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Meet the Staff

 

Reverend Laura Biddle

Minister 

 

Rev. Laura Biddle joined Brookside Church in June of 2019.  As minister, she is responsible for preaching and teaching the gospel, administering the sacraments and rites of the church, and providing pastoral care and leadership. She leads the weekly worship service and heads the ministry groups that serve the congregation and the Manchester community.  She also lends her acoustic guitar and vocal talents to the services and works to ensure that everyone - particularly children feel welcome and are encouraged to participate.

 

Rev. Biddle graduated from Episcopal Divinity School in 1986. Her first call to ministry was serving women in prison at MCI Framingham. Teaching courses in economic development and family reintegration allowed her to encourage new pathways for women and their children. Through preaching in congregations around New England she became an advocate for the spiritual health and well-being of incarcerated women and their families. During this period of time, she worked closely on issues regarding domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, and community awareness of prisoners in Massachusetts. 

 

In 1998, she was called to parish ministry. Serving congregations in Newburyport, Salem, Andover, West Concord, Weston, Boxford, and most recently, Nahant Massachusetts, she enjoyed both settled and interim ministries. Her commitment to creating and sustaining Open and Affirming congregations has been an important aspect of her ministry. 


As a trained grief counselor, in 2009 she became the Spiritual Advisor to military families grieving suicide. Working with the staff of an organization called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Project for Survivors), she continues to be committed to helping military and police families advance their spiritual health after a suicide. 

 

For six years, she served as the part-time Chaplain at Salem State University, allowing her to bring a spiritual perspective to all academic areas. She also focused on the veterans program, the LGBTQ community, confidential conversations after a sexual assault, and the Diversity and Inclusivity Department. 

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Louise Popp

Church Administrator

 

Louise has been attending Brookside since the late 80’s and has been our church administrator since 2019.  She has worked in the non-profit arena for the past 30 years as the Deputy Executive Director for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, serving MA, ME, NH, & RI and as Regional Vice President for the American Cancer Society, New England Division.  Louise graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a BS in Marketing/Management. 

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Heath Auger

Sexton

Heath Auger is the sexton at Brookside Congregational Church.  In this role, since 2008, he is responsible for the maintenance of the church facility that includes the historic Manning House, a chapel, sanctuary, fellowship hall, and additional buildings on the 10-acre estate.  Heath is also responsible for special event support and maintenance.  When the church was forced to go online only due to the pandemic, Heath stepped up to produce the live streamed worship services using his talents as an audio and video technician.
 

Heath is also very active in the church. He sings in the choir, plays the carillon (bells) in the church steeple, and is involved in numerous other volunteer projects. 
 

Heath graduated from New Hampshire College with an associate’s degree in accounting. 

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Jordan Gravel

Music Leader

 

Jordan Gravel is a keyboardist and music educator who performs frequently in the Northeast. After growing up in Marblehead Massachusetts, Jordan studied jazz at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where he performed regularly in various trios and quartets. It was there that he released his first two albums, Inner Preservation and Collage. Upon returning to the Boston area, Jordan linked up with his brother Andrew and continues to perform with The Gravel Project. In 2019, Jordan released Passages, which features original compositions on the Fender Rhodes. Jordan lives in Lynn, MA with his wife and son, where he also teaches music at a public middle school. Jordan is very grateful and excited to be part of Brookside Congregational Church, and looks forward to building community and togetherness to celebrate God through music. 

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Christina Alvarez

Youth Troupe Leader

 

Christina Alvarez is a musician, vocalist, actor and theater producer. She studied at the University of Washington, where she played trumpet in the Husky Marching Band.  She was the Managing Director of Snapped Productions, a theater company in New York City, producing and acting in a number of productions, including three world premieres of new plays.  She is currently the Performing Arts teacher at Polaris, a K-5 charter school, and lives in Manchester with her husband and two beautiful daughters.  Christina has been a congregational member of Brookside for 7 years, where she has enjoyed singing with the choir and serving as Deacon and Chair of the Christian Formation Ministry. Her first love was musical theater and she is always figuring out how to incorporate theater and dance into musical presentations, as well as experiment with differing musical styles.  Christina looks to engage Brookside's youth with fun, creative performances that enhance faith, share gifts and talents, and bring everyone together in joyous worship. 

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