South Church Staff

Meet the people working alongside our congregation.
Rev. Thea Leticia Racelis

Rev. Thea Leticia Racelis

Pastor and Teacher

In May of 2015 Pastor Thea Leticia Racelis and her spouse Rikka Racelis drove cross-country with their two cats in the back of the car. They came from California to join South Congregational Church. 

Pastor Thea served as a transitional minister in Southern California.  She also worked as the Young Adult Ministry Coordinator for the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.  She earned her Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology where she received the Jeanne Audrey Powers award for diversity and inclusion from the Center for Sexuality, Gender, and Religion.  Pastor Thea also holds a Master in English Education degree from the University of Puerto Rico.   As a second career pastor, her ministry is informed by her experience working in non-profits and community organizing. Pastor Thea serves our national setting as a member of the United Church of Christ Board of Directors. 

Pastor Thea is passionate about God’s welcome for ALL of God’s people.  She is passionate about Jesus’ radical message of social justice and inclusion.  She is passionate about the experience of the Holy Spirit in community as both disruptive and comforting.  She loves preaching and teaching and finding creative ways to expand our understanding and experience of God.  Pastor Thea enjoys adding elements from her Puerto Rican culture, and from a diversity of cultures around the world, to our worship services. 

In her spare time she loves to go hiking and explore the beauty of Connecticut. She is a lover of the arts- learning to play the guitar, painting, reading or writing during her time of renewal and recharging.  Rikka also enjoys Pastor Thea’s love for cooking, especially when it involves the food that Rikka has grown in their garden! Pastor Thea and Rikka enjoy living in Middletown with their four cats- the most recent joined the family after being rescued from the church basement!

They both share their love for God and for God’s creation. 

Shelley Brown

Shelley Brown

Administrative Assistant

Shelley grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado until the age of 10.  At that time, her family moved to Simsbury, Connecticut.  She graduated from Simsbury High in 1994.  Shelley now lives in Cromwell CT with my 2 wonderful children. With a 7 and 10 year old, her time is pretty filled running them around and keeping them happy.  When Shelley’s not being a mom, she loves to spend quiet time reading.  She considers herself very blessed to be at South Congregational Church. 

David Yi

David Yi

Music Director

 David studied Piano at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Conducting at New England Conservatory in Boston. Singing has always been a crucial part of his life. Currently, he studies at Yale School of Music. Along with the members of the choir, David provides music for worship services at South Church.