Get to know us a little...
Brae was born and raised in Memphis, TN. After college at Mississippi State, Brae worked as a Montessori teacher in North Carolina and later lived in Georgia and South Carolina before moving to Rochester in the fall of 2008. She has a son, Thomas, also known as Kit, born in 1997; and two daughters, Avery, born in 1999; and Hayden, born in 2002. When they moved North, none of them had never seen snow. They have now!
Brae received her call to ministry in 2010 and enrolled part time at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinty school two years later. She graduated with her Master's of Divinity degree in the Spring of 2018. She is an educator in Transgender parenting and Queer theology, as well as an activist and ally for Human Rights throughout the city. Brae is active in many community organizations, including the planning committees for the annual Rochester Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Christian Faith and the LGBT experience lecture series at CRCDS, and the 2019 Human Rights Campaign Gala Committee where she is co-chair for scholarships. When asked how she came to Open Arms, Brae likes to say that she answered an ad to share a four week sermon series in 2014 and just never left!
Board of Directors
I have been a part of this church for about 8 years. I have been married to Rich for 5 years. We have two kids, George and Rooty (our dogs) and our chatting African Gray Parrot Pekoe. I am looking forward to retirement in the 2018.
DJ Dehmler has attended Open Arms since 1992. They have served on the Board, technical team, choir, Community Pillar team and TRANSformative Ministry. They have also been a deacon and cell group facilitator. DJ is genderqueer and pansexual; they are married to BJ, live in Pittsford and love God, our congregation, cats, books, chocolate and computers (not necessarily in that order).
Sherika is originally from Amityville, Long Island, New York. She was baptized and confirmed Episcopalian in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. Sherika obtained her B.A in Sociology from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and her M. Ed in Psychology from Springfield College in Springfield, MA. She loves the Pittsburgh Steelers, binge watching her favorite TV shows and sporting her favorite colors - red and black. Sherika has been attending Open Arms since 2014 and is currently the chair of the Stewardship team. She joined the board of directors in 2017. Sherika works for Rochester Regional Health System as a Learning and Development Trainer within the Communication Center. She lives in Greece with her wife, Micka; their 4 sons, 1 daughter, 4 dogs, 2 cats and 10 goldfish. Sherika is excited and happy to be a part of this dynamic church family where she is able to use her time and talents, give back what has been so freely given to her!
I have been part of open arms since about 2007. I have an 8 year old son Dominic who is the light of my life. I am currently serving on the board as the clerk and love it. I have been a hairstylist for 18 years at the same salon. Revelations design studio.
Alex Bremiller, Office Coordinator
I have been a member of Open Arms for about 3 years. I immediately felt comfortable with the church and more importantly with the people of the church. It is nice to have found a place where I fit in.
Renee Eberling Spirituality Pillar Co-chair
Renee has been a member of Open Arms since 1997. She has served as clerk of the Board and has been a church deacon. She is currently a member of the Spirituality Team and manages Sunday fellowship.
Linda is very excited to be our lead Children's Sunday School teacher. She has lots of plans for the kids including using songs, prayers and an award winning children's bible. She believes that we can all learn from the children.
She started coming to Open Arms MCC in the year 2000, when her partner brought her to a service at the end of the year. She believes it was one of the best things that happened to her after coming out. For Linda, Open Arms MCC is a safe place of acceptance.
Linda is the proud mother of 2 and an even prouder grandmother of 1 fabulous grandson.
Jaime Kavanagh Community Pillar Chair
Kaitlyn Kaye Transformative Ministry
Terry Keister Worship Coordinator
Terry has been with Open Arms almost from our beginning, arriving in February 1983. She quickly felt at home despite having left the church (Presbyterian) when she left high school. In the years since, Terry has served two stints as lay pastoral leader, served on the Board of Directors, participated in choir, served as a deacon, started the Thanksgiving basket ministry, and eaten countless potluck dinners among other things. Terry is currently part of the Worship Team, and still enjoys potluck dinners! Terry is a dog groomer in Hamlin NY and has her own shop Dog Hair Everywhere. Terry is married to her beloved Terry Kelly; they live in Hamlin with one dog and one cat.
Jerry Murphy Bookkeeper
Laura Thomas Spirituality Pillar Co-chair