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

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 2021 when he visited and conducted worship. Prior to moving to New Hampshire, Miller was the senior pastor at the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Vermillion SD for 26 years.
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.

During his long tenure in Vermillion, Steve studied the Lakota spirit, language and music and invited the Lakota community to hold sacred ceremonies at the UCC church. He was also involved in community theater productions and the Vermillion Youth Baseball Association for players. The title of teacher also belongs in Steve’s repertoire, as demonstrated by his popular “World Religions” course at the University of SD

Starting Anew at First Church
Steve came to First Church during the pandemic and brought new energy and ideas to First Church as the congregation emerged from the isolation imposed by COVID. Working with the Minister of Music Gene Faxon and a growing list of volunteers, worship life not only fills the congregation with spirit but offers vision for the future. Late summer and fall showed a distinct increase in attendance, culminating with a full house on Christmas Eve 2023.

Steve has applied his teaching skills to an ongoing faith study series (usually 4-5 weeks) that has become a hub of learning and fellowship for members, neighbors and new friends. Topics explored in these sessions have included the character of faith, a mini course on world religions, a history of church music, and an examination of Christmas carols.

Steve offers pastoral care to members, neighbors, and friends in homes and care facilities. He’s committed to youth work for the New Hampshire Conference UCC - especially camping at the Horton Center in the White Mountains; serves on the board of Jaffrey’s Shelter from the Storm; and supports Jaffrey Adult Day Care by leading monthly singing events. Other community relationships include worship leadership at Cathedral of the Pines and serving as chaplain of the Scout Troup 33, who now call First Church home. 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.

Steve’s wife, Dr. Jill Tyler, joined him in Jaffrey the First Church after she retired in May 2022 as professor and chair of the University of South Dakota (USD) Communications Department. They have five children and three grandchildren.

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