Our Staff

The people of First Presbyterian Church of Portland are the heart of our faith community. Our staff is here to help the church carry out its mission and care for its people.


Rev. Dr. Audrey Schindler

Pastor and Head of Staff

Send an E-mail

Audrey preaches regularly and moderates the Session, the church’s governing board of Elders.  She guides the work of the church staff, and has oversight with the Session of the church’s work at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center.

She helps provide pastoral care for the congregation.

Education:

Audrey has a BA in English from St. Olaf College, an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, an MA from Emory, and a D. Min. in Biblical Preaching from Luther Seminary.

She also did studies in Shakespeare at Cambridge University.  She has previously served churches in Atlanta, Melbourne, Australia, Salem, and Eugene, and has served as Dean and Director of Continuing Education for the Uniting Church in Australia’s seminary in Melbourne.

Family:

Audrey is married to Bruce Felix, who is a distributor for wine equipment. Their three children and their families have moved to Oregon from Australia.

Audrey’s favorites:

  • Favorite thing about Portland:  Unexpected views of Mt. Hood, glorious long autumns

  • Favorite books to read:  Annie Dillard, Barbara Kingsolver, Daniel Silva

  • Favorite hobby:  Spending time at the coast, attending theatre, arts films, travel to Italy, diving in Bali.

  • Favorite Portland restaurant:  Bridges Café on MLK in Northeast Portland

Rev. Dr. J. Spencer Parks

Executive Director, Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, Associate Pastor

Send an E-mail

Spencer’s main responsibility is the oversight of the church’s ministry at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center.

Education:​

Spencer earned a BA in History from St. Andrews Presbyterian College, and his D. Min. from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.

Family:

​Wife (Sarah), Son (Christopher), Daughter (Jessica).
Kids are grown and live in Tennessee and Oregon.

Spencer’s favorites:

  • Favorite thing about Portland:  I really like the eclectic nature of the city. It has been very nice to live in a place with such rich diversity.

  • Favorite books to read:  I have been a long time fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also enjoy several other genres as well. I love to read cookbooks.

  • Favorite hobby:  Woodworking (I especially like woodturning), cooking (I’m a BBQ fanatic (please note that BBQ is a noun not a verb)), and reading.

  • Favorite Portland restaurant:  This is another thing I love about the Portland area.  There are way too many good restaurants from which to choose.  Among the top (at least this week) would be Jake’s (the original), Higgins, and Bryant St. Station.

Brenna Dykman

Interim Associate Pastor

Send an E-mail

Brenna Dykman has been appointed by Session as our church’s new Interim Associate Pastor.  She is an Oregon native, and received her Bachelor of Science at Portland State.  She holds masters’ degrees from Princeton Seminary in Divinity, Christian Education, and Theology, has served in a variety of roles, including as a visiting professor at a seminary in India, and as Director of Christian Education at Union Church in downtown Hong Kong.  She also served on our staff last summer, as Acting Director of Christian Education for Emily’s leave.  Brenna has special training in pastoral care, having completed a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.  She will be ordained to this new role at our church.  Brenna loves being outdoors, hiking, backpacking, reading, and her greatest love, traveling.  She is glad to be a part of the team at First Presbyterian!

Rev. Carmen Goetschius

Parish Associate

Send an E-mail

The Rev. Carmen Goetschius helps in pastoral care and helps lead in worship.

Carmen grew up in Vancouver, Washington and studied political science and drama at the University of Washington in Seattle.  She attended Princeton Theological Seminary where she earned a Master’s of Divinity and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2007.  Her first call was to Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City where she served as their first “Global Fellow” and spent 2007-2008 teaching in Zambia.  She returned to New York to serve for one year, before moving to Philadelphia to help in the revitalization of an urban congregation.

Her most recent call was to Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC where she served as Associate Pastor focusing on adult faith formation.  She and her husband, Rev. Clark Scalera, recently called as a Presbyter for the Presbytery of the Cascades, are happy to have made themselves at home closer to family here in the Pacific Northwest.   They have a 2 year-old daughter and recently welcomed a second daughter.

Education:

Carmen has a BA in Political Science and Drama from the University of Washington and an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. She has led educational trips to the Holy Lands and to Greece and Turkey.  She values a global perspective on Christian faith and has a particular passion for the continent of Africa, which she developed following a year of service in Zambia in 2007 and 2008.

Carmen’s favorites:

  • Favorite thing about Portland:  the nearness of family, spectacular greenspace and long summer days spent in local parks.

  • Favorite books to read:  as the mother of two small girls, children’s books dominate much of her current reading, but if she had the choice, she’d pick up a collection of poems by Billy Collins or enjoy a long novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Sherman Alexie.

  • Favorite hobby:  Backpacking in the Southwest, exploring new hiking trails in Oregon, and photographing her family and the world around her.

  • Favorite Portland restaurant:  Being new to the city, she is eager for recommendations and can’t wait to enjoy the local cuisine.

Rev. Zane Buxton

Parish Associate

Send an E-mail

Zane’s role provides support in pastoral care as part of the staff team.  Rev. Buxton has been worshipping with our congregation since 2012 and was soon involved in the life of the church, which included his four years as a Parish Associate (2013-2017), returning to service at FPC in 2019.

Education:

Zane has a B.A. in History in 1968 (Bethel College, now University), a B.D. from Fuller Seminary in 1971, Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1989.

Service:

Zane served four different churches over 22 years, most recently as pastor of Community Presbyterian Church of Clarendon Hills, a Chicago suburb. He was happy to have the opportunity to serve as a commissioner to General Assembly in both 1989 and 1991 (from the Presbytery of Chicago) and worked in the Office of the General Assembly for nearly eight years as an Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager of Judicial Process, (1994-2001).  He then served as the Synod Executive for the Synod of the Rocky Mountains from the fall of 2001 until late 2010.

Zane then served as interim pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Boise, Idaho, through 2012.

Family:

After retirement, Zane and his wife, Karol, moved to Vancouver, Washington. Their daughter, Kristin, lives in Eugene, where she is a science librarian at the university.

Zane’s Favorites:

  • Favorite thing about the Northwest:  Zane enjoys frequent sightings of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, as well as spending time along the Columbia River, the Pacific coast, wine country, and enjoying all the great things about the Portland/Vancouver area.

  • Favorite books to read: Zane’s interests in books range from Biblical studies and theology (obvious), through history, politics, science, to fiction, especially mysteries.

  • Favorite hobbies:  Zane enjoys walking as his primary form of exercise. Woodworking and home improvements offer a creative outlet. Travel, art appreciation and collection are other interests.

Greg Homza

Director of Music Ministries

Send an E-mail
Greg Homza - Director of Music Ministries

Greg works closely with the clergy and staff of FPC to provide opportunities for spiritual growth for the congregation. More specifically, he assists in planning worship services, prepares members of the music ministry to lead music for worship, and of course, plays the organ/piano and leads the choirs. He does this all for the glory of God, and in service to God’s people…and loves it!

Education:

Greg has a Master’s degree in Organ Performance (2002), and Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance (1999), both from Indiana University Bloomington. He also earned the “Associate” certification (AAGO) from the American Guild of Organists in 2004.

Family:

Greg has an amazing wife (Leah), two amazing parents (Eli and Mary Jean) in Gainesville, FL; an older brother in FL (Drew), an older sister in GA (Amy),  and a clowder of kitty-cats.​

Greg’s Favorites:

  • Favorite thing about Portland:  Natural beauty, environmental awareness, music (and craft beer!) everywhere

  • Favorite books to read:  Ones that are recommended to me by people I know and trust.

  • Favorite hobbies:  Hiking, kayaking (the relaxing kind – not the crazy-rapids kind!), really anything that gets me out in nature.

  • Favorite Portland restaurant:  Anywhere with a vegetarian-friendly menu (and an extensive craft beer list!)

Marc Lavender

Business Administrator

Send an E-mail
Marc Lavender

Madeline Ross

Music Assistant and Celebration Works Concert Series Coordinator

Send an E-mail
Madeline Ross - Music Assistant

Administrative Support Staff:

  • Kim Hill, Publications Coordinator
  • Gail Rogers, Receptionist
  • Debbie Davis, Bookkeeper

Facilities/Event Staff:

  • Ricky Cappelen, Facilities Maintenance
  • Bill Edwards, Facilities/Event Staff
  • Zenebew Legesse, Custodian
  • Peter Tuscano, Custodian​

Join Our Team

Join Us for Streaming Sunday Services


Every Sunday at 10:30 am

First Presbyterian Church
1200 SW Alder Street
Portland, Oregon 97205

Tel: (503) 228-7331