Leadership at Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Team Ministry is a group of disciples, bound together under Christ, committed to and working toward a shared vision.
Pastor Abigail Zang Hoffman
Pastor Abigail Zang Hoffman became a co-Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church at the end of June 2017 after serving as Senior Pastor here 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, Kevin, and four children in Fairport. As a family, they enjoy going for walks, riding bikes, swimming, cooking and reading. She remembers fondly when she used to enjoy sleeping through the night.
Pastor Amy Walter-Peterson
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 Northfield, 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 Victor, NY. Together they enjoy cooking, entertaining, traveling, singing, and good movies. Pastor Amy has become a poetry lover and often shares favorite poems and reflections through Bethlehem’s Facebook page. Since 2007, Pastor Amy has spent time most summers teaching at St. Leo’s Coptic Catholic Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. She writes about her experiences at http://amy-in-egypt.blogspot.com/.
Music at Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Psalm 100 says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands,” and Lutherans have a rich tradition of music in worship. We are blessed with wonderful musical talent at BLC and we offer opportunities for all who find joy in making music.
Music Director & Organist
Raelynn Clare is excited to join the team of Bethlehem Lutheran Church as Music Director and Organist. She brings with her from sunny southern California extensive experience as a church organist and choir director; performing as soloist and collaborative pianist in chamber music concerts; and teaching in elementary and junior high schools. She was a staunch volunteer for the renowned Ojai Music Festival in the town of Ojai, where she also taught piano and raised three children. Her B.A. in Music is from Whittier College. She is also passionate about youth education and has a M.A. in Education from Azusa Pacific University. In the summer of 2017, she found herself following the music and driving across the country to attend the Eastman School of Music to pursue a M.M. in Organ Performance and Literature. She considers herself a world citizen and has lived in both Asia and America and traveled to several countries in Europe. When her mind is not preoccupied with music, she also enjoys walking, hiking, gardening, and listening to podcasts.
Dr. Jim Jefferis
Director, Chancel Choir
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.
Bethany Trippi began her work officially with the Lutheran Youth Organization at BLC the summer of 2020. She has worked with youth since 2014 when she began volunteering as an adult at the conference wide retreat Winter Weekend. Bethany has also served as a summer staffer for Group Mission Trips as a hospitality leader is 2015, and again as the hospitality leader trainer in 2016. Bethany graduated from the University at Albany with a bachelor’s in psychology in 2014. Currently, she is finishing up her master’s in occupational therapy at SUNY Stony Brook and will be graduating in June 2021. She is passionate about working with youth and creating meaningful opportunities for them to grow in her faith. LYO hold a special place in her faith journey and she feels blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of it as an adult.