Staff

Rev. Jeff Markay

Senior Pastor
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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.”

Rev. Sharon Yarger

Associate Pastor/Children's Ministries
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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.

Peter Hill

Music Director
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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 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. Peter also teaches general music for the middle school at All Saints Episcopal Day School Hoboken and presently serves as president of the local music group, the Suburban Music Study Club. To find out more about Peter Hill go to his website

Peter has a beautiful daughter, Valentine, 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.

Mike Maguire

Organist
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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.

Donald Underhill

Church Maintenance Manager and Custodian

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.

Zrinka Cvetkovic

Finance Manager
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Zrinka has faithfully worked in the Chatham United Methodist Church office 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 Finmgr-chatumc@optonline.net

Eileen Carroll Ruggiero

Communications Coordinator
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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 chatumc@optonline.net

Jesse Dicken

Simpson Seminarian/Youth Ministries
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My name is Jesse Dicken and my pronouns are he/him. I grew up in southern California and have my B.A. in Biblical Studies. After college I served as a projects manager at Rockside Ranch, a rehab crisis ministry for young men who have experienced addiction or significant trouble with employment. In 2020 I moved to New Jersey to pursue my Masters of Divinity at Drew School of Theology.
I feel called to serve the Church by ministering with the youth and I care deeply about inclusion and liberation. I have explored a lot of different types of ministry in the past few years, but I feel very strongly called to parish ministry at this time. I hope that my experience at CUMC will help me discern my call to ministry more deeply, whether that call be to a parish or beyond the church.
On a Saturday afternoon you can find me watching USC college football or riding my bike. I love all sports and I will never turn down a game of frisbee.