Rev. Megan Holding
Rev. Holding comes to us from Northeastern University where she has been the Episcopal Chaplain to that community since 2017. She has also served as a chaplain to Boston College and as an Assistant Rector and Seminarian at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline.
Rev. Holding graduated from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Divinity and received a Certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School, the Episcopal seminary affiliated with Yale. Prior to entering the priesthood, she was a practicing attorney at a major Boston law firm specializing in health care law and was active as a lay leader at her sponsoring parish in downtown Boston. She grew up in Ohio, graduated from Amherst College and Georgetown University Law Center, and worked for a federal judge in Kentucky before moving to New England.
Rev. Emily García
Emily grew up in Evangelical Free churches out West, and was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church in her first year at Princeton, at the Episcopal Chaplaincy. She was sponsored for the priesthood by the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard, where she worked as a Fellow, and was ordained a priest on the feast of St. Juan Diego in December 2017.
Emily loves learning, prayer, and the sacraments–-the best parts of being a priest! She’s worked with children and young people for 15 years: designing programs at a children’s library, teaching in summer programs, running after-school events, working in college chaplaincy, and assisting in preschool and kindergarten classes. Of all of these, Sunday School, Youth Group, Confirmation Class, and Adult Forum are some of her most favorite things to participate in. You can check out some of the Eucharistic liturgies for children she’s written at A Good and Joyful Thing. As of fall 2023, she is also a licensed Level One catechist in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Emily lives with her Roman Catholic chemist husband, Omar De Paolis, in a jungle of houseplants in Brighton.
Dr. Bernadette Colley
Dr. Bernadette Colley has directed church music and taught music for over 30 years. Prior to her arrival at Church of Our Redeemer in February 2011, she was Director of Music and Worship Arts at the Pleasant Street Congregational Church in Arlington. There, her ministry was known for its diversity of musical styles and genres from Palestrina to Dixieland, and was enhanced by guest musicians ranging from the Renaissonics to the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. She founded and coordinated Pleasant Street Choral Concerts with support from Massachusetts Arts Lottery grants, and led worship services including major works by Bach, Buxtehude, Charpentier, Purcell, Ramirez, Saint-Saens, Vivaldi, Handel, and others.
As guest conductor of the Nashoba Valley Chorale for its 25th anniversary season, Dr. Colley led an orchestral-choral performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C, and from 1986-96 was the guitarist for the Scandinavian vocal ensemble Stambandet. From 2009-2011, she was advisor to Matimba ya Ripfumelo, a New England based South African humanitarian-service vocal ensemble which presented concerts throughout New England to raise money for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa. At the Church of Our Redeemer, Dr. Colley directs the Redeemer Choir and Atrium Singers, incorporates a wide range of instrumental and vocal talents of its members into weekly services, researches and plans music for unique Special Sunday Services, and oversees all aspects of administering and providing a diverse and high-quality music program for Redeemer’s Sunday morning worship.
During the summer of 2022, Dr. Colley took a continuing education excursion to Europe. Click HERE to download a PowerPoint presentation she gave live in October 2022.
Ellen L. Weene, Parish Administrator
Ellen L. Weene is a Lexingtonian born and bred. An alumna of Lexington Montessori, Bowman Elementary School, Clarke Jr. High School, and Lexington High School (‘87.) She lived with her family in the same house in the Pleasant Brook neighborhood of East Lexington (just down the street from the CoOR rectory) for approximately 40 years before spending some time in Watertown, Cambridge, and now Belmont.
She has a B.A. in Classical Civilizations and Myth Studies from Boston University (’92) and a Master’s in Classical Civilization from Harvard University (‘03.) She has been a professional administrative assistant/secretary since she was 13 years old, when she began working at the Brandeis Jewish Education Program (BJEP) after her bat mitzvah.
Ellen has a very close relationship with her mother and two older sisters and their husbands. Sadly, Ellen’s father passed away in 1994 before he could see her obtain her graduate degree from his Alma Mater (Harvard ’55.) The painting behind her is the work of her paternal grandfather, Joseph L. Weene.
Ellen enjoys reading Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Mysteries, listening to music and learning anything and everything available!
Elaine Cornell, Sexton
Elaine grew up in Cambridge, MA, attending Cambridge schools. After graduating from Cambridge High and Latin, she earned her ECC (Early Childcare) in order to qualify to work in daycare. She had her own daycare while her kids were little and then she worked at a daycare center for a few years after. Prior to this, Elaine was a foster mother caring for newborn babies until they were adopted through the state of Massachusetts. She currently works part time as a nanny and has helped her husband Jack at various episcopal churches. Elaine has three children and a stepdaughter: Tiffany, Charles, Heather, and Krissy. She also has four grandchildren, two boys and two girls. Elaine enjoys spending time with her husband, Jack, her children and her grandchildren. She enjoys going on vacation throughout New England, particularly the White Mountains into the harbors in Maine. After two months working at the Church of Our Redeemer, Elaine has met many new people and she has enjoyed conversing with them on a regular basis.
Jack Cornell, Sexton
Jack comes to us from seven minutes away from the west side of Woburn where he has spent the majority of his life. This past March 31, Jack retired from high school teaching. He was an educator for 43 years at various schools, or as he likes to say 6-1/2 years shy of a half a century in education. His last assignment was at Burlington High School where he worked in the Academic Support Center as a history and math specialist. He holds a BA in history and classics along with a minor in math from UMass Boston. He holds a master’s degree plus in American history from American Public University. Jack claims that working as a teacher, tennis coach and certified tennis instructor enabled him to work part time at various Episcopal churches. Jack and his wife, Elaine served 19 years as sextons at St. Anne’s in the Fields Episcopal Church in Lincoln, as well as six years at Saint Andrews in Ayer. Jack has two adult daughters, Kristen and Heather, as well as two stepchildren, Tiffany and Chuck. Jack and his wife Elaine enjoy New England travel. Two of their favorite spots are the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Jack will continue to teach tennis to both adults and children. Something he has done for the past 30 years. He will also continue to teach college and university history, remotely, both undergrad and graduate. As an historian, Jack still continues to research 18th and 19th century American history. Any opportunity he has, he will visit the many historical sites that America has to offer. Although he has been just over two months at CoOR, he has built up an excellent rapport with staff, vestry, and parishioners.