Our Staff

You can reach the church office by calling 617-698-6329 and listening to voice prompts for the voice mailbox of the appropriate staff member. General inquiries can be submitted using the Contact Form with a note mentioning the staff member you would like to reach.

Lisa
Rev. Lisa Ward
Minister
Extension 102
Office Days: Tuesday-Thursday

Rev. Lisa Ward has been our settled minister since August of 2016. Ordained in 1992, Rev. Lisa has served congregations in New York City, Queens, White Plains, NY and Harford County, MD. A graduate from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, she has engaged in social justice initiatives throughout her career, serving on the Board of the UU Legislative Ministry in MD for many years and now is an active member of the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association, Courageous Conversations for Racial Justice and Citizens for a Diverse Milton. She is available for pastoral counseling, spiritual exploration and faith formation.

Susan
Susan DeMinico
Office Manager Extension 104 Office Days: Monday – Wednesday 8:30-4:30
Email: manager@fpmilton.org

Susan DeMinico is thrilled to join first Parish as the Church Administrator. Susan has a B.A. from Boston University and an MBA in Finance from Temple University. Susan has spent the majority of her career in non-profit management, a career that allows her to use her MBA to help create positive change in the world. In her spare time, she loves gardening, cooking and failing each week at completing the NYTimes Thursday Crosswords. She lives in Avon, Ma with her husband Brian and 3 young children.

Tim
Tim Steele
Music Director
Extension 103
No scheduled office days
Email: music@fpmilton.org

Timothy Steele has been music director at First Parish for four years. In addition to his duties as organist and choir director, he is also the producer for Milton Community Concerts at First Parish. Tim is also an active vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and conductor in the Boston area, and is currently in his twenty-seventh year on the opera faculty at the New England Conservatory. He has served as conductor/pianist for more than 180 operatic productions with 33 companies, including Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Opera Maine. In Boston he has collaborated extensively with Emmanuel Music, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and the Boston Symphony. Tim is a native of Des Moines, Iowa and has received degrees from Drake University and the University of Southern California.

Laurel
Laurel Whitehouse
Director of Religious Education
Extension 105
Office Day: Tuesday
Email: restaff@fpmilton.org

Laurel Whitehouse is embarking on her third year here as the Director of Religious Exploration. Previously, she served for five years as DRE at First Church Belmont and for three years before that as Chair of Religious Education at First Parish Wayland. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College. Her career path has embraced financial accounting, programming, international network standards development, preschool teacher, and summer camp director. She has been a Boy Scout leader for 15 years and has helped almost 50 scouts earn Eagle rank.

Megan
Megan Benders
Administrative Assistant
Extension 101
Office Days: Monday – Thursday 9:30am-2:30pm
Email: office@fpmilton.org

Megan comes to First Parish Milton from a deep interest in theology, history and desire to support church life. She lives with her husband Jorell, 2 bunnies and rat terrier, Suki in Dorchester. Megan is a licensed social worker and is currently studying psychoanalysis. Megan loves visiting local monasteries to learn and practice contemplative prayer.

Sara Elizabeth
Sara Elizabeth Santa Cruz
Youth Advisor
Extension 105
No scheduled office days
Email: youthadvisor@fpmilton.org

Sara Elizabeth is beginning her 6th year as Youth Advisor with First Parish. With a bachelors degree in Women’s Studies focusing on grassroots organizing and work experience with children and youth experiencing mental health struggles, Sara Elizabeth cares deeply about engaging youth in important conversations about social justice, self care, and spirituality. She currently lives in Jamaica Plain with her fiancée, Wendy, and many adorable animals.

Kevin
Kevin Harnden
Sexton

Born and raised in Boston, Kevin moved to Milton years age with his wife Barbara. Kevin and Barbara have 3 adult married children and 4 children all living in the South Shore area, happily within babysitting distance. Kevin is retired after a successful 40 year career in the advertising marketing business. Barbara and Kevin enjoy traveling, golf, bowling, dining out and spending time with family.

Tanisha
Tanisha Dunac
Nursery Staff

Tanisha is new in our nursery this year. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and her family now lives in Queens, NY. Currently she is a 9th grader at Milton Academy. She is a step dancer and hopes to join the school team this fall. Her other loves are writing and singing. She has grown up minding her little sister plus lots of cousins and friends.

Bella
Bella Lora
Nursery Staff

Bella is starting her second year in our nursery. She was born in Virginia and her family now lives in Newark, NJ. She is currently in 10th grade at Milton Academy. She is on the school step dance team, and loves to perform at pep rallies and other events (even in a flash mob at the student center!) She has been babysitting as far back as she can remember for a variety of ages.

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