Staff Biographies

You can reach our staff via email at info@holyspirit-emmaus.org

Pastor Ric Elliott

Phone:  610-967-2220 Ext.111

Pastor Elliott is the Senior Pastor and serves as head of the church staff. In addition to preaching, worship, teaching and pastoral care responsibilities, Pastor Ric relates to numerous administrative ministries of the church in addition to the mission teams of church growth, worship, stewardship, finance, staff relations and the Congregation Council. His passion is to invite, welcome, and accept all people into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and to transform us. Pastor Ric received his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Thiel College, Greenville, PA; Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg cum laude, and Masters of Sacred Theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He was ordained June 10, 1979.  Since then he has served Trinity, Lansdale, PA; Luther Memorial, Blacksburg, VA; Christus Victor, Dumfries, VA; St. James, Wheeling, WV; New Hanover, Gilbertsville, PA and finally here in Emmaus. He is married to Jane Elliott, a Deacon, who also serves here at Holy Spirit. They have a daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

Pastor Tami Reichley

Phone:  610-967-2220 Ext. 112

Pastor Tami serves as Associate Pastor, called by Holy Spirit in December 2019 and ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament on February 16, 2020.  As Associate Pastor, Pastor Tami shares with the other pastors in the full pastoral ministry of the congregation (preaching, teaching, worship and pastoral care responsibilities); along with specific areas of ministry under Pastoral/Member Care and Outreach.  She relates and works with several ministry teams, including:  Stephen Ministry, Eucharistic Ministry, Evangelism, Church Growth, New Members, Global Missions, Local Service Mission Trips, and our Outreach benevolence ministries.

Pastor Tami received her Master of Divinity degree magna cum laude from United Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa in May 2019.  Her path toward ordained ministry is a ‘second-career’ calling, after having been an attorney practicing law for over 25 years.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Delaware prior to receiving her Juris Doctorate from Widener University Law School.  Pastor Tami views ministry as a blessed opportunity.  It is a gift to journey with others in faith and explore the many ways we are called to embrace God’s grace and actively live out Jesus’ love in the world.  When not busy with church activity, she cherishes family time with her two teenage children, physical activity and sports, and the beauty of nature being outdoors.

Sharon MacCabe

Phone: 610-967-2220 Ext. 109

Sharon MacCabe, our Director of Music, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music with a degree in Organ Performance, and a graduate of West Chester University with a degree in Harpsichord Performance.  Sharon studied conducting with Michael Korn. She has been an organist/choir director at many Lutheran Churches in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties – Christ Lutheran in Oreland, St. Paul’s in Olney, St. John’s in Hatboro, and most recently at St. James in Pottstown. Mrs. MacCabe also served as organist/choir director at the historic Keneseth Israel Synagugoe in Elkins Park. Before Sharon came to Holy Spirit, she served as head of the Music Department at the Kimberton Waldorf School. Throughout Mrs. MacCabe’s career she has sought to bring understanding of others through music. This is a mission that continues today in her ministry at The Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit.

Karin Kahler

Phone: 610-967-2220 Ext. 107

Karin serves as the Director of Faith Formation Ministries for Children. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Bloomsburg University and a Masters in Education from Kutztown University. Prior to coming to the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Karin taught kindergarten and first grade for twelve years. Her responsibilities at Holy Spirit involve the coordination of faith formation ministries for children from birth through grade 5, which includes such ministries as Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, baptismal ministries, GIFT (elementary fellowship), Holy Spirit Nursery School and the Will Wotring Resource Library. Karin is married and has two children.

Nikki Clark

Phone:  610-967-2220 Ext. 101

Nikki Clark came to Holy Spirit as Office Manager in April 2019 with a varied background in  administration. Nikki had served 13 years as Parish Administrator/Outreach Coordinator for St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and 4 years as Parish Administrator for the Episcopal Church of the Mediator, both in Allentown. Prior to that, she was the Executive Secretary for Treatment Trends, Inc., a local drug and alcohol agency serving people struggling with addictions. Nikki lives in Allentown and has one daughter.

Deacon Melanie Werley

Phone:  610-967-2220

Melanie joined the Holy Spirit staff in July 2021 and serves as the Director of Liturgy.  She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance and Music Education Certification, both from Mansfield State University.  She received her Master of Arts in Religion from The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling.  Melanie is an ELCA ordained Deacon and was rostered as a Minister of Word & Service in 1983.  She also holds certification as an End of Life Care Facilitator / Death Doula, and is blessed to be able to share these gifts with her friends and family.

Melanie is also the founder and director of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of Threshold Choir International, a group of singers from around the world who offers the gift of song to those at the threshold of life in hospice care, and their families.

Melanie and her husband, the Rev. Jimmy Lee Werley, live in Breinigsville.  They share a blended family of four children and five grandchildren.  In her free time, Melanie enjoys charity knitting and counted cross stitch crafts, and is involved in prison ministry at the State Correctional Institution for Women at Muncy.

Sherilyn Scheetz

Phone:  610-967-2220 Ext. 104

Sherilyn took over as our Director of Finance in 2017.  In that capacity she manages our day-today financial transactions and accounting, and provides financial analysis in support of the Congregation Council, staff members and mission teams.  Sherilyn was raised in  New London, PA.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Immaculata University with a degree in Business Administration.  Sherilyn worked as an accountant for ING in West Chester for six years before taking a leave to spend more time with her two children, Jocelyn and Kyden.  Now that they are of school age Sherilyn has returned to work.

She and her husband Justin are both members of the congregation.  Sherilyn has been a Vacation Bible School volunteer and a substitute nursery school teacher here at Holy Spirit.

Chris Carter

Phone:  610-967-2220 Ext. 105

Chris is retired from PPL and joined the staff as Property Manager in 2017.  As such he is responsible for the core maintenance and improvements for the church building and grounds.  He has been a member of Holy Spirit since 1995.  Over the years Chris has been an active member of our congregation, serving on various mission teams including Property, Finance, and Spirituality, as well as two terms on our Congregation Council.  He is also a volunteer coordinator for Project Help, our annual mission trip to Starks, Maine, working with a not-for-profit housing ministry.

Chris lives in Emmaus, just a couple of blocks from Church, with his wife Carolyn, and has three adult children (Kate, Andy and Ali) living in various fun cities to visit.  When not at church, Chris enjoys running, rail trail bike riding, skiing and train watching.

Austin Gross

Austin Gross serves as the Director of Children’s Music at LCHS.  While Austin began serving in a musical role at LCHS in August 2020, it felt a bit like a reprise, as some of his first public music-making as a youth was as part of the church worship band right up front at LCHS.  At church services around eastern Pennsylvania, he has played guitar, piano, organ, ukulele, and bass.  He holds a Pennsylvania teaching certificate in Music (PK-12), and has taught classes at multiple levels, including the college and university level, as well as the high school and middle school level.  Austin Gross earned a Bachelor of Music degree from West Chester University, as well as a Master of Arts degree and a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music.  

 

Dean Black

Dean Black joined the Holy Spirit staff as the Faith Community Nurse in 2022.  After working for 37 years in health care at various hospitals in PA and New Jersey, mostly at Easton Hospital, Grandview Hospital, and SLUHN, Dean retired in 2021.  Mainly working in critical care or surgical services areas of the hospitals, serving as a preceptor, charge nurse, and resource nurse.  Dean joined Holy Spirit in 2009 and since then joined and participated in the Global Mission Team and the Adult Formation Team.  Dean was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, currently lives in Allentown with his wife Linda.  Children Elizabeth and Nathan live in Drexel Hill, and San Diego respectively.  Dean’s hobbies include gardening, hiking, and bicycling.