May 2024»
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10 a.m. online or in person worship service

Every Sunday, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


A.A. (Forest Hills Group)

Every Sunday, 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

View full calendar


Rev. Dr. Fred W. Weidmann



Rev. Dr. Fred W. Weidmann - Minister

Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Weidmann (“Rev. Fred”)  comes to the Church-in-the-Gardens from his position as Sr. Minister at Hillcrest Congregational Church in Pleasant Hill, CA. While there he was also active in ecumenical, multifaith, and social justice work, holding leadership positions with both the Pleasant Hill Clergy Group and the Multifaith Action Coalition (against Poverty). 


Prior to accepting a call in the San Francisco Bay area, Rev. Fred served several religious and academic institutions in New York City including The Riverside Church (first as Dir. of Education, and then as Interim Minister for Education), Auburn Seminary (Dir. of the Center for Church Life and Professor of Biblical Studies), and Union Theological Seminary (first as Assistant, and then Associate, Professor of New Testament Studies). At Auburn, he was the founding director of the Auburn Coaching Institute which provided coaching and consulting to  churches and pastors.


Rev. Fred has preached and lectured widely, and is the author of several books, essays, and encyclopedia articles on the New Testament and early Church, including two commentaries on the Letters of St. Paul (Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon, Westminster John Knox Press, 2013; and Galatians, Westminster John Knox Press, 2012).


He is married to Rev. Kerstin Weidmann, a Lutheran pastor also serving in Forest Hills. Together they have four adult children. He enjoys hiking, biking, reading (mostly non-fiction and poetry), baseball, and pretending to play the guitar and piano.


In his introductory letter to the CITG Rev. Fred wrote:  “As one who cares for relationships both within and outside of the church…I feel called to serve a church that means to care for ‘others as brothers and sisters in Christ, our relationship to God and relationship with the community beyond our walls.’” And he continued, “Those descriptors establish well, I believe, the agenda and the means for healing, growth, and thriving for The Church-in-the-Gardens and for all you serve.”


Rev. Fred looks forward to serving in, and serving with, our church and broader community.

Jacqui-Maria Russell

Church Administrator

718-268-6704 ext.101

Jacqui-Maria Russell - Church Administrator

Provides direct administrative support to the Pastor; maintains a working relationship with the congregation, staff and outside groups; manages and updates the church calendar and website; responsible for payroll for all church and school employees; produces and distributes Sunday Worship bulletins, Tower Topics, and Weekly Word; manages, supervises, and purchases building supplies; maintains all files of the church; responsible for all church receivables; monitors security cameras and electronic doors to admit or deny access to building

Sunny Knable

Sunny Knable, Ph.D

Music Director

Sunny Knable

Sunny began his music ministry in the Episcopal tradition when he was 18 years old.  After moving from California to New York in 2006, he has since made his living as an organist for the Lutheran church and accompanist for the Rose Academy of Ballet until, in 2012, he took the position as Music Director for The Church-in-the Gardens.  He holds a triple-major Bachelor of Music Degree in Theory/Composition, Piano Performance and Jazz Studies from the CSU Sacramento, and a Masters of Arts Degree in Composition from Queens College.  He has won numerous awards for performance and composition in various mediums, and is always fulfilling commissions for individuals and ensembles nation wide.  For a list of upcoming concerts and current activities, go to:




 Joshua Perez


Josh is responsible for the daily maintenance of the Church and School facilities, including cleaning, small repairs and paint touch ups. He also plays a vital role in preparing and serving the vendored lunch meals and snacks for the school. Without effort Josh brings his kind heartedness and humorous energy everyday. His dedication to ensuring a safe and clean place of worship and facility of early education and community support never goes without recognition.



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