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 Our Staff

Interim
Pastor
Associate
Pastor
Administrative
Assistant

 

Heather Morrison-
Yaden

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Rev. Margaret
Mitsuyasu

 

Cathie Ruiterman
Director of
Youth Ministry
Director of Music
Ministry
Associate Director 
of Music Ministry
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Bob Stewart
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Noel Sell
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Valerie Sell
Director of The
Pluckemin Preschool
Director of Carillons
Handbell Choir
 
 

Elizabeth 'Bel'
Gwiazdowski

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Marcia McBurney




Interim Pastor
Rev. Heather Morrison-Yaden

   

I grew up in Morristown NJ, the fifth of five children – which no doubt honed both my adaptability and my sense of humor! Choirs, bell choirs, and youth groups made church an extension of my family. From baptism until ordination, I was a member of one Presbyterian Church.

Oberlin College formed both my sensibility and my spirituality. Believe it or not, I attended worship regularly and was active in the First Church in Oberlin. My love of music made those years joyous as well -- as I was able to sing in the Oberlin College Choir, as well as the church choir. I served churches in Rumson, Andover, and Belvidere (NJ) before my husband was called to active duty in the United States Coast Guard in New York harbor immediately following September 11th. During this time serving two churches, I realized how much I enjoy meeting new people and helping them see their abilities and talents, and guiding them to share those gifts with others. So I recognized that my own gifts and talents suit Interim Ministry. We established our home base in Stroudsburg, PA. I have traveled to churches in Chester, Stewartsville, and Newton, NJ to assist churches in transition. I choose to drive a Toyota Prius to lessen the carbon footprint of this lifestyle.


Associate Pastor,  
Rev. Margaret Mitsuyasu

 

 

   

The Reverend Margaret Mitsuyasu is a native of Western Washington (State, that is, not the city) where she grew up in Enumclaw, a smallish, dairy and timber town nestled in the foothills of Mt. Rainer. She attended Witworth University in Spokane, Washington were she double majored in math and theology, a combination that is at the very least a conversation starter. Pastor Margaret was also a flautist in the University’s Wind Symphony, and was very involved in a student-led organization called En Christo, which provided sack meals and a listening ear to the homeless and low-income residents of downtown Spokane.

Pastor Margaret continued her journey eastward to Princeton Theological Seminary, from which she earned her Masters of Divinity in the spring of 2011.  During her time there, she completed two year-long internships at The Brick Presbyterian Church, which is on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  She was grateful they allowed her to put a special emphasis on educational aspects of church life during her second year, which included Sunday morning adult education classes, a women’s Bible study, and 8th 
grade confirmation class.  It is Pastor Margaret's hope that her experiences will continue to yield fruit in her work here at Pluckemin.

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Administrative Assistant,
Cathie Ruiterman

   

Cathie Ruiterman has been a member of Pluckemin Presbyterian Church since 2007. She was in search of a welcoming and thriving church, and one where her two children would feel at home. She is very excited to now be part of the staff where she is able to serve the church community. In her spare time, Cathie enjoys exercising with her family and sometimes competes in racing events, such as sprint triathlons and 5Ks.  Along with her mini-Labradoodle, they’ve been working with hospice as certified pet therapy volunteers.  Cathie is also very involved in Toastmasters. 

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Director of Music Ministry,
Noel Sell

   

Noel Sell is the Director of Music/Organist at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church. Mr. Sell is a cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University where he performed under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw, Seji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Antol Dorati, William Steinberg, and Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. In addition, Mr. Sell also sang with the famous Westminster Choir as soloist in the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Charleston , South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy. He has studied organ with Robert Carwithen and Eugene Roan and voice with Suzanne Pratt and Frauke Haasemann.

Formerly, he was the choral director at Franklin Middle School of the Franklin Township Public Schools in Somerset, New Jersey. There he conducted the F.M.S. Chorus and the Gifted and Talented Choir. Under his direction, the choirs continually received outstanding ratings for their performances and garnered a reputation as being among the finest middle school choirs in the eastern United States.  Mr. Sell has been chosen to have his biography profile published in the 2005 Marquis Who's Who in America.

Noel and Valerie have been co-directors of music at Pluckemin for over 25 years.

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Associate Director of Music Ministry, Valerie Sell

   


Valerie Sell is the Associate Director of Music at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church. Valerie is a cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University receiving a BA degree in Music Education. Valerie performed as a member of the famous Westminster Choir for two years traveling to the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy. She is also a graduate of the College of New Jersey with a MA in Voice Performance. She has studied voice with Suzanne Pratt and Marshall Heinbaugh.

Mrs. Sell has extensive teaching experience in levels kindergarten through grade eight in the public schools of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She presently teaches vocal music Kindergarten through fourth grade at the Hillsborough Elementary School in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

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Director of Youth Ministry,
Bob Stewart
 
 
   

Bob Stewart was born in Brooklyn, New York, moved to New Jersey in 7th grade, and spent the next six years wondering where the subways were – talk about a disoriented teenager! After high school, he attended Cornell University in upstate New York.  Ithaca, NY is beautiful June through August.  He was there September through May!  He quickly picked up some un-Brooklyn sports such as skiing and ice hockey.  After graduating with a degree in Math and Computer Science, Bob worked 30+ years in a large corporation, pretty much the exact opposite of what kids should do now!  He married his wife Diane in 1980, bought a starter house in Bridgewater, and came to Pluckemin Church in 1982. 

During the last ten years Bob gradually became more involved in youth group activities, first as a chaperone on summer work trips, then organizing special outings, then working with an absolutely wonderful group of volunteer advisers and youth.  Two years ago, he became the Director of Youth Ministry.  Bob has so much fun organizing activities and programs for the youth.  But he feels the real joy is in helping and watching them build their own connections with each other and with Pluckemin Church.  That’s not a given, nor is it guaranteed to happen for everyone.  When the teens start youth group, this is still their parents’ church.  But at some point they decide this is their youth group, this is their church, and they’re gonna leave their fingerprints all over it.  That is fun to watch!

Bob's wife Diane has been in the Pluckemin Church choir for almost thirty years.  Bob admits he can’t sing a lick, nor does he know what “lick” has to do with it!  His daughter Allison graduated from University of Connecticut in 2005 (Go, Huskies!) and lives in Redondo Beach,California.  His son Don graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 (Go, Hokies!), and lives in Red Bank, NJ.  Oh, yeah -- Diane and he are still living in the same starter house in Bridgewater, so he's pretty sure that’s working out.

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Director of The Pluckemin
Church Preschool,
Elizabeth 'Bel' Gwiazdowski


   

Mrs. Elizabeth 'Bel'  Gwiazdowski (Mrs. G. to the children) became the Director for the Preschool in 2015. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 27 years, most recently as the Director of the Four Seasons childcare center in Hillsborough. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and has New Jersey Teacher Certification. She also serves as Treasurer for the NJEAEYC and the Somerset County Director’s Association. In her spare time she enjoys reading mysteries, trying out new recipes and spending time with her 6 year old grandson.

 

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Director of Carillons Handbell Choir,  Marcia McBurney
   

Marcia Waage McBurney is the Director of the Carillons Handbell Choir. Mrs. McBurney is a graduate of Bucknell Univeristy where she studied and performed under the direction of Dr. William A. Payn. Mrs. McBurney has performed for conductors such as Cynthia Dobrinski, Hart Morris, Kevin McChesney, Betty Garee, William Griffin, Donald Allured and many more. She has traveled to Europe twice to participate in handbell tours that performed in 6 different countries. She has also participated in over two dozen Area and National Festivals during her 26 years of ringing and directing handbells.

In September of 1992, Mrs. McBurney began directing the Carillons. Recently, she has performed with The Raritan Ringers, an advanced adult choir, in Somerville, NJ.

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