Meet our Clergy and Staff.Every member does the work of the church. These folks keep it running smoothly.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath
Pastor and Teacher
Pastor Emily arrived in Exeter in 2014. A native of Virginia, Emily grew up in Winter Park, Florida and is a graduate of Emory University, Columbia Theological Seminary, and Andover Newton Theological School. Before serving here in Exeter, Emily served as a hospital trauma chaplain, and later as the pastor of a UCC congregation in southern Vermont, and as a volunteer firefighter on the local fire department. Despite being born and raised in the South, Emily is the 13th continuous generation of her family to live in New Hampshire. (In fact, some of Emily’s ancestors were members of this very church in the 1600s.)
Outside of the parish Emily serves as the chaplain to the Exeter Police Department and as a member of the Alumni Council of Columbia Theological Seminary, the advisory board of DayOne, and previously served on the national Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ. Emily also coaches speech and debate at Phillips Exeter Academy and is an accomplished writer who is a regular contributor to the UCC’s Still Speaking Daily Devotionals, as well as the Christian Century and Huffington Post’s Religion section. Their first book, Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity, was published by Pilgrim Press in 2016, and their second, Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear, in 2018.
Emily’s hobbies include fly fishing, weight lifting, genealogy, watching the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, and managing a fantasy football team that manages to regularly implode spectacularly during the first round of the playoffs. But, most of all, Emily enjoys spending time with their wife, Heidi Carrington Heath, who is also an ordained UCC minister. They live on campus at Phillips Exeter Academy and are thrilled to be serving this community.
Nicole St. Cyr
Nicole comes to us with many years of management and customer service experience, most recently serving as Practice Manager position at Core Cardiology. Nicole lives in Newton with her husband, two little girls, Gabby (7) and Harper (4), and their dog, Molly. She loves to take the girls on runs, do arts & crafts, take them shopping, play with them at the beach or just cuddle up on the coach to watch a cute Disney movie! Besides being a full time mom, she enjoys long distance running. She has completed many half marathons and four full marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2014. Nicole also enjoys spending time outdoors at the beach and in her backyard. Nicole was born and raised in Wisconsin, so she loves cheese and during football season, she enjoys cheering on the Green Bay Packers. Nicole is excited to start this next chapter of her life with the Congregational Church in Exeter, so please feel free to stop by anytime and say Hi or if you need anything she is here to help!
Director of Music
Kim Karchenes has been playing piano and organ in church since she was a teenager. Prior to becoming Director of Music here at The Congregational Church of Exeter, she served at First Parish Church (York, ME) for 10 years, and St. Andrews (Kennebunk, ME) for 6 years.
She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with specialization in Piano Performance from the University of Lowell and has been a performing classical pianist for the past 25 years. She has performed extensively throughout Massachusetts and Maine as a soloist and as accompanist for Seaglass Chorale of Kennebunk and Seacoast Community Chorus of York Maine. She was guest pianist with the Thayer Symphony Orchestra, has played Mass at St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy and has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Tim Janis Christmas Ensemble.
At The Congregational Church of Exeter, Kim oversees the music program and conducts the 30+ member senior choir, 13 member handbell choir and works with a praise band and soloists. She finds a strong spiritual connection between worship and music and believes that the fellowship of music ministry brings our hearts and souls together with God. When not at the organ or practicing piano for an upcoming concert she enjoys spending time in the woods of Maine with her husband Dana and her beloved German Shepherd, Kiersa.
Director of Church School
Allan, a native of Boston, has resided in Exeter for the past 9 years. In 2004, having been a case manager for mentally challenged adults for 13 years, Allan embarked on a new career as a theatre artist. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Salem State College and has worked throughout New England as a professional actor, voice-over artist and theatre educator.
Allan enjoys reading historical fiction, jogging, travelling and spending time with his wife Jill and their two girls Kallie and Reilly. Allan feels blessed to have found a spiritual home here at the Congregational Church in Exeter.
Director of Youth