The Reverend Kenneth J. Kieffer is a lifelong United Methodist, baptized in the Islip United Methodist Church on Long Island, where he was also confirmed and married. After graduating Florida Southern College, a small Methodist school in central Florida, he attended seminary at Emory University in Atlanta. Following graduation from Candler School of Theology, Ken was ordained as an elder in the New York Annual Conference, where he served for the next 23 years in local congregations in Connecticut and New York. In 2009, he was appointed to be the District Superintendent for 73 United Methodist Churches in the Connecticut District. In 2017, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton appointed Ken to serve as the pastor of the Cheshire United Methodist Church, and Ken couldn't be happier! He has lived in Cheshire since 2009, with his wife, Karen, their daughter, Olivea, and their pug named Bouggieboo. (Link to a sermon short)
Tracy Hanke has been a member of Cheshire UMC for 13 years and is returning to the position of administrative assistant after a two year absence. She was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois where she attended the First United Methodist Church of DeKalb. She is married to Jeff and has three children - Jack, Sam, and Grace. She plays in the Bell Choir which is very far out of her comfort zone, but she loves it anyway!
Mara McSwain Weed, Music Director, grew up the daughter of a Methodist minister and a music teacher. How could church music not be a part of her life? Mara says it is a joy to help in the leadership of worship at Cheshire UMC. "We are so blessed to have such talented people in our choir, but even more blessed to have those people use their gifts to sing to the glory of God." The choir is open to anyone in the church who wants to join in this expression of praise. We have a hand-bell choir and a children's chimes choir that are always looking for new members, too. Join us! (Link to a choir clip)
This is a Welcoming, Reconciling congregation. We embrace diversity and affirm the dignity and worth of every person because we are all created by a loving God. We seek to live Christ’s call for compassion, justice, healing and wholeness. Therefore, we welcome into our faith community persons of every race, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, mental and physical ability, economic and social position, gender identity and expression, level of education and family structure. We believe we can all love alike, even if we don’t think alike. We invite all to share in the life, leadership, lay and ordained ministry, worship and sacraments, the covenant of committed love in holy matrimony, fellowship, blessings and joys of our congregation as we seek to grow together in faith and love.