Pastor and Council
Maristela L. Freiberg is the Director for Evangelical Mission and the Assistant to the Bishop in the New Jersey Synod and the Vice Pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Jersey City.
She was born and raised in Brazil where she also graduated from a Lutheran Seminary. With her husband, she moved to the United Sates in 1997, to become an ELCA’s mission developer of Grace Community Lutheran Church in the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey. The mission start became an organized congregation in 2009 under the name of St. Stephan’s Grace Community. She served as their co-pastor until 2013.
Her current ministry places her in partnership with our Synod and the churchwide ELCA to support creative expressions of Christian communities with our mission developers as they lead new worshipping communities among us, to partner with our strategic ministries and develop multicultural ministries, and to engage in processes with cohorts of congregational teams through which we listen, act and share.
Pastor Maristela is married to Moacir Weirich, a gardener, beekeeper, and pastor of St. Stephan’s Grace Community in Newark. They are parents of two wonder-filled daughters Francisca and Victoria.
Dianne L. Lewis is the intern pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jersey City, and Grace Lutheran Church in Bayonne. She grew up in Washington, DC. Dianne’s zeal to have a deeper relationship with Christ led her to The Order of Saint Stephen Deacon, a three-year program of spiritual development in word and service in the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Dianne was side-apart as a Saint Stephen Deacon on October 24, 2014. As a Deacon she led adult Bible study, and she continues to provide the group a daily inspirational message. Dianne holds a B.S. in accounting with a minor in business administration from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She is a seminarian pursing a Master of Divinity (MDiv) at United Luther Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Serving the adult community is important to Dianne; she currently serves on the board of directors for Advocates for the Aging of Frederick County (AAFC). Dianne served two terms as Chair on the Frederick County Commission of Aging. She volunteered five-years with the Department of Revenue, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program preparing tax returns and providing tax counseling for the elderly. She also volunteers as a Certified Driver Specialist for AARP.
Dianne has a son and granddaughter she adores. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with her mother, traveling and spending time with her sorority sisters and sister-friends.
“We must be comfortable sharing and showing people who Christ is, and how Christ still lives - and that's in all of us. We must be willing to take the ministry outside of the church into the community where Christ is not visible, where he may be made visible.”
Willie Richardson Jr. - Congregation Council President
Annette Megargel - Congregation Vice President
Janet Walker - Congregation Treasurer
Charles Blue - Congregation Secretary
Valerie Slack - Congregation Capital Fund Secretary
Aretha Richardson - Congregation Financial Secretary