We at St. John’s UCC Allentown are blessed to have several retired ministers in our congregation. We are also fortunate that five of them have stepped forward and agreed to lead our congregation during the interim period between ministers. They will be rotating through the pulpit and dividing up the other duties of the minister. It will be an exciting time and a time to learn as we move through these next few months with our interim Ministerial Team.
The number five in the Bible is significant because God’s creation, the ‘man’ has five fingers, five senses and five toes. Thus it is the number of God’s grace. There are five great mysteries: Father, Son, Spirit, Creation and Redemption. After the fall of man, creation was cursed and it became subject to vanity. So man and creation needed to be redeemed, therefore, the number five is the number of God’s grace. We are proud and hopeful that our Five will lead us through this journey to find the next leader for St. John’s.
This Team will create a unique experience for our congregation, guests and future members of St. John’s by bringing their different perspectives to our spiritual life. We believe this solution for our interim period will only strengthen our church as we embrace them while we search for our new leader.
The Five Ministerial team members are (in Apha Order) – The Rev. Nancy Pearl Adams, Rev. William Falla, Rev. Richard D. Guhl, Rev. Allan Kramer-Moyer and Rev. Wendy L. Williams. Below is a brief description of each of them.
Rev. Nancy Adams prefers to be called Pastor Nancy. She is currently a resident of the City of Allentown in the Midway Manor area. She grew up in rural Maine and attended Colby College then Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton Center Massachusetts. She has been a minister for thirty-four years, ordained in New York City at Judson Memorial Church. She is a Board-Certified Hospital Chaplain. She spent most of her career as a hospital Chaplain where she cared for patients, their families and staff. She is an avid reader and has four furry companions (cats) at home.
Rev. William Falla prefers to be called Pastor Bill. He and his wife Bonnie are currently residents of the city of Allentown. He received his M Div. at United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio and a Th. M. and a Th.D. from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. He has been a minister for forty-two years, having been ordained in 1976. He also serves as a Chaplain for a Jesuit Society of Science and Religion called Cosmos and Creation.
Rev. Richard Guhl may be called Pastor Rick. He and his wife Judith are currently residents of the City of Allentown. He attended Stanford High School in Connecticut, Drew University and Yale Divinity School. He has been a minister for forty-three years, having been ordained in 1975. He was Chemistry major in college until he realized God had other plans for him. He realized he had to go another direction and since the church had always been a source of light in his life, he decided to follow that light. Rick has also been President of the founding board of Westmoreland County Food Bank and Past President of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches. One of his accomplishments he is most proud of was a fundraiser held at his former church to raise money for families that needed medical assistance. His church raised over $800,000.00 to help about fifty families.
Rev. Allan Kramer-Moyer prefers to be called Pastor Allan. He and his wife Nancy are residents of the City of Allentown. He attended Franklin and Marshall College and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was ordained in 1971 and has been a Minister and Chaplain for forty-seven years. Pastor Allan served Phoebe Ministries for many years as the leader of the Ministerial team at Phoebe. He grew up in an Evangelical and Reformed Church. His family was very active in the church and he became active in working with youth. He felt God calling him into ministry during his high school years; he wanted to find a way to help people find meaning and purpose in their lives. He is learning to develop a deeper understanding of II Corinthians 4:16: “While our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day”. Easier said than done, he is working on ways to renew his inner spiritual nature every day.
Rev. Wendy l. Williams prefers to be called Pastor Wendy. Wendy is currently a resident of Whitehall PA. She was originally a New Englander born and raised in Massachusetts. She attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley Massachusetts and Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained by the Central Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC in 1985 she has been a minister for 33 years. Originally Rev. Wendy was not a minister, she was an Elementary School Teacher like her mother. Wendy always felt God had another purpose for her but did not think that becoming a minister was possible because all she knew of church leadership was male. That all changed when a life changing tragedy occurred when a close friend of hers was murdered. Although she had questions for God, she always knew God was there and that her existence was due to God’s grace. It was at this point in her life she became aware of the call for her to become a minister. Winter is her favorite season. She enjoys crafts, gardening, feeding the birds and the beach and of course being a New Englander, she is an avid Red Sox and Patriots Fan.
We cherish all members at St. John’s and pray for them to have happy meaningful lives and now we pray for The Five as they lead us through the next part of our life journey at St. John’s.