Our Pastoral Staff
Pastor: Rev. Laura Ruth Jarrett
Laura Ruth grew up on the south side of Atlanta, GA, a preacher’s kid, in the Christian Church, Independent, part of the Restoration Movement. She has always had a sweet and deep relationship with God. In her words, she is “a spiritual pilgrim who practices in a Christian way.” In her ministry, Laura Ruth has developed a reputation as a strong preacher and a creative worship leader. She possesses a compassionate spirit and a contagious sense of joy.
Prior to serving at Hope Central, Laura Ruth served as the Minister of Outreach and Evangelism at the First Church in Somerville, where she was instrumental in growing church membership. She received her Bachelors of Social Work from the University of Georgia in Athens and a Masters of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. Her field work included serving as a Student Minister at St. Luke’s and St. Margaret’s Parish, an Episcopal Church in Allston-Brighton. She worked at the Women’s Center in Plainville, MA, a Dominican retreat house, helping with retreat preparation and working on worship music with composer Carolyn McDade. Laura Ruth also served a two-year internship at Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC in Lexington, MA, with her mentor, the Rev. Judith Brain.
In 2017, being generously given a sabbatical, Laura Ruth visited the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery so to see the Lynching Museum to see what we have done. She traveled to Iona, Scotland, to pray. She got to go to Soweto and Johannesburg, South Africa, and Inhamachfo, Inharrime, Inhambane, Mozambique. She saw family and friends in San Francisco and the PNW. Laura Ruth began and ended her sabbatical with prayer retreats in Essex and at the Weston Priory in Vermont. She came back to Hope Central rested and restored, grateful and ready to begin work again. Thanks be to God.
Laura Ruth’s personal interests include whittling, gardening, cooking, reading, singing with embarrassing gusto, gathering with friends and family, watching football, and spiritual practices. She began working for Hope Central Church on June 1, 2010.
Acting Associate Pastor in the Interim Time: Benjamin D. Perkins
Benjamin D. Perkins is currently the Vice President of Multicultural Initiatives/Health Equity for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. He has worked in the public health field for fifteen years, nine of those years at Fenway Health’s Fenway Institute, specializing in HIV prevention research and education to communities vulnerable to HIV infection. Benjamin received his Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2000 and is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
In addition to his education at Harvard Divinity School, Benjamin received his Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles and his Bachelor of Arts in geography from the University of California at Los Angeles. His interests include running, reading theology, creative writing, and engaging in health equity/social justice work. In 2012, Benjamin married his husband, David Brown. They live in West Roxbury and are part of a thoroughly post-modern family that includes three children, two mothers, two dogs and one cat.
Acting Associate Pastor in the Interim Time: Ash Temin
Ash Temin is in discernment for ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia (2003), an MPhil in Ecumenical Theology from Trinity College Dublin (2006), and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School (2013). She also completed an Ayurvedic health certification at Kripalu in 2014. She has worked in parish ministry in Colorado and done research on feminist and ecological theology. She currently works in academic administration at Harvard Business School and lives in Cambridge with her cat. Ash is deeply interested in the intersections of contemplative spirituality and holistic health as well as ecumenical work around reconciliation. Her favorite activities include reading poetry, writing, cooking, and being in the woods or at the ocean.
Drummer and Sound: Gillian De Lear
Music Co-Director in the Interim
Originally from Menlo Park CA, Gillian De Lear began playing drums at age ten, and hasn’t stopped since. She moved to Boston, MA in 2005 and finished a Bachelor degree in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music. Gillian has played and toured with countless bands during her musical career. She has completed several cd’s, including a cd of original free jazz – duets with her favorite musicians in Boston (2009), “Genie in a Bottle”, a cd of original material for the Gillian De Lear Jazz Quintet (2012), and “On the Up & Up”, with the Jazz Barracudas (2013). Aside from playing in Hope Central’s morning service, you’ll find her playing at the HoJo’s on Boylston St. in Boston, every Tuesday with the David Ehle Trio Jazz Jam.
Bass: Neil Helme
Music Co-Director in the Interim
The story of Neil’s life–long relationship with music is a journey of discovery. Born into a house filled with music, taking piano & violin lessons in grade school, singing in choirs & in garage bands, all the while he was incorporating new musical ideas from as many different sources as possible. In essence, he was forming his personal version of what Gram Parsons would call “American Cosmic Music.”
For the last 35 years, Neil has played lots of music in lots of places with lots of musicians, including the Spring Hill Rounders, and The Demolition String Band.
Drummer: Bobby Hall
Bob Hall, originally from Dorchester, MA, is by day, a High School Special Education teacher, but has fit in his love for drumming since he started playing traps [set drums] at eight years old. Bob earned an Instrumental Performance Degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1975. He has played in the bands Starlight Dance Band, Black Tie, Philip Black Sextet, Brass Lantern and On the Road and has taught percussion at several schools. Since 1990, Bob has added to his repertoire a variety of rhythmic sounds using Congas, Timbales, Djembes, Udo, and Doumbeks. In 2001, Bob joined the newly formed “Holy Ghost Trio” at Hope Central Church and has continued to play with them during the Sunday service.
Our Church Staff
Church Manager: Lisa Pilat
Lisa Pilat has been with the church since 2006 as Building Manager and Church Manager/Bookkeeper. Prior to joining Hope Central she worked for Filene’s Department Stores as Divisional Sales Manager for 13 years. She has three children, Lexi, Lilly, and Maddoc. She currently lives in Dedham with her son Maddoc.
Administrative Assistant: Ezra Ercolini
Ezra Ercolini is a seminary student studying toward their Masters of Divinity at Boston University. They started at Hope Central Church as the Student Minister in 2019 and have continued on to fill the role of Administrative Assistant for the interim time this summer. With a background in fine art, Ezra is interested in discovering new ways to use art to connect with the Divine and empower LGBTQ+ people.
Sexton: Leonel Cermeño
Originally from Guatemala, Leonel is a father to three girls and a grandfather to six grandchildren. He has lived in the U.S. for over thirty years, twenty-five of them in Massachusetts. He has been at Hope Central Church for over twenty years.