Our Staff

April Oristano

Co-Pastor

Email: april@heartofeugene.org

April’s pastoral care and administrative leadership of the church extends into development and support of small groups including children’s and youth ministries, and local mission teams.  She oversees the day-to-day activities of the church staff and volunteers, provides support and long range planning in the areas of education, stewardship, and leadership development.

April was hired as Associate Pastor to FCC Eugene in July 2009 after working in the areas of campus ministry at UC Santa Cruz (2004-2008) and chaplaincy in San Francisco, CA (2000-2002).  April is a graduate of Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA (BA Religious Studies, minor Spanish, 1999) & Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA (MDiv 2002). She was ordained at Lafayette Christian Church in Lafayette, CA in October 2004.

She is blessed with a busy family including partner Kelly and children Noah and Thomas. April’s days off are Thursday and Friday. Reach April via email at april@heartofeugene.org or call the church office for an appointment.  Otherwise find her in the woods, at the movies, or on Instagram.

Jerri Handy

Co-Pastor

Email: jerri@heartofeugene.org

Transition Committee is pleased to announce that after unanimous support by our Committee and discussion and vote by the church Board, Reverend Jerri Handy has been invited, and has accepted our call to be Interim Co-Pastor of First Christian Church (DOC) of Eugene.

Rev. Handy grew up in the Church of the Nazarene. She discovered the Christian Church (DOC) while attending classes in 1991 at Christian Theological Seminary. She has been active in the Disciples and the United Church of Christ congregations since that time. Rev. Handy was ordained in 2010 in the N. Ca./NW Nev. Region.

She completed her undergraduate degree at the Olivet Nazarene University, and holds advanced degrees:  Marriage and Family Therapy from Christian Theological Seminary, and Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion. She’s received additional training including around issues of racism, legal/ethical, boundary etc., set by the Region and the General Church.

Rev. Handy has served in a variety of capacities: as a congregational minister, a therapist, a missionary,  and community caseworker. She currently works at a nonprofit group serving the unhoused in California. Rev. Handy is eager to join us in Eugene as soon as the logistics can be worked out; we expect her by May 1.

The Transition Committee wholeheartedly supported our call of Rev. Handy—noting her interests and strengths match our needs: her skill and experience in pastoral care, preaching from the Scripture, planning worship, trauma-informed care, teamwork ,  and the larger mission of the Church in the world. Her stated desire to be part of a progressive, Open and Affirming Congregation—a church which is so involved in community ministries—was key to our decision.

Nancy Anderson

Director of Music

Email: nancy@heartofeugene.org

Nancy Anderson has worked for First Christian since September of 1999. She directs our adult choir and our youth choir (know as Y.I.P. (young inspired performers)). Nancy has also been the Music and Choir Director at Sheldon High School since 1993. She loves Ireland and has taken many trips there, including youth trips.

Ron Dalton

Custodian

Ron joined the staff at First Christian Church in September 2016. He comes with a wealth of custodial background beginning in his middle school years working for his father at Dalton Cleaning Service in Coos Bay. He continued to work for his Dad in the cleaning service and Dalton Jewelry & Imports, eventually running the businesses. Ron came upon some hard times after his father’s death, eventually losing the businesses. He moved to Eugene to start over, but ended up living on the streets as he pulled his life together. During that time he often came to FCC for the Sunday Morning Breakfast and clothes from the Helping Hands Room. He and his wife were married this last year by Dan and currently live at Opportunity Village while they save enough to transition into permanent housing. Ron credits the outreach programs of FCC as being a large part of his new start. Working at FCC has helped him come full circle as he now helps many of the people who are in the situation he was in as he sought help to start over in his life.