Shannan Donohue is the current Senior Deacon of The First Congregational Church of Norwalk. Prior to executing this role, Shannan served on both the former Hospitality and Fellowship Committees. Beyond her role as moderator, Shannan is also an acting member of the standing search committee for FCC Norwalk’s new designated term pastor. Shannan has been a member of FCC Norwalk for more than 15 years, having started attending the church thanks to her late grandparents , Everett and Helen Palmer. Shannan has three children who are all members of FCC Norwalk— her oldest daughter Amanda is a Norwalk resident; her youngest daughter Sawyer currently attends Sacred Heart University; and her son Neco works in Washington DC. Shannan is thrilled to see where FCC Norwalk is going and hopes any new members will reach out to her!
Chancel Choir Director
John Peter Strybos
John Peter Strybos is the organist, directs the Chancel Choir and also works with the children during Sunday School. He has degrees/certificates from Baylor University (BM), the University of Central Oklahoma (MEd) and Manhattan School of Music (Dalcroze/Orff/Kodaly Certificate). He has taught school and held church positions in Texas, Oklahoma, New York and Connecticut and retired from The Church of St. Joseph and St. Joseph's School (Bronxville, NY) in 2017. He lives in Stamford with his life partner, Jim Wetherald, and their cat Beauregard Oreo (a.k.a Mr. Beau).
Past Senior Deacon
John has served the church in numerous capacities, including as Moderator of the Church Council, Deacon, Chair of several committees and in the Gospel Choir. He and his wife, Susan, joined the church in 2003 at the time of the baptism of their grandchildren. They were drawn to the church by the sense of spiritual community, diversity and commitment to social justice. A retired public school educator, John served three different school districts as Superintendent of Schools and founded an experimental high school in New York City and an innovative early childhood school in Peoria, Illinois. He holds a B.A. from Carleton College, an M.A. from Wesleyan University, and a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. A veteran of the voting rights movement in Mississippi in the 1960’s, he has strived in his career and as a citizen to support movements for racial and economic justice.
Evelyn Shirell McElveen Rogers
Shirell is a native of Norwalk, Connecticut. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She also holds a master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport. She is a member of Grace Baptist Church in Norwalk where she serves as Financial Secretary and as a Trustee. She is also the Treasurer of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a public service sorority. She resides in Norwalk with her two children Brandi and William.
Director of Gospel Choir Ministry
Chris leads our Gospel Choir, Men’s Chorus and our newly forming Youth Gospel Choir. As well as a writer and arranger of gospel music. He weaves jazz black gospel and white choral music into a new brand of music that engages a broad, cross-cultural audience. In 1993, he founded the good News Gospel Choir with 15 members. Today, this 50-voice, multi-denominational singing group performs nearly every weekend at churches, festivals, fundraisers and various community events throughout the state of Connecticut. The group has released two albums, 1997’s Joy, Unspeakable Joy and most recently, Light a Candle. Through a choral workshops, Coogan has begun to help reinvigorate church and community choirs by teaching directors and members the vocal techniques and gesture that accompany Gospel music. These workshops have been offered throughout California and in Sydney, Australia and will be offered to churches throughout the country in Spring, 2001.I see myself as a catalyst who uses the medium of music to bring people together” Coogan said. “It’s my passion to help people find joy in making music and singing from their souls”.
Deacon of Sacrament
We’ve been members since 1987. We first came to church Christmas Eve 1986. We’ve been married for 41 years ( Pradeep), we live in Norwalk for as many years. Our children Veshal, Hans, Nisha ( grandson Jayden) & Anouk grew up in our church. I’ve been ; Sunday school teacher, Mothers Support Group Chair, commission member & chair of Fellowship and Education commissions, Deacon (7 years). Farmers Market Task Force etc. And I’m currently Deacon of Sacrament. I’m also an active volunteer at the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum as event planner and Docent. I am also a Dutch language and culture teacher. I have been Vegan for many years
Nancy has been a member of FCC for nearly 30 years and the Secretary (previously the Scribe) for 8 years. She has also served the church as the co-chair of the Service Commission, as Chair of the Fellowship Commission, as a Gospel Choir member, and as a Sunday School teacher. Nancy lives in Wilton with her husband Curtis and works as a librarian at the UConn Stamford Library.
Deacon of Worship
Ricardo Senteio is a long time member of first congregational church and life time resident of Norwalk. He is the former chair of the deacons and hospitality boards and he is a member of the gospel choir . He is currently the Deacon of worship and our Farmer's market manager. He was previously married to Tanya Storms Senteio and share a daughter Kelsey Senteio(currently members) He is currently married to Erika Foster Senteio ( former moderator and current program director here at FCC) and share a bonus daughter Ciara Walker.
Senior Deacon Elect
Laura grew up in the Midwest and has spent 30+ years in the fashion industry. She is an avid runner and as a new resident of Norwalk, she discovered FCC on one of her runs to the beach. As a recent newlywed, she was looking for a congregation that encompassed social justice and concentrated on community outreach. She and her husband joined the church in 2018 and are regular volunteers at The Farmer’s Market. Laura also volunteers at P2P and helps with food and clothing drives at FCC. She and Tom enjoy their down time hiking, walking and running as often as possible
Erika Foster-Senteio is a very active lay leader at the First Congregational Church on the Green. She has held many leadership positions including most recently Moderator, Ordained Deacon and member of the Farmers Market Task Force. Erika is also currently is currently attending Chicago Theological Seminary to obtain a Masters of Divinity Degree. Erika is a passionate social justice advocate who wants to be an ancestor that future generations can be proud of. Erika loves the Lord, her family and this church and she is thrilled to be the Program Director.
Deacon of Programs
Ashley Gulyas is the Deacon of Programs, overseeing task forces for youth ministry, children's ministry, bible study, and coffee hour, and working closely with our Program Director, Erika Foster. Ashley sings with the Gospel and Chancel Choirs at FCC. Ashley is an elementary and middle school music teacher, and most importantly, she is Xavier's mom.