St. Francis' Episcopal Church
The Rev. Frank Hubbard, Priest Associate The Rev. Gerry Welch, Deacon
St. Francis' Episcopal Church is a diverse community, accepting all.
We gather to worship God, grow in faith, and share in fellowship.
We go out to serve Christ by serving others.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE!
The Rev. Gerry Welch, Deacon.
The Rev. Gerry Welch, Deacon, has been at St. Francis' since September, 2021.
Gerry grew up in Hamilton Twp., NJ and attended Seton Hall University where she majored in nursing. Gerry was ordained a Deacon in August 2021.
Gerry lives Edison, NJ with her husband Steve, the Canon for Communications for the Diocese of New Jersey. Steve and Gerry live with their two grown daughters Hope, Rebecca, and their beloved Cookie the Wonder Dog. Deacon Gerry works in an obstetric clinic.
Gerry has a passion for Christian Formation. She has served on various Diocesan Committees including the Afghan Refugee Resettlement Commission and the Hispanic Commission. Gerry is bilingual in Spanish and really loves podcasts and working with youth and young adults and runs a group called the Episcopeers on Zoom and a Facebook Group called Gerry’s Gems.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Francis A. Hubbard, Associate Priest
Fr. Frank Hubbard is the non-stipendiary Priest Associate at St. Francis, often serving as the Supply Priest for services as needed, plus coordinating the Intercessory Prayer Group and periodically leading Adult Spiritual Growth programs such as book studies and studies of the Bible. His liturgical specialties here include writing and directing chancel dramas and leading “kid-friendly” Eucharists with inter-active sermons with children and youth.
He grew up and was ordained in Massachusetts as a deacon (1981) and priest (1982) after working post-college on a congressional campaign, for an economic justice activist organization, and as a small town newspaper reporter/editor. He served parishes in Massachusetts (1981-84) and in New Jersey: St. Barnabas, Monmouth Junction (1984-2009), and as Interim Rector at St. Stephen’s, Riverside, Christ Church, New Brunswick and St. Mark’s, Plainfield before retirement in 2015.
He has served extensively on committees in the Diocese of New Jersey, focussed especially on bringing more financial resources to smaller and/or under-resourced congregations as the former Chair of the Loan and Grant Committee and as the founding Chair of the Clergy Sabbatical Fund Committee. He was made an Honorary Canon of Trinity Cathedral in recognition of his service in the diocesan community.
Fr. Frank and his wife Elda live most of the year in Berkeley Heights and winter in North Carolina, near three of their ten grandchildren, who play a large role in their lives. His son Tom and his family live in Vermont; Elda’s three children and their spouses and children live in NJ, MN and NC.
He volunteers in programs encouraging reading by young children, in the children’s program of a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and together with Elda in animal rescue ministries. They have two loving pit bulls with tons of personality: Barney and Buttercup, who are both rescues. He enjoys hiking, singing in a community chorus, playing Mexican Train Dominoes, reading, and participating in a book club and an environmental club.,
Rachel Gasataya, Music Director
Rachel first served at St. Francis as an Interim Music Director from November, 2018 through April, 2019, and became St. Francis' permanent Music Director in September, 2022.
Rachel is the owner and director of Sixteenth Notes Music Studio in Belleville, which she founded in 2014, and where she offers lessons in voice, piano, guitar, music theory, and more. Following on her undergraduate work in sound engineering and piano, she completed her Masters degree in Jazz Performance at New Jersey City University in June of 2022. She works as an accompanist to singers in New Jersey and New York City, where she is also part of a jazz band. She has served as Music Director in several congregations in New Jersey over the years.
Rachel lives with her wife, Cristina and their daughter, Evan Rose, in Belleville. Evan Rose is soon to be a big sister as Cristina and Rachel are expecting their second child!