Grace Presbyterian Church employs a staff committed to living out the Gospel of Christ. Extending a helping hand, gently listening, offering up a prayer, commenting with insight or simply lifting someone up with a smile is what they do! They bring their God-given talents and a sense of humor so that the church glorifies God, functions smoothly and can cater to the needs of its community members. Each one has a treasure trove of stories on how God has intervened in their lives and brought them here; what follows are brief glimpses of them along with favored Bible verses. As you get to know the Grace family, be sure to introduce yourself to the staff and know that doors are always open if you ever have a question or need for guidance and direction.
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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm, even as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. (Ephesians 1:3-4)
At sixteen, Sandy felt an initial nudge from God and while that first whisper may have been pulling at nothing more than pride, it was a seed that grew and germinated while he cultivated his spiritual gifts. His studies brought him to Amherst College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and McCormick Theological Seminary. Together with his wife (accomplished attorney and whiz-in-the-kitchen, Belinda) and their four sons, Sandy served churches in Missouri and northern New Jersey before joining the Grace family in 2006. When speaking of life at Grace, Sandy expresses belief that God is doing great work here as we are invited to grow deeper in a joy-filled and empowering relationship with Jesus, and in loving relationships with one another as our congregation makes a difference in the world—especially for the poor and marginalized—in Jesus’ name. Biking, watching his sons' games (football, basketball, baseball), playing piano and reading are just a few of the activities that Sandy has incorporated into his Gospel-driven life.
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“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
Judy and her husband, John grew up singing as children of Grace, where Judy’s father served as the organist and choir director in their formative years. Judy, whose first academic love is teaching, earned her MA in Pastoral Counseling from LaSalle University and her MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to entering seminary, Judy served Abington Presbyterian Church as the Director of Pastoral Ministries for over six years. She has done pulpit supply in area churches; taught adult education classes; led women’s and deacons’ retreats and, most recently, earned board certification while chaplain of a continuing care retirement community in Doylestown, PA. When not engaged in ministry, Judy enjoys reading, swimming and traveling. She and John are delighted to be the parents of three grown children and several “grands” and are thrilled to be back in the fold of Grace!
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I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. (Psalm 139:14)
After Jim’s retirement from Carmel Presbyterian Church in Glenside, his wife Mary took on the task of finding a new congregation to join. When Mary chose Grace, Jim was right there with her. In 2005, Jim was called to assist with pastoral care and now spends much of his time visiting those who are hospitalized or home bound. Most Fridays he and Mary can be found in the Grace Place community. Some of his most powerful moments in pastoral ministry were times of celebrating the Sacrament of Infant Baptism. An avid reader and someone who can thoroughly enjoy the peace of New England, Jim claims to not possess any super-power; however this is up for debate as he nears his fifty-second wedding anniversary to his faithful Mary, and is the proud father of two sons and grandfather of four children!
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Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Shortly after an ice cream social at the manse in 2002, Tina along with her husband and children joined Grace. Always seeking God’s will for herself, after prayerful consideration in 2004, Tina decided that the position of Financial Secretary was a good fit that would allow her to continue in her role of loving mother and wife. Calm and composed in the office, Tina enjoys time spent at her children’s many activities and trips to an amusement park with her family every now and then. Additionally, Tina is a strong believer in the power of the Holy Spirit and of ice cream.
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A native of Jenkintown, Dave joined Grace’s staff in the Fall of 2000 and has been a strong pair of helping hands ever since. Never one to shy away from a tough task, the word “no” seemingly is not in his vocabulary; the ideal attitude to have in any line of work but especially for one responsible for the upkeep of the storied and beautiful Grace property. He rounds out his talents by having won a church baking contest at age 13 with a Cherry Cheesecake. Sharing a delicious dessert after a steak dinner with family and friends is a favorite pastime of Dave’s. It's no wonder Dave has a consistently positive response to requests for his now-famous cinnamon buns.
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Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre… (Psalm 150)
Kevin grew up in a small church that had but an electric organ and as useful as that instrument was for the congregation it was a Christmas Eve service that Kevin attended at a friend’s church where he felt God’s call to be a church organist for it was on that inspirational night that he first experienced the full glory of a pipe organ. During his tenure at Grace he has seen growth not only in numbers but also in outreach into communities near and abroad through mission and ministry. Kevin has gifts of personality, skill and talent; additionally, he has his bachelors degree in music (Organ, major instrument) from Mansfield University and has studied choral conducting at the graduate level (has Orff Schulwerk level 1 certification).
NURSERY SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Cindy Kaminski is the director of Grace Nursery School. She lives in Glenside with her husband, Kevin, daughter, Ashley and her son, Ryan. Cindy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University. She later earned her PA Teaching Certification in 2010. She has been teaching for eleven years with experience teaching children two years of age through Pre-K. Cindy is currently the teacher in the Three Year old class, and will aide Mrs. Edwardson in the Four year old class. In her free time, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family and friends and her dog Molly. She enjoys cooking and listening to music.
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And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
A Jenkintown resident, Beth has a background in education, social justice, graphic facilitation, organizational change, and assistive technology. Upon the birth of her sister Jennifer, Beth was called to learn, support, and work alongside with and for persons with disabilities, their families, and communities. While in the midst of raising young children, working and negotiating some health challenges, Beth had her “aha” moment of recognizing that life was too short to be constantly stressed and unhappy. She then chose to slow down her pace and enjoy being a full time mom and community volunteer. Beth continues to empower children, teens and adults experiencing disability, as well as their families and supporters with creating meaningful education/schooling, work, recreational, leisure and spiritual communities. She also enjoys spending time with her children, family and friends, as well as reading, music, a good cup of coffee, travel, exploring new cultures, listening to stories, meeting new people, walks in nature, cooking, and doodling.
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DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN'S MINISTRY
Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly, not for what you will get out of it but because you are eager to serve God. (Peter 5:20)
Kelly grew up in the Lehigh Valley but now resides in Glenside with her husband and two daughters. Having graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2009, and teaching 1st grade in Philadelphia and Cheltenham, she felt called to volunteer to teach in our Sunday School Programs. Kelly began serving on the Children’s Education Committee and saw the wonderful things that are offered to children at Grace. After prayerful consideration Kelly decided that continuing on the path of Children’s Ministry would provide meaningful opportunities for her own spiritual growth as well as offering them to the children of our church. Kelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, and the arts.
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INTERIM CHOIR DIRECTOR
"My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to pasture his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he pastures his flock among the lilies." (Song of Songs 6:2-3)
A lifelong church musician, Megan Coiley serves as Interim Choir Director. Although she is most often found in front of choirs, she is a passionate pianist, mezzo-soprano, and teacher who is most at home guiding congregations as they sing together, both developing their experience of worshipful community and helping them sing a new song to the Lord. Megan specializes in sound, space, and spirituality in worship, and her work explores the use of sound to shape theological understanding. A recent graduate of Westminster Choir College (BM in Sacred Music), Megan is an experienced choral singer who has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and other leading orchestras. When she is not making music, Megan enjoys making a myriad of other things, including excellent coffee, jewelry, gluten-free and vegan food, craft beverages, and large messes.
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The Session is the governing board of a Presbyterian Church. At Grace, the Session consists of twelve elders and the pastor. Elders are elected by the congregation for three-year terms. Click here for highlights of Session meetings.
CLASS OF 2018
John Van Buren
CLASS OF 2019
CLASS OF 2020
Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons is responsible for ministries of care and compassion. Eighteen deacons and one student deacon serve at any given time on the board. A term of service for a deacon is three years, with the exception of student deacons, who serve for one year. All deacons are elected by the congregation.
CLASS OF 2018
CLASS OF 2019
CLASS OF 2020
Gretchen Van Buren