Cleveland Park Congregational UCC, like all United Church of Christ congregations, is self-governed by our lay leadership, pastor, and congregation. Our congregation gathers each January for an annual meeting at which all matters are discussed and voted on directly, like an old-fashioned town meeting.
Our Pastor: The Rev. Ellen Jennings
Pastor Ellen received her Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1991 and was ordained as a UCC minister in 2007.
Prior to her call by Cleveland Park Church, Ellen spent three years serving a Unitarian Universalist Congregation as Minister of Religious Education and Sabbatical Minister. During her time there, she led worship, created a Lifespan Religious Education Program, provided pastoral care, and facilitated spiritual practice groups and retreats. From 2001-2008, Ellen served The Interfaith Families Project (IFFP), an independent interfaith community of Jewish and Christian families, as Director of Religious Education and Interim Spiritual Director. While there, she developed IFFP’s preschool through eighth grade religious education program and wrote much of its interfaith curriculum. <more>
M, W, Th: Appointments and visits
Tuesday: Day off
Friday: Sermon and study day
David was born to a working class family that produced eight younger brothers and sisters, all still living, both far away and close. He was the only first grader that year in a small rural school, and was petted so nicely by the still beautiful Miss Johnson that he decided never to leave the classroom. His Methodist family was loving, and life—at least much of it—gentle fun.
After a stellar career at Gresham Union High in Oregon, a friend’s dare and a regional affirmative action program led to a full scholarship to Harvard where he abandoned strong thoughts of law and social work to study “American History and Literature.” That going unspectacularly OK, he went to Berkeley to study history, disliking arcane literary studies, but loving literature for what it told about those who wrote and read it at points in time.
At Berkeley he married, which union produced three still lovely and lovable children and a reasonably genial divorce. He also wrote a dissertation that became his first book: on early melodrama, pondering why such poor plays were popular so long. He published three more books, two of them lazy collections of primary sources. A fifth lies scattered on two tables in his messy home.
He came to this church to read the Bible having just finished appreciatively the Koran. He moved further in with ministerial improvements. He enjoys the various churchly stuff, most deeply weeding and poetry.
Children & Youth Programs:
Sunday School Lead Teacher: Kimberly Cataudella
Kimberly joined us in January 2017. She’s from Long Island, New York, studying print journalism and religious studies at American University. As the oldest of four and having worked at a Christian summer camp for the past three summers, she loves cultivating relationships with the children each year.
Teen Group Leader: Grandon Purnell
Church Administrator: Meg House
Meg House joined the staff in April 2015. Along with her background in editing, marketing and writing, she has a Master of Arts in religious studies from Wesley Theological Seminary and is part owner (with her husband) of a wine store in Virginia. She’s lived in the DC area most of her life, and is a member, elder, and volunteer at DC’s New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Meg enjoys singing, playing the flute, and long walks. Her work at Cleveland Park UCC allows her to combine her work and volunteer experiences with her love of the church.
Office Hours – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. (Closed Wednesday)
Call 202-363-8211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm hours.
Church Musical Director: Dorothy Mora
Dorothy Mora earned a Bachelor of Music in flute performance from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Music in flute performance from Peabody Conservatory.
She completed further course work in Music Education at Methodist College.
She currently is Music Director at Cleveland Park Church and has over 30 years experience teaching, conducting and performing in church and other instrumental groups. She has been a member of Cleveland Park Church since 1992 and Music Director from 1998-2005 and from 2009 to the present.
Church Organist: Harold Walbert
Harold Walbert has served as the Pianist/Organist at Cleveland Park Congregational Church since he moved to the Washington DC area in 2010. Harold has over 10 years of professional experience teaching, conducting and performing sacred music. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of West Georgia and his Master’s from The Johns Hopkins University.