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

Co-Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church

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

Co-Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church

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.

Susan DePasquale

Organist

Susan DePasquale has worked at Bethlehem Lutheran Church since 1989, for three years as Chancel Choir accompanist and since 1992 as organist She was also director of children’s choirs from 1992 to 2007. Prior to her work at Bethlehem, she served as organist at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rochester and as organist and choir director at First Presbyterian Church in East Rochester. Susan is a native of Nebraska and 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 in the church, she taught private flute and piano lessons for forty years and has worked for many years as the choir accompanist at Fairport High School. She and her husband Dick, who is a retired instrumental music teacher, live in the village of Fairport and have three grown children. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, sewing, cooking, running and biking. Susan is a member of the quilt group and Women’s Fellowship group at Bethlehem.

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.

Annette Finkbeiner

Director, Children’s & Handbell Choirs

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 Fairport, 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 and her husband, David, live in Fairport with their three girls, Julia, Olivia, and Charlotte.