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

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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

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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.

Rev. Brenna Dykman

Interim Associate Pastor

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Rev. Brenna Dykman has been appointed by Session as our church’s Interim Associate Pastor.  She is an Oregon native, and received her Bachelor of Science at Portland State.  She holds masters’ degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary in Divinity, Christian Education, and Theology & Philosophy, and 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. Brenna has special training in pastoral care, having completed a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

In her off hours, Rev. Dykman enjoys being outdoors, hiking, backpacking, reading, and her greatest love, traveling.

Rev. Carmen Goetschius

Parish Associate

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Carmen Goetschius

 Rev. Carmen Goetschius helps in pastoral care and helps lead in worship. She 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 two daughters.

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.

Greg Homza

Director of Music Ministries

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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

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Marc Lavender

Madeline Ross

Music Assistant and Celebration Works Concert Series Coordinator

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Madeline Ross - Music Assistant

Administrative Support Staff:

  • Jennifer Matthewson, Communications 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 Worship Service


Every Sunday at 10:30 am

First Presbyterian Church
1200 SW Alder Street
Portland, Oregon 97205

Tel: (503) 228-7331