The Rev. Dr. Steven H. Shussett
Steve Shussett is a native of Pittsburgh PA, and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and its Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He then graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for his Masters of Divinity, and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill College, where he received his Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality.
A Presbyterian, he is blessed by the movement toward that we “may all be one” (John 17:20) that allows Presbyterians and Lutherans to serve one another’s churches. His ministry experience is wide-ranging in type and place, from pastorates in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, to national staff in Spiritual Formation for the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Louisville KY, and regional caregiver/administrator (comparable to a bishop) in the Lehigh Valley. He is also a spiritual director and retreat leader, Centering Prayer presenter, and writer. Since 2014 Pastor Steve has been on the faculty of the Kairos: School for Spiritual Formation, teaching those seeking to become spiritual directors.
Pastor Steve is an avid reader and audiobook listener, fan of all Pittsburgh sports, and a walker and exerciser. (You can learn a bit more about him at www.steveshussett.com)
He and his wife, Alicia, met at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. They have two adult children, Rachel and Daniel, who live in Pennsylvania, and a cat, Khaleesi, who hides a lot. Alicia was raised in Glenmoore PA, and has been a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Emmaus PA for nearly 15 years, serving a variety of leadership roles. She works at Cedar Crest College in Academic Services supporting students’ academic needs, and as an adjunct faculty member.
Diane V. Hafer, Office Administrator
Diane has been in administration all her working career. After working full-time as a legal secretary and notary public for several years, and then as an Administrative Assistant for the PA Department of Environmental Resources, she started part-time at Schwarzwald Lutheran Church as Assistant Secretary for the church office and secretary/bookkeeper of its daycare/preschool in 1989. The part-time hours allowed her the flexibility to help with her husband’s business and raise their three daughters.
Today, as the full-time Office Administrator, Diane’s job includes so many different aspects from Executive Assistant to the Pastor, to weekly bulletins, monthly newsletters, bookkeeping, payroll and taxes, accounts receivable and payable, scheduling, building security, and record keeping, just to name a few…but her favorite part of the job is working with and for her church family! Diane continues to take courses and attend seminars to enhance and improve the workings of the church office.
In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her family and especially loves being a grandmother! Her hobbies include vacationing at the shore and in the mountains, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, reading, counted cross stitch….and her dachshund, Ruby (who drives her crazy!).
Crystal Jordan, Director of Christian Education
Crystal joined the Schwarzwald team as Director of Christian Education in June of 2018. Prior to this appointment, she developed and taught the Parent & Me class, attended adult classes, helped with various church events, and performed during church services. Crystal is now responsible for running all aspects of our Sunday School program. This includes choosing curriculum, coordinating teachers and volunteers, communicating with parents, directing the Christmas program, organizing Rally Day, bringing in special guest artists and much more. She also helps the Pastor with the confirmation program and spearheads various other youth activities such as the Egg Hunt and Trunk or Treat.
Crystal graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Music in education. She received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Wilkes University. She was a music teacher in the Central Bucks and Oley school districts and began her career in the Wilson School District in 2018. She is a pianist and cellist and regularly performs in professional orchestras, small chamber ensembles, and on stage with famous musicians. She is also the director of the Millersville Summer String Camp. She is looking forward to sharing her teaching and musical knowledge with the members of Schwarzwald!
Crystal and her husband, Mike, are constantly on the go with their 3 children. Between sports, music lessons, dance, scouts and other activities, they completely understand the demands of a very active and busy lifestyle. They are elated when they find a few hours to do a fun family activity together. In her spare time, Crystal enjoys jogging, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.
Melissa Kerber, Sexton
Melissa has been a member of Schwarzwald since 2011, and has served in the Sexton role since May 2017. Her primary role is to keep our church looking so beautiful! Prior to working at Schwarzwald, she held positions as TGI Friday’s and Pizzeria Uno handling payroll and accounts payable. She left those companies to have her daughter 10 years ago and be a stay-at-home mom, raising her three children along with her husband, Frank. She also works from home as a part-time secretary for the church she grew up in, and is a family mentor for her children’s cyber school, for which she takes the lead and cyber homeschools all three of them!
Melissa has a very active family, and is always on-on-the-go. Summer is the Kerber’s favorite time of year, as they have a boat and spend lazy summer days on the lake.
Our Organist and Director of Music is Benjamin D’Annibale. Ben earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Temple University, a Bachelor of Music in Catholic Church Music from Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Rottenburg, Germany, and a Master of Music in Harpsichord from Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. Ben is from Philadelphia and currently resides in Havertown, PA. He has served as an organist, pianist and music director at Catholic and Presbyterian churches and as a supply organist for a few Lutheran churches. firstname.lastname@example.org