Interim Pastor: Rev. John Steitz
I have been a local church pastor since early 1995 and this is the 14th congregation I have served. Most of my work as a local church pastor has been as an Intentional Interim Minister. This means I help guide congregations through the transitional period between settled pastors. In order to do this work better I have taken a number of graduate courses in conflict transformation, group dynamics, and leadership development. I continue to seek to improve as a pastor.
Faith-rooted social justice work is a very important aspect of my call to ministry. I am a Justice Ministry Education supervisor with Auburn Seminary (www.auburnseminary.org/jme/) and have done extensive work organizing faith leaders in several counties with POWER Interfaith (www.powerinterfaith.org). My faith-rooted organizing work has especially focused on ending gender-based violence and on national and local nonviolent campaigns to stop the hate. I am currently writing about how to be an “Upstander” as a violence prevention strategy related to gender-based violence and stop the hate.
I am a cancer survivor. I had kidney cancer in 2006. Since then the words of Psalm 118:24 have had especial meaning for me. “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day of life is a blessing from God. Let us rejoice in this blessing during our time together.
Office Manager: Marieta Smith
Marieta Smith began working part-time at St. John’s on October 17, 2007 as Office Assistant. On October 15, 2009, she became the Office Manager. Marieta grew up in Centre Hall and is a graduate of Penns Valley Area High School. She has been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Centre Hall for more than 30 years. On July 30,1993, she married John D. Smith and they live in Potters Mills. Her hobbies include camping, boating, tubing, canoeing, counted cross stitching, making jewelry, painting, scrapbooking, swimming, card playing, photography, shopping, mowing grass and spending time with the ones she loves.