Rev. Nayiri Karjian, Association General Minister

330.940.2220 x 102 |

Nayiri has been serving as the General Minister of the Association since February 2018. 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, Tennessee, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Chicago, Houston, St Louis, and Colorado Springs. Nayiri has shared her gifts 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
    • Installations, ordinations, church anniversary celebrations, 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, and Ethiopia; along with Kentucky, Virginia, and New Jersey. In addition to traditional pastoral ministry, Michael has coached and co-founded a number of community organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses. 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


Kellie Ramirez, Information Management and Media

330.940.2220 x 100

Kellie joined us in January 2021. She has been an enthusiastic member of First Congregational Church of Akron since 2010, participating in many ministries. She managed media and marketing at First Church for several years and has also honed skills in administration and data processing. Kellie studied music at The University of Akron, where she played clarinet in marching and concert bands, and sang in several choirs. She also has experience as a nanny and in automotive business development, which have helped her identify and fulfill needs, foster creativity, and cultivate a deep sense of compassion.

Contact Kellie, as Search and Call Secretary,, 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 Kellie, as 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

Contact Kellie, as Media Consultant,, for

    • Questions regarding website
    • Questions concerning media (virtual meetings and worship, social media posts, streaming, etc.)
    • Communications and Streams of Connection
    • Including your articles in SOC



Machelle Miller, Financial Admin and Office Manager

330.940.2220 x 101 |

Machelle has been serving the Association in a variety of administrative capacities since 2010. Her current position encompasses Financial Administration, including 5 for 5 Giving, and Office Management. Machelle studied business Management with an 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


Mike Bone, SPIRE Center Support