• Pastor Joanna grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She studied English and Theology at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. She received her Masters of Divinity from United Lutheran Seminary. She transplanted to New England for her first call as associate pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Prior to Emanuel, she was the pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Bristol, Connecticut. She's on the synod’s candidacy committee and serves as a transition coach to help congregations discern during a transition. She's also a Pastoral Innovation Network fellow at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace.

    She lives with her family in Portland, CT. She's married to Brett, who is an ELCA pastor on leave from call who teaches Hebrew Scriptures at Notre Dame High School in West Haven. She has two children–Thomas and Jane–as well as a quirky rescue lab mix named Nala, a cat named Kitty Hawk, and seven hens. Her spirit breathes deep on a long walk or run. She loves guacamole, lattes, and popcorn and despises mushrooms and mayonnaise.

  • Jeff Sirois is a Connecticut native, and a lifelong musician. He holds degrees in music education from Plymouth State University (NH), and The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he studied both piano and trumpet performance. Prior to coming to Emanuel, Jeff served as Director of Music at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Terryville, CT. A passionate music educator, Jeff has taught music at every level from preschool to adult learners, and currently serves as a music teacher and band director at Avon Middle School. Prior to his position in Avon, Jeff was Director of Bands at Berlin High School. Jeff brings a diverse, and versatile musical skill set to Emanuel, and believes deeply in the idea that music elevates faith, and that the pursuit of music enhances not only our worship, but our own human vitality. Jeff is an active freelance musician, frequently performing on both piano and trumpet throughout Connecticut, and is currently the keyboardist for the popular Middletown based dance cover band, Downtown 6. Jeff is a dedicated Red Sox fan, and enjoys playing golf (albeit poorly!) and tennis in his free time. 

  • A life-long member of Emanuel, Nancy has worked in the church office as the Administrative Assistant since November of 2003. She has recently taken over primary responsibility for managing membership and financial records. She enjoys working with such a talented staff. She feels blessed to be able to use her gifts and serve her church community in her position.

  • Anne is a resident of Manchester. Anne is responsible for creating the weekly Sunday worship bulletin, the monthly newsletter, the weekly email update, maintaining the website as well as scheduling groups to use church space for meetings or events. 

  • Danielle Berneski is a life long member of Emanuel. This is her third year as Co-Director of Family Ministries. She is also a member of the Mutual Ministry Committee. She is a third grade teacher and loves working with children and their families. Danielle and her husband Joe have a son named Noah and a rescue Shih Tzu named Bella. In her spare time she enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.  

  • Kathy Hatch,

    Property Supervisor