BACK TO REDEEMER MAIN SITE

Redeemer Presbyterian Church:

Renewing the city socially, spiritually and culturally

Meet our staff

Family Ministry | Community Group | General Ministry | Music

 


 

Favorite ES spot

 

“I love the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and often use it as a place for solitude and prayer especially during the long NYC winters.”

 

Abraham Cho

Lead Pastor

 

Abe grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut, a small New England town just north of New Haven. After attending the University of Connecticut, he went on to pursue an M.Div. and a Th.M. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston. He was previously the youth pastor at First Korean Presbyterian in Hartford, CT and the director of university ministries at Citylife Presbyterian in Boston. He has been a pastor at Redeemer since 2007 serving in a variety of capacities over the years. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary with particular interests in urban ministry, leadership development, public theology and issues of race and justice. He and his wife, Jordyn, have four young children, Lydia, Ezra, Micah and Judah.

 

 

Favorite ES spot

 

“My favorite spot for dinner is the hidden restaurant inside of Grace’s Marketplace on 2nd and 68th. Great steak!”

 

Edward Sirya
Director of Ministry and Assistant Pastor

 

Ed grew up in Providence, Rhode Island but has always been a New Yorker at heart. He found his calling to ministry while working at a biotechnology start up, and he graduated with his M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2009. Since starting at Redeemer in 2011, Ed has been able to combine his love for people and the city. On his days off, he enjoys exploring the different neighborhoods of the city, finding new places to read, eat and ride his bike. Ed loves living on the Upper East Side with his wife, Rosalynn.

 

 


Family Ministry staff

 

Favorite ES restaurant

 

“When you want to celebrate extravagantly, Contra NYC offers a Babette’s Feast of a dinner experience. It is absolutely memorable in a good way.”

 

Laura Bradshaw
Children's Ministry Administrative Coordinator

 

Laura is originally from Richmond, Virginia and moved to the city in 2011 to attend The King's College. She graduated from King’s with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics in 2015 and decided to continue calling New York home. Laura has been attending Redeemer for several years and is grateful to serve the East Side congregation as the Administrative Coordinator for the Children's Ministry. She lives in Brooklyn and enjoys spending her free time outside in Prospect Park.

 

 

Favorite ES spot

 

“The view from the Queensboro Bridge heading into the city — It’s the best view. Fitzgerald captures it perfectly in my favorite book, The Great Gatsby!”

 

 

 

Natalie Harris
Elementary Program Coordinator

 

Natalie has attended Redeemer since she moved here in the fall of 2011 and began working with the Children’s Ministry shortly after. Not only has Redeemer provided her with a wonderful community of friends, she has the privilege of serving the families of the East Side Congregation, as the Elementary Program Coordinator. She could not ask for a better team to serve with! Originally from Southern California, Natalie left home with a degree in Theatre and is also currently pursuing a career in acting. She has shared her passion for storytelling with Off-Off Broadway audiences, as well as communities in Thailand and India. Natalie loves NYC and currently resides in Astoria, Queens.

 

 

Fun Rosanna fact

 

“I love to break a sweat from the spontaneous and silly ‘family dance time‘ sessions we have at home.”

 

 

 

Rosanna Lok
Nursery Coordinator

 

Rosanna was born and raised in New York City and has been blessed with the opportunity to live and work in the great city all her life. She was an undergraduate of New York University in 2008 and developed a passion for youth development and social service while working in non-profits throughout the five boroughs. Currently, she lives on the Upper East Side with her husband Benjamin and they've been attending Redeemer since 2012. They've recently become proud parents of their daughter, Chloe, who loves the Sunday morning trips to church and being a part of the Children's Ministry. Rosanna has worked with the Children's Ministry since 2015 as a Nursery teacher and Greeter and is excited to continue serving the ministry as the Nursery Coordinator.

 

 

Favorite ES spot

 

“The Conservatory Garden at 105th and 5th. I love flowers and gardening and this quiet, beautiful spot is a peaceful place in the busy city. Though I’m not able to pick the flowers, at least I don't have to pull the weeds!”

 

Caroline Royal
Youth Ministry Manager

 

A Georgia native, Caroline moved to the city from the rolling hills of Kentucky in July 2014 to intern at the Bowery Mission Women's Center. Before moving to the city she spent three years serving with Reformed University Fellowship at Western Kentucky University ministering to college students. She attended the University of Georgia where she studied History and first felt a call to ministry. She is the youngest of five children and the proud aunt of six wonderful nephews and a niece. In her spare time Caroline enjoys exploring the parks of NYC, riding her bike, taking day trips out of the city, and playing piano and guitar. She is thrilled to serve the East Side youth students and families and is excited to build the community amongst middle and high school students.

 

Favorite ES restaurant

 

“Luke’s Lobster.”

 

 

Lindsey Schultz
Children's Ministry Director

 

Originally from Ohio, Lindsey is a drama graduate of New York University. After graduation, she performed professionally Off-Broadway, on screen and in national educational tours working with schools across the country. Lindsey began attending Redeemer in college, and began working in the children's ministry in 2010 serving in multiple roles along the way. Redeemer's family community has been such an integral part of her spiritual journey and life in New York, and she is committed to helping support families as they follow the call to plant roots and raise their children in the city. Lindsey married her high school sweetheart, Todd, and they are raising two little New Yorkers, Alexander and Emily, in Astoria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Torstensen
Preschool Coordinator

 

Katie Torstensen is the East Side Preschool Coordinator. She is originally from Tulare, California, and she moved to the Upper East Side in September 2016 with her husband, Pete, who was offered a job in the city. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a bachelor's and master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology. In their spare time, Katie and her husband love to travel and see new places. They also have a six-year-old golden retriever, Brinkley, who is a big part of their family. Katie has trained Brinkley to be certified pet therapy dog. She takes him to hospitals whenever she can in order to bring comfort and encouragement to patients and their families. She is excited to serve the families of the East Side Congregation by caring for the three and four year-olds.

 

 


Community Group staff

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Adour
Pastoral Resident

 

Originally from upstate NY, Justin, his wife Angela, and their 2 daughters have lived in NYC since 2008. He served as a Youth Pastor in the Bronx where he was honored to serve amazing Bronx youth for 6 years. Additionally, he also served as the Protestant Chaplain at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and most recently, with The Navigators in NYC. In college, Justin studied Intercultural Studies and also has a masters in Intercultural Ministry with a focus on Urban Missiology. Additionally, he is in his final year at Reformed Theological Seminary NYC. Justin currently serves as the Pastoral Resident for the UES congregation. He works with the community groups team serving and caring for community groups and their leaders.

 

 

Favorite ES spot

 

“City Swiggers — It is the best place to enjoy great craft beer with friends in a fun and quiet atmosphere. Best of all, they let you bring your own food!”

 

Aaron Bjerke
Assistant Pastor

Community Group Director

 

Aaron is an Assistant Pastor and Community Group Director at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and has been involved in the Redeemer community since 2005. Prior to joining staff, Aaron taught seventh grade math in the South Bronx. He received his M.Div from Biblical Theological Seminary. Being from Minnesota, Aaron enjoys the mild winters in NYC. He lives on the Upper East Side with his wife, Erica.

 

 

Fun Caitlin fact

 

“I love making a (friendly) competition out of just about anything.”

 

Caitlin Brock
Community Group Coordinator

 

Originally from the great state of Delaware, Caitlin's love affair with serving people and building community began while volunteering with Young Life and studying human development at the University of Delaware. Upon completing her undergraduate degree Caitlin worked for various ministries and began dreaming of facilitating collaborations across multiple ministries, nonprofits, and businesses within an urban setting further growing her heart for cities, specifically the city of New York. Starting Fall 2016, Caitlin will begin her MA in Biblical Studies with Reformed Theological Seminary. She loves resale bookstores, meandering through museums and gathering people together to explore.

Caitlin will be serving part-time as the East Side Community Group Coordinator. Her role is to support the Community Group team in accomplishing the vision of community on the East Side by streamlining support to leaders and Community Group members.

 

 

Fun Lyn fact

 

“I love to swim, but I like the water to be really warm. If it's cold it takes me about 15 minutes to get in.”

 

Lyn Cook
Senior Community Group Director

 

Lyn grew up in South Florida and moved to New York in 2008. One bright spot of her early days in New York was a Redeemer women’s community group. The relationships and truth she found there were pivotal in her transition to life in the city and growth in her faith. Prior to joining Redeemer as a Community Group Director, Lyn worked in ministry with Cru for 14 years, serving in campus ministry in Alabama and East Asia and in New York with Cru City. She lives on the East Side with her husband, Clay, and daughters, Emma and Hope. Some of Lyn’s favorite ES activities are running on the East River Esplanade and eating Sichuan food at Wa Jeal.

 

 

Fun Jessica fact

 

“I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and I love to dance randomly at the Redeemer offices.”

 

Jessica Hong
Community Group Director

 

Jessica was born in Flushing, N.Y. but considers herself a Philly native at heart. She grew up in a small suburb of Philadelphia, Upper Dublin Township. She received her bachelor degree in psychology at Bryn Mawr College and then received her M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary. She was part of a church plant for six years in Philadelphia called Gracepoint Church. She’s a huge Eagles fan, enjoys playing tennis in Central Park and has recently found a new passion in golf. She loves being an aunt to her niece Avery Grace. Jessica finds it an incredible privilege to serve the East Side. 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Ro
Pastoral Resident

 

Mark grew up outside of Chicago, and after graduating from the University of Illinois, he moved to New York City in 2005 to begin his career in investment banking and private equity. After several years in the industry and serving bi-vocationally on staff at a church plant, he completed a M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and joined Redeemer in 2016 as a Pastoral Resident serving primarily on the Community Group team. Mark is married to Holly, who hails from Sydney, Australia, and they have two rambunctious boys, Joshua and Justin. When he's not running after his boys, he loves traveling and exploring new cities, watching and playing sports (especially basketball and golf), and reading.

 

 

Favorite ES spot

 

“Mon Petit. It’s a little french place on the East Side. Although tiny, it has great food and isn’t too pricy.”

 

Hector Sanchez
Community Group Intern

 

Hector was born in Ecuador, but grew up in Flushing, NY. That makes him a Mets fan by default, and through the suffering that accompanies that, he has learned that it’s not all about winning in life. He enjoys traveling and learning about cultures and languages. He enjoys history and can geek out on WWII facts. In fact, that’s one of the many reasons why he loves living in New York. He loves exploring different neighborhoods in the city, and hunting for ethnic foods to try (and maybe music to dance to, maybe). He has been in Redeemer since 2009 and is currently serving as a Community Group Intern. In addition, he is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary’s New York City program.

 

Fun Ben fact

 

“So far, I am most excited about the opportunity to compete in city-wide sports leagues. I look forward to playing flag football and volleyball somewhere!”

 

Ben Waller
Community Group Intern

 

Ben grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and stayed there to attend the great University of South Carolina (the REAL USC, for those Californians who don’t know any better). He got his degree in Exercise Science and loves exercise and sports, especially football and volleyball. After graduating he worked as an RUF intern for two years at the University of Alabama, where he met his wife Sarah. Shortly after he moved to St. Louis where he received his Masters of Divinity from Covenant Seminary in May 2016. It was during this time that the Lord grew in him a desire for urban ministry and specifically began to place New York City on his heart.

 

Ben will be working with Redeemer East Side as a Community Group intern. His wife Sarah also hopes to pursue a Masters degree in Social Work in the next few years and is exploring different options for school in the city. They are excited to be here and to be given this opportunity and look forward to what else God has in store for them in the coming years.

 


Ministry staff

 

Favorite ES spot

 

“Beyoglu - Though I’m never quite sure how to pronounce my favorite UES restaurant, nothing beats the mezze platter!”

 

Liz Avanzato
Volunteer and Event Manager

 

Liz began attending Redeemer in 2010 and instantly knew that she had found her church home. In 2013 she became East Side volunteer and event manager and has enjoyed every moment since! On Sunday you will often find her outside the auditorium where the volunteers sign in. If you visit her, she will give you gum!

 

Liz was a Spanish major in college which required that she study abroad in Mexico (for one semester), but she loved it so much that she ended up staying for six years teaching English as a foreign language, studying for her master’s in applied linguistics, and enjoying all the culinary wonders that Mexico has to offer. Originally from the great state of New Jersey, Liz now calls the Upper East Side home. She spends her free time listening to podcasts, playing touch football, trying out new recipies, and riding the M86 crosstown bus because she lives all the way on York Avenue!

 

 

Fun Tarina fact

 

“I learned how to moonwalk by watching YouTube videos and once won 2nd place in a Michael Jackson dance-off competition.”

 

 

Tarina Corelli
Project Coordinator

 

Tarina is a Virginia native who made her way to the Big Apple in 2011 after graduating with a Marketing Management degree from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). She came to faith the summer after college and began attending Redeemer immediately upon moving to New York City. Tarina quickly got involved and has since served in a variety of ways through children’s ministry and leading and leader-coaching community groups. Prior to working for Redeemer’s East Side Congregation, Tarina was an advertising Account Supervisor for a variety of brands including the New York Lottery and NY State of Health. Tarina considers the Redeemer community her NYC family and loves working with the East Side team. In her spare time, Tarina enjoys scouting new thrift shops around the city and catching up with friends in cozy coffee shops.

 

 

Stacey Hess
Connections and Membership Manager

 

After growing up very close to New York City, Stacey has found her true home in the city after spending time in Massachusetts for college and in the Pacific Northwest for nature and social enterprise. In Seattle she worked in business development and sales for a startup coffee company that blended the for-profit and non-profit world to benefit ministry and charitable work. Stacey now lives in Manhattan and is thrilled to be the ministry development manager for Redeemer East Side. She enjoys running and biking in circles in Central Park and discovering hidden culinary gems throughout the city.

 

 

Fun Hannah fact

 

“I love all things Disney. Seriously — if you ever need a friend to sing Olaf's ‘In Summer’ with, I'm your girl.”

 

Hannah Seong
Education Coordinator

 

Hannah was born in Boston and was raised a faithful Red Sox fan while growing up in England, California, and South Korea. (Her freshman year at M.I.T. was richly rewarded with the first World Series in 86 years!) She moved to the city after college to study neuroscience but will readily admit that her Ph.D. is the third best thing that happened here, after Redeemer and her husband Topher. She joined the East Side team to serve the congregation’s educational activities and loves combining her two passions: vocational ministry and academic administration. She and her husband currently live in Brooklyn where they cook a lot of Korean and Tex-Mex, brew their own beer, and dream about owning a dog someday.

 

 

Favorite restaurant

 

“I enjoy the Brazilian salad buffet and ambiance at Plataforma Restaurant and also the juice and smoothies from Fresh Press.”

 

Cybele Silver
Sunday Operations Manager

 

Cybele moved to the United States from Brazil in September of 1980. Since her Brazilian years, Cybele has been a devoted professional for the joy of her family and friends.  She lived in Michigan for five years as a companion and enthusiastic supporter of her husband’s education and ministry. In 1985, she came to New York City, serving administrative roles at John Wycliffe School, Advent Hope, and Redeemer Church. Having been with the church since its early years, she has developed a passion and compassion for the city and commitment to Redeemer’s church planting vision. As a native Brazilian, Cybele is an avid soccer fan.

 

 

Lindsay Weidig
Ministry Manager

 

As the Ministry Manager for the East Side, Lindsay loves that she gets to do a little bit of everything for the East Side Team. She grew up in Dallas, TX and after studying Musical Theatre in College, she moved up to NYC to pursue her dream of being on Broadway. After a few years of performing and shifting of dreams and careers, Lindsay feels so blessed that this is God’s plan for her life right now. Lindsay met her husband, Will, at Redeemer and after the East Side Morning service, you can usually find them eating brunch at Untitled in the Whitney Museum.

 

 


Music staff

 

Fun Rozz fact

 

“She can be heard on several episodes of The Wonder Pets including “Off To School”, “Meet the Beetles” and “The Rat Pack”, and she co-wrote the title cut “Home For Christmas” on the NSYNC Christmas album.”

 

Rozz Morehead
Evening Music Director

 

Rozz was born and raised in Kannapolis, NC, and began singing as a child at Mt. Calvary Lutheran church. After receiving her BCA degree from UNCC, she moved to NY to pursue a music career. She’s appeared on Broadway in Once On This Island, Big River and Urban Cowboy, Off -Broadway and regional performances of Dreamgirls, Aida, Joseph, and Candide. She’s recorded with Moby, Black 47, Grover Washington, Eartha Kitt and as a back up singer for Diana Ross, Ben E. King, and Maxwell and many others. She’s performed with symphony orchestras, corporate clients, and many wedding and club date bands over the years, most recently as a featured vocalist for JK Entertainment. She currently serves as a deaconess and music director for the morning services at All Souls Community church in Suffern, NY.

 

She came to Redeemer in 2003 when Tom Jennings asked her to sing at a West Side Evening Service. She lives in Fort Lee, NJ, her “upper westside” home just on the other side of the river. 

 

Rozz is overjoyed to share her gospel/r&b roots as music director for the East Side Evening Service. 

 

 

 

Miriam Burns
Morning Music Director

 

Miriam Burns has attended Redeemer since its inception in 1989, has been the conductor of The Orchestra of the Redeemer since its beginnings in 1995, and has been on staff as music director of the East Side morning service since 2000. Miriam has just been named music director and conductor of the McLean Orchestra (in Virginia), having recently held the same title with the Tallahassee and Kenosha (Wisconsin) Symphonies. Miriam was also on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of the cover conductors for eight years, having been invited as a result of a competitive audition. Serving under then music directors Kurt Masur and Loren Maazel, she was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.