Rev. Dr. William J. Younger, Lead Pastor
I have been a pastor for over twenty-five years, serving congregations in Pennsylvania and Illinois. My educational training began at Trinity College (BA Bible and Philosophy) in Deerfield, IL. From there I attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) in Hamilton, MA, and then completed my Doctor in Ministry degree in Congregational Revitalization from Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, CA . My dissertation was entitled “God Breaking Through: A Theological and Practical Study of Congregational Renewal” (2007). I’ve been the Lead Pastor/Head of Staff at Union since 2010 and absolutely love what I do! I have a passion for congregational renewal and revitalization and I truly believe that the gospel has the power to make all things new— even a church 225 years young! I enjoy using my gifts of preaching, teaching, leadership, discernment and vision-casting as I share this exciting missional/gospel journey with the bride of Christ that sits high on the hill in Robinson Township (The cross of Union Church steeple actually is the highest point in Allegheny County!)
My wonderful wife Karen is an associate professor of U.S. History at Waynesburg University and an ordained PCUSA minister herself. We have two beautiful and talented daughters—Livy and Lily–and three neurotic, yet lovable, dogs named Buddy, Rocket, and Luna Baby. When I’m away from my work, I enjoy hanging out with my family, hunting, running and working out at LA Fitness. I am an avid sports fan with a passion for college and professional football, and I also occasionally find time for reading a good book (accompanied with a fine, strong cup of coffee, of course!). While I love the life of pastoral ministry, I believe my true “calling” was to be a forest ranger in the great Pacific Northwest woods.
Tom Ribar, Associate Pastor of Youth and Families
My most cherished gift is my wife, Tami, who I wed in December of 1985! We have three grown children, Jessa (Ian and Avery) Darwin, Lexi Ribar, and Nathan (Lydia) Ribar. Tami and I live in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where we enjoy being close to our children, and particularly being grandparents! In addition to enjoying the labor of creating a hospitable home (a seemingly never-ending rehab, 4 years in the making!) that represents Jesus’ kingdom of shalom, we are blessed by good friends, city life, the beach (when occasion allows!), biking, and gardening. Having grown up in Cleveland, OH, I have maintained my loyalties to Cleveland professional sports, despite living and working in the heart of Steeler nation (longsuffering produces in me a capacity to endure all things)!
My journey as a teacher and preacher of the Gospel began in earnest at Muskingum College (1984). After several years working in campus ministry with the CCO in western PA, I completed my Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1992). I am currently finishing my Doctor of Ministry at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.
I have worked in gospel ministry for over 35 years. I have 20 years of campus ministry experience in student life, mission leadership, and teaching both in and out of the classroom. I have served for over 15 years in a variety of pastoral roles with three different congregations. This includes my current service as part-time pastor to the congregation of Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Greentree. Nothing excites me more than helping disciples of Jesus grow in faithfulness by deepening their understanding of the Biblical story and our place in it.
Ashley Reeves, Administrative Assistant
I have been serving as the Administrative Assistant here at Union since December 2019. Having an Advertising and Public Relations degree from Penn State, this position serves as a fun way to use my creative skills to honor God. However, one of my favorite parts of this job is the opportunity to get to know the church family here. From day one, I have been blown away by how welcoming and kind everyone is here. I am really looking forward to the years ahead growing and serving alongside all of you!
Outside of work: I live in Harmony with my husband, Ben, and our two dogs, Oakley and Amy. When I get the opportunity, I enjoy spending my time traveling, reading, playing board games and doing anything outdoors. Nature has always been one of the places I feel closest to God so I spend as much time out there exploring as I possibly can.
Kellyn von Arx, Assistant Director of Youth and Families
Kellyn joined the Union Church Staff in October, 2015.
Since graduating from Geneva College, Kellyn has used her talents to serve the Lord in many communities, including Downtown Pittsburgh and the North Side. She is excited to bring those talents and experiences to Union, and in building new relationships here.
Kellyn enjoys spending free time with her husband, Drew, daughter, Lorelei, and dog, Perla.
John M. Seybert, Ph.D., Director of Music Ministries
I have over fifteen years’ experience as a music director and educator. I served congregations in Indiana, Florida, and Pennsylvania. I received a Bachelor of Music degree from Grove City College, a Master of Music degree from Butler University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in music education from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. I am blessed to serve the congregation at Union Church. I have a passion for music ministry and outreach in our community. I enjoy working with people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life as we give our gifts and talents to pursue excellence for God’s glory!
I am Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Music Education Program at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA. I have published research in various international and national peer-reviewed journals. I am also an active performer, clinician, and soloist. Previous to my graduate studies, I taught music in nationally recognized elementary, middle, and high school music programs in Indianapolis, IN.
My wonderful wife, Misty, is a counselor and instructor for various undergraduate and graduate psychology programs. We have two children, Amelia and Claire, who are great blessings in our lives. We also have a golden retriever named Lucy. If I am not working, I enjoy writing, reading, running, and biking. I also enjoy professional baseball, football, ice hockey, and college basketball. If I had a choice of another career, I would be a writer or author. I also enjoy traveling throughout the country and in Europe.
Jessica The, Interim Children's Ministries Coordinator
Rebecca Safko, Treasurer
I grew up in Marietta, Ohio and graduated from Marietta College, where I met my husband. I received my MBA from West Virginia University. I am a Certified Public Accountant. I also work full time as the Executive Director of a multiple county workforce area in rural Southeastern Ohio. We work with the employer customer and the job seeker customers by upskilling the workforce and helping job seekers on their career pathway to self-sufficiency. My husband and I have three wonderful children who keep us very busy: Matthew, Jacinda and Suzanna. I am blessed to also have my mother stay with us occasionally. Working for Union brings great opportunities to make new friends and serve the Lord, thank you!
George Shumek, Financial Secretary
George is Union Church’s Financial Secretary. George handles the accounting for the weekly offering and prepares the tithe and offering tax statements.
George has been a member of Union Church for over 40 years and enjoys extending this service to the church.
George and wife Suzanne are residents of Robinson Township. They are retired and enjoy traveling and visiting their grandson in Florida.
Kelsey Liwosz, Childcare Center Director
Right out of high school I went on a mission trip where I served as a temporary teacher to underprivileged children. There, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in education. I graduated with an Associate’s degree in Early Education and went on to earn additional certifications in Child Development and Early Childhood Education. Additionally, I attended Liberty University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Education. Through my practicum program at Liberty, I had the opportunity to assist the Kindergarten teacher at Rhema Christian School. Through this experience, I learned more about classroom management, creating a positive learning environment, and implementing challenging yet engaging curriculum all while focusing on a quality Christian education. I am eager to serve you as the Center Director and I am blessed to be a part of your child’s education. I am dedicated to making UCCC the best childcare center in the area with the utmost quality of care. Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out!
Carl Reed, Sexton
Carl is serving in the Sexton capacity. The Sexton at Union Church is responsible for opening, preparing and closing the church for Worship Services.
Carl enjoys this service to the Union Church family as it provides much opportunity for fellowship with members of Christ’s family.
Sally Andrews, Pastoral Care Coordinator
Sally has lived in Robinson for almost 80 years. Growing up, she walked with her mother and sister to Sunday School and church. Since then, she has raised her daughter in Union Church and is now sharing the importance of her church home and family with her three grandchildren.
It is rumored that Sally can answer almost any question about the last 75 years of this church – or at least she knows where to go to find the answers.
This church on the hill has been a major part of her life and she prayerfully serves with the hope that others may find Union Church a vital part of their lives as well.
In her role as Pastoral Care Coordinator, Sally serves to reach out to the congregation and helps keep the pastor informed when members are in need of support, whether physical or spiritual.
Mimi Massucci, Wedding Coordinator
Sue Shumek, New Member Coordinator
Sue (Suzanne) is Union Church’s New Member Coordinator as well as serving as a Deacon.
Sue has been a member of Union Church for over 40 years and enjoys graciously receiving visitors and guests to worship at Union Church.
Sue and husband George are residents of Robinson Township. They are retired and enjoy traveling and visiting their grandson in Florida.