Presbyterian Church of Morris Plains

Our Staff

Let us introduce you to our staff here at the Presbyterian Church of Morris Plains.

Picture of Pastor Jacqui coming soon We welcome our Interim Pastor, Jacqui Van Vliet. Rev. Van Vliet, who prefers to be called Jacqui, grew up at the Jersey shore, where playing at the beach was a year-round activity. Her earliest memories of church involved attending worship and Sunday School in Harvey Cedars with her maternal grandparents. She loved hearing the many stories of Jesus, especially in boats and on the sea, which made her feel right at home. Jacqui earned a B.A. degree in History from Houghton College, and an M.A, in Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University. She received her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Jacqui has been in Church Ministry for more than twenty years. She served West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, NJ, as the director of Children's Ministries and Lay Ministries, Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York City, as the Interim Director of Educational Ministries, and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA, doing interim ministry as the Supply Associate Pastor to Children and Family Ministries. Most recently, Jacqui finished serving as Interim Pastor at the Lamington Presbyterian Church in Bedminster, NJ. Additionally, she has worked outside of the church - in educational, social services, and health-related fields - teaching, coordinating and supervising programs for all ages. When not at church, Jacqui enjoys walking, reading, going to concerts, movies and plays, and being by the ocean at any season of the year. She is the mother of an adult daughter who lives in Vermont and works as a learning specialist teacher in a public school. During this time of transition, Jacqui looks forward to sharing the journey, partnering in ministry and the process of discernment with our community and the Presbytery of Newton, as the vision of what God is calling this church to be in the days ahead becomes clearer. We welcome Jacqui and look forward to working with her in the months ahead. Contact Jacqui at 973-539-3481 or
Picture of Christine Penney A high school English teacher and theater director, Christine Penney found herself in northern New Jersey after a lengthy stint acting and teaching in New York City! She's a native of Vermont, where she played at two churches for nearly 10 years, sang actively both as a soloist and in choirs and theater productions, and taught music at a local high school. She feels both privileged and blessed to be able to share in the church's music worship, and truly looks forward to serving where she can at the Presbyterian Church of Morris Plains. Contact Christine at
Picture of Alexandra Argiris Alexandra joined our staff in January. Contact Alexandra at
Picture of Liz Nowik Elizabeth Nowik has directed the Walsh Memorial Bell Choir since 2015. She holds a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, where she toured nationally with the Westminster Concert Bell Choir. Elizabeth also directs children’s choirs, bell choirs, and a youth chamber orchestra at Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham, NJ. She teaches music full time in the Union Township school district and remains active as a conductor, violist, and soprano. Contact Liz at 973-539-3481 or
Picture of Leo Ramirez, Facilities Manager Leo Ramirez was born in Uruguay and raised in Rockaway, NJ. When not managing the church facilities, Leo can be found playing with his two boys. Leo played semi-pro soccer in the NY metro area. He lives with his wife and sons in Morris Plains. He also enjoys playing on the church softball team! Contact Leo at 973-539-3481 or
Picture of Jane Whitehead, Director of Joyful Noise Nursery School Jane Whitehead joined the staff of Joyful Noise as director in 2010, after accumulating 15 years of experience directing and teaching in other early childhood education settings. She has long been active in a variety of church ministries including children’s Christian education, mission and congregational care. Jane lives in Randolph with her husband Bruce, where they raised their two daughters, both married and educators themselves. Jane is a graduate of Marietta College with a degree in English and education. She continues to be grateful every day for the opportunity to lead a dedicated staff and serve the families of Joyful Noise! Contact Jane at 973-539-9514 or