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Churches Announce Merger, Welcome Priest In Charge November 7, 2018

Saint Mary's Chapel in Elverson will now be known as the Church of Saint Mary at Calvary since the historic church has merged with Calvary Episcopal Church in Conshohocken.

In addition, Saint Mary's now has a permanent priest in charge, the Rev. Thomas McClellan. He joins church staff member Alan Lindsay of Chester Springs, senior warden, who has been leading worship services since the reopening of the church in 2014.

Lindsay explained that Calvary Church lost its meeting place, so the decision was made to combine the two parishes. The churches already had a relationship; the Conshohocken church recently donated its baby grand piano for use at Saint Mary's.

"(Saint Mary's) had been a parish years ago, and it closed. The bishop gave me permission to see if I could get a congregation going again, and that was nearly five years ago," Lindsay explained. "Calvary Church sold their building five years ago, and the people they sold it to did not renew (the church's) lease. The parish - which is not a building, but the people - decided to relocate themselves here. The parish came here, (and) now we encompass both names."

McClellan explained that he served as the priest in charge at Calvary Church before being assigned to Saint Mary's. "I was helping (at Calvary Church), and the priest there died," said McClellan. "The people at Calvary asked the bishop if I could stay, so I was the priest in charge there for two and a half years."

McClellan said that he looks forward to serving the people in northern Chester County. "There is a lot of distance to travel; it takes me about 40 minutes to get here, but I am happy to do it," McClellan stated. "I love this part of the country. It's beautiful out here."

In his new role, McClellan said he would like to expand the church's community outreach. Currently, the church is holding a food drive for the Coventry Food Pantry and is packing shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. The church also has a sewing group that knits hats and scarves for people in need. "My goal is that I would like to see this parish serve the community (even more)," he stated.

McClellan said he plans to introduce himself to the neighbors of the church, which is surrounded by historic homes in Warwick village. "We want people to know that this place is open, and now there is an assigned permanent priest," McClellan added.

Sunday worship at the Church of Saint Mary at Calvary is held at 10:15 a.m. and is preceded by an Adult Forum, which includes a Bible study and discussion, at 9 a.m. A free continental breakfast is also available before and after the service.

The church, which features a hand-carved wooden altar, is open for meditation and tours on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to stop by to view the building, which is listed on the National Historic Registry. The current church dates to 1843, when it was built to replace the original structure built in 1806. The church is a one-story, rectangular stuccoed fieldstone structure built in the Gothic Revival style.

It is surrounded by a cemetery, which includes gravesites of veterans from conflicts as early as the Revolutionary War. The cemetery also contains the grave of the church founder, the Rev. Dr. Levi Bull.

Newcomers are encouraged by the congregation to attend Sunday worship in the historic church building. Visitors can easily follow the service using worship booklets distributed at each service. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion.

The Church of Saint Mary at Calvary is located at 161 Warwick Road, Elverson. For more information, readers may email Lindsay at


Church To Honor Retiring Music Director October 26, 2018

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 85 Brandt Blvd., Landisville, will hold a concert on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. to commemorate the years of service of the church's music director, Dennis Dezort. The concert, which is slated to be less than one hour, will take place in the church sanctuary.

Dezort, of Landisville, is planning to retire at the end of 2018 after using his talents for Zion Lutheran for 31 years. To honor his dedication and hard work, Zion has contacted musical performers from his past and present, including students and fellow workers he has been in contact with through his years of playing organ, piano, and electronic keyboard; composing and arranging worship songs; directing the Zion choirs; and working on a recent theatrical script, co-written with James Riggs of the Lancaster Opera Company and recently performed at Tellus360.

Light refreshments will be served after the concert.

The church is located one block off Landisville's Main Street. For further details, readers may contact the Zion office at 717-898-2911.


Calvary Monument Welcomes New Pastor October 25, 2018

In March, Chris Lenhart did not know that Calvary Monument Bible Church (CMBC), 1660 Mine Road, Paradise, would soon be looking for a lead pastor when he resigned from his associate pastor position at Wesley Church in Quarryville after 14 years. "I felt a call to leave the church I was at ... to pursue a lead position in another local church," said Lenhart, who still lives in the Quarryville area. "(I) stepped away in faith believing that God had prepared (an) opportunity. (My wife, Sheila, and I) trusted that God had worked out the details and prepared our next place."

Lenhart, who was raised in Holtwood and graduated from Penn Manor, said that he and his family were committed to staying within the county. With a lot of prayer seeking God's direction and support from mentors, Lenhart took his leave and began looking at local churches. Before the end of March, he noticed a posting on the CMBC website. "There was no opportunity (at CMBC) when we left (Wesley)," noted Lenhart, who applied for the position immediately. Over the summer, he preached at CMBC a number of times, and he officially became lead pastor there on Sept. 1.

After graduating from Penn Manor, Lenhart went to Clarks Summit University in Clarks Summit, where he majored in Bible. He began working at Wesley Church as a youth pastor right after graduating from college. After serving as a youth pastor for eight years, he moved into the associate pastor role. Lenhart earned his master's degree in religious education from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He has also completed all the necessary credits in the Lancaster Bible College (LBC) doctoral program in leadership and organizational management.

In addition, Lenhart is in his 15th season of coaching varsity football at Solanco High School. He serves on the board of Black Rock Retreat, and he is a member of the LBC sport management accreditation team. The Lenharts have three children currently attending Solanco schools, and they are in the process of adopting two young brothers from Haiti. They hope to meet the boys for the first time when they visit Haiti in November.

Community involvement is important to Lenhart, and he admires the way members of CMBC have reached out to residents in the local area. "I saw there was a strong connection between ministries at CMBC and a desire to reach the community," said Lenhart, who is still becoming familiar with the church culture. He cited the Great Giveaway CMBC held on Oct. 11 and 12, the strong Awana program held Wednesday nights during the school year, and the Miracle of Jesus event the church holds yearly at The Point in Parkesburg as evidence of this connection.

Looking forward, his goal is for the up to 500 CMBC worshipers to move closer to God and develop stronger relationships. "I would like to see us grow in a greater love for God and each other," said Lenhart. "That is predominant, and that will be an important emphasis as we grow together."

CMBC holds worship services each Sunday at 8:15 and 11 a.m. Sunday school and adult Bible fellowships meet at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday.

"We want to be intentional about investing in each other both in the church and in the community," said Lenhart, "with all the relationships the Lord directs into our paths."

Readers who would like to learn more about CMBC may visit


New Life Welcomes Lead Pastor October 22, 2018

Ron Bradley, who officially became the lead pastor at New Life Assembly of God, has been visiting Lancaster for more than 30 years, but he never realized that he and his family, which includes his wife, Jemma, and son, Ian, would live in the county. "Lancaster is so peaceful. We would come here just to get away," shared Bradley, adding that his family especially enjoyed visiting a local Christian theater on their visits.

Bradley has been to Lancaster so many times that when a fellow pastor from the area contacted him in early May about an opening at New Life, he recalled the church with the large blue dove on the side he had seen when traveling on Route 30. "He told me (New Life) needed a lead pastor, and he thought I was the guy," recalled Bradley. "He wanted (permission) to give them my name." Bradley sent his resume and cover letter to the search committee, and he heard back from the group within the same week.

In June, Bradley traveled to Lancaster to meet with the board. "It was an amazing meeting, and we sensed God was in this," remembered Bradley, who returned in late July for a candidate's weekend. During the weekend, Bradley and his family had dinner with board members and their spouses. He also met informally with staff members and held a question-and-answer session with the congregation. On Sunday, members from the Manheim and Lancaster city New Life campuses journeyed to the main campus at 1991 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster, to hear Bradley preach. In the afternoon, a business meeting was held and the congregation voted to receive Bradley as pastor. He officially began serving the church on Sept. 1.

When Bradley first learned of the position at New Life, he was the care ministries pastor at Evangel Church, an Assembly of God congregation, in Scotch Plains, N.J. Bradley stated that he has been with the Assembly of God denomination since the first year after he was saved. "I met the Lord when I was 17 (during) my senior year (at Marlboro High School, Marlboro, N.J.)," said Bradley, adding that he became a Christian at a coffeehouse in Madison Township, N.J., in the fall of 1972 - a setting that he said was common during the Jesus Movement.

After graduating high school, Bradley headed to Zion Bible Institute (now Northpoint College) in Providence, R.I. "My ambition was to be a trial attorney, but I went to Bible school because I loved to share about Jesus," explained Bradley. "My (thinking) was that if I was going to tell people about Jesus, I needed to know what I was talking about." But Bradley's goals were not completely on target. "After three weeks at Zion Bible Institute, the Lord told me why I was really there, and it changed the course of my life," said Bradley, who moved on to Central Bible College in Springfield, Mo., to finish his bachelor's degree in biblical studies in 1978. He then attended Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, which is also in Springfield, completing his master's degree there in 1979.

In December of 1979, Bradley returned to New Jersey, where he joined the staff of the Princeton Nassau Christian Center. In 1984, he and Jemma planted the New Life Assembly of God in Trenton, N.J., and he pastored there for more than 12 years before becoming an assistant professor and the campus pastor at Central Bible College. In 2007, he pastored NewSong Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and in December 2013, he joined the staff at Evangel Church in Scotch Plains.

According to Bradley, his initial impression of New Life in Lancaster is that people are welcoming, friendly, and warm. He is looking forward to pastoring at a church that he sees is hungry to learn God's Word and to have the Word set the direction for the congregation. "When I think of New Life's presence in Lancaster, I think of a beacon of light," he said. "That's what I see ... that New Life will continually be a place where people come and expect to have an encounter with Jesus Christ."

Readers who would like to learn more about the three New Life campuses in Lancaster may visit


ROFM Welcomes New Director October 18, 2018

Joel Jakubowski, who became director at Revelations of Freedom Ministries (ROFM) in July, has no doubt that God led him to the position. A graduate and former employee of Teen Challenge, Jakubowski had held positions in counseling and outreach, eventually reaching the level of vice president of development. ROFM is a faith-based, Christ-centered discipleship program for men who struggle with addictions.

"You continue to call on God and ask what is the next step," said Jakubowski, who while working for Teen Challenge was also immersed in a doctoral program for organizational leadership through Grand Canyon University. Feeling God leading him to a director's position, he began looking about six months ago.

Through his work with Teen Challenge, Jakubowski had met Larry Daughenbaugh, who was then director at ROFM. "At a meeting, Larry said he was looking at retiring and asked if I would be interested (in applying for the ROFM directorship)," said Jakubowski, who waited for God's guidance on the subject before telling Daughenbaugh that he would be interested. "For four to six weeks, I prayed on it with my wife, Angie, and family and council in my life, including the executive director of Teen Challenge," said Jakubowski, who also began to meet with the ROFM board. About mid-June, after further discussion with Angie, Jakubowski felt confident that helming ROFM was God's will for his life.

Jakubowski's timing in joining ROFM coincides with changes at the ministry. "It's a brand-new season for our ROFM family," said Jakubowski. "We are going from a smaller cultural center to a much larger center as we move into the new building," he noted, referring to the former bank call center at 113 Rancks Church Road, Blue Ball, which is in the process of being remodeled for the ministry.

Currently, ROFM houses 15 men in buildings located along Route 23 in Blue Ball. The new building will be able to accommodate 50 men, and although ROFM may eventually house that many clients, it is not the initial goal of the move.

"We believe in quality over quantity," emphasized Jakubowski. "If we have 50 men, it (will be) because we have the staff and high-quality programming to meet the needs of those men." He noted that ROFM hopes to move into the building between Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, and the advent of spring.

Jakubowski noted that ROFM is known as the "say yes" center. "We do have program fees, but we work with every family (to stay) within their means so we don't have to turn anyone away for lack of funding," he explained.

To remain the "say yes" center, the new building will include a thrift store located on the first floor. "In the world of nonprofit, faith-based programs, you need to develop streams of income to balance the budget and to support the program," explained Jakubowski. In addition to thrift items, the store will also sell items made by clients, including candles.

Because of Jakubowski's positions with Teen Challenge, he has developed relationships with members of the ROFM board, including Marvin Weaver and board chair Charlie Junkins. Jakubowski believes God is using those relationships, and he looks forward to developing more. "We hope to work with churches and local residents and businesses to sponsor students in the program," he said. "Not only do we want to see individuals have profound life-transforming change, but we want to assimilate them into the community with a home church, employment, and support groups." Jakubowski's vision includes partnering with area residents to immerse clients in the community.

Jakubowski noted that readers should watch for ROFM teams around New Holland. "A team (will) go out to share their testimonies," said Jakubowski, who added that the team members also offer a resource to families who may want information about programs like ROFM. "Drug awareness and prevention is what we are (about)," he said. More information may be found at


Living God Lutheran Church Welcomes New Pastor October 16, 2018

The congregation at Living God Lutheran Church (LGLC) in Honey Brook recently welcomed its new pastor, the Rev. Justin Nickel.

Nickel is the first permanent pastor that the church has had in several years. The congregation was previously led by a series of interim pastors.

"They are a remarkable group of people," Nickel said of the church members. "In the four years without a steady pastor not only did they survive, they thrived. They were adding members before I got here."

Nickel is a graduate of the University of Colorado and earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He is completing his doctoral work at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He and his wife, Mary, who reside in Thorndale, recently welcomed their son, Max, who is 7 weeks old.

Nickel, who was a pastor for three years at a small church in the Denver, Colo., area, learned about LGLC while completing his doctoral work at Princeton. "We really liked it here, and I was interested in the church from the profile I was given at the bishop's office. In the first interview, we clicked right away," he recalled. "I think the people at this church really made the difference (in my choice). They are a kind and open-hearted group of folks."

Nickel explained that in the Lutheran denomination, churches are matched with pastors. "I first had to apply through the synod office, which is out of Philadelphia," he said, noting that he applied to be pastor this past spring. On Aug. 19, he preached at LGLC and was named the pastor after a congregational vote.

For the past several weeks, Nickel has been going out to visit congregation members in their homes. "The most immediate goal is for us to get to know one another," he said. "I feel (visiting homes) is the best way to get to know people." He has also visited the Tel Hai Retirement Community, where several congregants reside.

Nickel plans to continue the programs already established at the church. "What is great about this place is that if people have an idea, they pursue it," he said. He noted that the church is currently collecting supplies for Thanksgiving food boxes that will be distributed by Steeple to People.

The Sunday service at LGLC, which includes a blend of contemporary and traditional hymns, is held at 9:30 a.m. The pastor's sermon revolves around the Scriptural reading. "I try and stick close to the assigned readings for the day," he said. "The goal is that people walk away feeling like they encountered God's love."

The church will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 28. Bishop Patricia Davenport will preach at the service, which will be followed by a congregational meal. "The slogan back then was 'A church for people without a church,'" said Nickel. "While we are Lutheran in our theological identity, I think it's a place that is easy to come to even if you've never felt at home in a church."

Nickel noted that the church is a busy place. Country line dancing is offered on Sunday nights, and the church maintains a walking trail, which is popular with area residents. The church is also a meeting place for Alcoholics Anonymous.

The new pastor encourages people to attend a Sunday service to see first-hand what the church has to offer. "A lot of people know us as the church with the walking trail," he said. "We would love to invite the people who walk on the trail to come worship with us. Everyone is welcome. (The congregation members) are the friendliest group of people."

LGLC is located at 3200 Horseshoe Pike (Route 322), Honey Brook. For more information, readers may call the church office at 610-273-9383 or visit


Bethany Presbyterian Welcomes Assistant Pastor September 26, 2018

As of July, Lincoln Larsen is the new assistant pastor at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Oxford.

The 30-year-old Larsen is originally from the Seattle area, but he and his wife, Emma, moved close to Philadelphia three years ago while he attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside. They relocated to the Oxford area when he was accepted to the position at Bethany.

"This is my first full-time ministry opportunity," Larsen said.

In 2012, Larsen had been living in Grove City, near Pittsburgh, and working in construction until a shoulder injury kept him out of work for eight weeks. It was during that time that he started seminary classes part time at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh.

"A lot of different things were encouraging me in that direction," Larsen recalled.

At his wedding in 2014, he met a couple who were friends of his new wife's family. A few weeks later, after just that brief meeting, they offered to pay for his tuition so he could attend seminary full time.

"They felt like God called them to do that. That was a huge confirmation to me," he said. "God put that on my lap in a way to prove, 'You hadn't even asked for this, but this is how richly I'm providing for you.'"

There were a number of applicants for the position at Bethany. A search committee narrowed it down to three candidates to meet in person.

"Right away I could tell Lincoln and I were seeing eye to eye. He's a sharp young guy, and he's doing this because he's called to it," said Bethany pastor Mark Mathews. "It's important to have a young person. The older I get, the less easy it is for me to relate to younger families. Culturally and generationally, it's better to have someone who's in tune with them."

Larsen was drawn to Bethany by the qualities of the church. "I listened to quite a few of Pastor Mark's sermons before I applied. I wanted to go to a church that was well established, that had elders and deacons. In the interview process I realized there is a good alignment of core values and focusing on the Gospel," he said. "Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and it just seemed like a good place to be."

Larsen's duties at Bethany include working with the youth group and young families, as well as filling in preaching when needed. "Part of my job at this point is to get to know people. To effectively minister, you have got to know people," he said. "I definitely enjoy the one-on-one interactions. I think that's got to be the foundation for what you do. No one is going to listen to you from behind the pulpit if they have no relationship of trust with you."

When he has the opportunity to preach, Larsen's goal is to help people see Jesus more clearly and worship Him. "Preaching isn't only for the mind. Of course your mind should be informed (and) people should be learning new things about the Bible, but ultimately that should drive you to give Him the praise and the glory. I want people to have a real sense of who Jesus is," Larsen said. "My goal is that people would come to know Christ either for the first time or more and more."

Outside his pastoral duties, Larsen enjoys hiking, camping, playing guitar, reading and swing dancing. He and Emma are expecting their first child this fall. "She's my No. 1 cheerleader. I don't think I would be here right now if she were not behind it totally," he added.

Bethany Presbyterian Church is located at 2483 Baltimore Pike, Oxford. For information about the church, readers may call 610-932-3962 or visit or


Longtime Maytown Pastor Retires September 7, 2018

The Rev. Robert M. Lescallette, who served as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Maytown for more than 40 years, has retired effective Sept. 1. The Harrisburg native served St. John's longer than any other of the 41 pastors who preceded him at the 251-year-old parish. He began his post on July 1, 1978.

His time in Maytown included the founding of the local CROP Walk and the co-founding of the Donegal/Conoy Christian Food Bank; the promotion of Maytown history and the co-founding of the Maytown Historical Society; the teaching of a long-term Bible study at the Paramount Home and at both St. John's and the Maytown Reformed Church; the leadership of a vacation Bible school that featured mazes made out of 50 or more refrigerator boxes; and the leadership, with Keith Smith and Amy Chapman, of biannual patriotic musicales on Memorial Day.

Lescallette was a graduate of Dickinson College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. He was also a student at Johns Hopkins School of International Studies in Bologna, Italy, and served in the U.S. Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Washington, D.C., as a medical administrative specialist.

Aug. 26 was the last Sunday that Lescallette preached and led worship at St. John's as pastor. An estimated 145 parishoners, family members, and friends attended the service, after which a reception was held in the parlor, featuring cake and other food, old photos, and more. Lescallette received many cards and gifts, as well.

Lescallette moved out of the historic parsonage in Maytown on June 26 and now lives in suburban East Shore Harrisburg. He intends to retain his membership in Maytown and occasionally worship there. He plans to do "supply preaching" at congregations throughout the area.

St. John's will be served by an interim pastor from Lancaster, the Rev. David Kreider, until a call committee is formed and a new permanent pastor is chosen.


Zion Lutheran Welcomes New Pastor September 4, 2018

In June, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Manheim welcomed the Rev. Kate Warn as its new pastor.

Warn had been living and serving in both east and west Africa and Asia from 2009 to 2017 - first in Sierra Leone and Lebanon before heading to Rwanda in 2014 to help start Young Adults in Global Mission in Rwanda, a program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. "I really enjoyed working with young adults," Warn shared. Young Adults in Global Mission volunteers in Rwanda work closely with congregational, social, and reconciliation ministries of the rapidly growing Lutheran Church of Rwanda. According to Warn, the Lutheran Church in Rwanda has 40 congregations and approximately 5,000 members. It is unique in that it was started by indigenous people rather than missionaries after the 1994 genocide, when Rwandan refugees returned to their nation from Tanzania having learned about Christianity and Lutheranism.

"The church in the United States can learn a lot from our brothers and sisters in Africa about forgiveness and reconciliation and what it means to be faithful in a very difficult environment," reflected Warn.

Prior to her time in Africa, Warn served on staff in various capacities at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Lancaster from 2001 to 2008. She enjoyed her time in the city and is grateful to have returned to the county and have the opportunity to live in Manheim. "Manheim is really interesting in terms of being a strong community," Warn remarked.

Born and raised in New York, Warn is also glad to be located somewhat closer to her parents, who still reside there. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, and traveling. Warn graduated from Wittenburg University with a bachelor's degree in history, earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Chicago, and graduated from Chicago Lutheran Seminary. She also served in Sudan with Mennonite Central Committee from 1988 to 1991. "Living in another country - especially a Muslim country - helped me to think deeply about my faith and what it means to be a Christian," said Warn as she recalled her time in Sudan and how it influenced her decision to later go on to seminary.

Warn cited the rich heritage and history at Zion Lutheran, which has been in Manheim for more than 200 years, among its many strengths. The church is well known in the community for its preschool and for being the Red Rose Church. Every June the church hosts the Festival of the Red Rose, based on a tradition dating back to Dec. 4, 1772, when Henry William Stiegel and his wife, Elizabeth Holz Stiegel, conveyed a plot of ground on the corner of Wolf and East High streets to their fellow Lutherans on which to build a church in exchange for a unique continual payment of one red rose every June. The church hosts an all-day celebration in conjunction with the annual rose payment to a Stiegel descendent.

Warn is focused on seeing where the Holy Spirit leads and how the congregation can be in partnership with other organizations in the community. "In this day and age, the church has a significant role to play in sustaining and enriching our community life," noted Warn. "We have a history of trying to meet the needs of people in the community, so I'm excited to see that come to life for Zion in the Manheim community."

Zion Lutheran, 2 S. Hazel St., Manheim, holds weekly worship services at 8 and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. All are welcome. To learn more about the church, readers may visit


Diocese Names New Director August 29, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg recently named Rachel Bryson to the newly created position of executive director for public relations.

Bryson holds a bachelor's degree in communications and journalism and a master's degree in communication studies and strategic communications, both from Shippensburg University. Bryson has more than 10 years of experience in the communications industry. Starting as a journalist, she has since worked in internal and external communications for corporate, nonprofit and government industries. A long-time Catholic, Bryson is a member of Good Shepherd parish in Camp Hill, where she is an active member of the choir, Sunday collections team and is a religious education instructor.

In her role, Bryson is responsible for developing and implementing the communications initiatives in the Diocesan Strategic Plan, executing all strategic communications and media relations, expanding the use of digital media, and overseeing the editorial content, news operations, product development and business affairs of The Catholic Witness.

All future media requests should be directed to Bryson and she can be reached at the Diocesan Center at 717-657-4804, ext. 203, or


Grace UCC Names New Director August 23, 2018

Grace United Church of Christ (UCC), 1947 New Holland Pike, Lancaster, in the Village of Eden, recently welcomed Jill Reichert to its staff as director of Christian education.

Reichert brings nearly 19 years of experience in educational ministries to Grace, and she is ready to develop new programs and ministries with the congregation.

Reichert studied at Union Presbyterian Seminary and Lancaster Theological Seminary, and she serves on the Eastern Association of Presbyterian Church Educators board of directors. She is a national APCE member and is a representative of the POINT (Presbyterians Organized in Nurture and Training), Donegal Presbytery. She is also an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church USA.

In addition, Reichert has education and training in reformed theology, worship and sacraments, polity-program-mission, human and faith development, spiritual formation, biblical interpretation, Gen-On/LOGOS ministries, and more.

Reichert and her husband, Brian, live in Strasburg with their youngest son, Jake, who is a student at Lampeter-Strasburg High School. The couple's oldest son, Brandon, and his fiancee recently moved to Ohio, where Brandon works as an engineer for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

All are welcome to attend Grace's weekly Sunday worship gatherings at 10:30 a.m., with pastor Katie Cort presiding. Upcoming events include outdoor movie nights at 8 p.m. on Fridays, Aug. 24 and Sept. 28, and Campfire Fellowship at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. A Blessing of the Backpacks service for children and youths returning to school will be held on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, readers may visit or search for "Grace UCC" on Facebook.


Grace Church Names New Pastor August 23, 2018

Grace Church, 501 W. Lincoln Ave., Lititz, has named its new pastor, Dr. Tim Boal.

Boal has a undergraduate degree in English from Washington and Jefferson College a Masters of Divinity from Grace Seminary, and his doctoral emphasis was on leading nonprofit organizations.

Boal accepted a call to become the senior pastor at Grace Church in April, and he and his wife, Tammy, moved to Lititz in July. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

The public is invited to attend an installation service on Sunday, Sept. 9. Brunch and prayer walks will begin at 7:45 a.m., and the service will begin at 9 a.m.


Miller Named Archpriest August 15, 2018

Father Stephen Miller of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Coatesville was elevated to the rank of Archpriest on July 15 by Archbishop Mark of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America.

Father Miller has served at St. Nicholas since 2011. During his tenure with the congregation, Miller has visited the sick and carried out various philanthropic works alongside his regular duties as a priest.

During the July 15 service, Archbishop Mark delivered a sermon on the role of priests as counselors and exemplars to their congregations. Miller was presented with a hand-painted cross, and a special luncheon was provided by the congregation.


Millersville Church Welcomes New Lead Pastor July 20, 2018

On July 1, Kerry Leeper took up his appointment as lead pastor of Millersville Community Church (MCC), a United Methodist congregation, by preaching a message, "Sacramental Community," at MCC's Hope Campus, 242 Bender Road, Millersville.

"We have much for which to be thankful," Leeper told the congregation. "God has given me the blessing and privilege to join you as pastor. Thank you for the welcome you have given me."

An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Leeper has been shepherding congregations since 1992. He served in Annville at Kauffman's and Bellegrove United Methodist churches and at First United Methodist Church, Lancaster, as the associate pastor. In these appointments, Leeper gained an appreciation for the importance of spiritual growth as a catalyst for mission. He brings conflict resolution skills and experience with preaching and leading both contemporary and traditional worship to his new appointment in Millersville.

"Pastor Kerry is a listener who brings a non-anxious presence to the church and a relationship builder who seeks to foster transparency and promote open communication in the church," commented teaching pastor Bruce Heydt.

"God is doing some great things through the people of MCC," Leeper remarked. "I am so blessed and excited to be a part of it. I look forward to building relationships and community together in order to carry out the mission of MCC: to learn, live, love, and lead like Jesus."

Leeper is a graduate of Messiah College with a bachelor's degree in biblical studies. He is also a graduate of Evangelical Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Religion with a focus in marriage and family counseling. He was ordained a deacon in 2002 and an elder in 2005.

Interested individuals may hear Leeper's inaugural sermon and share in his invitation to fellowship by visiting For more information about the congregation, readers may contact the church at 717-872-4571 or


Florin Church Names New Pastor July 19, 2018

Florin Church of the Brethren, 815 Bruce Avenue, Mount Joy, has named Thomas Weber as its new pastor. He will begin serving on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Born and raised in Mount Joy, Weber served as youth minister at West Green Tree Church of the Brethren for four years, and then as senior pastor at Akron Church of the Brethren for 17 years.

Weber initially attended college to become a teacher. Weber eventually received his Master of Divinity degree from Myerstown Evangelical Seminary. He and his wife Sandy have three children and two grandchildren.

For more information about the church, readers may visit


Hopewell UMC Welcomes Pastors July 18, 2018

On June 23, Hopewell United Methodist Church (UMC) in Downingtown welcomed and affirmed two new leadership positions. Amy Banka, elder, was appointed lead pastor, replacing Steve Morton, who has been assigned to the North District Superintendency of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church. In addition, Eddie Cameron, deacon, has accepted the appointment of associate pastor.

Banka graduated from Arcadia University, earning both a Bachelor of Arts in 1996 and Master of Arts in 1998 in English. She later graduated from Palmer Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2009. Banka joined the Hopewell staff in 2014 as pastor of Young Adults and Leadership Development and in 2016 became an associate pastor. Prior to coming to Downingtown, she served Johnson Memorial UMC in Philadelphia, Fallsington UMC in Bucks County, and Faith UMC in Stroudsburg. Banka shares that she finds deep beauty and life in Scripture, worship, prayer, music, and Christian service, and she desires to bring what God teaches her to Hopewell. She and her husband, Michael, have two daughters, Grace and Emily.

Cameron graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor of Arts in religion in 1999 and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a master's degree in biblical studies in 2009. Cameron joins Hopewell after serving First UMC in Lancaster since 2009. He and his wife, Lisa, have a son, James.


Church Will Welcome New Senior Pastor July 18, 2018

Immanuel Evangelical Free Church, 1140 Witmer Road, York, will welcome pastor Sean Rajnic and his family on Sunday, July 29, at 10:30 a.m. After the morning worship service, the church will hold a cookout. The welcome events are open to the community. Rajnic began serving as the church's senior pastor on July 23.

Rajnic has 14 years of experience as a pastor. He received a Bachelor of Science in music from Penn State University, graduated with honors from Denver Seminary, and became licensed as a professional counselor. His experience includes leading a contemporary worship team, directing worship bands and choirs, and leading large-scale worship events featuring bands, dancing and special effects. He has also worked with team-based prayer and caring ministries, developed an adult discipleship plan in spiritual growth, developed curricula and communication tools, and led small group ministries. He also provides Christian counseling for couples and individuals in his private counseling practice. Rajnic is the husband of Beryl, and their daughters are Aria and Aliya.

For more information about the church, readers may call 717-755-2413 or visit or


Diocese Posts Appointments July 10, 2018

The Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg, has made several appointments. The appointments were effective June 18.

Appointments include the Very Rev. William C. Forrey from pastor, Saint Patrick Parish, Carlisle, to secretary for clergy for the Diocese of Harrisburg and pastor of Holy Infant Parish, Manchester; the Rev. Martin O. Moran from pastor, Divine Redeemer Parish, Mount Carmel, to pastor, Saint Patrick Parish, Carlisle; the Rev. Mark E. Weiss from pastor, Holy Infant Parish, Manchester, to pastor, Saint Joseph Parish, Dallastown; the Rev. Ryan M. Fischer from parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Hanover, to pastor, Divine Redeemer Parish, Mount Carmel.

At the presentation of The Rev. Tomy Joseph, vice provincial of the Fransalian Missionaries, appointments are the Rev. Dijo Thomas, MSFS from hospital chaplain, Hershey Medical Center, to pastor, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Marysville, and Saint Bernadette Mission, Duncannon; and the Rev. Augustine Joseph, MSFS from parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg, to parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Danville, chaplain, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and Danville State Hospital, Danville.

At the presentation of the Very Rev. Dominic Eshikena, OP, vicar provincial for North America and the Caribbean, appointments include the Rev. Bernard Ayo Oniwe, OP to parochial vicar, Good Shepherd Parish, Camp Hill; the Rev. Ignatius Madumere, OP from parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Danville, Chaplain, Geisinger Medical Center and Danville State Hospital, Danville, to hospital chaplain, Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, with residence at Saint Joan of Arc Parish; and the Rev. Benedict Faneye, OP, has been reassigned by his community.

At the presentation of the Rev. Antony Paulose, coordinator for the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, appointments include the Rev. Sebastian Thekkedath, CMI, from parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Lancaster, to parochial vicar, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Lancaster, and remaining part-time chaplain for Lancaster General Hospital; the Rev. Steven Arena from parochial vicar, Saint Joan of Arc Parish, Hershey, to parochial vicar, Saint John Neumann Parish, Lancaster, and chaplain at Lancaster Catholic High School, Lancaster; the Rev. Brian Olkowski from parochial vicar, Corpus Christi Parish, Chambersburg, to parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Lancaster, and San Juan Bautista Parish, Lancaster.

In addition, newly ordained priest appointments include the Rev. Richard J. Lyons to parochial vicar, Corpus Christi Parish, Chambersburg; the Rev. Stephen J. Logue to parochial vicar, Saint Rose of Lima Parish, York, and will return for graduate studies in Rome in September; the Rev. Kenneth C. Roth to parochial vicar, Saint Joan of Arc Parish, Hershey; the Rev. Timothy J. Sahd to parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg, and chaplain, Trinity High School, Shiremanstown; the Rev. Matthew C. Morelli to parochial vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Hanover, and chaplain, Delone Catholic High School, McSherrystown; and the Rev. Benjamin J. Dunkelberger to parochial vicar, Saint John the Baptist Parish, New Freedom, and campus minister, York College of Pennsylvania.


Glen Moore Church Welcomes New Pastor July 3, 2018

When Patrick Welch moved to Chester County 14 years ago, he discovered Glen Moore United Methodist Church, located on Route 282 near Wallace Township Community Park, during a walk around his neighborhood. Little did he know at that time that he would one day be appointed as the church's pastor.

Welch officially became pastor on July 1 during a special installation service that took place prior to the Sunday worship service. Welch succeeds pastor Ralph Cain, who retired after spending 10 years serving at GUMC.

Welch, who most recently was pastor at Friendship United Methodist Church (UMC) in Coatesville, introduced himself to the GUMC congregation by relating the story of his first encounter with the church.

"Fourteen years ago, my family and I moved right on the other side of Wagenseller Park. We (took a walk) and saw this beautiful church on my first night in Pennsylvania (and) I took pictures of it," he recalled.

He said that he spent his early years in business working for an escalator and elevator company. "All of the time, God kept calling me and I tried not to be a minster most of my life," he said. "I ended up (attending) Hopewell (UMC) in Downingtown. I wanted to get more involved in the church, and I asked the pastor what I could do. He told me that he wanted me to do prison ministry."

That event prompted Welch's work as a prison minster, which he has been doing for 11 years. "I go into the jail in Philadelphia preaching and sharing Communion," he said.

In time, Welch left his career and decided to enter into professional ministry, receiving his Master of Divinity at Palmer Theological Seminary.

During the installation service at GUMC, Welch was presented various gifts from congregation members, including the following: a new Bible from Henry Foehl; a cross from Don Graewe; bread and a cup to signify Communion from Marta Wierick; "United Methodist Church Book of Discipline" from Joni Thor; water for baptism from Gene Huffman; a globe, signifying missions, from Shawn Trego; a hymnal from Barbara Carter; a white robe from Becky Pendlebury; and a clergy collar from Bill Pendlebury. Welch donned the robe and collar following the presentation.

Welch credited Cain for his smooth transition into his new role as pastor. "Every United Methodist Church will either reappoint their pastor or appoint a new pastor every year. It's a one-year covenant," Welch said. "I am thankful that (Pastor Ralph) lived about 3 miles from my old church (at Friendship UMC). I would see him ... and we got to know each other. He was incredibly gracious (in the transition)."

Welch said he will also be spending time getting to know congregation members, as well as members of the community by visiting the neighborhood. "I walked around, visited the deli and walked in the park and (enjoyed) being able to say, 'Hi, I'm the new guy," he said. "I'm still learning."

Following the service, the congregation enjoyed cake, coffee and other refreshments during a reception to welcome the new pastor.

GUMC, located at 1920 Creek Road, Glenmoore, holds its Sunday service at 10 a.m. Sunday school for adults and children is offered at 9 a.m. For more information, readers may call the church office at 610-942-2324, email or visit More information is also available by searching for "Glen Moore United Methodist Church" on Facebook.


Church Installs Assistant Pastor June 20, 2018

Central Manor Church of God welcomed pastor Jeremy Metze as the new assistant pastor of youth and family ministries beginning on May 21. The church planned to officially install Metze in his pastoral role during the 10:45 a.m. service on May 27. Metze and his wife, Hannah, accepted the invitation to come to Central Manor Church following a 99 percent affirmation vote by the congregation.

Metze's father was at one time a youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church. Metze's parents, answering the call to become missionaries, moved their family to Mexico City, Mexico, when Metze was in middle school. Following graduation from high school in Mexico City, Metze returned to the United States to attend Baptist Bible College, now Clarks Summit University. There he studied theology, biblical languages, and philosophy. After graduation and marriage, he and Hannah spent 10 months in Mexico City assisting in a church plant on the north end of the city. They then settled in Lancaster.

Metze, who is scheduled to soon complete a master's degree in counseling from Liberty University, is transitioning to full-time ministry after eight years working in human services with children, teenagers, and their families in Lancaster County. He and Hannah have three young children.

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