Rev. John A. Castricum, Senior Pastor
John came to First Church, Bedford in April, 2013 after three pastorates in Weymouth, Centerville and Quincy Massachusetts. He graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in May, 1996 and was ordained by the United Church of Christ the following September. In addition to his pastoral duties, John has been active on local church and ministry committees as well as several ecumenical commissions. He is currently doing studies in the areas of church growth and revitalization as well as spiritual direction. He also has interests in reformation church history and the theology of John Calvin. John, his wife Sarah and daughter Emily live in the church Manse and enjoy the many family activities Bedford has to offer. He enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and sports.
Kate Byers, Director of Christian Nurture
Kate came to First Church, Bedford in August 2015 after graduating from Boston University School of Theology. She is in the United Church of Christ ordination process as a Member-in-Discernment of the Metropolitan Boston Association. Before attending seminary, Kate worked with children and youth in a variety of settings both inside and outside the church. Her undergraduate degrees are in Human Development and Family Studies, and Psychology. Kate is passionate about intergenerational ministry and fostering intergenerational community. She lives with her wife Sara and two small children in Arlington MA. Kate enjoys spending time outdoors, and reading.
Susan Capestro, Music Director
Susan Capestro has loved music since she sang in a cherub choir in her home town in NJ. Having started piano at age 4, she moved on to playing horn in brass groups and orchestras during her teen years. As an adult, Susan has provided vocal and instrumental music for churches. For over a dozen years, she played a Yamaha grand piano at Sacred Heart in Newton, MA. In September of 2011, she became Music Director at First Church.
Susan is also a teacher of keyboard, piano/vocals and composition, with professional composers, teachers and jazz pianists among her former students. An ASCAP awards winner, she has composed both commissioned and non-commissioned vocal and instrumental works. Susan has recorded jazz, toured with African musicians, played for swing bands and performed recitals with symphony players.
Holding degrees from Ithaca College and Northwestern University, Susan founded WholeMusicLessons.com, served as Treasurer and President of the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association, presented sessions at national conferences, and contributed articles to several music publications. She enjoys gardening, cooking and sports.
Debra Zagaeski, Office Administrator