Steve and his wife Julie move to Billings from Connecticut where Steve served several churches.
Steve is a graduate of Norwalk Community College, the University of Connecticut with degrees in Sociology and Psychology, Yale Divinity School and the Connecticut Municipal Police Training Corp.
Throughout his career Steve has led workshops on prayer, healing, and meditation for various congregations and ecumenical settings including a prison. He practices Tai Chi and Yoga meditation nearly everyday. He has facilitated successful youth programs and addressed issues of church growth.
In the community Steve is an active advocate for social justice. He has historically served on boards and committees to establish and support youth and family services, a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter. Since coming to Billings a short time ago, he has served on the Native American Development Corporation and Not In Our Town.
Steve and Julie are a blended family with five children. They enjoy skiing, gardening, cooking, traveling, and hiking with their two dogs. They have been long time members of book clubs. They both have a passion for services such as Heifer International and have worked together with youth, repairing homes on a Navaho reservation.
Although Steve is a deeply devoted Christian, he believes that there are many paths of faith to one God and celebrates the wonderful openness and tolerance of the Mayflower Congregation United Church of Christ.
I grew up in the Montana-Northern Wyoming Conference as a member of Billings Pilgrim Congregational UCC where I was an active member of their youth group attending camps and youth retreats. Growing up in the church and camp, I had wonderful youth leaders and mentors who helped shape me into the person I am today. I lived a year and a half in Southern Africa as a missionary where I spent a great deal of time with youth and outdoor ministries.
While discerning my call I have come to realize that youth and young adult ministry is my passion. I’ve been working with the youth and young adults of the conference, at Camp Mimanagish, and with First Congregational Church downtown for almost 20 years and am very excited to have the opportunity to work with the combined youth and young adults of Mayflower and First Church on the local church level.
Anna grew up in the Congregational church in Royal Oak, Michigan where her father’s parents were extremely active members. Her mother grew up Unitarian Universalist, later becoming an ordained Disciples of Christ minister, serving both the DOC and UCC in Montana and Tennessee. Many of her extended family have been clergy and support staff in the Episcopal Church as well, gifting her with an appreciation of the life inside the greater church family and all that that means.
Though her degree is in Art, she spent the last several years as Director of Religious Exploration at the local Unitarian Universalist congregation and working on various committees while raising her young children. All of these experiences brought her eventually to her “home away from home” at Mayflower. “There are few greater gifts than working with people who truly care about others and do their best to make a better world each day. This is a true place, a good place. I feel so blessed to be at Mayflower.”
Ginny Herrick received her degree in secondary education with an expanded music major in 1969 from Eastern Montana College. Since then, she’s taught private piano and voice lessons in Ekalaka, Fairview, and Sidney, Montana. In Sidney, she served as the Organist at Peoples Congregational Church for almost 32 years. She and her husband, David, moved to Billings from Sidney in 2012 and say they’re “flirting” with retirement. Ginny has two children, Melanie and Bill Nutter, along with a special relationship with David’s daughter, Judy. Their household is completed with two dogs, Laura & Shady, and their bunny. Ginny also shares her time and talents with the 2nd Avenue Stompers Dixieland Band as their keyboard player.
Vocal music is central to Julie’s life and her appointment as Senior Choir Director is a dream come true. Her goal is to continue Mayflower’s long tradition of musical excellence and inspire as many courageous souls as possible to join in song, fellowship and fun.
Julie received her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Montana School of Music in 1976. Following years of experience teaching voice lessons, while also managing and leading her popular performance band, “Meadowlark,” Julie focused her spirit and enthusiasm on training vocalists of all ages.
From 1991 until 2005 she directed Mayflower’s Junior Choir with energy, enthusiasm and love. During this same time, Julie regularly served as a judge at District and State High School Music Festivals. For the past five years, she has been a member of the faculty of the Montana Music Institute. Most recently, Julie has devoted her days during the school year to volunteering voice lessons and performance expertise to Senior High’s Varsity Singers, Sonsonnettes and substitute teaching in Senior High’s music department.
Performance has always been an important part of Julie’s musical life. In addition to her 25 year commitment to the Mayflower Choir, she has been honored to perform the Soprano solos in the Messiah on three occasions and as a frequent soloist in the Shrine Chanters’ Annual Holiday Concert. She has also performed the role of Mahala in the opera Pamelia, written and performed at the Alberta Bair Theater in celebration of Montana’s Centennial; Amahl’s mother in her most cherished opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors; Adani, in Mona Lyn Reese’s, Choose Life, Uvacharta Achayim; the Virgin Mary in Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity; and a leading role in the Billings Studio Theater production of The Medium.
Julie’s invitation is this: “Come. All are welcome. Join us. And through the remarkable magic of music, let your spirit soar!”
Terra McKinsey Children’s Choir Director
Terra McKinsey grew up in Worden, MT and graduated from Huntley Project in 2003. She graduated with a B.A. in K-12 music education from Montana State University-Bozeman. Currently, Terra teaches elementary general music in the the Billings Public Schools. She enjoys running, walking her dog Porter, doing crafts and home projects, and any time spent with Ben, husband of 4 years.
Melissa Hofstad Nursery Attendant
Melissa has been our nursery care attendant since January, 2007. She has been faithfully caring for our babies and toddlers and meeting the new families that visit Mayflower. She enjoys the children and the members.
We are thankful to have her caring spirit and gentle personality teach our children.
Melissa’s full time job is working at St. Vincent’s Daycare. She lives with her Mom and Dad, Patti and David, sister Allison and nephew Keegan. Her hobbies are playing basketball, going for walks and watching movies with her friend, Steve.