Staff

Meet Our Co-Pastors

April Oristano

Co-Pastor

Email: april@heartofeugene.org

April began her service to FCC Eugene as an Associate Pastor in 2009 and transitions into the role of Co-Pastor in Spring 2020. April loves people and finds joy in equipping lay leaders in ministry. She oversees day-to-day activities of the church staff and volunteers, provides support and long range planning in the areas of spiritual formation, stewardship, personnel, and leadership development. April’s involvement in the wider church extends to directing church camp in the summer, service to the General Board, and passions include Anti-Racism/Reconciliation Ministries and assisting others in identifying and serving God with their spiritual gifts.

April has also worked 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, watching movies, or on Instagram.

Jerri Handy

Co-Pastor

Email: jerri@heartofeugene.org

Rev. Jerri Handy came to First Christian Church, Eugene in May of 2020 as Interim Co-Pastor.  She holds two degrees: Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, 1996 from Christian Theological Seminary and Master of Divinity 2011 from Pacific School of Religion. Rev. Handy was Ordained in the Northern California/Nevada Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in November 2010.

Pastor Jerri is a former pastor of THE VIEW Christian Church in Portland, OR, Corning, OR, Congregational Church of San Mateo as Minister of Congregational Care, San Mateo, OR.

Pastor Jerri has served with Global Ministries as a Long-Term Volunteer Mission Co-Worker.  She worked 3 years with Albergue Las Memorias, a shelter for people living with HIV/AIDS in Tijuana MX. This Cross-Cultural experience enriched her life in many ways.

Pastor Jerri has also trained with the Trauma Intervention Program Inc. She served as a dispatcher with them as well while living in Portland, OR.

Pastor Jerri’s time with FCC, Eugene is centered on preparing the congregation for their next steps in pastoral leadership, worship structure and focus and continuing ministerial support of the Community Ministry Teams. Vision, Pastoral Care, Prayer, Teaching and Preaching are among the gifts she brings to First Christian Church Eugene. Hopes held for her time with FCC, Eugene are exploring ways to connect members and friends through small group interactions.  Pastor in the Park, Prayer Pods, Informational forums, various zoom meetings, and few in-person visits.

While in town Pastor Jerri is collecting photos of the murals in town by searching for and visiting each mural.  She has enjoyed other sights in town and around the area.  Having lived in Oregon before she is visiting the Pacific Coast, connecting with Oregon Friends.  Photography and Acrylic Pour Painting are among her favorite hobbies… Jerri used to enjoy weekly outings to see current movies.

Interim Co-Pastor Jerri Handy is deeply grateful for being called to share in ministry with First Christian Church, Eugene, Oregon /Idaho Disciples, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). God has lead Pastor Jerri through difficult times in her life. These difficulties call her ever closer to the peace and joy that comes from saying “yes!” to God.

Thanks be to God for this time of learning and growing!  

-Rev. Jerri Handy

Meet Our Wonderful Staff

Yvette Diggs

Facility Administrator

Email: office@heartofeugene.org

Joined the FCC team in 2019.  Love working with people and being courageous in my efforts to improve myself and my quality of life with those around me.  Always acquiring knowledge and working and learning with the village around me…

Has lived in: New York, South Carolina, Texas, and Oregon Eugene has been my home since 2014

Family: Partner Christipher Miller (yes this is the correct spelling), Son: Aydan Diggs (he’s amazing, no really)

Favorite Foods: Southern (the real stuff), Tex-Mex (the real stuff), Latin American, Greek, Indian/Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, and BOBA!Love good music, stuff that makes you DANCE!

Hobbies: Art (drawing and graphic design), crocheting, typography, cooking, Traveling/Exploring, Laughing(I really love to laugh, it is so healthy), talking (it is an art, still learning), and Pokemon Go! 

Nancy Anderson

Director of Music

Email: nancy@heartofeugene.org

September starts Nancy’s twentieth year as Choir Director/Director of Music at FCC!  She has led the Chancel Choir, several iterations of children’s choirs, and family choirs, as well as devising a variety of other entertainments and special worship moments.  Nancy just retired from twenty-seven years as Choir Director at Sheldon High School, where she also directed the extracurricular theater program for seventeen years.  She had planned to travel this fall to celebrate retirement, but instead is undertaking several home improvement projects, and enjoying petting her elderly cat Sam.

Linda Dorsey

Interim Organist

Email: linda@heartofeugene.org

Linda was born in California, and moved with her parents , when she was two, to the  Ragged Mountain outback of western Colorado.  Daddy wanted her to go to school in the BIG school in Paonia!  He built a tiny 3 room house on Oscar Rice’s  property and did all of the “Farm Work” for him..

Linda heard a piano played wonderfully at a National School Assembly program, when she was a 4th grader.  She begged Mom for a piano. The family of five lived in a tiny 3 room house, (plus an outhouse!). Mom started looking!  Finally, she found one for $50!  She begged the people to keep it while she found some money. It took a year to accumulate). Mom found only 2 teachers: one for 50 cents a lesson, the other for a dollar! Mom said, “You get what you pay for!” .She chose Mrs. Hickok, who taught in a home next to the First Christian Church. Linda also had lessons during summer from a W W II  band director!   She started playing the piano for Sunday School, and then the adult choir and church services next door.  Stanley and Mary Bond, the FCC Ministers, started encouraging Linda to attend Northwest Christian College (where they had graduated). 

A fter she graduated, she worked for the summer, and then got on the TRAILWAYS bus, by the side of the road in Delta, Colorado.  It took 34  hours trip to reach Eugene; she didn’t know a SOUL in all of Oregon!  She  was quickly put to work, accompanying for Maude Skaggs Woodyard and her choirs. She worked as the accompanist in Mr. Bailey’s vocal studio, across from South Eugene High. She took organ lessons from Elwin Myrick and loved playing for Chapel Services  at NCC on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She traveled with the  select Chapel Choir, throughout the northwest.

After marrying, she played the piano & organ and directed choirs in all of the churches they served: Glendale, OR, Freedom, OK., Grand Junction, Co,  Perkins, OK., and Eugene — at Norkenzie Christian Church, and University St. Church. They also spent some time at the Homebuilders Class of FCC!  She was always active in the music programs of her children’s  schools! 

She  taught music in overseas international schools..located in:

   Prague, Czechoslovakia (8 years),

   The Sultanate of Oman (5 years),

   Israel  – (1 year, filling in for a Jewish music teacher)

   Tunisia – 1 year, returning to Eugene to be Grandma!

I feel like it was an “enchanted” life! I was happy to be active in churches in all of those locations, , and am thrilled to be part of First Christian Church!

Chris Turner

New Celebration Music Leader

Email: chris@heartofeugene.org

Raised in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Member in Eugene since about 1990. I have been playing guitar and singing in church since high school. Helped start the music group for the New Celebration Service and love singing and playing music with the people in the group. I love learning and teaching new songs, trying to match the words we sing and the spirit we sing with to the message of the day and the heart and beliefs of the people in the congregation.

Dylan Loigman

Communications & Production Manager

Email: dylan@heartofeugene.org

Dylan has called Eugene home since 2001, and feels a special connection to this community.  He has worked within the entertainment and live event industries since 2006.

Loigman prides himself on his prior events experience throughout the western region.  His previous employers include Kesey Enterprises Inc., San Diego Zoo Global, University of Oregon, True West Presents, and Double Tee Concerts.

Dylan is thrilled to unite his personal spiritual passions with his professional career aspirations as Communications & Production Manager with First Christian Church, Eugene.

Larry Wahlstrom

Musician

Jennifer Harris

Wedding Coordinator

Email: jbakergirl31@gmail.com

Jennifer Harris was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon and has been a member of First Christian Church since birth. Fun fact; her parents were married in our chapel over 50 years ago!  Jennifer is a school counselor during the week and our Wedding Coordinator on the weekend. She loves baking, puzzles of all kinds, spending time with family and friends, and reading. She has been serving happy couples here at First Christian Church since 1999. 

Ron & Christa Dalton

Custodians

Ron met Christa in the Summer of 2013. They began their lifelong journey together at Opportunity Village Eugene. Christa became a full time student at Lane Community College to receive her Associates in Human Services. Ron was working for Rush enterprises and CMS security. They were married at the Village on November 26th, 2015. Ron began working at First Chrisitan Church on September 15th, 2016. In the Summer of 2018, Christa began her internship at First Christian Church. Rotating many different roles such as the front office, helping hands, good samaritan, sunday breakfast, as well as, helping her husband in special projects around the church. Christa graduated in June 2019, and began working on helping the community through a variety of local Non- Profit organizations, which led her to apply here at First Christian Church.