Meet Our Staff

Rev. Paulo Gustavo França, Senior Minister

Rev. França was born in Brazil and spent most of his childhood in a small town of 20,000 people located in the Serra do Mar two hours southwest of Rio.  His call to the ministry unfolded slowly over the years. It was while he was on a mission trip to the Brazilian rainforest in 1994 that Rev. França began to consider ministry as his true calling and vocation. By that time, Rev. França had already graduated from the Pharmacy School at the Universidade Federal Fluminense and was working as the Director of Public Pharmacy in the Unified Health System in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

In 1995, Rev. França left his career as a pharmacist to attend seminary in the United States. He chose to pursue his theological education in the United States because of the high caliber of biblical scholarship and the long history of social engagement of the American mainline churches. Rev. França attended Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA, successfully completing two master programs: the Master of Divinity and the Master of Theology with the focus on the intersection of Christianity, Democracy, and Globalization from a Latin American perspective.

Upon his graduation from seminary, Rev. França joined the pastoral staff at the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, IL as the recipient of a grant awarded to promising young pastors by the Lily Foundation. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Chicago in 2001. In the fall of 2002, Rev. França returned to Brazil and served for a year as a visiting pastor in Rio. The search for a more welcoming, socially progressive, theologically imaginative, and inclusive church led Rev. França to seek ecclesiastical standing with the United Church of Christ. In the States, He has served UCC churches in Chicago, IL; Hartford, CT; and New Hampshire.

Rev. França and his spouse Erik Pavesic met in Chicago in the summer of 2006. They became domestic partners in Cook County in 2010 and were married at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford CT in 2013. They have a beautiful cat, Noëlle. In his free time, Rev. França enjoys reading, traveling, watching movies and soccer, visiting historic sites, cycling and working out. Erik and Paulo love to entertain and spend time with their extended families. Rev. França’s family lives in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil and Erik’s parents have retired to Arizona where Erik’s older brother serves as a Lutheran minister. Erik and Paulo call New England their home.

Andrew Harris, Acting Associate Minister of Congregational Life

Andrew was born and raised in Andover, MA before attending undergraduate school at Hofstra University where he met his wife, Ally. After college Andrew hiked 1,295 miles of the Appalachian Trail, worked as a substitute teacher, and volunteered with his home church’s youth group. During this time he first felt his call to ministry during a thunderstorm on a mission trip.

Andrew was the first ever recipient of the Hancock-Lily Fellowship, a cutting-edge cooperative M.Div program where seminary students earn credit for long-term, intensive work in a local church. As a Lily fellow, Andrew served Hancock Church in Lexington, MA for four years while earning his M.Div from Andover Newton Theological School. Acton Congregational Church is Andrew’s first call to ordained ministry.

In his free time, Andrew enjoys singing and playing his guitar, watching all the Boston sports teams, eating foods he hasn’t tried before, playing basketball, and relaxing with his cat, Peach.

Domenik Ackermann, Director of Family Ministries

Born in Germany, I have been active in my congregations since I started confirmation classes. Most of you will know exactly the feeling I have when I say: Church became something like a family to me. The church has sparked my strong desire to learn more about God and God’s ways to be with humans which is why, for ten years now, I have dedicated my life to study God and Scripture at different Universities in Germany, Lebanon and Israel. I am very grateful for this experience because it showed me that the best way to get to know God is not only through books, but also through people. And it was in Lebanon where I met my then wife-to-be Ariel who is from Pennsylvania. In 2017, Ariel and I decided to live in the US and I started a pastoral internship at the Evangelical Reformed UCC in Frederick, MD. Since 2018, I am doing a Ph.D. in Comparative Theology at Boston College.  My ways to relax? Music, Movies (with M&M’s) and Baseball!

Many thanks to the interview team and their trust in me! It is so exciting to start a new chapter here at ACC. I am looking forward to getting to know you personally and am eager to work with the church families and their children so that all us, our hearts and minds may grow toward God.

 

Our Staff

We have a friendly staff that will be glad to respond to your inquiries. A minister is also normally available during office hours.  All ministers and staff members can be reached via email, firstname@actonc.org

Liz Carley
Organist/Coordinator of Music

 

Tracy Lane
Administrator
 

 

Michael Wilson
Facilities Specialist 

 

Renée Capachione 
Office Coordinator
 

 

 

Mandy Familiar 
Finance Specialist Consultant

 

Not Pictured

Howard Webster, Night Watchman

Our regular weekday office hours during the school year are:
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday

Our Summer weekday hours are:
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
We are closed on Fridays in the summer.

The office is closed on most national holidays.

Phone: (978) 263-2728
Emergency Line: (978) 266-1311
Fax: (978) 264-9457