HOPE
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
St. Louis, Missouri
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Our Staff

 

PastorSarahNew06Rev. Dr. Sarah Fredriksen McCann, Pastor
E-mail Pastor Sarah at: smccann@hopeuccstl.org

Sarah began serving as pastor and teacher at Hope United Church of Christ in May 2002.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Sarah grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania and Ohio, graduating from Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) in 1994 with a B.A. in Music.

After earning a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary (Webster Groves, MO) in 1997, Sarah was ordained as a United Church of Christ pastor upon accepting a call to serve as pastor and teacher of Immanuel UCC in East St. Louis, IL.

During her tenure at Immanuel UCC, Sarah served on various committees of the Illinois South Conference of the UCC, as well as on the Worship Committee of the national gathering of the denomination (called “General Synod”) in 2001 where she had the opportunity to preach.

In addition to her ministry at Hope UCC, Sarah currently serves on the Preparation for Ministry Committee of the St. Louis Association of the United Church of Christ. She also serves as co-chair of the Clergy and Laity Alliance of St. Louis Hills. Having a particular interest in adult Christian education, Sarah focused on this topic and its programs at Hope for her doctoral thesis. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL) in May 2005. 

Sarah is married to Clint McCann, who is the Evangelical Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Eden Seminary and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Together they have one daughter, Annalise, and one son, Ian.

 

yanczer-deedee-webDeeDee Yanczer, Eden Student Pastor
E-mail DeeDee at: dyanczer@eden.edu

I want to thank you for the privilege of serving as your student pastor this school year. My name is Diane Yanczer but most people call me DeeDee. I am a third-year student at Eden Theological Seminary. I have a Bachelor’s Degree with a dual major in Psychology and Sociology from Maryville University. I was born and raised in Saint Louis and currently reside in South City. I serve as the Coordinator of Wednesday Ministries at Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC where I am also a member. My job consists of managing our food ministry which includes a Food Pantry and a weekly free community lunch. I grew up in the Southern Baptist church and I joined the UCC in 2011. I am the mother of Sabrina Eakins and the late Joshua Yanczer, who passed away this year on Palm Sunday. I have a granddaughter named Jaiden who is 14 years old and a freshman at Bishop DuBourg High School. Jaiden is the big sister of Gianni who is 17 months old and a bundle of energy. My children and grandchildren have always been a big part of my life and I am blessed to have them. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we navigate this grief journey together mourning the loss of Joshua. He was the center of our family and we deeply miss him. I look forward to being at Hope this year and getting to know all of you.

 

JoyceNew03Joyce DeNeal, Office Administrator
E-mail Joyce at: jdeneal@hopeuccstl.org

The welcome that I have found as Office Administrator (since January 2007) mirrors exactly the welcome I had felt since first coming to HOPE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST with my husband Ken almost 9 years ago. 

It is a pleasure to be working with so many people who are devoted to keeping this church as vital, as caring and as special as it is.   

Many will find that me “giving directions” comes natural. It is to be expected when you are the oldest of nine children. Our home is St. Louis, although my brothers and sisters are now spread across the country. Those spots currently include: Texas, California, Maine and Florida. 

Ken and I live right in the neighborhood on Walsh. I love being able to walk to work and often go home for lunch and to let the dogs out to the yard. We share our home (and most of the flat, soft surfaces in it) with two great dogs – Pita, a rescued greyhound and Di Di, a very noisy yet lovable dachshund. We have two daughters and two awesome grandchildren and a great son-in-law. We are blessed that currently they all live nearby. 

Just prior to coming to HOPE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, I had worked seven years for the Great Restaurant Group (Remy’s Kitchen and Wine Bar and Big Sky Café) as a restaurant manager and the wine director. I currently still do some part-time wine education classes at Dierbergs stores and employee training at the restaurants. I find the histories, economics and climates of wine regions and the stories of the wine makers a fascinating study. Ken and I have been able to travel to Italy, France and Canada to experience some of those wine regions first hand. 

Family, garden, travel, and a new study of Extra Virgin Olive Oils and grandchildren are the current focuses of my life. I have been, and continue, to be blessed in so many ways. I have a simple relationship with God. Daily, I pray “Lord, show me the way.” He continues to do so. 

I am in the office on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to noon, on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a lunch break from noon to 1:00 p.m. During the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day), office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It’s always a pleasure to meet church guests and visitors. If you call and I miss you, please leave a message. We are all very attentive to returning messages just as quickly as possible.

 

Stoll-Jill-webJill Stoll, Office Assistant
E-mail Jill at: jstoll@hopeuccstl.org

Jill is a life-long member of the United Church of Christ and has been a member of several local churches here in the St. Louis Region. She has been a home-schooling parent until recently, and prior to that worked as a nutritionist. She served as a team nutritionist for the Rams Football team and as an Associate Nutrition Scientist for Ralston Purina.

Her church-related experiences include serving as Church Council President and numerous volunteer activities. Jill enjoys many hobbies – including cooking and baking, knitting and sewing, gardening and playing the flute.

 

JimTNew02Jim Threlkeld, Director of Music
Jim has served as Director of Music and Organist at Hope United Church of Christ since 1997 and has served in church music for 49 years.  

He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO and taught Elementary Music several years in public schools.  

Jim is a member of the American Guild of Organists and The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. In addition to his responsibilities as organist, Jim directs the Adult Chancel Choir and the Chancel Handbell Choir.

 

aranda-linda-webLinda Aranda, Coordinator of Youth and Children’s Ministries
E-mail Linda at: laranda@hopeuccstl.org

A former English/journalism teacher, Linda comes to Hope UCC after 15 years as Children’s Ministry Director at John Knox Presbyterian Church, Florissant, MO. After graduating from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Education, Linda taught seven years at Jersey Community High School, Jerseyville, IL, before leaving to raise her two sons. As a freelance writer, Linda has contributed articles to the Hazelwood School District newspaper, Journal newspapers, and Today’s Child Magazine. Linda also has five published plays to her credit. While moderating two book clubs, (Florissant, MO and Maryville, IL), Linda has led monthly discussions since 2006 plus researching and writing discussion questions when needed. As a Blog Writer, Linda has produced more than five years of book summaries, critiques and discussion questions for book clubbers. In 2016, bookclubcompanion reached more than 10,000 people. Recently widowed, Linda is the proud mother of two grown sons and grandmother of three: Brynn (7), Zachary (5), and Piper (almost 4).

 

SusieNew02Susie Richmann, Director of Children’s Music
As the Director of Children's Music, I have the pleasure of working with all of the children at Hope throughout the year.  

Children of all ages are invited to play the "baby bells," which are actually the Krystal Handbells. These bells are colored and very easy to play, and take no musical training or practice whatsoever.  

Also, periodically throughout the year, I work with Sunday School teachers and come to the classrooms and practice a song for all children to perform for a service.  

For the older kids, from 3rd grade and beyond, we've created a handbell choir and a vocal choir. The choir practices every Sunday after services, and this dedicated choir performs 3-4 times per year. Finally, the vocal choir practices every Sunday before the 10:30 service, and they sing more often, approximately 6-7 times per year.

Having been in music my whole life, and with my teaching background, I am very excited to be in this position. The children enjoy singing and playing in all capacities. I feel we have a great relationship, and I'm so proud of the kids for the ways they enrich the services for our congregation.

 

EthanNew02Ethan Hale, Weekday Building Care
Ethan maintains the church building and grounds throughout the week. From replacing light bulbs to snow blowing the walks, Ethan is the building care expert.