esteban Muñoz toward the development of a queer-informed homiletical pedagogy.
Jess is also an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. Her time in ministry has included experience as a youth minister, church musician, lead pastor, and the founder of The Feed Truck, a mobile outreach ministry. As a practitioner and practical theologian, Jess’s broader intellectual interests include social innovation in the church, organizational theory, and theologies of work.