Staff and Leaders
Rev. Matt Carriker
Pastor and Spiritual Director at Agape
Hello! My name is Matt. Sometimes the Dean at Brandeis calls me M&M, or Minister Matt. I am an ordained Christian minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), and also an author, spiritual coach, and retreat leader. I am very excited about the Agape new church start in Waltham, Massachusetts. I have a passion for altering Christianity today into a spiritual tradition that models the unconditional love of God and the life and teachings of Jesus. I’m currently working on a book! The title of it is “Giving Christianity back to Love.”
In addition to pastoring at Agape, I am the Protestant Chaplain at Brandeis University, and co-facilitate confirmation, youth retreats, and adult spiritual formation retreats through the Massachusetts Conference UCC. Prior to starting Agape, I served as the Program Director of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries’ Interfaith Youth Initiative (IFYI) program, and as the Associate Pastor at the Eliot Church of South Natick.
I met my beautiful wife LaToya while serving as a Jesuit Volunteer in Belize from 2001 to 2003. LaToya is a graduate of Boston College, where she got her graduate degree in Social Work (with a Global Practice concentration). LaToya and I enjoy a lot of laughs together in our home in Waltham. We are both super excited about beginning this new spiritual community. I’m so thankful to Pastor Paul for planting this seed of the Agape new church start, which is now beginning to blossom!
Outreach Minister at Agape
Dawn comes to us as
Minister of Outreach.
Her experience includes education at Andover Newton Theological School. Student Minister training at Edwards Church in Framingham, MA, where she has also served as deacon. Dawn brings experience in hospitality, engagement, and volunteer leadership from her long-standing role at Lowe's.
In her own words: “I’m so excited to meet everyone at Agape Spiritual Community and to help spread the word about how Agape is sharingGod’s love in
Waltham and beyond. I am excited to get out into the Waltham area and let everyone know about the great gifts and wide welcome Agape has to offer.”
In her spare time, Dawn enjoys travel with her family, hiking, and cooking. One of her most recent delights was touring America’s Test Kitchen studios in Brookline.
Agape Student Minister
Hello lovely people! My name is Hazel M. Johnson and I moved to Boston in 2011 to participate in a young adult Christian Fellowship program called LifeTogether. As part of her placement in the program, I worked as a Faith-Based Community Organizer- creating the first Youth Organizing Network in the Northshore of Massachusetts. During those 2 years, I experienced a strong call to ministry with youth and young adults. After a few more years working with youth, I began my seminary education. I attend the Boston University School of Theology where I am pursuing my Masters in Divinity. I am interested in college and community chaplaincy and am particularly excited to understand the work of building a church community with authenticity and love. I am energized to join Agape as a student Minister this year and I’m looking forward to working with all of you!
Rev. Paul Sangree
Senior Pastor at the Congregational Church of Westborough UCC, Agape’s “Parent” church
"Hi! I am Pastor Paul Sangree, or Pastor Paul as the Westborough church calls me! It is a joy to be part of this Agape new church start, where people's lives can be touched and transformed by the love of a living God! Back in 2012, our church in Westborough decided to sell one of our buildings, and after much prayer, we chose to put some of the money from the sale towards a new church start. I was standing in a dinner line with Matt one night when I turned to him and said, "Have you ever thought about starting a new church?" He said, "I have, but there is no money."
Well, I thought, maybe there is some money, and Matt and I began talking, and then we went eventually with our idea to the church in Westborough and they voted to give the money we had to Agape in Feburary of 2014. We are so excited about Agape's vision of having music and worship that caters to a younger generation, and their desire to live out and embody a progressive faith. I personally look forward to being part of the beginning of Agape, and invite you to join us-it should be a wonderful journey!"
Rev. Elaine Gaetani
Associate Pastor at the Congregational Church of Westborough UCC, Agape’s “Parent” church
The Reverend Elaine S. Gaetani is the Associate Pastor, of the Congregational Church of Westborough UCC, and has been their settled Associate Pastor since 2006. Elaine has been the supervisor for seminary students completing their field education experience through Agape.
Elaine brings with her over twenty years of experience as a Retreat Leader in Spirituality and over a decade as an Ordained Minister. A graduate of Boston College with a Masters in Pastoral Ministry, she began her ministry in the mid-eighties serving as both a spiritual director and retreat/workshop leader. Her call for Ordained Ministry was both persistent and consistent and she graduated with an M.Div. from ANTS in 1997 and was ordained to the Christian ministry through the Metropolitan Boston Association in 1998.
She brings with her a particular passion for the inner life, as it is expressed in outer works of ministry. Areas of interest are feminist spirituality, dream work, community building, prayer and meditation and adult education. She has found a home in our Westborough Congregation and is moved daily by the faithful, loving, compassionate and caring community here, one that is so alive and well with the Love of Christ. She is excited about Agape, and the new things God is doing in this new church start!