Who We Are
West Side Presbyterian Church’s vision is to be a God-centered, welcoming community, open to all, transforming lives by sharing our faith, inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Welcome to West Side Presbyterian Church!
We trust you will find in West Side a spiritual home that will enable you to grow your faith in God and a place to share your talents with others.
West Side offers a vibrant worship experience for individuals, families, youth and children. Our Sanctuary and Chapel offers opportunities to praise God, reflect and rejoice. Living and experiencing our faith through Music is an integral part of West Side’s ministry. When unable to attend worship, you can participate by Live Streaming Video and Podcasts.
Join a small group or participate in Sunday School for all ages to expand and share your faith. Participate in diverse Mission opportunities to serve others, and enjoy the company of new and old friends through these and other West Side community activities for children, youth and adults.
Please explore all that West Side has to offer by visiting and worshipping with us soon.
Here are some quick links for more information:
- To contact a minister: Rev. Dr. Gareth Icenogle, Rev. Marc Oehler, Rev. Penny Hogan
- Tell me about Worship, Music, Choirs, Arts, Major Events, Calendar, Newsletter, or Building Rentals: Lisa Stitt
- Tell me about Youth, Children’s and Family programs, Leadership, Weddings, Baptisms, or something not listed here: Carol Walton
- Tell me about the church’s Giving programs: Carolyn Conetta
- Sandy Relief and other service opportunities: Rev. Marc Oehler
West Side Presbyterian Church is handicapped accessible, and offers free parking.
The Rev. Dr. Gareth Icenogle
Pastor/Head of Staff
Gareth became West Side’s Senior Pastor in February, 2009. He has degrees in ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, and music degrees from the University of California, Riverside, and California State University of Los Angeles. His masters degrees are in music (voice and composition) and divinity, and his doctorate is in ministry, with a focus on spiritual formation and discipleship. He has written an internationally used textbook on the theology, purposes, and dynamics of faith formation through small groups.
Gareth comes to West Side from the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, where he served as Senior Pastor from 2004 to 2008. Before that he served First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PA, as Senior Pastor and Co-Senior Pastor for 14 years. Previously he was the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Seminary.
Both natives of southern California, Gareth and his wife, Vida Smith, have been married for more than 40 years and they have two adult daughters, Tamara and Tonya.
The Rev. Marc A. Oehler
Associate Pastor of Parish Life
Marc joined West Side’s staff in July, 2010, after spending 10 years as Associate Pastor of Community Life at the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township (PCCT), NJ. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Lafayette College and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), with a masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Marc served as Spiritual Director at PCCT and Princeton Theological Seminary since 2003 and 2006, respectively. He has also been a certified Staff Person of Spirituality for Daily Life and retreat leader at the Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development in Camp Hill, PA. He feels his mission is for small spiritual group ministry, where he is able to get to the heart and journey with people while “encouraging them to grow into who they might become.”
Marc’s family includes wife Nicole, daughter Esmae, and son Caleb.
The Rev. Penny Hogan
Associate Pastor of Family Life
Penny joined the West Side staff in March 2012 as Associate Pastor for Family Life (working with youth, children and parents). She was ordained and installed at West Side on Sunday, June 3, 2012.
Penny received a Master of Divinity in 2010 from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Before entering seminary, she served for six years in the youth, family and mission ministry at the 1,500-member La Jolla Presbyterian Church in La Jolla, California. Among her many responsibilities, she planned and co-led a youth mission trip to Kenya, co-led a multi-generational trip to Malawi, and implemented an annual youth group house building trip to Mexico for nearly 100 people.
Penny and her husband, John, are Ridgewood residents.
Joanne Harris Rodland
Minister of Music
Joanne has been on staff since 1968, first as associate to her husband, The Rev. John R. Rodland, then as Minister of Music following Jack’s death in 1989. She is a graduate of Bucknell University and of Union Theological Seminary’s School of Sacred Music. Her organ study has been with Prof. William McRae, Alec Wyton, and David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. She served congregations in Brooklyn, NY, Pompton Lakes, NJ, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and Lyndhurst, NJ, before coming to West Side.
Throughout her years at West Side, Joanne has remained committed to the West Side tradition of offering both choral and instrumental music of the highest integrity in worship and in the various music outreach programs. A certified Orffschulwerk Teacher and a specialist in children’s choirs, she has conducted workshops and choral festivals nationwide and written extensively for professional publications. Under her leadership, our Oratorio Choir and Orchestra have performed major works of sacred choral repertoire.
Joanne’s two daughters, Carol and Catherine, are both well-respected professional musicians.
Associate Minister of Music
Before joining the staff in 1990, Deborah, or Mrs. Ho-Ho, as she is widely known, served congregations in New Jersey, Florida, and Maryland as organist/choirmaster. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, with concentration in organ, from William Paterson University, and a masters degree in sacred music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, with a concentration in voice.
Mrs. Ho-Ho delights in creating music for the choirs, bell choirs, and instrumental ensembles which enhance our worship, and has published a number of anthems. She also serves on the executive board of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Debbi lives with her husband and two sons, one of whom attends New Jersey Institute of Technology, in Franklin Lakes.
The Rev. Elizabeth Junod
Pastoral Associate for Family Life (part-time)
The Rev. Elizabeth Junod joined West Side in 2009 as a part-time Pastoral Associate during the searches that brought Rev. Oehler and Rev. Hogan to West Side. She was originally ordained in the United Methodist Church; she was welcomed into our Presbytery of the Palisades as a fully recognized pastor in our denomination, PC(USA). After serving for a year or so as a part-time volunteer Parish Associate, Liz rejoined the West Side staff on a part-time basis as Pastoral Associate for Family Life to assist Rev. Penny Hogan with the opportunities for families in conjunction with Foundation Worship on Sunday evenings.
Liz has a bachelors degree from Drew University, with a major in religion and minor in psychology, and received her Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School in May of 1989, where she was awarded the William E. Downes Prize for excellence in preaching and public speaking.
She is married to Laurent Junod and they have three children: Lilly, Liam and Luke.
Carolyn ConettaFinancial Manager
201-652-1966, ext. 7135
Richard CurtinDirector of Planned Giving (volunteer)
Cindy HardtAssistant to the Director of
West Side Nursery School
201-447-3501, ext. 7146
Pat McGladeParish Nurse (part-time)
201-652-1966, ext. 7133
Steven DeMottLead Musician, Foundation
Paul MensingFacility Manager (part-time)
201-652-1966, ext. 7147
Melissa SaundersExecutive Director of West Side Nursery School
201-447-3501, ext. 7143
Lisa StittBusiness Administrator
201-652-1966, ext. 7136
Carol WaltonCoordinator for Ministry
201-652-1966, ext. 7134
Session (Elders): West Side’s governing body
Class of 2014: Donna Burdick, Ben Dougherty, Myra Garcia, Ruth Guthery, Paul Higbee, Lucy Ianacone, Cara Montella, James Neujahr, Lincoln Stulik
Class of 2015: Tom Ahlborn, Phyllis Anderson, Charles Blanchard, Anne Deatly, Mary Stuart Gephart, Randall Ruger, Roger Widicus, Christian Wilhjelm
Class of 2016: Richard Brooke, Marilyn Ewell, Joe Grant, Carol Hollen, Sue Ip, Nancy Sampson, Mike Vana
Board of Deacons: Caring Ministries
Deacon’s Name, with parish area of responsibility in parentheses
Sharon Bizik (7, 8)
Leslie Blanchard (16A, 16H)
Jef Berg (16B)
Alice Brees (3, 25B)
Kim Butler (23B)
Carol Campi (25A, 25C)
Zitta Chapman (17)
William Clark (16F)
Jayne and Ray Gombach (21E)
Carol Hamilton (20B)
vacant (24B, 24G) Deacon Joni Hartsough died June 6, and we grieve her loss with her family.
Beth Holmes (4, 5)
Anita Kerr (no email) (22B)
Karen Klockner (11)
Rose Kraybill (23A, 23C)
Curtis Lenox (21B, 21C)
Lucy McCord (1, 2, 6)
Sally Merchant (14, 15)
Kathy Milano (16C, 16D)
Dawn Oprihory (youth deacon)
Mark Oprihory (21D)
Mary Oprihory (20F, 22A, 24A)
Alicia Rivers (19A, 24D)
Gordon Rowan (16E, 24C)
Merrill Schuetz (19B)
Mary Schwartz (21A)
Ellen Smith (19C)
Nancy Sonett (20A, 20C)
David Tait (16G)
Priscilla Thoma (20D,20E)
Alsa Tirgrath (12, 18)
Judy Widicus (9, 10)
Board of Trustees: Assigned by the Session to handle West Side’s financial affairs.
Class of 2014: Lisa Elaine Kopff, Keith Schnaars (president), Peter Tomasi III, Neal Vriesema, Gilbert Warren
Class of 2015: John Alfonso, Andrew Haase, Michael Holt, Jennifer Padolina, Richard White
Class of 2016: Ed Austin, Cindi Cheesman, Lisa Floyd, Dick Jones, Fred Jubitz
How To Join
Membership at West Side means joining a community of believers, a group of people who together are striving to serve God, love others, understand the Bible, and have a meaningful spiritual relationship with God, with one another, and with the world.
Our new member process includes a Sunday luncheon and afternoon gathering (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), paired with a New Member Sunday breakfast 8:30 to 9:50 a.m.) The new member process, which will be both fun and meaningful, is intended to help you connect with other incoming members, personally meet the key leaders at West Side, learn about West Side and its ministries, and consider how God is calling you to become part of our ministry and mission.
Upcoming New Member dates
October 5 and 19, 2014
February 8 and 22, 2015
April 12 and 26, 2015
Following completion of the class, and reception by the Session (West Side’s Church Council), new members are formally welcomed in worship on a Sunday convenient for the family.
Please consider joining us! To learn more about West Side and/or sign up for a New Member Class, please email Carol Walton in the church office or call her at 201-652-1966, extension 7134.
To see the events for the day, please click on the link for that date.
*Child care is available for infants through preschool aged children in the Little Lambs Nursery on the 2nd floor of the Christian Education Building.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all building use. If you need to schedule a room for a meeting or other activity, please contact Lisa Stitt.