Pastors & Staff

Our Pastors

Rev. Joyce Shin

Pastor and Head of Staff
610-543-4712 ext. 113
joyce.shin@swarthmorepres.org

Joyce Shin is Swarthmore Presbyterian Church’s 10th Pastor and Head of Staff, joining SPC in January 2016.

Joyce earned her B.A. at Rhodes, a liberal arts college in Memphis, Tennessee, where she majored in both Religious Studies and Classical Languages. She then studied Ethics in Germany at Tübingen University as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. In 2000, Joyce completed her Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) at The Divinity School of The University of Chicago, with a thesis on “The Role of Music in Theological Education.” She has since pursued doctoral work in Theological Ethics, writing her dissertation on “Faith in an Age of Cultural Pluralism: An Aesthetic Approach to Transformation.”

During her graduate studies, Joyce served as Presbyterian campus minister for Yale undergraduate students and taught ministry students at Yale Divinity School, The Divinity School of The University of Chicago, and McCormick Seminary. For 10 years, Joyce served as Associate Pastor for Congregational Life at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, a large urban church whose membership numbers over 5000. She is passionate about building interfaith relationships and has served the greater church in its interfaith work.

Joyce is married to Michael David, who serves on the medical faculty of University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Infectious Diseases. Their daughter Sophia is a student at Strath Haven High School.

Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight

Associate Pastor, Congregational Care, Outreach Ministries & Worship
610-543-4712 ext. 117
sarah.cooper.searight@swarthmorepres.org

Sarah joined the clergy of SPC in March 2015.

Her primary responsibilities include coordinating and giving guidance to the missional ministries of the congregation, developing new partnerships in relationship to our community both local and global, providing spiritual support and accompaniment to members needing care, and coordinating planning for worship and development of new worship opportunities. Sarah serves as pastoral advisor to both the Board of Deacons and our Stephen Ministers. Sarah is also the clergy liaison to the many committees under the wide umbrella of the Outreach Committee, and to the Worship & Music Committee.

Sarah grew up in Dallas, Texas, completed her undergraduate work at Austin College in Psychology, and earned her Master of Divinity degree at Columbia Theological Seminary. After seminary, she served as Outreach Director and Summer Camp Director for Old First Reformed United Church of Christ in center city Philadelphia. Sarah served her first call as Associate Pastor for Christian Formation and Discipleship at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Sarah and her husband Bill Searight (also a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA) are the grateful parents of two girls, Maggie (6) and Ella (3).

Rev. David Carter Florence

Supply Associate Pastor for Christian Education
610-543-4712 ext. 119
david.florence@swarthmorepres.org

David joined the clergy of SPC in November 2017.

David’s primary responsibilities include planning, developing, supervising and directing the Christian education program and youth ministries of the church. David is the clergy liaison for our Children, Youth, Campus, and Adult ministries. He looks forward to connecting with the congregation through faith formation, as he focuses his attention on Christian education and programming here at SPC.

David grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. His passion for the environment, liberal arts, social justice and Christian education has guided his vocational life. Ordained in 1988, David has served as a pastor, chaplain, and teacher in churches, camps and schools. David believes that when the whole church sees itself as a growing entity, especially through education and mission, innovative ministries arise that meet people where they are today. His methodologies draw on holistic education, sustainability, and systems theory.

David is married to Anna, an avid fiber artist and a homiletics professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. They have two sons, Caleb and Jonah.

Our Staff

Dorrie McGrath

Parish Administrator and Director of Volunteer Ministries
610-543-4712 ext. 112
parish@swarthmorepres.org

Dorrie has a solid working knowledge of many ministries, nurtured by more than 20 years serving in various roles as part of SPC’s staff. If you don’t quite know where to begin, ask Dorrie. She is readily available in the main office Monday through Friday and enjoys connecting with people new and not-so-new as they get involved in church programs, need to put an event on the church calendar, have questions about baptisms, seek the counsel of a pastor, or find themselves planning a wedding or preparing for a memorial service. Dorrie maintains the church calendar; coordinates space usage; provides administrative support to our boards, committees, and volunteer groups; keeps our database current; and creates our worship bulletins. She is also an active member who sings in the Chancel Choir and coordinates offertory music for Chapel Worship, and she serves as one of our Delco Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network coordinators.

Jennifer Sharp

Director of Business Administration
610-543-4712 ext. 121
business@swarthmorepres.org

Jennifer joined SPC’s staff in August 2017 and heads up our Finance Office. From the change collected in hunger jars to large bequests, she sees that all records of income and expenses are posted accurately and deposited or disbursed in a timely manner. Jennifer prepares the monthly financial reports used by Session and many of our committees, as well as our critical year-end reports. She keeps our insurance policies up to date and works closely with our auditors to ensure that we follow both our own bylaws and all government legislation and in conjunction with the Finance Committee and Session as they prepare and monitor our annual budget. Jennifer is also at the hub of all committee activities that involve major spending—from building projects to the disbursement of Outreach funds and payroll. She is also an active church member who sings in the Chancel Choir, and she and her husband Jeff Smith have two children, Jake (10) and Elsa (3), who are active participants in the children’s ministry and music programs.

Ashley Charles

Children’s Ministry Coordinator
610-543-4712 ext. 118
children@swarthmorepres.org

Working as a volunteer with the youth ministry program since 2006, Ashley joined the staff in 2011. In her role as Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Ashley coordinates all of our children’s and family programming including Sunday School, Sunday Enrichment, 3rd Friday events, the Advent Workshop, the Nativity Pageant, children’s service projects, and much more. Ashley graduated with a Master of Theological Studies at Palmer Theological Seminary in 2016 and recently completed two years of training as a Chaplain at Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Ashley also serves on our Pastoral Care Team and as our special services sexton. Ashley is married to Paul, who actively serves our community as a teacher and guest preacher. The joy of their lives is their son, Paul Josiah.

Jean Noon

Finance Coordinator
610-543-4712 ext. 120
office@swarthmorepres.org

Jean joined our staff in January 2017, coming to us with an extensive background in finance. She ensures that our bills are paid on time, managing payroll both for church staff and the Nursery Day School, recording contributions to memorial funds, acknowledging gifts, and preparing quarterly contribution statements. Jean will always make time to listen to your questions and concerns and track down the answer you need.

Ali Holsinger

Director of Communications
610-543-4712 ext. 123
communications@swarthmorepres.org

Ali oversees all areas of SPC communication. She is the designer and publisher of our bimonthly newsletter the Herald and writes the weekly notes that keep congregants well-informed. Her skills as a graphic artist are helpful to all ministries, as they work with her to produce flyers and brochures to support their efforts. She also designs our SPC ads, writes our press releases, and works closely with local media to see that events of community interest are well-publicized. In addition, she works with members of our talented congregation to get updated photos and videos of the happenings here at the church. Finally, Ali maintains and updates our online presence, overseeing the development and maintenance of our new church website and is responsible for posting of upcoming events on Facebook and Nextdoor Swarthmore.

Meghan Meloy Ness

Director of Music Ministries
610-543-4712 ext. 114
meghan.meloy.ness@swarthmorepres.org

As Director of Music Ministries, Meghan will be playing an active role in the planning and support of all musical efforts. Her most visible roles are those of director of each of our choirs (Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Children’s Choir, Youth Choir) and organist. Behind the scenes she will be working closely with our pastoral staff in planning weekly worship so that what we experience on Sunday morning is focused and cohesive. If you are interested in joining any of our choirs or have any questions related to our music programs, contact Meghan.

John Hoing

Facilities Manager
building@swarthmorepres.org

Formerly our Building Superintendent, John has recently taken over the role as Facilities Manager. He has always been the quintessential “maintenance” man. If something is broken, he repairs it; if something needs to be built, he builds it. Now his role has been expanded to include all things facility related. During the week, John is the “glue” that keeps our busy calendar of meetings and events from unraveling. Never ask what his hours really are; he is simply here when we need him. On Sundays, he is the one who makes sure all doors are open, lights on, classrooms set up, flipcharts and appropriate equipment in place, and spaces converted as schedule dictates. John also manages our two church custodians, Greg Piscorik and John Steacker.

Jim Maule

Sunday Sexton
maule@law.villanova.edu or messages may be left in the office mailbox

Jim is an active church member and serves as president of the Chancel Choir, in addition to being our Sunday sexton. Turning on the lights, setting out the flowers and bulletins, changing the banner and linens, setting up the hymn boards, and making sure the Bible is open to the first reading are just some of the many details Jim attends to so that the sanctuary is ready for worship each Sunday. He also serves as ex officio to the Worship & Music Committee, where his input both as sexton and as choir president and his compulsive attention to detail are invaluable.

Contact Us! We Would Love to Hear From You

Week-at-a-Glance

(Scroll to view more)
February 21, 2018
  • Feasting on the Word (Study)

    February 21, 2018 / 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    In this study, asimple “Lenten feast” of soup, bread and salad expands to a feast on the Word.The emphasis in this study will be on metaphorical and narrative approaches tothe Bible. Over 2000 years of interpretiveapproaches inform our Biblical work today as we journey together with criticalinsight, seeking meaning and purpose in life. The following writers will inform our study: Walter Brueggemann, CarolNewsome, Sally McFague, Marcus Borg, Walter Wink, Amy-Jill Levine, Amos Wilder,Everett Fox and Barbara Brown Taylor.  Led by Rev.s David Carter Florence, Joyce Shin, and Sarah Cooper Searight.

  • Parish Life Committee (Study)

    February 21, 2018 / 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

    Monthly committee meeting

  • Personnel Committee (Baker)

    February 21, 2018 / 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    Monthly meeting of the Personnel Committee

February 22, 2018
  • Service Learning: SPC & CCSA (CCSA)

    February 22, 2018 / 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    The Chester Charter School for the Arts, 1500 Highland Ave, Chester, PA 19013, USA

    Last year, 5 youth and 5 adults from SPC met regularly with 25 high schoolers at Chester Charter School for the Arts. We started out by getting to know one another. Then we met with Chester City leaders who offered to us a project to rehabilitate William Penn Park in Chester (the ACTUAL first landing spot of William Penn into this area). Throughout the spring and summer, this group worked in teams to identify the major areas of need for the park, and began the work of clean-up culminating in a day-long clean up project late July 2017.

    Now, we’re ready for Stage 2! This spring and summer, we will be working towards the revitalization. This involves plans for installing new fencing for safety, new park furniture for those who will come out and enjoy time there, and a mural developed by you all in collaboration with local artists. 

    This is a great opportunity to meet new friends, to work on a worthwhile project, and to gain some service hours. Hope you'll join us!

  • Youth Choir rehearsal (Loeffler Chapel)

    February 22, 2018 / 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm

    Youth Choir welcomes all 6th-12th graders who enjoy singing! We rehearse weekly, and always welcome newcomers.

  • AA (McCahan Hall)

    February 22, 2018 / 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

    Contact: Tom Fitzsimons (c) 610-304-0681
    email: tom.fitzsimons@gmail.com

February 24, 2018
  • Memorial Service - Ann F. Adams (Sanctuary)

    February 24, 2018 / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

    A service of Witness to the Resurrection and celebration of the life of Ann Forsman Adams. All are welcome. Following the service, guests are invited to greet the family at a reception in Fellowship Hall.

  • Memorial Reception (Fellowship Hall)

    February 24, 2018 / 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

    Those attending the memorial service for Ann Adams are invited to greet the family and one another over some light refreshments in Fellowship Hall following the service.

February 25, 2018
  • Early Worship (Loeffler Chapel)

    February 25, 2018 / 8:00 am - 9:00 am

    In this 45-minute service, those worshiping engage with scripture through faithful discussion in lieu of a sermon.

  • Gather & Sing! (McCahan 220 & 225)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:00 am - 9:20 am

    Sunday mornings begin with music! Children age 4-5th grade are invited to “gather and sing” at 9:00 a.m.to talk about the lessons of the day and what’s happening in worship. They learn the musical responses sung in worship and various songs and hymns that reinforce the lessons of the day.

  • Sunday School for Toddlers (McCahan 222)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:00 am - 11:15 am

    Toddlers (ages 2 & 3) gather for "Frolic: Little Steps, Big Faith.” Children engage in this delightful early learning curriculum that teaches them about God and the world around them. Class meets in the Orange Room (222).

  • Pre-confirmation (Youth Room)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:00 am - 10:00 am

    Middle schoolers (grades 6-8) meet every Sunday in the Youth Room, where an entertaining but thoughtful team of leaders serve up donuts along with honest conversation around Christian values and a faith that is lived 7 days a week.

  • Adult Class: Celtic Christianity (Study)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:00 am - 10:00 am

    Brigid of Kildare lived from 451-523 a.d. in Ireland. She is known in Celtic Christianity as the golden haired one who loves the earth, represents female leadership and the sacred feminine, loves midwives, is the muse of poets and musicians, embraces compassion for the poor, for strangers, and for those seeking refuge. Come and learn more about her in this interactive class to deepen awareness about Celtic Christianity.
    Led by Mary Reindorp.

  • Confirmation (McCahan Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:00 am - 10:00 am

    9th graders are encouraged regularly to be part of this series of classes on faith formation. From early November to mid-May, they will explore the breadth and depth of the Reformed tradition, along the way leaning on Friends in Faith and reading most of the Gospel of Mark.

  • Sunday School for Pre-schoolers (McCahan 220)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:20 am - 10:20 am

    Pre-schoolers and Kindergarteners retell the morning's Bible stories through games, play, and crafts. Class meets in the Purple room (McCahan 220). Parents are expected to pick up their children by 10:10 to head to worship.

  • Sunday School for Grades 1-2 (McCahan 225)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:20 am - 10:20 am

    1st & 2nd graders retell the morning's Bible stories through reading, games, crafts, and story-telling. Class meets in the Green room (McCahan 225). Parents are expected to pick up their children by 10:10 to head to worship.

  • Sunday School for Grades 3-5 (McCahan 226)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:20 am - 10:20 am

    3rd - 5th graders learn the morning's Bible stories through reading, re-enacting, games, crafts, and story-telling. Class meets in the Pink room (McCahan 226). Parents are expected to pick up their children by 10:10 to head to worship.

  • Worship in the Sanctuary (Sanctuary)

    February 25, 2018 / 10:15 am - 11:15 am

    This service embodies a classic worship tradition. Biblical and faithful preaching bring God’s Word to life. Musical leadership comes through the Chancel Choir and our pipe organ. Elders serve as liturgists and each of our choirs offer music on a regular basis.

  • Worship in the Chapel (Loeffler Chapel)

    February 25, 2018 / 10:15 am - 11:15 am

    In this service, participants are invited to worship God with hands and feet, as well as words, songs and silence. Elements of worship take many forms, from art to movement to quiet contemplation.

  • Children's Activities (McCahan Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 10:40 am - 11:15 am

    Children age 4 -12 are welcome to stay in worship with their families OR to head up to McCahan Hall following "A Time with Children" to enjoy enrichment activities in a one-room-schoolhouse setting.

  • Child Care (Nursery - McCahan 224)

    February 25, 2018 / 8:45 am - 11:45 am

    Infants and toddlers are well cared for in this sunny corner room in the Children's Education wing. Parents should try to arrive early enough to let their child get comfortable and to complete a registration form if they have not already done so. They should also bring their own diaper bag, clearly labeled with the child's name and stocked with whatever might be needed. Thank you!

  • Bear Hugs Ministry (Fellowship Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

    New and gently used teddy bears and other small cuddly stuffed animals are collected for distribution by local authorities to children that have witnessed domestic trauma or violence.

  • Coffee & Fellowship (Fellowship Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

    Parish Life serves up Equal Exchange coffee and hot tea and invites us all to be in community. Consider this an invitation to introduce yourself to someone you don't yet know!

  • Women's Lenten Retreat Signups (Fellowship Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

    On Saturday, March 3, our PW (Presbyterian Women) will be hosting a retreat for women of all ages around the theme "Sensing Our Way Through Lent." Rev. Joyce Shin, Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight, and Director of Music Meghan Meloy Ness will lead this time together. Stop at the information table Sunday morning to learn more and tell us you will be coming!

  • Lunch & Movie: Stories We Tell (Loeffler Chapel)

    February 25, 2018 / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

    StoriesWe Tell

    In this inspired,genre-twisting new film, writer/director Sarah Polleydiscovers that the truth depends on who's telling it. Polley is both filmmakerand detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers.BYO lunch; PW (Presbyterian Women) will provide beverages.

  • Walking the Walk (Main Line Reform Temple)

    February 25, 2018 / 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Main Line Reform Temple, 410 Montgomery Ave, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA

    We will begin with a dive-in activity and then transition to the Q & A Panel with religious leaders from various faith traditions. They will be sharing a meaningful object or symbol from their faith tradition, and then they will address several questions that were provided in advance of our session.

    During the second half of our afternoon, you will be “Speed Faithing.” Participants will be divided into small groups, and each group will meet with a religious leader for a short period of time (10-12 minutes) to ask their burning questions and to engage in dialogue. When time is up, the participants in each group will stay seated and the religious leader in each small group will move to sit with another group. Religious leaders continue to rotate for conversations with each group. At the end of the cycle, we will gather together to debrief.

    Contact Rev. David Carter Florence (david.florence@swarthmorepres.org) if you are interested in going! There are currently three regulars from SPC who attend.

  • Middle School Youth Group (McCahan Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

    Faith formation, food, and fellowship - a great Sabbath diet! All 6th-8th graders welcome; please use the main parking lot entrance.

  • Youth Dinner (Fellowship Hall)

    February 25, 2018 / 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

    Middle schoolers, high schoolers, and their advisors gather for some table fellowship most Sundays. All welcome!

February 26, 2018
  • February Committee minutes due

    February 26, 2018

    Minutes of all committee meetings held this month are due to Dorrie McGrath (spcparish@swarthmorepres.org) no later than the last Monday of the month.

February 27, 2018
  • Committee Chair & Coordinator Workshop (Fellowship Hall)

    February 27, 2018 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    This evening's goal is to equip both current and incoming committee chairs withsome of the tools and resources they need to be effective leaders andcommunicators in the work they do within and on behalf of the body of Christthat is Swarthmore Presbyterian Church. Committee chairs and coordinators are asked please to RSVP to Dorrie McGrath (spcparish@swarthmorepres.org) no later than Wednesday, February 21.