Rev. Robert J. Mark grew up in the Boston area, the youngest of four children, with a Baptist father and a Presbyterian mother. He was nurtured by regular worship and Christian education and learned to value the many ways faith can be practiced in everyday life and work. In 1993, while living and working in a poor community in South Africa, he first felt a call toward ministry, a yearning to pursue peace and justice in the light of faith. He chose a Christian college (Wheaton in Illinois) and pursued the study of geology and international development, spending his summers leading youth trips to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. After graduation, he worked as a youth minister, coordinated a sister church partnership in Uganda, and then became a project administrator for a biodiversity and sustainable forestry firm. But the call to fulltime ordained ministry finally sent him to seminary, completing his Master of Divinity degree at Boston University in 2005. He was ordained to the Presbyterian Ministry of Word and Sacrament in 2006.
In 2011 he was called by the Congregation of Church of the Covenant to be our pastor. From 2007-2011, he was the designated co-pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Waltham, and since 2008 the assistant chaplain and McDonald Fellow at The Memorial Church at Harvard University. From 2002-2007, he was Camp Director at PC(USA)'s Camp Wilmot in New Hampshire and from 2005-2008, he was Executive Director of the Waltham Community Day Center for the homeless and low-income community. Along the way, he has also completed extensive training in Earthcare, pastoral care, and congregational redevelopment, among other topics. However the study in which he has perhaps been most deeply invested is reclaiming the Celtic traditions that are part of his own ancestral heritage, and also intertwined with the roots of the Presbyterian tradition. "On a personal retreat to the Iona Community in Scotland," he wrote, "I felt guidance from the Holy Spirit that my vocation should always center around three elements: Jesus, the earth, and the poor." That is a vocational journey we now look forward to continuing with him.
Tom Handel Minister of Music
Besides being Covenant's Minister of Music, Tom Handel is Dean of Students and professor of Music History and Musicology at New England Conservatory (NEC). He is active as a solo organist, accompanist, theorist, musicologist and music administrator. He has performed throughout the United States and has given solo organ recitals for the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. For more information about Tom, please see his biography at NEC.
Brian Reardon Building Manager and
Brian Reardon was born in Quincy, MA. and raised Hingham, MA. Previous to his position at Covenant, Brian worked in computer services at Wang Laboratories, and in financial services at Fidelity Investments. He received his BA in History from Georgetown University and his MBA from Babson College. Brian is active at Arlington Street Church where he sings in the choir and has served as a board member and as treasurer.
Julie Rogers, Pastoral Associate, comes to Boston by way of New Jersey, Ohio, and Mexico. A native of Montclair, NJ and a life long member of the United Church of Christ (UCC), Julie recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a Master of Divinity degree. While at Harvard Divinity School, Julie’s studies and ministerial training focused largely on the spiritual development of youth and young adults, the evolution of liberation theologies in Latin America and beyond, and the arts of preaching and pastoral care. Prior to coming to Harvard Divinity School, Julie studied Theatre, Vocal Performance, and Anthropology at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. After graduating in 2007, she moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico for two years to work with college students on a social justice-focused study abroad program called the Center for Global Education. She is an ardent advocate for many social justice concerns with particular interests in immigrant justice and LGBTQ inclusion. Julie also works as Pastoral Associate at First Church in Cambridge.