Committed to the Cause
Rev. Ethan Drutchas
Rev. Ethan Drutchas became the 15th Settled Minister of the Village Congregational Church on October 1st, 2018. As senior minister, Ethan leads Sunday worship and supervises programming and pastoral ministries at the VCC.
As Ethan describes it, his call to ministry was not straightforward:
“When asked about my call to ministry, I often tell folks that I found God in a classroom on the Iowa prairie and Jesus Christ while riding a bus in Bangor, Maine. Like many in the United States today, I wasn’t raised going to church. Instead I found God and the church (or perhaps they found me) as a young adult while attending college and undertaking a UCC-sponsored community internship studying the transportation needs of low-income Maine residents. I believe it is my special calling to reach out to others like myself–those for whom the life of faith and the church might be unfamiliar, but who recognize in themselves a deep, inner longing for a life lived with purpose, fellowship, and compassion.”
A native of southeast Michigan, Ethan holds a BA in History from Grinnell College and received his Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to joining the VCC, Ethan served as the Acting Pastor and Head of Staff at Grinnell United Church of Christ- Congregational in Grinnell, Iowa.
In his free time, Ethan enjoys golf, tennis, swimming, reading, exploring the history and landscape of New England, and griping about his years of suffering as a result of being born a fan of the Detroit Lions.
Pastor Patricia Furber, M. Div.
Pastor of Visitation
Pat Furber is a graduate of Andover Newton Theological School with Master of Divinity and has been a Pastor of Visitation at the Village Congregational Church since 2016.
Pat retired from a state job with the Department of Social Services after 22 years of assisting families and children. Now she is dedicating her calling to visiting the sick, lonely and homebound members of our community as well as conducting worship services as needed for VCC. She enjoys reading novels, knitting, babysitting the grandkids and teaching them to write their own stories on occasion. She is a former teacher, psychotherapist, social worker and manager. Pat has been a member of the Village Church for 15 years and enjoys visiting members and helping our church missions whenever the need calls.
Claudia has joined our staff in 2018. She handles the day to day administrative needs, communications, publications, events of the church and works closely with our pastors, committee members and volunteers. Claudia is a former Community Liaison for home care services and advocate for elders as well as a Project & Events Director with experience in marketing, accounting and event planning. She holds a BS degree in Urban Studies and Gerontology. Claudia's passion is to use her talents to help children and seniors in her community. She enjoys travel, cooking, event planning and cultural arts.
As Music Director, Laurie brings a lifetime of singing and love for the church to the task. She has taught voice for the past thirty plus years, privately and as part of various school programs; directed vocal ensembles; and performed professionally in church, synagogue, and other choral organizations. Her passion is to enable the choir and congregation to lift up their voices in the joy of worship; to foster variety in musical participation, both vocal and instrumental, among all ages; and, through our corporate efforts, to enhance the worship experience for all.
Christian Education Director & Teacher Grades 3 – 6
Mrs. Bombard has been a Sunday School teacher at the Village Congregational Church for the past 5 years. In 2019, Traci was asked to take over as Interim Christian Education Director. The following year, 2020, she accepted the position as Christian Education Director as well as continuing to teach her Sunday School class.
The Elementary class uses traditional tools as well as multi-media to help guide our Youth in their faith journey. Lesson focus for all ages is on the spiritual growth of our Youth in our church and to help them understand their role as Christians in our community. Encouraging open, thoughtful and faith driven discussions.
Traci is a long-time member of the church. Her family has a long history with the church as well. Being baptized, confirmed and raised in the Congregational Church herself and a mother of three, Traci with her husband John returned to raise their family in the same traditions she was brought up in. A graduate of Art from UMass Dartmouth, she enjoys reading, photography and has a passion for baking.
Christian Ed. Atrium Teacher
Mrs. Gannon has been teaching the Village Congregational Church’s Atrium Sunday School for many years. What’s always on the agenda is fun, friendship, and learning about FAITH! Plenty of book, puzzles, craft opportunities and educational manipulatives assure that students have a wonderful time.
Mrs. Gannon is the mother of two teenagers, and has worked many years in the Northbridge and Hopedale Public School systems as a substitute classroom teacher and a special education paraprofessional. In her spare time, she likes to write, and recently published her first book. She also loves hiking in nature with her beloved dog, Chloe, and vacationing in the beautiful state of Maine.
Village Bell Ringers Choir Director
Harriet has been our handbell choir director for more than 30 years! She started by ringing bells in the bell choir when first moving to town in 1984. Then she moved into the director position a few years later, and has stuck with it ever since! Harriet has her B.S. in Music Education and Music Therapy from Case Western Reserve University, has just recently retired from teaching music for 26 years in the Worcester Public Schools, and has a long history of music leadership in Northbridge through her founding and presiding of Valley Music School for 17 years.
The bell choir has been her passion, and she has taught many to ring bells and become better musicians. Our bell choir has come a long way, and now is well known for their beautiful music that they perform monthly at the Village Church, and often in other churches and at other events around the area. The bell choir has 5 octaves of Malmark bells, 5 octaves of Malmark chimes, and many other types of equipment to add to their sounds! Harriet welcomes new ringers, and is willing to teach anyone how to ring bells successfully! If you are interested in joining the Village Bell Ringers Bell Choir and want to learn how; please contact Harriet at email@example.com
Experienced, trustworthy and fun. These are just a few of the qualities of our church building manager. John brings many years of engineering and building management experience to caring for our historically antique stone church. His knowledge and expertise regarding everything from operations to maintenance is an invaluable asset to our our church and congregation. Some might say he knows these walls like the back of his hand.