Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian
The Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, Senior Pastor of the Haydenville Congregational Church, has been active in movements for social and political change since 1970. An anti-racism educator, published poet, and singer/songwriter with three albums and CDs in circulation, Andrea has been living in the Pioneer Valley since 1980. Andrea was, for ten years, the Dean of Religious Life and Protestant Chaplain at Mount Holyoke College where she supervised a team of Chaplains who served the nine active faith communities on the campus. Andrea is the life partner to Michael Klare and mother to Sasha Klare-Ayvazian who is in college. Andrea holds degrees from Oberlin College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, the Graduate School of the Union Institute, and Yale Divinity School. Andrea’s book PSALMS IN ORDINARY VOICES is forthcoming.
Rev. Chris Mereschuk
Pastor Chris joined the Haydenville Congregational Church as Associate Pastor on August 18, 2013. Ordained in 2007 after attending Andover Newton Theological School, Chris has served churches in Hartford and Glastonbury Connecticut and New Orleans, Louisiana. He also served as the Summer Director of Silver Lake Conference Center, the Connecticut UCC’s Outdoor Ministry site.
Chris is the husband of Lila (pronounced Lee-luh), who is the financial controller of a growing non-profit based in Hadley. Together they have a spirited and blessing-filled 4½-year-old daughter, Izabel. Chris and his family live in Northampton, and simply love the Pioneer Valley for all of its beauty, passion, and people.
Some other “Get-to-Know-You” snippets about Pastor Chris: Attended Northeastern University (Sociology and Psychology); used to work in Community Mental Health; loves to cook; plays drums and harmonica; enjoys reading non-fiction; watches too much TV; carries his favorite art with him at all times; is committed to radical non-violence and restorative justice; loves music; and prefers to go by “Chris.” We’ll leave some other stuff to-be-discovered!