Rev. Talitha Arnold
Talitha Arnold was called as the Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe in 1987, when the church was a 7-year-old new church start of the United Church of Christ. Since that time, the congregation has tripled in membership and is known in Santa Fe for its vital worship, diverse music, outreach and advocacy, environmental ministry, and its engaging approach to the Christian faith for all ages.
A native of Arizona and a graduate of Pomona College and Yale Divinity School, Talitha was the Interim Associate University Chaplain for Yale and served congregations in Connecticut and Arizona before being called to United.
In Santa Fe, she served on the city’s first Children and Youth Commission, as President of Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity and the Interfaith Leadership Alliance and the hospital Ethics Committee. On a national level, she is a founding member the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and co-led its Faith Communities Task Force for 10 years (National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention). In 2017, she was part of a 3-person delegation doing documentary work in the refugee camps of Kurdistan, Iraq.
Her publications include Worship for Vital Congregations, essays in the Feasting on the Word lectionary series, The Animal/Human Bond and Dedicated Lives, and articles for The Christian Century, NPR’s All Things Considered, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Albuquerque Journal, Tumbleweeds (for children and parents), and the UCC’s “Still Speaking” devotionals. She is currently working on a book on A Desert Faith for a Desert Time. She has been a guest speaker for the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe’s “Renesan” lecture series, San Diego County, Saddleback Church, and numerous UCC settings.
Talitha’s leadership has been recognized with the United Church of Christ’s Antoinette Brown Award for outstanding women clergy, Santa Fe’s Human Rights Award, Yale Divinity School’s “Outstanding Recent Alum,” a Lilly Endowment clergy grant, and Santa Fe’s “Ten Who Made a Difference” award.
Jacquelyn Helin, D.M.A.
Jacquelyn Helin has been United’s Pianist and Music Director since 2005. A classically trained Steinway Artist, Jacquelyn supports multiple kinds of sacred music in worship, from Gospel to Spirituals to Global. She also directs the 8:30 Early Choir that rehearses every Sunday morning at 7:45 and sings twice a month. As a pianist, Jacquelyn has played in such venues as New York’s 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Recital Hall, Washington DC’s Hirshhorn and Smithsonian, and London’s Wigmore Hall. She has also appeared as concerto soloist with many symphony orchestras throughout the U.S.
Director of Choirs
Bradley Ellingboe has led a wide-ranging career in the world of singing, choral conductor, composing, and teaching. He has led festival choruses in 38 states and 12 foreign countries, and sung under such conductors as Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, and Sir David Willcocks. He has over 130 pieces of choral music in print, including his Requiem for chorus and orchestra, which made its Carnegie Hall debut with the composer conducting in 2010. For his scholarly work on Edvard Grieg, he was awarded Sankt Olavs Medaljen (The Medal of Saint Olav) by the King of Norway in 1994. Ellingboe was Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of New Mexico, retiring in 2015 after 30 years on the faculty. In addition to United Sanctuary and Festival Choirs, he is the Artistic Director of Coro Lux, an auditioned choir based in Albuquerque.
Director for Children’s and Families’ Ministry
Susan is an experienced school leader and teacher with a demonstrated history of making an impact on student achievement in multiple regions and among diverse student populations. She also has over fifteen years of experience in Christian Education, having been a director of programs in two churches in South Carolina. She graduated summa cum laude from St John’s University (NYC) with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2019. Susan was born in South Africa and immigrated to the USA with her two daughters in 1997. Her children are now in college, and she has recently moved to Santa Fe to be a dean of students at a local public school. Susan loves problem solving and creating environments where people can thrive. She is fulfilled in her work when she can make a real difference in the lives of others. She has been active in church all her life and loves to share her spiritual journey with children of any age.
Young Adventurers (Grades 6-7)
Rebecca is an Art Educator with an MFA from the Univ. of Iowa and a 40-year teaching career in elementary through university art programs. She takes classes at SF Community College in Spanish Colonial Arts (clay, tin & woodcarving). She has taught children & youth Sunday school classes, summer church camps, & youth retreats. She has worked with United’s Young Adventurers for several years, helping to make the stories of the Bible relevant to teenagers through the arts & to help youth explore their personal faith journeys. She believes “there is really nothing better than listening to & engaging with our youth!”
Nurture Center Teacher
Carrie loves kids, especially the littlest ones! That’s what makes her such a great Nurture Center Teacher. In addition, Carrie grew up in the Episcopal Church and has strong ties to the Good Shepherd Mission in Ft. Defiance, Arizona, in the center of Navajoland. She naturally blends her love for children, her love for God, and her love for God’s creation in all that she offers our Pre-K’s and Kinders.
Rebecca L. Griego
Infant and Toddler Caregiver
Rebecca is a native New Mexican, born and raised in Grants. She moved to Santa Fe in 1987. After studying psychology at Santa Fe Community College in 1990, Rebecca discovered her love of early childhood development. She joined the Infant Care Program at the United Church of Santa Fe in July 2015. Prior to that, she volunteered as a teacher-assistant for the “Liturgy of the Word” at St. Francis Cathedral. She enjoys being involved in the lives of infants and children as they grow in their education and religious faith.a
With over forty years of church work experience, Lin brings a wide range of skills to United. He enjoys working on keyboards (both computer and piano).