LOWER MAKEFIELD >> On a beautiful, sunny, Sunday, June 7, after the 11 a.m. online worship service and a quick lunch, members of the congregation at Yardley United Methodist Church at Scammell’s Corner in Lower Makefield, lined up in their cars in the church’s parking lot to say their “in-person” good-byes to their pastor of the past five years, The Reverend Cyndi Skripak, and husband Dave Breen.
Seated on the front lawn of the church parsonage, amid flowers, flamingos, and lawn signs, bearing messages of affection and appreciation, Pastor Cyndi and Dave received each car of members as it passed and paused for an exchange of farewells and words of appreciation from their rolled-down car windows and the safety of distance.
After 29 years in local pastoral ministry, Pastor Cyndi retires on June 30 to explore her interests and new opportunities in other areas of Christian ministry.
During her five years in the Yardley area, Pastor Cyndi’s gifts of ministry have enriched the life of her congregation and the local community. She has participated fully in all events and activities at YUMC; teaching children, youth, and adults in small group settings; joining mission trips; playing in the handbell choir; and participating on Trustee “Work Days” to help maintain the church building and grounds.
At her home in the church’s parsonage, her love of gardening transformed the grounds with lovely flower gardens and new shrubbery plantings. Her passions for ministry included planning creative worship experiences for all ages and children’s sermons that entertained and taught Christian truths to children and adults alike. And, she demonstrated her passion for peace, social justice and inclusiveness by her participation in events in the local community that addressed those issues.
Husband Dave Breen also took part in congregational life at YUMC; he sang with the choir and attended the church’s events, when his work as professor and researcher at Drexel University permitted.
At the final online worship service together on June 7, Pastor Cyndi’s parting words to the congregation were: “What’s next, for all of us? Jesus told us where to go and what to do… and promised us, ‘I am with you always’.”
The congregation at Yardley UMC is most grateful to Pastor Cyndi for her gifts of leadership, ministry and witness … to us and to the local community over these past five years. We wish her “Godspeed” as she discerns for herself “where to go and what to do” in her new community.
On July 1, The Reverend Barbara Seekford begins her appointment as Senior Pastor at Yardley United Methodist Church. She will conduct her first worship service at YUMC, online, on July 5. She comes to Yardley from a 10-year pastorate Chalfont United Methodist Church, Chalfont.
Pastor Barb has been a United Methodist pastor for fifteen years. She graduated from Ursinus College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and from Eastern Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. An ordained Elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, she has served as pastor of both Bustleton and Chalfont United Methodist Churches.
As a clergy member of the Conference, she has served on the District Committee of Ministry as well as been both a candidacy and a clergy mentor. She currently serves on the Conference’s Congregational Transformation Team.
Pastor Barb has received training and a certificate in coaching. She states in her bio, “This has been beneficial in my role as pastor as I am able to utilize these skills to help both individuals and churches discern where God is calling them and help them to feel equipped for the journey ahead.”
Pastor Barb is originally from Boyertown. She and husband, Andy, have two grown children, Kevin and Stacy, one grandchild, Ellie, and are anticipating the arrival of a second grandchild. Stacy is hoping to be ordained as a United Methodist pastor in the Tennessee Conference this month.
In her free time, Pastor Barb likes to read, go kayaking, ride a motorcycle, and spend time with her family.
In her bio, Pastor Barb states, “My ministry is guided by my personal mission statement, which is to imagine, inspire, and ignite lives of authenticity and integrity. I am inspired to lead a church that is living into authentic community where people can experience the all-embracing love of God and neighbor. I am excited about the possibility of serving as your next Pastor, and walking this next part of the journey together!”
During her introduction to the members of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee by District Superintendent, the Rev. Tracy Bass, Pastor Barb asked the committee two pivotal questions: the first, “What is YUMC known for in this community?” And, the second, “Where would this congregation like to be in 3-5 years?”
Yardley United Methodist Church welcomes Pastor Barbara Seekford as its new Senior Pastor and look forward to experiencing her leadership as it continues its journey, as individuals and as a congregation, to be authentic witnesses of God’s Word, to each other, to the local community, and to the world.