Elissa Center – I live in Lyndhurst. I just moved to the area from Hartford, CT over the summer with Sarah Gray (we’ve been together for 4 years and we’re recently engaged – planning a wedding for June of 2014!). I am currently working as a nanny for a 6-month-old boy in NYC, and having a lot of fun with that. I graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2009 with a degree in Neuroscience, and I’m taking classes now to go back to school for nursing. I’m interested in eventually going into pediatric oncology nursing, so I recently started volunteering at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the pediatric day hospital.
When we moved to NJ, we checked churches out online and came across FCC. It sounded perfect because it was open and affirming and in Montclair, which we had heard great things about. I immediately felt comfortable there – I liked the sermons, people seemed very friendly, and I enjoyed the music too! Not only did I feel like Sarah and I were welcome, but I felt like we were welcomed and embraced as a couple, something that I had never experienced at a church before. I’m interested in learning more about the service opportunities available through the church, especially Peace and Justice.
Sarah Gray – Elissa and I moved to Lyndhurst in August because I changed schools (from Hartford). I now work as a teacher at Newark Collegiate Academy in Newark. I am a “science learning specialist” which is a mixture between science and special education. Elissa and I both went to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, an all-women’s college. We both majored in Neuroscience and Behavior. While in college, I joined the crew team, which is something that I had never heard of, and fell in love with it. I also love coaching. I currently coach a club volleyball team at my school, but I have never played volleyball.
When Elissa and I moved to Lyndhurst, I started looking for a church right away. We saw your website only, and were attracted to the “open and affirming” policy, among other things. Within a few weeks of attending, I started talking about church outside of Sunday mornings, planning it into my schedule. It started to become something that I looked forward to every week – which had never in my life been true before.