Rev. Carter Via
Carter was born in North Carolina and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. He attended Wake Forest University for his undergraduate studies and Princeton Theological Seminary for his Masters of Divinity. From 1987-92, he served as the associate pastor at The Reformed Church in Bronxville, NY; then from 2004-08, he was the senior pastor at The White Plains Presbyterian Church.
Between his service at these two churches, Carter founded and served as the Executive Director of Bridges to Community, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide relief and development work in Nicaragua. More recently, Carter founded Crossing Thresholds, an organization building schools in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.
Rev. Jennifer McCleery
Jennifer received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in May, 2017, with a concentration in Reformed Studies. While at YDS, Jennifer was the recipient of the Two Brothers Fellowship, a grant that enabled her to study in Israel and Palestine. In 2015, Jennifer won the Linda LeSourd Lader Prize, awarded to a student in the Reformed tradition who shows outstanding promise for leadership. Jennifer received a M.Ed. from Harvard University, a B.A. from Trinity College in Religious Studies, and spent her junior year of college studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Jennifer lives with her husband Michael and their three sons, Will, Spencer, and Nate. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing bridge, doing community theater, playing tennis, and traveling.
Rob Silvan, Director of Music
Rob was born in New York City and raised in New Rochelle, NY. He received undergraduate degrees in English Literature from Iona College and in music from Mercy College. For forty years he has been teaching piano lessons to young people and adults covering styles from classical and blues to popular and improvisational. He has made seven cd’s as a leader including Beneath It All and The Breathing of the World. In 2004 he founded Kids Empowered By Your Support (KEYS) which provides piano, violin, cello, guitar, winds and brass lessons to Bridgeport school children who cannot afford them.
He has been Director of Music and a member of Talmadge Hill Church since 1995. Echoing Talmadge Hill’s worship style, Rob offers music that is inclusive, personal and expansive and features both traditional church hymns as well as music sung to the words of artists such as Rumi, T.S. Elliot, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson and W.B. Yeats.