Rev. Dianne E. Arakawa – Interim Pastor
Pastor Dianne began serving us in February of 2019. She understands her ministry as a specialized ministry, and brings many years of experience in intentional transitional ministry in the United Church of Christ.
Previously she served in Niantic/East Lyme, CT; Simsbury, CT; Boston, MA; East Milton, MA; and Belmont, MA as well as in the Chicago, IL area and in New York, NY. Before being asked to serve in CT, she was the Chair of the Transitional Ministry Committee of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Pastor Dianne holds an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School in the history of religions; an MDiv from the Harvard Divinity School, where she received the American Bible Society Prize and a Certificate in the Teaching of Religion in Schools; and a BA from Wheaton College in MA, where she double majored in Religion and Art History.
She is married to the Rev. Stephen C. Washburn, and they have a grown son. When not ministering, she enjoys visiting museums and historical sites, listening to classical music and watching opera, walking on beaches, skimming ethnic cook books and diving into British detective mysteries.
Marcia Hempel – Music Director / Organist
Marcia has studied organ at the New England Conservatory, piano and voice at the Rhode Island Conservatory and choral conducting at Westminster Choir College, to name just part of her broad and ongoing training. Her interests are eclectic ranging, as she puts it, “from Bach to Bernstein,” including the jazz organ! She also plays the guitar.
In addition to her church work, Marcia directs the Young Singers Program for ages 9-16, sponsored by the church. She conducts the Harwich Women’s Chorus, which she started in 2013, and accompanies the Victrola Chorus, which performs at nursing homes. Prior to coming to First Church, Marcia was the founder, director and accompanist of the Nantucket Women’s Choir.
Gail Nickerson – Secretary
Originally from New York City, Gail moved to Cape Cod and married a local school teacher. Their two grown daughters still live here on the Cape. One is a school teacher and the other is Christian Education Director at another local church.
Besides Gail’s duties as church office administrator and secretary, she also is writing an historical novel about the Salem witch trials.
Paul Frederickson – Sexton
Paul has served as Sexton at First Church since 2006. He enjoys his work and the people here.
Being the son of a long-time member, he grew up in this church and is knowledgeable about its buildings, campus and history.
A talented musician, he contributes to our Coffee House gatherings. Paul also works at the Cape Cod Technical High School.
He is married to Susan.