Our Staff

At Bethesda-On-The-Bay Lutheran Church, we believe we are “Large Enough To Serve; Small Enough to Care.” This means we connect with each other as individuals with individual needs, but also that we have sufficient resources to reach out to the community in a mission of service.

Pastor – Angela Freeman-Riley

Email me at: Pastor.angela@bethesdaonthebay.org

My idea of a perfect day is… either sitting on a white sandy beach enjoying salty ocean breezes or hiking through the mountains… 
 
My biggest challenge is…
trying to tackle too many tasks at the same time.
 
 My biggest pet peeve is… when people do not follow through with things they say they would do. 
 
My life verse is…
“God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
 
My last meal would be… Anything made with fresh local ingredients. I love food…! 
 
My worst habit is… eating too much…. Have I mentioned I love food!
 
I am happiest… when I am outside with the sun shining walking through the woods or on the beach in the company of the ones I love – human and canine. 
 
My favorite Bible character is… after Jesus… Deborah the only female judge in the OT. 
 
 The best advice I could give a 20 year old is… to travel. See the world and be sure you travel some of the time alone. 
 
My guilty pleasure is… I try not to feel guilty about pleasures… Life’s too short. 
 
The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… that this congregation is warm welcoming place for all to learn and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. 
 
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? Pr. Angela lives in Lakewood with her husband, Pastor Jonathan Glass-Riley, 12 year old stepson and 2 furry and loveable canines (Black Labrador and Miniture longhair Dachshund). She enjoys the outdoors and anything nature; she loves good coffee; she appreciates the company of people. Feel free to contact Pr. Angela with questions about Bethesda or to have a companion for a walk through the woods or a visit to a local café.

Director of Bethesda Child Care Center – Christa Elias

Call me at: (440) 808-8802
Email me at: Christa.Elias@bethesdaonthebay.org
For more information see: BethesdaChildCare.org

My idea of a perfect day is… spending time with my family.

My biggest challenge is… to not worry.

My life verse is… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

My last meal would be… Steak, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Diet Coke

My worst habit is… using too much salt.

I am happiest… when I am with my puppies.

My favorite Bible character is… Job because of his faith.

The best advice I could give a 20 year old is to believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

My guilty pleasure is… Ice cream.

The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… it is a warm and caring environment.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? I have been working in child care for 25 years.

Christian Education and Interim Youth Director – Chris Webner

Email me at: Chris.Webner@bethesdaonthebay.org

My idea of a perfect day is…
 Any day spent with my whole family together
 
My biggest challenge is… Time management!
 
My life verse is… Psalm 121:1-2
 
My favorite meal is… any meal that ends with chocolate
 
My favorite Bible character is… Ruth
  
The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… that it is a welcoming and loving place full of caring and wonderful people.

Music Director – Eric Richardson

Email me at: Eric.Richardson@bethesdaonthebay.org

My idea of a perfect day is… 
 Being with family and friends, bathed in good music, yummy food and warm sun.
 
My biggest challenge is… 
 My putting! (sometimes my entire golf game!)
 
 My biggest pet peeve is… 
 People who think of themselves first, especially those in Life’s left lane!
 
My life verse is… 
 Micah 6:  6-8
 
My last meal would be… 
 Ideally…given to someone who needs it.
 
My worst habit is… 
 Probably my impatience.
 
I am happiest… 
 With my family,   (A large ensemble of engaged singers can constitute ‘family.’)
 
My favorite Bible character is… 
 Jesus
 
 The best advice I could give a 20 year old is
 Life is short – enjoy.  However, if things get rough, there are people who care,  Seek them.
 
My guilty pleasure is… 
 Mitchell’s Ice Cream.  Any flavor.  Any time.  Cup or cone.  One scoop or two.
 
The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… 
 Most of the people who sing in the Adult Choir have your same ability.  They give of their time and talents as a volunteer to enhance the beauty of our service.  Also, that I will gladly listen privately to anyone.
 
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? 
 I feel blessed to have had, and still enjoy, my teaching career, and to now share my love of God’s music in such an appreciative environment as Bethesda.  I am excited about our next steps!

Organist – Kent Cicerchi

Email me at: organist@Bethesdaonthebay.org

My idea of a perfect day is… 
spending time outdoors on a warm summer day with access to a beach, water, and a wooded area with paths to explore (with my best friend, my dog, of course!).
 
My biggest challenge is… 
to remember to love myself when that seems difficult to do, because God expects me to love my neighbor as myself, and I really don’t want to let God down.
 
My biggest pet peeve is… 
is hearing someone use the term “socialism” pejoratively, when what s/he is associating with that term is everything Jesus did or has commanded us to do.

 My life verse is… 
“How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful?  
How could anyone ever tell you you were less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle?
How deeply you’re connected to my soul!”  —Libby Roderick (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FPIsQTet2Cg)
 
My last meal would be… 
the Holy Eucharist.  (And before that, my late maternal grandmother’s German pancakes.)
 
My worst habit is… 
correcting errors in grammar, spelling, or syntax found in Facebook posts or memes.
 
I am happiest… 
when I am around dogs—lots of dogs—and people who love dogs!
 
My favorite Bible character is… 
The woman in the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Lk 18:1–8).
 
The best advice I could give a 20 year old is
Never be afraid to be your authentic self, to stand alone, if necessary, with your convictions, and alongside and with those whom others have ignored or abandoned.  This may require that you have the courage not just to run with the crowd, regardless of who or what may take the role of “the crowd” in your life.
 
My guilty pleasure is…
Dark chocolate truffles.
 
The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… 
Come hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people, so you may join us in being God’s agents (the eyes, ears, and hands of God) for justice, peace, and mercy in the world.

Office Manager – Minnie Tissue

Email me at: Minnie.Tissue@bethesdaonthebay.org

Facilities Coordinator – Marion Zelinski

 
My idea of a perfect day is… Walking by the lake on a sunny day. 
 
My biggest challenge is…  not getting distracted. 
 
 My biggest pet peeve is… bad drivers (of course that isn’t me…) 
 
My life verse is… “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24
 
My last meal would be… Surf and Turf.
 
My worst habit is… Procrastination.
 
I am happiest… when I am with family or friends. 
 
My favorite Bible character is… Mary and Martha and how to strike a balance in my own life between both character traits. 
 
 The best advice I could give a 20 year old is…
Follow your dreams.
 
My guilty pleasure is… Dark Chocolate. 
 
The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… How spiritual and friendly the people here are. We are like a family. 
 
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? I have two children, 5 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and another one on the way! 

Bernd Melster

My biggest challenge is… Responding to questionnaires about myself (ha-ha)

My life verse is…  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

My last meal would be…  Clambake that would also include lobster and steak.

My worst habit is…  I’m not sure at this time, can I answer this at a later date. (OK, so maybe it’s Procrastination)

I am happiest…  When walking on an ocean beach with my wife taking in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset.

My favorite Bible character is…  Joseph, due to his confident attitude in knowing that God had a purpose for him, even in the most difficult times.  He remained faithful to God and learned that good could come out of any negative situation. He showed integrity, sensitivity, perseverance and stayed commitment to God.

The best advice I could give a 20-year-old…   Acquire a relationship with the Lord. Grow that relation by knowing and understanding of how God works to improve our lives day by day. Allow the Holy Spirit speak to you thru the Bible and Christian fellowship.  Find a Christian mentor to help guide and keep you accountable.

The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is…   The people here Love the Lord and share that Love with others.

Massotherapist – Karen Chorba

Call me at: 440-779-0221
Email me at: kachorbalmt@sbcglobal.net

My life verse is… “Judge not that you might not be judged.”
 
My favorite Bible character is… Young Samuel who heard God’s voice calling in the night.
 
 The best advice I could give a 20 year old is …  Trust in God and listen for God’s voice.  Set aside all the screens, music, and activity for a short time each day.  God’s voice will be there if you quiet yourself and listen.
 
The one thing I want to make sure people know about Bethesda is… 
Bethesda is a warm, welcoming community that is open and non-judgmental

Parish Nurse – Joan Appleby

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