Our Staff

Rev. Shea Zellweger

Pastor Shea has been the settled minister of Bethany First Church, as well as our sister congregation, Hopeville Church, since March of 2016. He holds a Master’s Degree from Andover Newton Seminary, and has done advanced graduate work at three other seminaries. Originally from New York, Pastor Shea came to us by way of Prairie Village, KS, where he served another UCC congregation for several years. Prior to that, he was a senior pastor, associate pastor, and youth minister in churches of his former denomination.


Shea and his wife, Jocelyn, have been married since August of 2007, and they live in the church parsonage, along with their two children, dog, and chickens (well, the chickens live outside). Apart from church, Shea is a diehard Mets fan, avid reader, occasional author, and tabletop gamer. His ideal day off would involve large quantities of coffee, a set or two of tennis, the chance to read a novel in one sitting, and at least two slices of pie.

You can find Pastor Shea on most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, under the handle @RevSheaZell

Bruce Modeen

Bruce has been music director at Bethany First Church since April, 2017. In addition to serving this congregation, Bruce has led music at Hopeville Church (UCC) since 2000. In former careers, Bruce has been a mechanic, a truck driver, and a member of several bands.

Bruce and his wife, Melanie, live in Waterbury with their daughter, Caitlin. They have been married since 1988, and have 6 children, 17 granchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren between them.

Karolina Wojtysko

Karolina has been the office administrator at Bethany First Church since July 2017. She holds an Associate Degree in Digital Arts Technology from Naugatuck Valley Community College. She is currently in pursuit for her Real Estate License. 

Karolina, originally from Bristol CT, currently resides in Waterbury CT. She and her significant other John are expecting their first child in January 2018.