Our Church Staff
To reach the church office or any of our staff by phone, call 781.444.2510
Rev. John MacIver Gage, senior minister
Rev. John is a native of Austin, Texas. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University and an M.Div. from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was ordained into the ministry of word and sacrament in the United Church of Christ in 2000. He then served at United Church on the Green in New Haven, CT (2000-2014) and United Christian Church of Austin (2014-2018) before accepting the call to be senior minister with us at The Congregational Church of Needham beginning in January 2019. John also holds ordained standing in The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a broad national coalition of majority African-American, Pentecostal, LGBTQ-affirming ministries. He is passionate about intriguing worship that gets past all the "Bible words" to bring the Gospel to bear on the messiness of real life. As he says, "I believe we ought to offend somebody in worship every week; we just ought to take it in turns. That's how we grow." He also feels called to intersectional justice work across traditional boundaries, particularly around sexuality and gender and racial and ethnic identity. John shares a home with his partner, David, and their large dogs, Kevin, and Nick. To email Rev. John, click here.
Rev. Maddie Foster, minister for youth and children
Rev. Maddie moved to the Boston area from North Branford, CT in 2011 when she began attending Andover Newton Theological School, where she earned her M.Div. degree. She began working at The Congregational Church of Needham in 2015, where her ministry focuses on the needs of children and youth and their families, including Sunday school, confirmation, and youth group, as well as sharing leadership in worship. She lives in Norwood with her husband, Jonathan, and their Boston Terrier-Beagle mix, Izzy. In her free time, Maddie enjoys yoga, sewing, and baking. To email Rev. Maddie, click here.
Valerie J. Becker, director of music
Valerie is a graduate of Boston University, where she received both her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in piano performance. Her post graduate studies led her to the University of Illinois where she worked on an accompaniment and coaching degree. Valerie taught for 15 summers in the Boston University high school program at Tanglewood, working with both choral and chamber groups. She also taught at the North Carolina School for the Arts from and was the pianist for the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions. In 1994 Valerie joined the staff of the Treble Chorus of New England as the pianist, and in 1998 directed the new intermediate choir. As Associate Director, she directed the Training Choir and Concert Choir. In 2007 she was appointed Artistic Director and she now directs the Schola choir and My Own Voice Choir (a chorus for children with special needs.) To email Valerie, click here.