BIOGRAPHY: I was brought up in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania in a family that was thoroughly involved in the Presbyterian Church. My father, an Elder, was elected Moderator of Northumberland Presbytery when I was a teen and my mother was a church musician. I attended church school faithfully, performed with the children’s choir, and was active in Westminster Fellowship. I was known by the church school teachers as someone who never stopped asking questions about the Christian faith, even when the teachers were praying I would!
When I was in high school, I went to Chile for a year as an exchange student and decided to pursue a career in diplomacy. I earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University toward that end. However, while I was studying at Yale, the democratically elected President of Chile was violently overthrown in a coup that was sponsored by the CIA. My faith in serving our country as a diplomat in South America was shattered and I began to rethink my career ambitions.
As I contemplated the future, the lessons I learned from Confirmation Class came back to me, in particular Question 1 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Although faith in Christ had always been an important part of my life, it was only at that point that I decided to be a candidate for ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament.
I attended Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated in 1980, after which I was on the staff of Pennington Presbyterian Church for 5 years. Since then I have served churches in New Brunswick Presbytery, large and small, rural, suburban, and urban, as an intentional interim. When I came to Pilgrim Presbyterian Church as Interim Pastor it became clear fairly quickly that something more than a simple transition was required. Over time, the congregation felt called to merge with the First Presbyterian Church of Yardville. I look forward to a new calling in ministry as Pastor of United Presbyterian Church.
My family is the other passion of my life. My husband, Rick, is an attorney in Princeton. We have three children: Maeve, Noah, and Blythe. For recreation I like to play tennis, solve crossword puzzles, read, sing, do needlework, and watch movies.
Yale University, New Haven, Ct. B.A. cum laude 1976
STATEMENT OF FAITH: God is love; this is the mystery of the Trinity. God’s eternal essence is to be a community of perfect love. Perfect love reaches beyond itself and so, out of the love of God (the Creator, the Word, and Spirit) creation was born. With meticulous order and awesome grandeur, God brought the world out of chaos and called it good. God created human beings in the divine image, and gave them the freedom to love and serve God in response to God’s love for them.
Instead of freely choosing to love God, however, we choose to love our own desires and disobey God’s mitzvahs (which are both commandments and blessings). Our willful disobedience results in a break in our relationship with God and with one another. We see the consequences of our sin in a world that is not always good, but filled with violence, injustice, poverty, and shame.
With great love and mercy, God has reached out throughout history to overcome the estrangement caused by our sin by sending us the law and the prophets and inspiring faithful people to return to serving God and creation. Yet we find that the law only convicts us, the prophets’ warnings fall on deaf ears, and even the most faithful continue to be caught in the web of sin.
In the fullness of time, God became incarnate, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, so that divine love might be demonstrated in human form. Jesus, fully human, fully divine, shared our humanity in every respect, but without sin. Through his words and his deeds, he showed us how to live to God’s glory. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, loved the outcasts, and befriended sinners. He preached the nearness of God’s reign and the importance of living by faith. Though many were moved by his message, others were threatened by it and conspired to have him tortured and killed. Christ showed the depth of God’s love by forgiving his tormentors as he died on the cross for t! hem and for us all. Their hatred could not undo the power of God’s love, which raised Jesus from the dead, triumphing over death, and tearing the veil between God’s reign and earth, that is, reconciling God with humanity.
The Holy Spirit calls and strengthens people to continue Christ’s work of reconciliation on earth. The Church is Christ’s body, a community of people called and empowered by the Spirit to proclaim the gospel, teach all that Christ commanded, continue his work to overcome poverty, suffering, and injustice, and thereby be a blessing to the world. The Church relies on the Bible as the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. By faithfully hearing the Word and participating in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, believers experience Christ’s real presence in their lives, enabling them to respond with lives of discipleship. In Baptism, we are initiated into the household of God, assured of the forgiveness of our! sins, and engrafted into the Body of Christ. In the Lord’s Supper, we remember Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, receive the spiritual food of Christ’s body and blood, and anticipate the great heavenly banquet in which God’s reconciling work is completed and we participate in the new heaven and new earth promised in God’s reign. It is in this hope of the eschatological fulfillment of Christ’s mission that we are emboldened to pursue our own in Jesus’ name.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8