Forest Home Chapel
Sunday, May 26, 2019
United Methodist Church, Ithaca New York

Our Staff

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The Reverend Doctor Robin Blair

Pastor Bio: Reverend Dr. Robin Blair

Robin Blair is the third of four children born to Gerald and Vivian Blair. Her parents were members at Forest Home Chapel upon their retirement. Rev. Blair was blessed to begin her ministry by singing solos in church starting around age 5; music has been a central part of her spiritual life ever since. She is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church tradition and was appointed to The Chapel in July 2017, having served in a variety of local churches as a trained Interim with short-term pastoral ministries for the past 16 years, in the North Central NY Annual Conference (AC), the UNY AC, and the Minnesota AC of the UMC. She is a trained Spiritual Director and ecclesiastically endorsed Chaplain; she has served as Chaplain in a variety of health care settings, including her current PT work at Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, NY. She serves on the national advisory board for Kids for Saving Earth ( and Institutional Review Board at Cornell University. She is drawn to ministries with children and families, with a specialty in media arts as valid expression of faith and tool of communication. For more:

Pastor Robin believes hope is important in a world that speaks chaos in a constant rumble. One of the paths she recognizes where people can find hope in their faith is in our relationships with other people; relationships are dynamic like flowing water, never static, and always under God’s gaze. Church is a code-word that invites us to live into that hope by creating community and embodying its truths through activities of worship, prayer, singing, serving and sharing the depths of scripture. In church, we discover and contribute to community that welcomes and nurtures all people. Rev. Blair is delighted with how the Chapel congregation embraces God’s will for this community. You are invited to be a part of these loving actions; just walk in the open door. This is a means of grace all persons have access to.

Rev. Blair is the founder of a unique Internet radio ministry for families with children at
Here you will find in-depth podcasts on parenting education, giving voice to youth, and media reviews of films marketed to children and youth. The centerpiece of the project is the 24/7 web stream of music and story that stands in resistance to the violence and the sexualization of children, which is marketed to them in our media culture. Common Good Radio offers hope, love, peace, kindness, honesty and other fruits of the spirit through its programming from voices all over the world lifting the beauty of our diverse human community. The web stream is heard on every continent of the planet. Volunteers, workshops and voices from around the world are part of this ministry of love. Please enjoy.

Through the journey, Pastor Robin has been blessed to be a wife, mother and grandmother where love through family continues to deepen into new meaning week by week.  

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Maria Rabbia, MA

Please welcome our new Music Director, Maria Rabbia, to the Chapel.

Maria is a 2018 Master’s Degree graduate of Ithaca College, specializing in Collaborative Piano, or piano as part of a larger group of voices and instruments. She has just returned from a summer in Germany on an elite music program, learning to work with opera singers, and also teaches piano and directs small groups.

Maria will accompany the worship service through September 2, and will lead the Chapel Choir when it resumes on September 9.




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Merilee Nord, Organist

Serving as the Chapel's Music Director for over 20 years, Merilee Nord stepped down in 2018 to focus on Chapel organ music, private piano students and collegiate teaching duties. She will be working with our new Music Director Maria Rabbia, to produce exceptional music at the Chapel with the help of several fine Ithaca College vocalists.  

During Merilee's tenure as our music director, she thrilled and delighted us with her musicianship and choral leadership, led us as a congregation to sing well to please God, contributed so much to our musical literacy, and most importantly, helped us to connect to the Sacred through her deep connection to that which is sacred in music.

Merilee will continue as Assistant Professor of Performance Studies at The Ithaca College School of Music, specializing in Music Theory. Professor Nord is an active piano teacher in the community, as a member of Music Teachers National Association (M.T.N.A), New York State Music Teachers Association, the National Federation of Music Teachers, Tompkins County Music Teachers Associated, and the American College of Musicians.  She has earned state and national certification through M.T.N.A.


Chapel Leadership

Ministers - All the People