Rev. Catherine Allard, who goes by Pastor Cat, began her pastorate at Meridian UCC in October 2016. She is passionate about sharing the truth of God’s all-inclusive love and the life-giving resource of the Word. Pastor Cat was introduced to the UCC at 28 years old; which is when she became a church-goer and started learning about the Loving God of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. She soon fell in love with the Trinity as a way to describe the Mystery of God (“yes," she thought, "it makes so much sense that God, God’s-self, is dynamic relationship!").
Pastor Cat holds a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to Meridian UCC, Pastor Cat served churches in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The work of her young adult years focused on positive youth development, creating safe space for GLBTQIA youth, challenging harmful social norms, and exposing the unexamined nature of "isms" - especially sexism, heterosexism/homophobia and racism. This work continues in the context of her ministry!
Pastor Cat is a true generalist, with gifts in the areas of worship leadership, pastoral care, Christian education, and organizational leadership. In every ministry setting, Pastor Cat's accessibility, authenticity, emotional and spiritual depth and maturity, and great love have been affirmed as among her greatest gifts.
Outside of church, Pastor Cat shares a loving home with her partner Jillian, and their three pets - the adorable pug/jack russel terrier mix that came with Jillian, and the two cats they’ve acquired together. Cat enjoys: playing games (especially cornhole and cribbage); watching The Voice, SNL, and “based on a true story” films; reading poetry; journaling; listening to live music; and the sight, sound, and smell of the ocean.
Misty loves kids so much she has four of her own! She has 20 years of experience working with families, foster youth and many other children as a case manager, behavioral specialist and small group leader. She also dedicated herself to nine years of education to learn how to teach Christian studies and serve others effectively, which is reflected in her highest degrees: a Master of Social Work and a Master of Divinity. Misty has been serving Meridian UCC as the Youth Ministry and Sunday School Coordinator since July 2018. In addition to serving as Youth Group Leader, Sunday school teacher for the middle school youth class, leading Children’s Circle in worship, and forever thinking of ways to improve and increase our Christian formation offerings, Misty supervises our two Nursery Attendants: Kaitlyn and Ashley.
Misty loves creating environments for kids that are fun, engaging and personal to the each child’s interests. She also enjoys relating to parents about the challenges and surprises of children.
Outside of her service to the church, Misty reads personal growth literature, current theological works and the occasional mystery. Misty enjoys travel, which is mostly, these days, in a trailer camping with her family.
Colin Frey (b. 1984) is a composer, conductor, and teacher. He holds a BM in Composition from Oberlin Conservatory and will graduate with a Master's in Conducting from Portland State University in 2019. Before coming to Meridian UCC, Colin served as music director for Waverly Heights UCC and later Metropolitan Community Church, both in Portland, Oregon. He co-founded Bridging Voices, a chorus for LGBTQ+ and affirming youth, and served as Artistic Director from 2013-2015. (The chorus is now one of the largest groups of its kind in the United States).
Colin has performed frequently as a solo recitalist and as a collaborative keyboardist. He can be heard on the album "Rotations" by Portland band Golden Retriever (2017), playing the historic Hook and Hastings organ at The Old Church. He has sung in the award-winning Portland State Chamber Choir and in professional choirs for shows at the Moda Center in Portland and the Key Arena in Seattle.
He is an active improviser, and plays keyboards for ComedySportz matches in NW Portland. Colin teaches private drum and piano lessons for people of all ages, and enjoys vocal coaching and collaborating with singers. He is available as a freelance pianist and drummer, and aspires to play out more frequently as a jazz musician, both as a pianist and as a drummer. Colin's other interests include visual art, experimental and electronic music, and musical theater/opera.
Tim teaches the youth class, sings in choir, leads robotics teams, and is always fixing something around the church.
Marie Van Patten
Marie is a Sunday School teacher, has worked as a forest ranger, and is very active in her son’s scout troop.
Wayne is an accomplished carpenter, and has made many of our beautiful wood pieces. He and his wife, Shirley, have a local school named in their honor.
Caitlin grew up in this church, and continues to attend as an adult.
Ron, with his cousin Steve, are descendants of one of the first families of the congregation. He is dedicated to making the church shine.
Jack is a retired pastor who blends wisdom, kindness and humor. He inspires the men’s breakfast group to begin each month with high expectations.