Join FCiJ’s Work Circles

traditional worship              progressive theology              welcoming community

   The Wheels on the Church Bus Go Round, Round, Round 

Will you join a Circle to help us move forward?    

The congregational vision of faith and spirit means specifically that the ministry of the First Church in Jaffrey is a shared effort – everyone has a part to play in our community.

 FCiJ Circles are inclusive groups of the church’s members and friends charged with accomplishing specific tasks. Equally important, they also provide opportunities to share ideas, concerns and matters of the spirit. 

 The following are the core Circles, our essential “wheels.” Some meet monthly, others less frequently. For information, talk to the contact person.

Executive Circle – Composed of the Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer (all elected) and the chairpersons of each circle.  Oversees and coordinates the work of the church. Monthly meetings welcome visitors. Contact: Sam Greene, Moderator.

Trustees Circle – Responsible for the church’s financial stability and operations, as well as maintenance of buildings and grounds. Members (6) are elected for staggered terms. Monthly meetings welcome visitors. Contact: Janet Grant, chair.

Worship Circle – Works with Minister and Minister of Music to reflect on our worship services and explore resources and opportunities that help deepen faith and enrich lives.  Supports Sunday worship and congregational involvement by recruiting volunteers to serve as Sunday greeters, ushers, and worship leaders. Coordinates flower donations and decorations for holidays. Meets regularly and is always searching for new members and their ideas. Contact: Steve Miller or Nancy Elder-Wilfrid.

Benevolence and Social Justice Circle – Selects and funds well-established programs that benefit local, regional, and broader communities. Oversees annual allocation of funds raised by the Fair and other projects, based on research and suggestions from congregation. Selects recipients for scholarship awards. Oversees 5 for 5 UCC special offerings, such as One Great Hour of Sharing.  Meets quarterly, actively seeks new members. Contact: Marcia Breckenridge, chair.

Communications Circle – Promotes First Church’s theology, worship opportunities, and community service through press releases, a bimonthly newsletter, and website. Handles publicity for church events as needed. Currently adopting electronic communication technology to reach a wider audience.  Meets as needed, looking for new members with communication and social media skills. Contact: Carol Hess or Mary Jo Marvin.

Fellowship Circle – A “circle in progress” to focus on welcoming new people as well as hosting opportunities for fellowship through coffee hour and other gatherings. It could also be involved in liaison with groups from the community who use our building.  Speak to Steve if you are interested in this very important initiative.

Pastoral Relations Circle – Consists of minister and three individuals selected from the congregation. Monthly meetings provide confidential opportunities for the minister to solicit guidance, explore concerns and discuss any congregational issues that impact our common life in the church.  Welcomes input on pastoral matters from congregation. Contact: Bobbie Gilbert chair.

Email or call the church office (leave a message) to request a directory (print or electronic) which contains the contact information for all Circle leaders.





Rev. Steve Miller
And Wife Dr. Jill Tyler

The Rev. Steve G. Miller started his ministry at The First Church in Jaffrey in January 2022, after a unanimous vote of approval by the congregation in October of 2021 when he visited and conducted worship. His wife, Dr. Jill Tyler, will join him in the First Church parsonage after she retires in May as professor and chair of the University of South Dakota (USD) Communications Department. Currently Leah and Luke Summit (Steve and Jill’s daughter and son-in-law) and the Summit’s two boys are staying with Miller while the young family looks for a house in the greater Boston area.

“I am very excited about getting to know all the people in Jaffrey, the church and the wider Jaffrey community!  I’ve met neighbors walking my dog and playing in front of the parsonage with my two grandsons, who are ages 2-1/2 and nine months.”  Miller confessed: “I’m a bit of a schmoozer.”

For the past 26 years Miller was the senior pastor at the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Vermillion SD.  Originally a New Englander, Miller grew up in  Worcester, MA, in what is now the United Congregational Church.  Miller shared, in his first Sunday leading worship at First Church: “I used to come up here to climb Monadnock as a kid.  It’s like returning home.  I love the mountains, the trees, the ponds and rivers – it’s beautiful here.”

A man of many interests, Miller spent five years studying Lakota spirit, language and music. He invited the Lakota community to hold sacred ceremonies at the UCC church. Speaking for the Lakota community during a farewell gathering honoring Miller, one participant observed that he and Steve have been friends for years and call each other “Kola,” the Lakota term for brother.

At this same event Miller was honored by the Vermillion Community Theatre with a poster of six photos of him in community theater productions that was headlined “Actor, Playwright, Songwriter, Musician, Director of Spirit” in appreciation of his and the church’s support in helping the theater build a center for performing arts at the Vermillion high school.  A devoted baseball fan, Miller was a leader of the Vermillion Youth Baseball Association for players 5 to 12 for many years.

The title of teacher also belongs in Miller’s repertoire, as demonstrated by his popular “World Religions” course at the University of SD.   The University’s provost Kurt Hackemer observed that an important Miller offering was titled “The Pipe and the Cross,” about the intersection of Christianity and native spirituality. “So many students considered this THE great class, the best class that they ever had at USD,” the provost added.

Steve Miller graduated from Springfield College in 1981. He began studying at Yale Divinity School and transferred to the Pacific School of Religion, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1987.  He served churches in Bethlehem, CT and Gilman, IA before going to Vermillion in 1995. Rev. Miller has also been involved with Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality in Oak Park, IL for more 30 years through retreats, conferences, and classes.

Please come to First Church in Jaffrey at 10:30 on Sundays and meet Steve Miller!

Gene Faxon
Minster of Music

Gene brings his experience with teaching music and his expertise on the organ, piano, and harpsichord. He leads the choir as well as organizes special musical worship and other church events. Gene is also an accomplished recorder player.  During the pandemic Gene and three ladies have become a harmonious quartet.  We enjoy their offerings on multiple occasions during our services.  The congregation joins this group in singing Taize chants and hymns selected from the Pilgrim Hymnal and the New Century Hymnal.

Judy Lessard
Administrative Assistant

Judy brings her corporate experience. Working with our pastor and music minister, she creates the worship bulletins, sends out e-blasts, and monitors phone calls and church email. Working with our treasurer, she maintains the QuickBooks database and generates financial reports. Working with the communications team, she creates, prints, and distributes the church newsletter.


In late January 2022, First Church heartily welcomed (bottom row)  Roy Lake, Pam Hill,  David Bliss and Janet Grant as new Trustees.  Nancy Elder-Wilfrid is the new Clerk and in the top row is Ann St. Cyr Gordon (Treasurer) and Sam Greene Moderator.


Sam Greene, Moderator
Ann Gordon, Treasurer
Nancy Elder-Wilfrid, Clerk


David Bliss
Janet Grant
Pam Hill
Roy Lake
Tom Warren
Dan Wilfrid