Donald Underhill is the senior statesman of our Chatham UMC staff. He has been the talented, resourceful, and faithful Maintenance Manager and Custodian at CUMC since June, 1994. He has mentored many people over the years, and gives people on the job training that become life skills in this field and other professions. Donald is beloved by many, but most especially by his wife of many years, Jacqueline.
The Rev. Jeff Markay has a BA and M.Div. from Drew University. He has studied and practiced Christian disciplines in diverse settings including congregational ministry, monastic community, and spiritual direction for the past 30 years. He has enjoyed being in pastoral ministry with the United Methodist Churches in Morristown, Springfield, Caldwell, and Chatham, New Jersey since 1989.
During his ministry he has been called to help people of different cultures to delight in what God is doing in different countries and ministry settings. He has led groups of youth, young adults and seminarians to the Community of Taize, France. He has led delegations of United Methodists from NJ to the Crimea to help a United Methodist Church in Kerch, Ukraine. He has done refugee relief work in Macedonia during the Kosovar Refugee Crisis by doing needs assessment in the refugee camps and training seminars for mental health for refugee aid workers. He was the Consultant for the General Board of Global Ministries supporting United Methodist Churches and ministries in Hungary. He has served as the United Methodist Liaison at Drew University Theological School where he helped seminarians in the discernment and ordination process. He has been actively involved in building bridges in ecumenical and interfaith circles, and delights in any opportunity to find common ground with people of other faith traditions.
He is happily married to the Rev. Julie Yarborough, Associate Pastor at Christ Church in Summit. They are the grateful parents of Matthew (college student) and Elizabeth (high school student). His greatest joy is to sit around the family table, catch up, laugh, tell stories and do the dishes together. If there is any spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, chucking a Frisbee, going to whatever sporting event is in season, or eating good Middle Eastern food.
He began his appointment in July, 2013 as the Senior Pastor in the Chatham UMC. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve God and the community here in Chatham. Chatham UMC has a rich heritage of faithfulness, building inclusive community, and sharing compassion with all people. Our congregation has witnessed to the love of God for all people, and I am glad to be a part of what God is doing in our midst. I am grateful being in ministry together with this great congregation as we seek to grow in our love of God, our care for each other and people in need, and our collective desire to serve the common good as followers of Jesus.”
Pastor Sharon is a Commissioned Deacon in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. She is a New Jersey native, a lifelong United Methodist, and the granddaughter of a United Methodist pastor. She has a BA in Music from Wellesley College, a Master of Music in Historical Musicology from Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, and a M.Div. from Drew University Theological School.
If Sharon seems familiar, it’s because she served at the Chatham UMC from 1997-1999, first as a Student Pastor while a seminarian, then as Church School Director. She’s thrilled to be back to again serve among the people of the Chatham United Methodist Church! Pastor Sharon has a passion for helping others to grow in faith through practicing Christian spiritual disciplines; engaging in Bible study and holy conversation; caring for others; and serving those in need in the local and global communities.
In addition to her time at CUMC, Pastor Sharon has served in the areas of Christian Education/Formation (for all ages) and Congregational Care ministries with the Niantic Community Church (a federated UCC/UMC congregation) in Connecticut, and with the Morristown, Union Village, and Succasunna United Methodist churches in New Jersey. She has also served as a Chaplain at a psychiatric hospital and community hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Sharon met her husband, Ron, at a weekly young-adult Bible Study affiliated with the Madison UMC. Ron is employed as Vice President for Business Development for Solvias, Inc., a Swiss company that provides research services to the pharmaceutical industry. Ron has also enjoyed serving churches through teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, and playing the flute. Sharon and Ron have a son, Nathanael (age 16), and a daughter, Miriam (age 12). The Yargers also have a cocker spaniel, a cat, and three fish. They live in Morris Plains, and in their spare time enjoy being at the beach, traveling, and visiting with family near and far.
Karen is a lifelong Methodist, originally from the Heartland. While growing up in Missouri (in towns from Marshfield, home of the unique Horse Motel, to Kansas City, home of the Chiefs and the world’s best barbeque!) she participated in the UMYF, volunteered for VBS, accompanied the children’s choir and sang in the chancel choir – all activities which have continued to hold her interest over the years.
While in high school, Karen participated in a one-year exchange program in Northern England where she first experienced what happens to a church without a strong youth and children’s ministry. She also developed an interest in all things international and went on to study Global Business Communications at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in an intense program that included coursework at the Goethe Institut in Munich, the Estudio Internacional Sampere in Madrid and the Universität Bonn in Germany.
After settling in NJ, Karen co-lead the youth program at another United Methodist church before discovering the vibrant community at CUMC, reminiscent of the churches of her childhood. The rest is history!
Karen coordinates the Sunday School program, Junior Youth Fellowship, Senior Youth Fellowship and works with the Kids’ Praise Team, the Youth choirs, the RISE mission team, and the Vacation Bible Camp program, coordinates public outreach efforts pertaining to CUMC’s youth and children, and represents CUMC on Chatham’s Youth Interfaith Council. All this is done with the support of the committee on Christian Education and Spiritual Formation and many faithful lay volunteers in the church.
Peter Hill is graduate of Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Arts in music. While an undergraduate, he was music theory teaching assistant to composer William Duckworth and received the Barbara Watson Grever Prize in Music. Peter received a Master of Music degree in piano performance and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He also holds a Master of Education in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. While attending the University of California, Davis for a degree in musicology, Peter was the assistant conductor to Jeffrey Thomas and the UC Davis Chorus.
Peter has taught at the Cleveland Music School Settlement in Ohio and the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, NJ. He has been published in the NAfME’s Teaching Music and has reviewed choral music for the Choral Journal of the ACDA. Peter has served as Director of Music for 24 years in Methodist, Presbyterian and RCA churches. Before relocating to the East coast, Peter served as Director of Choirs for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, CA. He directs the Carter Burden Singers, a community chorus of the Carter Burden Network in East Harlem. He teaches music for the three, four, and five-year olds in the Chatham Methodist Preschool. Peter serves as president of the Suburban Music Study Club and teaches private piano lessons here at Chatham UMC. To find out more about Peter Hill go to his website.
Peter has a beautiful daughter, Emma, tiny-tot son, Leighton, and fantastic wife, Katie. He enjoys sci-fi motion pictures, deconstructing episodes of Doctor Who, a wide variety of quirky literature, too many dad jokes, and looking for new music to make his family sing around the piano.
Hello, Chatham United Methodist Church family! My name is Alyssa Keifer, and I will be serving as your Simpson Seminarian for the academic year. I am very excited to be coming alongside all of you and serving with you in this space.
I am a born and raised Methodist. I am from Sunbury, Pennsylvania where I attended Catawissa Avenue United Methodist Church in the Susquehanna Annual Conference. This church introduced me to mission work. I have assisted with Hurricane Sandy Relief along the Jersey Shore; as well as, I have served with Red Bird Mission in Kentucky for five years. I am also a certified candidate for ordination as a deacon.
Prior to discerning God’s call on my life to a life of service, I attended Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania. I received my Bachelor’s in Science in Psychology with a minor in Behavioral Health. During my time there, I became very active in Campus Ministry. Through Campus Ministry, I went on an alternative break trip to the Dominican Republic where we taught English in an elementary school, visited the sick, and taught ESL classes for adults. My senior year, I led the first alternative break trip to Cuba where we got to immerse ourselves in the culture and learn about the struggles of a communist country. I also was a student leader for the Peace and Social Justice aspect of Campus Ministry where I did programing and brought awareness to campus around various topics, such as refugees, clean water, and human trafficking.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to be here with you, and I look forward to not only bringing some of my experience and knowledge but to learning from all of you. It’s going to be a great year. God has plans for us, and God will equip me to be able to do my part.
Grace and Peace to you!
Mike Maguire is a pianist and organist from Westfield, NJ. He received a B.A. in Music with a Management concentration from the University of Delaware. Mike is classically trained, and also has a passion for jazz improvisation. He enjoys teaching piano privately. His other hobbies include playing chess and reading.
Eileen is a lifelong resident of Chatham and has a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Previously, Eileen worked as Development Director for Community Access Unlimited in Elizabeth where she was responsible for grant writing, public relations, and fundraising. Eileen’s greatest pride is her family which is comprised of her husband, Ken, and children Elise and David.
Please call 973-635-7740, Ext 104, or send an email at email@example.com
Zrinka has served as the Church Secretary since March 2016. She was born and raised in Croatia, and has a B.S. in Economics from the University of Zagreb. She loves working with people and hopes to share kindness and compassion in her line of work, since those are her core values. Zrinka has proudly been a part of the Chatham NJ, community since 2005, with her husband, Branimir, and her two amazing boys, Filip and Dan. She is a lover of books, cinema and Zumba and enjoys going on long walks with her friends and the Cvetkovic family dog, Spark.
Please call 973-635-7740 or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please call me at 973-635-7740, or email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.