Rev. Shawn Garan, Senior minister
Shawn leads Sunday services and ministers to the needs of the church body.
Rev. Shawn Garan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as the Senior Pastor. He holds a Master's of Divinity degree with a specialization in theology and missions from Alliance Theological Seminary, showcasing his dedication to deepening his understanding of faith and spreading the message of God's love.
In addition to his theological education, Shawn is currently in his fourth year as a resident psychoanalyst at the Blanton Peale Institute in NYC. This unique background allows him to provide valuable insights and support to individuals on their spiritual and emotional journeys.
Shawn and his wife, Ashley, have been happily married since 2009. They relocated to Southbury in 2022 with their three children: Molly (12), Max (12), and Abram (2). A long-suffering Mets fan and a dedicated family man, Shawn cherishes spending time with his kids, whether it's enjoying e-bike adventures or simply exploring the beautiful UCCS campus while immersed in his favorite books.
Rev. Shawn Garan is not only a devoted servant of God but a compassionate leader who deeply values the well-being of his congregation and community.
Learn more about Shawn on his website, shawngaran.com.
Ellie Strathdee, Associate Pastor
Pastor Ellie oversees all of the UCCS children and youth programming and leads a weekly children’s message during Sunday service.
Ellie moved from her hometown of Greenwich to Southbury in 2022 to serve as Associate Pastor at UCC Southbury where she leads all the children and youth programs. Ellie graduated from Rollins College in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree major in communications and minor in dance. After college she worked as Director of Children’s Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich. She also lead contemporary worship for several years at Second Congregational Church in Greenwich where she grew up participating in youth choir. A gifted singer, Ellie has also played piano and guitar from a young age and is passionate about dance.
Ellie's unwavering faith and pursuit of God have illuminated her path, revealing the profound connection between knowing God and understanding her own identity. This understanding has empowered her creative spirit to manifest her inward journey outwardly, embracing various forms of expression.
Donald Wismann, Music Director
Anne McGoldrick, Youth Music Director
Anne brings a love for youth, music, community and Jesus to her role as the Youth Music Director at UCC Southbury! She has many years of experience in church music and as a board-certified music therapist, having worked in foster care, adoption, underserved communities and both kids and adults with special needs. She embraces her call to help communities find a love for music and is excited to create an inviting musical space for friendship and worship for the youth of the church.
Anne holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Molloy College on Long Island, and is currently working towards her master’s degree at SUNY New Paltz in the Hudson Valley. Anne moved from Long Island to Connecticut in 2023 and loves spending time with her family and friends, running in the parks and beaches, and trying all of the Connecticut pizza!