Vicky Stifter, Pastor
Pastor Vicky Stifter came to Riverside 13 years ago seeking to serve a church that was welcoming, diverse and open to movements of the Spirit.
In her ministry, Pastor Vicky seeks to serve a God of justice and love by following in the ways of Jesus.
She believes that God yearns for the liberation of the whole of God’s creation, including each one of us.
She believes that God’s Spirit is at work in our midst, guiding and empowering us to make God’s dreams visible in our world.
In addition to her role as Riverside pastor, Vicky devotes her time to her family and is active in community work on issues of immigrant and environmental justice. She is nurtured by the glories of God’s creation, and seeks to spend as much time as possible outdoors—ideally in, on, or near water.
Katie Cook, Children and Youth Program Coordinator
Katie Cook is an experienced educator and administrator, and a PK … pastor’s kid … of retired UCC minister and RCC member Roberta Cook.
“Children and youth refresh our lives with wisdom, honesty and a wonderful sense of play. We are always blessed by their presence and know that they have so many gifts to share. It is obvious that Riverside’s young people are actively involved in the life of the church and that Vicky and Elaine have already created a firm foundation,” She says.
Katie is married to Tom Rietmann and they have three children: Jacob 26, Benjamin 24 and Annika 20. She splits her time between Hood River and the family ranch near Condon.
She has a BA in history from Lewis and Clark College, a Masters in Public Administration from California State University Hayward and a Masters in Teaching from Eastern Oregon University. She has taught language arts , social studies, leadership and facilitated Spanish speaking classes at Condon High School.
She has also taught for the Spanish Speaking GED program in Odell, Oregon and new citizenship classes for Ecumenical ministries of Oregon. In addition, she has worked as a tutor for the Columbia Gorge Community College GED program. She is currently serving as a board member for the Rural Organizing Project and also as a committee member for the NORCOR Community Resource Coalition.
“I am excited and honored to use my teaching and leadership skills to serve our young people. I am thrilled to be working with a fabulous team to create faith-based programming that spreads love, justice and a little extra joy during these turbulent times.”
Charlie Buss, Children and Youth Program Assistant
Charlie and her family are so happy to have found a home at Riverside! The mission of ecological and social justice embodied in the ministry of Riverside resonates perfectly with the type of world and work they want their daughter to grow up knowing.
“I am very excited to get to know more families and youth in the church and use my teaching experience to help this new and enthusiastic team create fun and enriching experiences for all our youngest members,” Charlie says.
She most recently taught Kindergarten until the birth of her first daughter, but has worked with children from 1-18 years old in a variety of settings. She is especially excited to share her love of music and theater with the sunday school and youth group!
“I am eager to begin this journey with such a talented and caring team and to help our congregation grow and thrive in Him and one another.”
Diana Beterbide, Choir Director and Organist
Music has played a very large role in Diana’s life from a very young age. It began with piano in grade school, then flute in middle school, French Horn and Baritone in high school and on to a piano performance degree from Arizona State University.
She discovered a love for teaching after she graduated and she currently holds a studio of over 30 privately taught students.
In the early years of this decade, the spirit moved her to begin her journey with learning how to play the pipe organ and she has been playing for Riverside Community Church’s Sunday morning services ever since.
Diana also accompanies and serves as the Director of the Riverside Church Chancel Choir. When she is not teaching somebody how to play the piano, she is hiking in the Gorge with her friends and her dog Luna.
Her newest, most profound passion is volunteering at the Hukari Animal shelter, doing all that she can to make the dogs there comfortable while waiting for new forever homes.
Tim Mayer, Gospel Ensemble Director
Tim began piano lessons at the age of six and continued studying through high school and college. Actually, he still studies piano. He spent two years as a jazz major at the University of North Texas, but eventually earned a degree in the natural sciences. However, after completing his degree, he embarked on a music career.
After being gainfully employed (and unemployed) as a musician in the Portland area for a number of years, he decided to return to graduate school for a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering. Can you see the left brain/right brain conflict here? He has worked for 25 years as a hydrologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, but continues to play and gig locally. He has recorded one Christmas jazz CD and is diligently working on more recording projects. You can find a growing selection of his music videos on his youtube channel .
Lorre Chester-Rea, Operations Manager
Lorre has worked in the Riverside office since 2002. She graduated from the Janet Wood Laraway Academy of Administrative Excellence with a degree in Church Lady Science, specializing in Effective Building Use Scheduling.
Lorre and her husband Kirby enjoy exploring the Northwest and beyond when possible, and also catching up with their two adult sons.
She has occasionally appeared in local theater productions, likes to do a bit of gardening and appreciates discovering new fonts. She is happy to be part of the welcoming and inclusive community of Riverside.
Joe Smith, Custodian
Joe has been custodian at Riverside since 2016. He brings more than 20 years of restaurant management experience to RCC.
Joe grew up in Hood River, lived in California for many years, and returned in 2010.
Joe and his wife Kathy are the proud grandparents of five – soon to be six! When not tending to projects at Riverside, he enjoys the many outdoor activities that the area has to offer.