MEET OUR PASTORS AND STAFF
If you want to speak to a pastor or have questions of any kind, we hope you will contact the church office.
You can call anytime and leave a message; we will return your call as soon as possible.
Main Office: 415-456-6760 or
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday,10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Closed on Fridays.
REV. CYNTHIA COCHRAN-CARNEY • PASTOR
Cynthia Cochran-Carney became Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael in April 2019. She is a native Californian who grew up in Santa Ana and has served churches in Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as Sacramento and Garden Grove. A graduate of the University of Oregon and San Francisco Theological Seminary, some of her favorite things about being a pastor are opportunities to share stories and join others in recognizing the presence of God in ordinary and extraordinary moments of life. She finds joy in spending time with her family, singing, hiking in state & national parks, going to quilt shows, reading, going to plays, and laughing with friends. Her husband, Jeffrey Cochran-Carney, is a spiritual director and semi-retired Presbyterian pastor. They have two young adult sons and a sweet golden retriever named Sophia.
REV. KAY COLLETTE • PARISH ASSOCIATE
REV. BOB HIRNI • PARISH ASSOCIATE
NANCY WIENS • PARISH ASSOCIATE
Rev. Kay Collette has been volunteer clergy at FPCSR for more than 10 years. her special focus is on Spiritual Formation, which begins with learning to pay attention to the Spirit’s leading in the events of our lives as well as tending to our inner world. She also enjoys helping plan and facilitate Adult Ed classes and meeting with individuals for spiritual companioning. Kay has lived in San Rafael for nearly 50 years, just blocks from the church, with her husband John. Their son, Michael, lives in Wayland, Massachusetts, and daughters, Andrea and Jamie live here in Marin. They enjoy lots of time with their grandchildren, Ellie and Ottie (twins) and Alexandra and Theo.
Rev. Bob Hirni has lived in San Rafael for 33 years, and has attended FPCSR and served as Parish Associate for much of that time. He graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary and served parishes in Ogden, Utah and Tuba City, Arizona before returning to Marin County. While in a doctoral program at U.C. Berkeley and the GTU, he served the Stinson Beach and Bolinas Presbyterian Churches. Bob worked with two Christian academic publishing houses for more than 30 years, retiring in 2009. He and his wife Barbara and have three daughters an two grandchildren. Bob says his time with FPCSR has been very fulfilling and interesting, and he looks forward to his continued work with the wonderful people of this church.
Nancy Wiens is one of our Parish Associates,
as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has an
interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Christian spirituality, ritual studies, and the dialogue between theology and science from the Graduate Theological Union. As the Director of Emergence Initiatives: A Center for Initiating Contemplatives in Action, she practices spiritual direction and coaching with those who long to deepen their relationship with God and respond to God’s calling more fully in their lives. Nancy also guides wilderness rites of passage with her husband, Sam Yates, helping people mark transitions in their lives by discerning God’s calling through nature. She teaches a two-year parenting intensive, called “Resilient Families,” empowering families to navigate the challenges of contemporary life.
ANN POPE • OPERATIONS MANAGER
BAYNE MERRITT •
SENIOR COMMUNITY LIAISON
LORNA WUERTZ •
PASTORAL CARE ASSOCIATE
Ann grew up in Fairfax and still lives there with her husband, John. They have two grown sons, both working as firefighters in the Bay Area.
Ann has a degree in Health Science from San Francisco State. She has worked as an office administrator for a variety of non-profits for over thirty years. Ten of those years she was the Office Manager for the Program in Christian Spirituality at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Ann has also been on staff with the Companions on the Inner Way week-long retreats for many years. She loves to hike in the surrounding hills of Fairfax and enjoys traveling to other places of natural beauty within the US and abroad. Contact:
Bayne is a San Francisco native and lived for several years in San Rafael in the 80s where he attended College of Marin. He has also lived in Palm Springs and San Diego. He now resides in Santa Rosa with his 3 dogs and a cat. Prior to working at FPCSR, Bayne worked for 24 years at Blood Centers of the Pacific in San Francisco in a number of different positions including Administrative Assistant to the Medical Director and CFO. While living in Palm Springs he attended Kaplan College and graduated from their paralegal program. In his spare time he enjoys taking the dogs out for runs, reading and working around the house (that’s a lie!). Contact:
As Associate for Pastoral Care, Lorna Wuertz has joined the pastor, pastor associates, and deacons in caring for the congregation.
Lorna says it is her privilege to pray at the bedside of a critically ill patient, meet with those in crisis, and accompany individuals and families as they navigate their life journeys. Her training as a spiritual director has prepared her to listen to people’s stories with the ears of her heart and assist them in recognizing Spirit's presence in the most difficult of circumstances. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve this community.
JOHN STEINER • SENIOR MUSICIAN • COMPOSER • 8:30 A.M SERVICE PIANIST
ALAN K. CHOY • SENIOR MUSICIAN
• 10 A.M SERVICE
SARAH WOLF • CANTOR
Originally from New York City, John began his professional career as a keyboardist for the pop singing group New Edition. In 1985, the band – and John – went west to Los Angeles; it was there that he met longtime friend and collaborator J.S. Kingfisher, who later produced John's three piano recordings, "Out of the Blue", "Into the Green" and "Impressions." John moved to San Francisco in 1989, where he earned a B.A. in Music from San Francisco State University. He is the composer and pianist for the San Francisco Center for Spiritual Living as well as FPCSR. John feels most connected to the flow of spirit when channeling new music. Many of his improvisations eventually become written compositions ending up on his CDs. His intention is to bring healing vibrations to the world through his music.
Alan was born in San Francisco, raised in Berkeley, studied classical piano privately from ages 7 to 17, and received a BA in Dramatic Art at UC Berkeley
and an MA in Theatre and Music at UC Riverside. He's been a pianist/ accompanist/ arranger/music director/coach on the San Francisco-based cafe/ hotel/ club/ event/ theatre/ educational circuit since 1978. His credits include: Stars Restaurant & Bar, the Four Seasons, 21+ years at The Ritz-Carlton and Davies Symphony Hall; 28+ years with the Academy of Art University; SF Academy for the Performing Arts, 1989 Academy Awards... and the list goes on (and on)! Alan is grateful to share in the fellowship at FPCSR and is constantly inspired by everyone's spirit.
Sarah is an accomplished musician who
currently works as a full-time music specialist at Hall Middle School, teaching choral music, dance and ukulele classes to grades 5-8. Before moving to the Bay Area, Sarah taught general music K-8, choral music and beginning band in public schools in New York and New Jersey as well as teaching private voice and piano. Sarah’s education includes a degree in Music Education with an emphasis on voice from West Virginia University and training in the Orff philosophy and Kodaly Method of music education. She has performed with the Brevard Opera Company and The Rome Festival in Italy. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys sailing, hiking, and cooking. She is very excited and honored to be part of the FPCSR community and looks forward to spreading joy through her love of music.
MARTHA WALL •
CHANCEL CHOIR DIRECTOR
MARQUISE USHER •
SOUNDS A'PEALING HANDBELL
HECTOR DELEON •
SENIOR FACILITIES TECHNICIAN
Martha Wall has been teaching and directing music in Marin County since 1980. A native Californian, Ms. Wall received her BA in Music from University of California at Berkeley and her Masters in Music Education from Holy Names University in Oakland. She was our choir director in 1992-93, at Novato Presbyterian in 1995-97, and First Presbyterian San Anselmo 2004-2011. Ms. Wall also worked extensively with handbells, directing church choirs—including FPCSR—leading clinics, and performing professionally with Sonos Handbell Ensemble. Her career included many years in the public schools and teaching piano lessons, but she is most proud that she is the Founder of the Marin Girls Chorus and was their Artistic Director for 25 years. She currently enjoys singing with Consort Chorale and the Marin Symphony Chorus.
Marquise Usher has played bells since he was 10 years old, and is a member of the renowned Sonos Handbell Ensemble. He is an accomplished bell soloist, composes music for bells, and also sings and plays trumpet.
Hector DeLeon was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the US in 1990 at the age of 14. He immediately began working two jobs to support his family back home, and has held positions in different sectors of the food and grocery industry since he arrived. Hector has worked as the custodian at FPCSR for more than 12 years. He also works at Woodlands Market and takes on freelance landscaping jobs in his spare time. When he is not working, Hector loves to run and spend quality time with his son.