The Rev. Stefanie Muntzel

Pastor’s Message
Written by Rev. Stefanie Muntzel - Spring 2023

Dear Church Family,

It is my pleasure to introduce myself to the congregations of First Presbyterian Church of Stirling and Meyersville Presbyterian Church. I am a lifelong Presbyterian - my mom is a retired pastor, and my dad is a retired ethics professor. I have three siblings and two nephews. I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I live in High Bridge, New Jersey with my husband Rich Gelson. Rich is an incredible singer-songwriter, photographer, and Phillies Phan. He is also in his 8th year as pastor at Pilgrim Presbyterian Church in Philipsburg NJ. We are a clergy couple who loves to talk shop with one another (not all do). After 10 years of marriage, Rich and I became empty nesters this fall. Although, our 14-year-old dog Dinah and two kittens Ellie and Evie keep us feeling needed. My son Crosby is a first-year student at Dickinson College. My stepdaughter Rebecca graduates from Muhlenberg College this May! Rich's eldest daughter, Anna, works with special needs children outside of Philadelphia.

I am an avid reader, gardener, and a lover of nature, music, and stories. During COVID I began to dabble with embroidery and am a new convert to throwing pottery. I so value having dear friends with whom to laugh and grow. Above all, I consider myself a passionate witness to the Good News, as I have wondrously known the grace of God in my life.

God has called me to ministry in a variety of settings over the past 25 years. Before seminary I worked in churches in several capacities- serving homeless persons in Manhattan, directing youth ministry in Queens, and as Christian Education director in New Jersey. I graduated from Union Theological Seminary in NYC in 2002. I then served on the staff of a Presbyterian church for 8 years where my ministry focused on Christian education and community outreach. I became "Pastor Stefanie" in 2012. While serving as a solo pastor for a small congregation, I also worked as the Presbytery-wide Resourcing Coordinator for the then Newton Presbytery. My most recent call has been for the past 6 years as a full-time pastor in Easton PA.

God's leading has felt very evident as I have gotten to know the pastoral search committee of First Stirling and Meyersville. I am excited by both your congregations' continuing openness to partner together in ministry. I am looking forward to getting to know you all and seeing where God may be leading us as I join your partnership.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Stefanie Muntzel (aka Pastor Stefanie)

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