On October 2, 2016 Pastor Kris Snyder-Samuelson was elected to position of Senior Pastor.
Rev. Kris P. Snyder-Samuelson grew up in a United Church of Christ church in Slatington, Pennsylvania. She has known ever since she played “Take and Eat” as a child with her sister with perfectly cut white bread cubes and purple Kool Aid that the church would always have an important place in her life. She’s also known since then that one day she’d be serving “Take and Eat”, Holy Communion, to others as their pastor. God’s call in her life to love and serve others has been constant and strong.
In college (at Susquehanna University as a music major and then at Penn State University as an Elementary Education major) she knew she was meant to go to seminary but she wouldn’t say ‘yes’ for a few more years. While teaching middle school students at a Catholic School she tested the waters by taking classes at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Later she attended seminary at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY. In Western New York she had the chance to serve a large city church and a small suburban church.
She was called to Union UCC, Neffs in 1996 as the Associate Pastor. Here she developed a team to take Communion and flowers to members, drafted and implemented a plan to call a visitation pastor, created new ideas for outreach and welcome, designed and led a Confirmation program for 25-30 students each year, generated a middle/high school ministry for over 60 youth, established and led a contemporary worship team, offered meaningful and creative worship and music experiences, and shared in all of the pastoral care, programming, and administration of this church of 1,400.
In November 2014, she served as the Acting Senior Pastor when Reverend Thomas N. Thomas retired. Leading in this new role allowed her to: oversee the administrative pieces of our church’s life, support and empower the staff, develop a new approach to finances and Stewardship, collaborate in worship scheduling and planning, grow our church’s ministry and mission of Jesus Christ and create a vision and plan for the future.
“Being in ministry has always been my dream job, and I believe it is God’s dream for me too.” In November 2016 she was honored, humbled, and grateful that Union called her to serve as the next Senior Pastor.
Recently at a new member gathering at Union, a new member said, “You know the saying we use to open worship: ‘No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here?’ Well I think that’s the best thing I ever heard a pastor say. That’s the kind of church I want to join.” Pastor Kris is passionate about helping people practice the extravagant love, grace and hospitality of God and she’s glad to serve at Union, a place that shares that passion.
She loves flower gardening and supporting the many local farms and businesses in our area. Practicing meditation and Qigong nourish her spirit and fill her cup. She also enjoys reading, swimming, traveling, and being near water.