Meet the Staff
Pastor Abigail Zang Hoffman has served as Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church since September 2010. She previously served as Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Elmira, New York.
Born in Buffalo, she grew up mostly in New Orleans and Houston, where she graduated from high school. Her bachelor’s degree is from Cornell University where she was an active member of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Ithaca. She earned a Master of Divinity and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago.
Pastor Hoffman lives with her husband and two daughters in Fairport, along with their dog, Bailey. They enjoy traveling, gardening, swimming, and going for walks – none of which they do as often as they’d like!
Learn more about Pastor Hoffman in a Fairport-ER Post article here.
Pastor Amy Walter-Peterson was called and began serving as co-Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in June 2017. She previously served calls with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Upstate New York Synod of the ELCA, and St. Mark Lutheran Church, Mayville, NY.
Born and raised in Minnesota, she was an active participant in many Lutheran congregations and outdoor ministries and received her bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Northfied, MN. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA.
Pastor Amy lives with her husband, Hans Walter-Peterson, in Geneva, NY. Together they enjoy food and wine, cooking, entertaining, traveling, and good movies.
Since 2007, Pastor Amy has spent time each summer teaching at St. Leo’s Coptic Catholic Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. She writes about her experiences at http://amy-in-egypt.blogspot.com/.
Beth Schoenfeld, Ministry Support Coordinator, began serving as the Ministry Support Coordinator/ Office Manager in May of 2014. Beth’s experience as an executive assistant, background in customer service, degree in marketing, strengths of organization and office management, and skills working with a variety of communication styles make her an excellent match for this position. Beth loves to spend time with her family and especially enjoys cooking, baking, camping, hiking, and doing anything outdoors.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church is also served by a capable staff of musicians:
Susan DePasquale has served as organist of Bethlehem Lutheran Church since 1992. She has also served as organist at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rochester and First Presbyterian Church in East Rochester. She was director of children’s choirs at Bethlehem from 1992-2007. A native of Nebraska, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Performance degree from Ithaca College. In addition to her work at Bethlehem she maintains a private teaching studio in her home and accompanies the choirs at Fairport High School. Susan and her husband Dick, who is a retired instrumental music teacher, live in the village of Fairport, and have three grown children. She enjoys gardening, sewing, cooking, running and biking and is a member of the quilt group at Bethlehem.
Dr. Jim Jefferis, Chancel Choir Director, has served as the Chancel Choir director since 2008. He has a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from SUNY Fredonia and a Ph. D. in music theory from SUNY at Buffalo. Jim grew up as an active church musician in Oxford Presbyterian Church in Oxford, PA. Prior to coming to Bethlehem Lutheran, he was the choir director at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Fairport and Deerhurst Presbyterian Church in Kenmore, NY. Since 2001, Jim has been the choir director at Fairport High School, where his choirs have received multiple honors. He also sings with Madrigalia, a professional chamber choir in Rochester. Jim lives in Fairport with his wife, Allyson, and their daughters Katherine, Sarah, and Anna.
Annette Finkbeiner, Children’s Choir Director (Joyful Noise and Cherub Choir) and Handbell Choir Director (youth and adult). She has been serving at BLC since 2013 and has been a member since 2004. Annette is a native of Long Island, NY and a graduate of the Crane School of Music with degrees in Flute Performance and Music Education. She received her Master’s Degree at SUNY Brockport, and is currently an Elementary Music Teacher in Victor, NY.
The music program at BLC helps the children learn about their faith and is a wonderful way for them to offer their talents to God and to the congregation. It also serves to strengthen their musical skills, and helps further subsequent musical development. Annette enjoys bringing the Joyful Noise Choir on a yearly summer choir retreat at YMCA Camp Cory. She and her husband, David, live in Fairport with their three girls, Julia, Olivia, and Charlotte.