Ryan grew up in San Diego, CA, received his Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from The University of California - Santa Barbara, and later, a Master of Arts in Sports Administration from California State University - Chico. For many years Ryan enjoyed being a physical education teacher and basketball coach. However, hearing and responding to God's call to ministry, he attended Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education. Ryan and his family spent 2014-2015 in Northern Ireland as the Assistant Minister at Groomsport Presbyterian Church. It was a year filled with wonderful opportunities and experiences for the entire family which they will never forget. Ryan is excited to guide people towards the love and grace of Jesus Christ while serving, leading, and building lasting relationships at Slackwood Presbyterian and in our surrounding communities. Here is a link from Princeton Theological Seminary where he discusses his call to ministry. Ryan's wife, Amelia, works as a Special Education Assistant within the Lawrence Township School District. Their daughter, Alison, enjoys music, basketball, and attending at Lawrence Middle School.
Director of Family Ministries Starr Alleyne
Starr Alleyne, along with her husband Anthony and their daughter Sarah Allison and their son Joel-Anthony Michael live on Long Island, New York. Starr grew up with many examples of individuals who lived lives of service to the church faithfully. This had a huge impact on her desire to have a dedication to ministry as her vocation. Starr's role models were her Sunday School Teachers, Vacation Bible School leaders, and Pastors. Starr attended Adelphi University in Garden City on Long Island and pursued her degree in English Literature with a minor in Elementary Education. While serving as a leader with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Adelphi Starr was introduced to A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. Both of these Ecumenical Ministries shaped her desire to be dedicated to Christian Education. She knew she wanted to be a teacher with a strong Christian foundation within her own life but she began to realize her purpose was to encourage faith in God to every individual she meets- within church walls and outside amidst every day people. Starr is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master's in Christian Education. Starr believes attending formed her faith deeper than she could have ever thought possible but also grounded her love of God's people so much that she understands herself as a peacemaker. Starr's favorite part about ministry with all ages is that she delights in helping others remember how much God loves us and wants to meet us where we're at. Starr is excited to serve Slackwood as the Director of Family Ministries.
Director of Music Dr. Shelley Sanders Zuckerman
The Director of Music, Shelley Sanders Zuckerman, is a life-long Presbyterian who brings to Slackwood a deep love for liturgy and music. She has degrees in organ and choral conducting as well as in divinity and liturgy, and she is committed to congregational music as a means of Christian formation and discipleship. From dancing before the ark, to standing in awe on hallowed ground, to bearing balm to wounded souls, we at Slackwood seek to live out life as the Body of Christ in our music!
Parish Visitor Rev. James Klotz
James Klotz serves as Slackwood’s Parish Visitor, bringing the word and the sacrament to our members who are unable to attend in person, assisting Pastor Ryan and Music Director Shelley in worship, and supporting Slackwood’s Board of Deacons in their ministry of pastoral care. James is currently a Ph.D. student in the Old Testament program of the Biblical Studies department at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he also obtained his Master of Divinity degree in 2015. While at Princeton Seminary the first time, James served as Slackwood’s seminary intern from 2013-14. James is a lifelong Presbyterian from Georgia, but he took an indirect route to ministry—he worked for 11 years at a regional airline in Atlanta in roles ranging from customer relations and disability advocacy to flight operations and cartography. He started and directed a handbell choir for several years, and he is the current director of the Princeton Ringers. James hopes to serve both church and academy, bridging the two by bringing the insights of biblical scholarship into the life of a congregation, and the heart of a congregation living and loving the Bible into the discussions of scholars. James’ husband Patrick works for a nonprofit organization leading the fight against cancer and hails from West Virginia. They were married in James’ old home church, Morningside Presbyterian in Atlanta, in 2017. James was ordained at Slackwood in January 2018 and is a minister-member of the Presbytery of New Brunswick.