The staff at First Churches works to ensure smooth operations of our Worship services and the many meetings and events here at the church. Each staff member brings their own character and expertise to the team.
Rev. Weir believes ministry unites the practices of spiritual growth and prayer with the work of social ministry, peace and justice. He seeks to do this through creating worship services and sermons that focus on contemplation and action for the common good. Rev. Weir came to First Churches in July 2012 and has been ordained since 1991. He has served congregations in Providence, Rhode Island; Poughkeepsie, NY.
Working for affordable housing, neighborhood development and helping homeless people has been a big focus throughout Rev. Weir’s ministry. He has managed transitional housing programs and homeless shelters, and currently serves on the Board of Friends of the Homeless and the Northampton Housing Partnership.
Beyond his seminary education (M.Div. from Andover Newton), Rev. Weir has training in counseling (M.A. from Marist College) and as a small group leader with the Laity Empowerment Project. He received a Lilly Grant in 2002 to study conflict transformation in Northern Ireland. Rev. Weir is currently completing training to be a certified leadership and life coach. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Rev. Weir has been married to Jeanne Fenton since 2009. Their four children are grown and currently live in Washington, DC, Connecticut and Florida. They enjoy biking and hiking together, and reading books when the weather is bad. Pastor Todd also enjoys cooking.
Minister of Christian Education and Outreach
Founding Pastor of Common Ground
The Rev. Sarah Buteux, brings many and varied gifts along with 13+ years of ministry experience to her work at First Churches.
Although Sarah was raised evangelical, ordained by the Swedenborgian Church in 2001, and received Privilege of Call from the U.C.C. in 2014, she identifies most fully as Emergent. She is a graduate of Smith College and Harvard Divinity School.
Sarah has ministered in the valley for the last nine years to a growing and thriving U.C.C. congregation in Hadley Massachusetts. As much as she loved her work in Hadley, Sarah left in order to follow the call God laid on her heart to explore alternative ways of creating a fully inclusive Christian community. That call led her to found Common Ground, a farm to table dinner church. In July of 2014 the congregation of First Churches invited Sarah to come on staff as their associate pastor and not only offered Common Ground a home, but formally adopted it as a new ministry of First Churches.
Sarah is charismatic and compassionate, intelligent and kind. She is a theological and social progressive with an evangelical heart whose greatest joy is welcoming people into the kingdom of God and then empowering them to extend that same extravagant welcome to others.
Sarah is well known and respected in the Pioneer Valley as an inspiring preacher and singer, a creative and adaptable leader, a voice people trust and a pastor they can count on. She is the mother of George (age 7) and Genevieve (age 4) which keeps her grounded and connected to the lives and challenges of other families. Sarah is happily married to Andrew Dole, a professor of Religion at Amherst College.
Dana Pasquale, Music Minister- Dana has been with First Churches since First Church of Christ merged with the First Baptist Church of Northampton to become The First Churches of Northampton. Dana directs the choir, plays the organ and piano at our weekly worship services as well as weddings and memorials. Dana is wildly talented in her field. She offers a wide range of music for our services. Dana is also heavily involved in First Churches Missions Committee and serves as a board member for Treehouse.
Vanessa Keillor, Church Administrator- Vanessa assumed the role of Administrator in 2013. She has a background in banking and office administration. She ensures the functional flow of building use, creates and distributes weekly bulletins and monthly newsletters and maintains the church database, among other office duties that arise. Vanessa is locally grown, with two small children, she can usually be seen biking them around town.
Ernie Bousques Jr., Sexton- Ernie is charged with the large task of keeping our building safe, secure and clean. Ernie works well with all members of the community to ensure both the inside and outside of the building are pleasing to the eyes of church members and visitors. He retired from the Northampton High School where he worked for many years in maintenance. Ernie enjoys a good game of bingo, fishing and riding his bike.