Rev. Nayiri Karjian, Association General Minster

330.940.2220 x 102 |

Nayiri has been serving as the General Minister of the Association since February 20018. An Armenian Christian born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, Nayiri graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Haigazian University, and Near East School of Theology, Beirut Lebanon; and with a Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA.  Since her ordination in 1985 she has served UCC congregations in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, Connecticut and Wisconsin, Chicago and Houston, St Louis and Colorado Springs, both as settled and transitional Minister, including numerous board and committees on the UCC National Setting.

Contact Nayiri for:

    • Pastoral care and consultation to pastors and lay leaders.
    • Guest preaching and worship leadership
    • When your pastor resigns or retires
    • Issues of Committee on Ministry, including Members in Discernment
    • Pastoral Excellence and Communities of Practice
    • For installations, ordinations, anniversaries, etc.
    • Worship planning/development.
    • Visioning, Revisioning and Assessment
    • Governance restructuring
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Leadership Development
    • Church Closures and Legacy/Forever Church


Rev. Michael Howard, Minister of Faith in Action

330.940.2220 x 103 |

 Michael has been serving as the Minister of Faith in action since March 2019. From the wooded knobs of Kentucky countryside, Michael is a teacher, community organizer, and prophetic Christian leader. He has taught and served around the world, including Peru, Brazil, India, Ethiopia, Virginia and New Jersey. In addition to traditional pastoral ministry, Michael has coached and co-founded a number of community organizations, nonprofits, and a media design consultancy/ Michael is an ordained minister in the UCC and has an MPA from Morehead State University and an MDiv from Drew Theological Seminary.

Contact Michael for:

    • All things related to Community engagement, outreach/mission, prophetic action
    • Help with visioning and organizing community engagement ministries
    • Prophetic witness and social justice issues
    • MissionInsite questions and interpretation
    • Wider church connections and issues
    • Advocacy and community forums
    • Interfaith relationships


Dan Roland, Registrar & Search and Call Coordinator

330.940.2220 x 100 |

Dan has been serving as Search and Call Coordinator since February 2019 and as Registrar since June 2019. Dan graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University, Olathe, Kansas, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, with a Master in Divinity, from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, with a Masters and a Ph.D. in Library Science. Upon graduating from seminary, Dan pastored local United Methodist Churches in Kansas before pursuing his degrees in library science. The title of his dissertation was “Information Seeking Behavior of Clergy in the Sermon Preparation Process”. While teaching at Kent State University, he co-founded the Center for the Study of Information and Religion, and hosted five international conferences on the topic of information and religion.

Contact Dan, Search and Call Coordinator,, for:

    • All things concerning Search and Call Process except placement
    • Ministerial profile issues, settled and Interim
    • Local Church profile issues
    • Call agreements and Compensation guidelines
    • Interim and pulpit supply issues
    • Sending clergy profile to a local church


Contact Dan, the Registrar, for

    • Clergy transfers of standing
    • Changes to church information: email address, phone number, website, etc.
    • Changes to clergy records: contact information, new degrees or certifications, training experiences, etc.
    • Documentation and records relating to Committee on Ministry
    • Assistance with three or four way covenants
    • The Association’s Calendar and events
    • Year-end reporting and 11-year-reports


Machelle Miller, Financial Admin and Office Manager

330.940.2220 x 104 |

Machelle has been serving the Association in a variety of administrative capacities since 2010. Her current position encompasses Financial Administration, Office Management and NEOSOM registration coordination. Machelle studied business Management, (emphasis in accounting) at Kent State University.

Contact Machelle for:

    • Questions about OCWM giving
    • Church-requested financial statements
    • Basic financial questions and gifts and payments to the Association
    • Assistance needed with church budgets and financial questions
    • Issues regarding pastoral benefits including Pension Board questions
    • Questions about NEOSOM, our School of Ministry
    • Questions about church employee background checks


Gene McAfee, Dean of North East Ohio School of Ministry

Gene serves the Association as the Dean of NEOSOM. He also serves as the Pastor of Faith United Church of Christ, Richmond Heights. A Native Buckeye, Gene earned a BA in Journalism and Religious Studies, an MDiv from Yale Divinity School and THD in Old Testament from Harvard Divinity School. Gene served at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland and The Memorial Church of Harvard University.

Call Gene for:

    • Questions about NEOSOM
    • Questions about alternative paths to ordination through NEOSOM


Don Hill, Financial Development Consultant

Don has been serving as the Financial Development Consultant since 2015. Don Hill is an independent governance, fundraising and planned giving consultant for faith communities and other non-profits. For thirteen years, Don served as a member of the UCC National and Global Ministries staff in Financial Development. He serves as chair of Board of Directors of the Pacific School of Religion and is a Board Source Governance trainer and consultant.


Call Nayiri, General Minister to connect with Don as consultant in the areas of Planned giving and development, strategic planning, and sustainable fundraising.


Rev. Dr. Cheryl Lindsay, Communication and Web Consultant

Cheryl has been serving the Association as Communications and Web Consultant since June 2019. Cheryl is the pastor of First Congregational UCC, Wellington. A native Clevelander, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with concentration in Marketing. She received a Master of Divinity degree in Evangelism and Church Renewal from Ashland Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Institute of Worship Studies. As an ordained Minister in the UCC she has served at General Synod, on committees at the National Setting and the Heartland (OH) OH Conference UCC.

Contact Cheryl for:

    • Communications and Streams of Connection
    • For your articles to be included in SOC
    • Questions regarding website