Carolyn Ash

Families' and Children's Program Director

Meet Carolyn


All-things-healthy-for-kids enthusiast, educator, Compassionate Communication student, RIE parent, extrovert, skier, tree hugger, animal lover, foodie, theater buff, vacation savorer, world traveler


At First Church

Carolyn's goal for our family ministries is to create opportunities for every aged parishioner to grow in spirit, generosity and relationship with God by deepening relationships with each other. Carolyn's weekly focus is saying "yes!" to new ideas for programs that bring meaning to the Christian seasons and holidays in connecting, life-affirming, intergenerational, spiritual, and multimodal ways... and figuring out how to implement them through collaboration with church staff and volunteers. A typical week includes teaching and playing with our church's children, meeting with Sunday School teachers, gathering leaders to plan programs and special events, writing lesson plans for Sunday School, making food for and visiting families, attending events important to our children and herself (their concerts, plays, games, birthday parties, protest marches), thinking about how to make Bible stories and Jesus' example accessible to children, and praying that one day all the world's children will be loved and held in safety and divine community. Carolyn is an adorer of all children (and the grownups raising them) who loves having a front-row seat to their wonder and joy and development from pre-birth through college. She provides staff support to (in no particular order) the Family, Children and Youth Ministry Team, the Youth Ministry Mentors, the Sanctuary Ministry Team and its subset Accompaniment Team, the Uketastrophe Orchestra, Mental Health Minsitry, and the Congregational Care Team.

Other Than That

Carolyn is a credentialed Special Education teacher with six years public school teaching experience and now 6 years church Sunday school teaching experience. Carolyn earned her Bachelors' degree from Cornell University, her teaching credential from San Jose State University, and her social justice leadership development from her Americorps service years with Teach For America and City Year. Carolyn considers Rev. Molly, Rev. Kit, Louise, Kathy, Robin, Derek and the rest of the current and former staff at our church her life coaches. When Carolyn is not at church, she is either at home making art, food, music and outdoor imaginary games with her daughter and friends, or is doing her other job--business development for EdTech companies seeking to improve the quality of public education for K-12 school districts. Carolyn thinks of the hours she spends each evening with family in their treehouse, Lego room or kitchen as her daily dose of sabbath.