In November 2015, we welcomed our new pastor, Rev. Deadra Bachorik Ashton. A Michigan native, she was raised in a small rural community in northwestern Ohio. She is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1987, Rev. Ashton has served congregations with as few as 18 and as many as 1,000 members. As well, she held positions as director of planned giving at several institutions of higher education. Her areas of special interest include spiritual formation, pastoral care, chaplaincy in health care settings, and congregational life in a post-Christian culture. She lives in Tunbridge with her husband, Chuck. They have three grown children and a grandchild.
Sophia Donforth has a wealth of administrative and teaching experience. Her work experience includes managing administrative aspects of Young Tradition Vermont, tutoring and classroom teaching (specializing in science and writing instruction). She manages the church office and ensures everything is running smoothly.
Her hobbies include folk music and dance – she sings, plays the fiddle and guitar and is a member of Burlington’s Social Band and the dance coordinator for the Mad Robin Caller's Collective. Sophia lives in Burlington with her husband and daughters.
Lisa Raatikainen is a pianist, singer and music teacher living in Burlington, VT. She studied music at Middlebury College and has performed with several musical groups around Vermont. In addition to running a private music lesson studio in her home, Lisa enjoys singing with the Vermont Choral Union and continuing her lifelong study of classical piano works.
I have played and studied piano since childhood in a rich and wide-ranging music career. From fancy country clubs to jazz clubs and society soirees, from dusty dives and rowdy saloons, from concert halls with symphony orchestras to recording studios, to exciting years playing ragtime on steamboats up and down the Mississippi River system. It is an amazing experience.
Through my life there has rarely been a time I haven’t played in church on a regular basis. How awesome are the great and powerful ways that music brings us closer to God. To play before the Lord has always been a delight and a spiritual fulfillment beyond words. Having recently moved to Vermont from Maine, I am thrilled to have found the opportunity to play for Christ Church Presbyterian.
Julia Blocksma, B.A., M.L.S., B.M. (New England Conservatory of Music), has been making music in Vermont since 1981. She has worked with community music and theater organizations, singing in musicals and oratorios, conducting community, school, and church choruses, accompanying concerts and recitals, conducting pit orchestras, and judging auditions at piano and vocal competitions. Julia has worked with a variety of organizations, including the Middlebury Community Chorus, the Middlebury College Chorus, the Middlebury Town Hall Theater, many Addison County churches, the Middlebury Community Players, and Vergennes Union High School. Julia has been the music director for several churches in Vermont, serving as organist, pianist, and choral director. She enjoys her two grown children and their partners, and lives in Shelburne, Vermont.
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