Leadership

WHO WE ARE

Mark Bigelow

Pastor

Rev. Mark Bigelow serves as Pastor of our church. Mark oversees all the church programs while focusing on worship, pastoral care, outreach and programming for our youth. He particularly likes to preach and lead creative worship services that speak to the spiritual needs of our congregation. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Mark graduated from Columbine High School and then went to Doane College, in Crete, Nebraska, where he studied Philosophy and Religion. After college he attended Union Theological Seminary, in New York City, for his Masters of Divinity. In his first church position Mark served as Associate Pastor for Education and Youth at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Englewood, Colorado.

Two primary areas of interest are interfaith dialogue, and religion and sexuality. Mark is a founding member of the Long Island Multi-Faith forum and is past chair of their education committee. He is a past board member of the Planned Parenthood Federation of American where he has chaired their long-range planning committee. In addition to his work at our church, Mark is Pastoral Care Coordinator for VNS Hospice of Suffolk.

Mark is married to Ronnie Todaro and they have three daughters and one grand-daughter. In his free time he likes to sail, cook, and read.

Brian Heveron-Smith

Brian Heveron-Smith

Music Director

Brian Heveron-Smith is a versatile keyboardist, drummer, percussionist, and songwriter who has performed concerts in Europe, Australia, Africa, all across North America, and in international waters with various cruise lines. He holds a degree in percussion performance from the Eastman School of Music.

Brian loves NPR so he naturally loves telling people the different NPR shows he’s been featured on – namely, From The Top and All Songs Considered. In the world of classical music, Brian has premiered and recorded new works by accomplished composers Jeff Tyzik, Robert Pierzak, Andrew Allen, Paul Coleman, Scott Perkins, Baljinder Sekhon, and Jennifer Bellor. Brian has toured extensively as a drummer in jazz bands with bandleaders Solomon Douglas and Fil Lorenz, and in rock bands Gunsling Birds and Capitalist Youth.

A love of comedy led Brian to move to Los Angeles in 2012, where he started performing as a musician and comedian at improv theaters iO West, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Second City Hollywood. He has since toured as a music director with Second City’s National Touring Company, musical improv troupe Baby Wants Candy, and Story Pirates. Brian wrote the music for the hit web series Gayle, and he has also released several musical comedy albums and music videos of his own, under various character names. He has written four original, live musical comedy shows – Bud Coplin’s Soar Into Stardom Music Showcase; The Day That I Died (A Good Charlotte Jukebox Musical); All Gold; and Recital, his recent solo show.

As a church musician, Brian started out playing piano at St Paul’s, the Catholic Church he grew up in. In college he held a position for two years at St Bridget’s in Bloomfield, NY. He has also played regularly at Browncroft Community Church, St Mary’s, and Salem UCC, all in Rochester, NY.

Outside of music and comedy, Brian likes board games, the Adirondacks, and messing with photo and video gear.

Ron Rudaitis

Church School Director

Ron Ruditis has more than 20 years experience in education, communications, and multi-media. Now he brings his love of education and experience working with children of all ages to his role as Church School Director for the Congregational Church of Huntington, United Church of Christ.

“Religious education has always been an important part of my life, from earliest memories of my father teaching me ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ through my school years at St. Aidan’s elementary school and Chaminade High School, where religious education was as vital as math, english, and science,” Ron explains.

“On a personal note, one of the biggest deciding factors for me becoming a member of the Congregational Church of Huntington is when my wife and I saw the ‘time for children’ part of the service. We always knew we wanted to raise our child in a community of faith that was inclusive and gave everyone a role. Here, the children are engaged in such a meaningful–and fun–way. As Church School Director, I work closely with the Pastor and Children’s Ministry to continue to provide a safe, engaging learning environment for our children, rooted in our faith and our community.”

Ron lives with his wife, son and daughter in Greenlawn, NY, and previously served as a New York City Public School Teacher, as well as an Emmy Award-winning Television Producer, producing educational documentaries that celebrate diversity and the human experience.