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 fondly remembers a time when she enjoyed 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 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.
Communications and Administrative Support
Sarah Morrissette was born and raised in southeastern Massachusetts on the Rhode Island border. She moved to Rochester, NY in 2007 to attend college at the University of Rochester where she received her B.S. in biochemistry. She then earned a Masters of Forensic Science from Syracuse University and worked as a clinical trials project manager for multiple years. More recently, Sarah was a full time stay-at-home-mother and gradually took on various volunteer tasks in the BLC community. She was very happy to transition to an official position at BLC while still caring for her children at home. Sarah resides in Pittsford, NY with her husband and two children and enjoys all things music (including singing with the BLC Chancel Choir), cooking, baking, and vegetable gardening in her free time.
Volunteer and Ministry Support Coordinator (Transitional)