The Rev. Dr. Cheryl Ann Elfond started as our Transitional Pastor on August 1, 2016. She has been a college instructor (language and Religion), counselor, pastor, interim pastor, and a General Presbyter (in two Presbyteries – Transylvania in Kentucky and North Central Iowa). She also served as Interim Executive Presbyter for Transition and Transformation for the Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley in New York. In those roles she has had oversight for anywhere from 2 staff members to 20 staff members, and as Presbytery leader, she had care of up to 97 congregations and 120 pastors. She has worked with and assisted a variety of congregations and pastors in her role as Presbytery leader and as Pastor/Interim Pastor. She also served as an assessor for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) New Beginnings initiative to help congregations discern the way forward.
Cheryl Ann has completed training at the Coaches Training Institute and is now engaged in the certification process. In this role, she assists individuals as well as groups discover and embrace their wisdom, creativity, and courage. She is a member of the Synod of the Northeast Coaching Network.
After undergraduate and graduate work in German and Linguistics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she completed a Masters degree in Counseling at Eastern Michigan University and worked 8 years as a Counselor before entering the ministry. She completed the Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. Cheryl Ann completed the Doctor of Ministry degree at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. with a final thesis: “We Discern Together: Group Spiritual Guidance in the Reformed Tradition.”
Pastor Cheryl Ann loves the local church. At this point in her ministry she feels called to transitional ministry in the local church, helping congregations discern what God is calling them to be and do. Transitional times often bring about a certain amount of anxiety as congregations face the unknown. It is Cheryl Ann’s passion to walk alongside the congregation and its leaders providing spiritual support and encouragement as they seek God’s direction for the future. She is especially committed to Spiritual Formation in the congregation. In areas of her special interests, she has received training as a Healthy Congregations facilitator, has facilitated numerous Healthy Congregations workshops for congregations, for Sessions and for Presbytery leadership, and is qualified to train other facilitators. She is well versed in the history of the labyrinth and is qualified to lead labyrinth walks. Although she does not currently practice the profession of counseling, she maintains her credentials as a Licensed Professional Counselor and finds that the continuing education requirements for maintaining those credentials support her pastoral role in the church.
Pastor Cheryl Ann enjoys travel, international cuisine, music, reading, writing, and Tai Chi. She has taught Tai Chi as a volunteer. She enjoys learning about and living in different cultures and has lived in 7 different states and Germany. She has travelled to all but one state in the USA and hopes to remedy that soon! She is the proud aunt of 5 nieces and 3 nephews and the great aunt of 7 great nieces and 4 great nephews (and counting!).
Dr. Daniel LaBar is a pianist, composer, choral director, and teacher. He holds degrees in piano from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts from the American Conservatory of Music in 1979. Dr. LaBar held the position of Assistant Professor of Music at Glenville State College in WV, where he taught piano and theory. He held a similar position at South Caroline State College in SC.
Dan's duties include playing the organ for Sunday morning services. He also conducts the adult vocal choir and the adult bell choir. He is responsible for conducting the weekly rehearsals for these two groups. He takes time in planning and picking out music to use in the service, and he takes time to practice the music. He meets with the pastor on a regular basis, and he occasionally meets with the Worship Committee.
He is responsible for maintaining the organ and three pianos in use at the church. He has a budget which he uses for buying new music and for paying instrumentalists at Christmas and Easter.
Occasionally, he is responsible for playing an extra service, such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday.
He also give private instruction in piano at home, at One-Seventy-One Cedar Arts Center in Corning, and teaches at Elmira College.
Mrs. Brenda Fasick became the secretary for Horseheads First Presbyterian Church in the fall of 2010. She also works a full time job during the day for Chemung County.
Brenda was born and raised in Upstate New York and received her Associates Degree in Business Administration at Corning Community College.
Brenda has an adult son who lives and works in the area. She also has a rescue dog who keeps her busy. If there is any spare time after both jobs and her family, she loves reading a good book and quilting.