Staff at Eliot
Interim Senior Minister
Rev. Richard Chrisman
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Richard Chrisman comes to Eliot Church as Interim Senior Minister with such experience in four churches. He has served as a campus chaplain (Princeton, Tufts, Skidmore College), seminary faculty (University of Chicago Divinity School), and urban minister (Old South Church in Boston, Central Congregational Church in Jamaica Plain).
A preacher of the gospel of Christ, an activist for church involvement in justice work, a cheerleader for the arts, Rick is committed to making the church relevant in our society.
Rick follows poetry, music and theater in Boston. He has also been a lifelong movie fan. A hiker and a swimmer, his favorite vacation spot is the Berkshire mountains.
He and his wife Cindy live in Brighton, and they have one son, Torrence.
Director of Christian Education
Dr. Elizabeth Windsor
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Dr. Elizabeth is a professional Christian educator and consultant with over 30 years of experience in New England congregations. Born, raised and educated in the Episcopal tradition, she has served in United Methodist congregations as well as in the Episcopal Church. While new to the UCC as a professional, her maternal grandmother (who set her on the path of a vocation in Christian education) worshipped in the UCC where she lived in Vermont. She spent many summers worshiping and leading Vacation Bible School with her.
Dr. Elizabeth is passionate about forming Christians at all ages and stages of the life cycle! Helping children, youth and families deepen their discipleship and live in the world following the example of Jesus has always been the focus of her work and is deeply rewarding. While not an ordained person, her experience includes preaching and leading worship.
She hold as Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, a Master of Divinity degree and Doctor of Ministry degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and is two-time recipient of the Adelaide Teague Case Prize for Excellence in Christian Education. Dr. Elizabeth is a regular contributor to the Christian education blog, Building Faith. She has written for the Encyclopedia of Christian Education and other publications. In addition to her congregational and academic work, she is a dedicated knitter, a long-time yogini, and an enthusiastic belly dancer and choreographer.
Dr. Elizabeth’s family is ecumenical. Her husband, Tom, is a Roman Catholic, her two sons Alex and Joshua were raised in the Episcopal Church. Her step-son, Scott is Jewish. When all the boys were living at home, the family attended Temple on Friday night, Mass on Saturday afternoon and Episcopal worship on Sunday. She has two granddaughters, Quinn and Indiana .
Director of Music Ministry
Monique Weiss Byrnes
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Music has been a significant part of Monique’s life, and a second language for her family as she and all her siblings grew up studying several instruments and performing in school, community, church, and family music ensembles. Monique attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music for organ performance and choral conducting for her bachelor and master's degrees. While at Oberlin she spent time in Europe teaching and performing, inspiring her to continue this life professionally in the Boston area.
Monique has been a music director, organist, pianist, accompanist, singer, and teacher for churches and communities in the Boston Area. She has accompanied and vocally coached the Newton Community Chorus since 1998. One concert was held at Eliot and Monique got to play Eliot's fabulous organ in their performance of Benjamin Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb." Monique has also played piano in Leggiero Trio, played piano and sang in a jazz quartet and founded the Mosaic Modes Music Studio. As a church musician between the years 1987 - 2014, she was music director of Grace Episcopal Church in Norwood and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Natick. She is on the music faculty at Newton Country Day School as a choral director, accompanist, and organist. Classical, jazz, and choral music are languages that she continues to learn and practice and actively perform, conduct, and teach.
Monique lives in Foxborough with her husband Brendan, a professional drummer. They have a son Luke and a daughter Chloe. Monique's interests include gardening, painting, and cooking and she takes part in yoga and kayaking.