Meet our staff.

Rev. Dr. Susan Cartmell

Susan has been the pastor at Pilgrim Church since 2016. in addition to her work casting a vision and leading worship Susan has been instrumental in developing a successful After School Drop in Center for elementary school children. Building on the church’s history, founded by abolitionists, Susan led a team to create a history exhibit about the Underground Railroad on Cape Cod. 

Previously, for 18 years she served as the senior pastor of the Congregational Church of Needham, a suburban church with 600 members, in the suburbs of Boston. Her tenure was a time of growth - that saw the addition of 300 new adults and hundreds of children and youth. 

After she earned a Doctor of Ministry in 2014 from Andover Newton Theological School, Susan wrote a book on preaching called, Uncommon Preaching: An Alternative to the Lectionary  (Wipf and Stock 2015).  She was a featured presenter at the  Preaching Academy for the United Methodists Missouri Conference in 2018 and she had led several clergy workshops on preaching at gatherings of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. She has taught Bible study classes in the Special Studies Program at Chautauqua Institute. 

Susan lives in Harwich with her wife, the Rev. Peggy O’Connor. 

Fred Drifmeyer | Music Director

Fred Drifmeyer became Pilgrim Church's music director in June 2007. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Boston University, Fred received a Master of Music Education from Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, Connecticut. He is proficient in piano, organ, and choir direction.

Dr. Matt Scinto | Bell Choir & Website

Dr. Matthew Scinto currently serves as Founder and Conductor of the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra and the Music Director for the Civic Orchestra of New Haven (CT). He has twice studied conducting at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center and also currently serves as the Pilgrim Church Bell Choir director and manages the church website.

Val Petersen | Office Administrator

Val Petersen comes to us after having retired from a 25-year career at Yale University, most recently serving as the Management School's Director of Board & Donor Relations and as the Environment School's Director of Communications and Special Assistant to the Dean. She holds a BA in English and Psychology.

Deb Larsson | CE & After School

As Director of both Christian Education and our After School Drop-in Center, Debbie brings to us her 40 years of experience as a special education teacher at Accept Education Collaborative. Her passion for “her kids” is obvious as she manages to create a never-ending set of activities and programs while adapting to new guidelines and online learning. She recently received certification in Children's Ministry as Leading Spiritual Education through South Western College.

Becky Sullivan | Tech Deacon & After School

Becky’s 25 years in the newspaper business have nicely translated into
leading Pilgrim into the 21st century with online media programs.  One
of the founding members of the Tech Deacons Roundtable in the
Southern New England conference of the UCC, she has enabled Rev.
Susan to reach out to not only our Pilgrim community but to viewers
nationwide by taping services and podcasts and posting them over a
wide variety of online media outlets.  Becky also assists Deb Larsson inthe after-school program and along with Deb has developed an online
“Sunday School” program, where she reads Bible stories.

Marcia Witherell | Bookkeeper

A perfect fit for Pilgrim, Marcia is a computer programmer who loves working with numbers.  As a department head at Kripalu in Lenox, for 12 years she was responsible for balancing the books and accounts receivable.  When she moved to the Cape she became the Treasurer/Bookkeeper for First Church in Harwich and was also employed at the Yarmouth Town Hall working in the Clerks & Collectors offices.  Thinking she had finally retired in 2019, she was asked if she would be interested in coming to Pilgrim. The rest is history.
In addition to serving the Church, Marcia raises golden retrievers and was recently the proud “grandparent” of seven sisters! 

John Gastol | Sexton

Bio Coming Soon

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