A Nebraska native, Reverend Patrick Collins graduated in 2003 from Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he majored in Psychology and earned two letters as part of the football team. He then went on to the University of Missouri, where he received a Master’s degree in Counseling and Sport Psychology in 2005. From 2005 to 2012, Patrick served as the Director of Youth Ministries at Countryside Community Congregational Church in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2016, he completed his Masters of Divinity degree with honors at The Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.
Patrick is married to Kate, a physical therapist, and they have three boys, Emmett (9), Micah (6) and Jonah (3), and a daughter, Norah (14 months). The Collins family has become deeply involved in the Old Greenwich/Riverside community since their arrival in 2016. Patrick has coached flag football and baseball and is a Den Leader in Cub Scout Den 3 and Kate has served in numerous volunteer roles at Old Greenwich School.
Avery Manchester joined the staff of First Congregational on March 1, 2009. Avery graduated from the College of Emporia in Kansas before pursuing his theological education at both SMU and Yale Divinity School. He is an ordained United Methodist minister and has served churches in Brussels, Belgium, the Congo and at the First Church of Round Hill for 15 years. Avery is a credentialed Psychoanalyst and Pastoral Counselor having received his training at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York City. He spent 20 years serving with the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. He has extensive experience as a missionary, pastor and therapist.
Avery enjoys sailing and is chaplain of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club. He is married to Pamela, and he has four adult children and nine grandchildren. He and Pamela live in Stamford and they both have psychoanalyst offices in NYC and here.
Craig Scott Symons, Minister of Music
Craig Scott Symons began his tenure as Minister of Music at First Congregational Church of Greenwich in 2010. Craig is a native of Michigan, where he most recently served as Director of Music for 15 years at First United Methodist Church in Royal Oak, a suburb just north of Detroit. He attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy for four years and graduated in 1980. Craig received his Bachelor of Music degree from Wayne State University as a student of Ray Ferguson and went on to receive a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from University of Michigan, where he studied with Robert Glasgow and James Kibbie.
Craig is active in a number of organizations, presently serving as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Music in Worship for the American Choral Directors Association – State of Connecticut, He previously served as Dean for the Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and has held positions on executive boards for Fairfield-West Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians – Detroit Chapter, and Choristers Guild – Detroit Chapter.
From 1990-2007, Craig was the Founder and Conductor of Ars Nova, an auditioned group of 24 singers, which presented concerts of music ranging from chant to vocal jazz and everything in between. He is also Director/Pianist for the Blue Notes, a philanthropic group of women who spread the joy of music with senior citizen groups, retirement centers, and nursing facilities throughout lower Fairfield county.
Craig has performed organ recitals around the country, including numerous venues around southeastern Michigan, New York City, Boston, and Washington D. C. Since 2008, he can be found singing bass with sounding light, a professional choir based in Detroit, directed by Tom Trenney.
Rosemary Lamie began her membership at First Church in the mid 90’s and feels blessed to have joined the staff in December of 2002 as Coordinator of Church School. She also staffed Women’s Fellowship, The Rummage Room Board, Parish Life and various other committees and task forces. Rosemary credits the Church School Task Force with making her work here possible. She is committed to accompanying our children, their parents and all who find themselves here at First Church on their shared faith journeys. “I love finding ways for our children and adults to bring their faith alive through sensitivity to the needs of others and community service.”
Rosemary represents First Church and Fairfield County on the board of the Connecticut Association of United Church Educators and has represented CT on the New England Association of United Church Educators. She attends most UCC CT Conference annual meetings and training conferences where she gains perspective and inspiration from colleagues and presenters from across the country. Ultimately her faith is grounded in a belief in God’s unconditional love for every individual.
Rosemary is a native of Michigan, where she attended Catholic schools and went to college at Michigan State University studying Social Work. She received a Masters of Social Work at Rutgers University and a Masters of Public Administration from Pace University. Her professional experience includes several years and positions at the Westchester County Department of Social Services where most of her work focused on children and families. She is the mother of two adult children and has moved to Stamford after living in Greenwich for more than 20 years.