Our Leaders

In the United Church of Christ tradition, we affirm that each person has a ministry.  We work together to accomplish the mission of Mountain Rise. Our staff, church council, steering committees, and ministry teams handle the day-to-day decisions. Each member of Mountain Rise has a voice in decisions of great importance.

Greg O Staff 2

The Rev. Dr. Greg Osterberg

Senior Minister

Greg celebrates the talents that each member of Mountain Rise brings to our ministry. With an emphasis on worship, he brings a mix of spirituality and music to our church, while challenging each person to serve others.

Greg earned his Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester, and brings decades of experience serving as a university chaplain and interim pastor. He has recorded an album of original music, written hymns, and wrote a resource book for celebrating God’s Creation in worship. Greg is also involved in numerous United Church of Christ and ecumenical efforts.

Greg and his wife Deborah enjoy serving Habitat for Humanity as volunteers, performing acoustic music together, and connecting with the people of Mountain Rise. They love spending time outdoors, kayaking, and sailing Lake Ontario near their home.

I feel both blessed and challenged leading this community of gifted people, who each serve God in their own unique way. The openness, compassion, and generosity I see in Mountain Rise often amaze me.”


Pastor Valerie

Associate Minister

Joining the Mountain Rise ministry team in December 2018, Pastor Valerie loves helping to design creative worship, developing small-groups, cultivating spiritual development, Christian Education, and social justice advocacy and outreach.She looks forward to building a relationship with the people of Mountain Rise and partnering with them in service to the community and world.

Valerie earned her Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology with a specialization in Topics of Women, Church, and Society in May 2017. Shortly thereafter, she was ordained in August of 2017 in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition. Valerie has served in Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Youth Pastor roles prior to joining Mountain Rise. Inspired by her love for nature and abstract art, she enjoys incorporating poetry, performing arts, and the visual arts into worship.

Valerie loves day trip adventures and kickboxing with her friend and housemate Rev. Michelle Sumption. She looks forward to exploring Rochester and enjoying all that the area has to offer!

"I feel as if Mountain Rise is a place of belonging; a true "come as you are" type of place; one in which I am proud to belong. I am blessed and grateful to serve the Rochester area with this brilliant, kind, and genuinely warm community!


Jeanne Grace

Music Director

A musician by avocation, Jeanne Grace has directed the choir at Mountain Rise since 1973.  She began as a way of facilitating the many musical talents of the Mountain Rise congregation and continues to enjoy doing so.  Church music has been of lifelong importance to Jeanne:  her parents met because a church in Indiana had a Sunday morning orchestra!  Jeanne is retired from her day job as a nurse educator and research ethics chair at the University of Rochester.

Jeanne and her husband Bob raised three sons in Mountain Rise, and their family has expanded to include two wonderful daughters-in-law and four far-flung grandchildren.  Jeanne enjoys kayaking on Sodus Bay, photography and blogging for her grandchildren.  She and Bob are foodies who enjoy travel.

“I have always felt that a signature attribute of Mountain Rise was joyfully accepting the varied and  unique gifts that our members and friends have to share.  It is deeply rewarding to be associated with the caring fellowship of the Mountain Risenacle Choir.”