Hello to Parishioners of Island Chapel, Upper Saranac Lake , NY.
With hope and joy Island Chapel, Upper Saranac Lake, NY will be opening this summer 2023. Church services will begin at 10 am with a selection of ecumenical services, each Sunday a different clergyman. Masks are optional on the Chapel Bound. It is truly a special place of peace. Know we are thinking of you, and we hope you are of us. We look forward to another great year at the chapel for summer 2023 Season. Thank you and Peace be with you!
Ministers for the 2023 Summer Season
June 25, 2023 – Rev. Eric Olsen ELCA
Ordained by the ELCA in 1988, Eric is a 20 year veteran of prison ministry and former State Chaplain to the Division of Military and Naval Affairs. He currently serves as a pastor for the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity and the First United Methodist Church, both based in Saranac Lake N.Y.
July 2, 2023 -Rev. Colin Tuggle
Rev. Dr. Colin Tuggle serves as pastor of the Tupper Lake United Community Church. He is also the founder and executive director of ADK Mission: a charitable non-profit organization based in Saranac Lake (ADKMission.org). Colin and his wife, Lisa, work across denominations to strengthen churches and ministries throughout the Adirondack Mountains by encouraging and equipping area pastors and their families. Colin was born and raised in southeastern New York, and his family has owned property outside Tupper Lake for nearly 60 years. Prior to relocating to this area in 2013 to launch ADK Mission, Colin served in the military and business before transitioning to full-time vocational ministry in 2006. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, he later earned his master’s degree from Regent University and a Doctor of Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Colin and Lisa have been married for more than 25 years and are blessed with two young children: Caleb and Grace.
July 9, 2023 Rev. Mary Travers
Mary recently received her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and her Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School. Since her graduation in 2021, Mary has been working as a chaplain at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she offers spiritual and emotional support to oncology patients and their loved ones. Mary has grown up spending summers on Upper Saranac Lake and visiting Chapel Island with her family. She is excited to gather in a spirit of prayer with friends and strangers alike in this beautiful Chapel Island home
July 16, 2023 – Rev. Joann White PCUSA
Joann White is a writer, pastor, spiritual director, and enthusiast of wild places. She is a graduate of Colgate University, McCormick Theological Seminary, and the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. Since 2005, she has pastored the First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake. When she isn’t at church, you might find her wandering the local trails with her husband Duane Keith Gould and their Cardigan corgi Jade. Her 2021 book Blest Be the Tie: Fables of Faith from the Far North is available now from Amazon, Wipf and Stock, and area bookstores. She is currently a doctoral candidate with Pittsburgh Seminary’s Creative Writing and Public Theology program.
July 23, 2023 – Rev. Rick Wilburn
Rev Wilburn retired in 2021 from Tupper Lake Baptist Chapel after 18 years. Rick began ministry in Rome NY serving Grace Baptist and First Baptist Churches from 1998-2003. Prior to entering the ministry he served for 21 years in the US Air Force before retiring in 1995. He graduated from Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2003. Rick and his wife of 49 years reside in Tupper Lake . They have two children and five grandchildren
July 30, 2023 – Rev. Bruce McCulley
Pastor- High Peaks Church, Pastor Bruce McCulley has lived in the Saranac Lake region most of his life. In 2012, after a 31-year career at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center, he started his second vocation and was ordained as Pastor of High Peaks Church in Saranac Lake, where he currently serves. Bruce has also ministered to the body of Christ in prison for over 20 years. The joy of assembling with the church to worship Christ is his great passion. Bruce and his wife Zoe enjoy mountain biking, skiing and outdoor recreation. They have one college age son Micah.
August 6, 2023 Rev. Lloyd Syvertsen
Rev..Lloyd Syvertsen retired last summer after having served as a pastor 41 years in 3 different churches on Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. He was born and raised in Staten Island, NY and is a graduate of the Kings College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Lloyd has been married to his wife Jan for 45 years and they have 4 married sons and 10 grandchildren and are now living in Mt. Bethel , PA.
August 13, 2023 – Rev. Bob Holum
Pastor Bob Holum, A minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (E.L.C.A.) served parishes and co-op ministries in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE before becoming summer minister of the Church of the Ascension, Saranac Inn, in 2008. He now shares that post with the Rev. Tyler Montgomery, and has loved participating in the Tri-Lakes Community and it’s God-given diversity since 1972. Bob’s year-round home is with his daughter, Solveig’s, family in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia.
August 20, 2023 Rev. George McGovern
George & Cyndy McGovern Biography – 2022 AIA Director – NFL PRO STAFF George & Cyndy are on the staff of Athletes in Action (AIA), the sports ministry division of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). George serves as the director of AIA’s NFL Pro staff. His responsibilities include overseeing the eight AIA staff couples who serve as NFL chaplains (Broncos, Browns, Bengals, Giants, Jaguars, Texans, Steelers, & Vikings). Cyndy serves the wives of these chaplains. George & Cyndy also give leadership to five AIA couples who serve in the NY/NJ region. George received an undergraduate degree in business administration from American University in 1976 and a masters degree in Biblical studies in 1990 from the International School of Theology. He met Cyndy, at a Bible conference during the summer of 1974. While in college and through their involvement with Cru, they both sensed God’s call to missions. They were married in June of 1977. Prior to his current responsibilities, George served as the chapel leader for the New York Yankees for 26 years. His responsibilities included leading team Bible studies, serving as personal chaplain for some of the players and their families, overseeing the in-season chapel services, and helping to organize sports-oriented outreaches around the New York metropolitan area. George fulfilled similar duties for six years with the New York Mets and Jets teams (’90-’95). He served the NY Giants in a chaplaincy capacity for 21 years (‘96 – ‘16). In all of these ministry responsibilities, Cyndy served the wives. George and Cyndy began vocational Christian work with Cru after graduation from college. They were involved in the campus ministry of Cru for 14 years before switching over to the Athletes in Action effort. George and Cyndy have four married daughters (Kelly, Emily, Mary, & Allison), and reside in Oradell, New Jersey. They are the proud grandparents of Grace Noel, Vincent, Mya, Robbie, J’Rai, Avery, Ty, Maria, Paxton, Claire, Micah, Margaret & Felicity.
August 27, 2023 – Rev. Amanda Cash Nazarene
Rev. Amanda Cash has been a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene since 2004, and was ordained in 2009. She studied at Asbury University and Nazarene Theological Seminary, and has spent time in youth ministry, church planting, and senior pastoral leadership in the local church. She and her husband, Daniel, moved to the Adirondacks with their two older children in 2012 and their third child was born right here in Saranac Lake in 2015. Amanda is currently serving in ministry at Adirondack Community Church in Lake Placid as the Director of Discipleship. When not serving the church, Amanda and her family love to be active outdoors mountain biking, skiing, and enjoying all the Adirondacks have to offer.
September 3, 2023 Rev. Aaron Syvertsen
After working for five years at a financial firm in NYC, Aaron entered vocational ministry and joined the staff of his home church, Grace Church of Ridgewood, in 2015 and enrolled into the M.Div progam at Southern Seminary. In January 2017, Aaron became the Senior Pastor at Grace, and his main responsibilities are setting the vision and direction of the church along with the elders, leading the staff, preaching, and shepherding the congregation. His primary desire is to see the people of Grace Church increasingly see themselves as God sees them in Christ, in a way that stirs their affections for the glory of God and fuels their love for others around them. Aaron has been married to Rochelle for since 2012, and they have four children: Kaden (8), Brinley (5), Graham (3), and Loren (3).
Grace Church of Ridgewood
Chair of the Island Chapel Committee