Hello Pendleton Center and First UMC Niagara Falls!
Let me introduce myself to you and tell you some of the most important things about what is going to happen and what isn’t going to happen.
I did not grow up in a family of faith, but the Holy Spirit moved around and ultimately within me, and I came to know and understand that faith in Jesus Christ in college. The world opened wide, and God’s Holy Spirit just kept moving me - wind, fire, still small voices, and I answered the call to pastoral ministry. I am a person and a pastor who leads with a heart full of Jesus, dependence on God, and the movement of the Holy Spirit.
I am married to Rev. Matthew Stengel. (he grew up with Tom and Jackie, Tom was in our wedding) Matt is currently the pastor at the Greece United Methodist Church in Rochester. We’ve been married for almost 38 years, and we have three grown children - a son Marty, headed to nursing school in Rochester after working in the chef business, a daughter Katie, who is a school counselor in Arizona and marrying Jeff on October 4, and our youngest son Jordan who is married to Sarah and they will introduce us to our very first grandchild, a boy, in mid-June.
I am an evangelical pastor convinced that we have the best thing to share - our faith, through our words, our actions, and the ways we live our lives. I love preaching and worship - dreaming, creating, planning, and of course, experiencing how the Spirit moves. I love all kinds of worship music - all kinds and love finding praise music and hymns to reinforce the scriptural messages in worship. I love the stories of faith as shared in scripture and depend on those words to guide me and to guide us.
I am a team person - and I cannot wait to get to know you, learn your gifts, your stories, and how God is calling you to continue to serve in ministry, current callings, new callings, all of it. I can’t wait to meet your children and youth. Over the summer and into the fall, we are going to have many - many opportunities to get together and just learn about each other - at the parsonage, at your homes, in the community, back yards, etc.
What I will do - preach the gospel, lead biblically, love you where you are, support your grief in Tom’s retirement - you can miss him and say so, it’s ok. I will listen and learn and lead from there. I will not turn the church upside down or change things in these initial months, and when change comes - we will have done it together.
Truly with joy and the peace that really does pass all understanding, Cathy
Sherry Mahar has been a vital leader at Pendleton Center United Methodist Church since 1996. Over those years she has worked closely with Worship helping the Senior Pastor and Worship Team develop seasonal scriptural themes and coordinated music behind the scenes to be used in the weekly services.
Her beautiful voice is heard weekly in church as she makes a joyful noise to the Lord!
While her two children grew up in the church, Sherry heard God's call leading her to youth ministry. Through her leadership, the youth of PCUMC are very active in mission and ministry.
Pastor Sherry and her husband DJ Mahar and their two children are all actively involved in the various ministries at PCUMC.
I am humbled and honored to serve with people of the Pendleton Center and First Niagara Falls churches. Both congregations have rich histories of successful ministry, and it’s exciting to be a part of the next chapter in these stories. There is a great team of lay and clergy leaders in place, and I’m looking forward to seeing how God will use my gifts to enhance the good work that’s already happening. Having known Pastor Cathy for many years, I have no doubt that God will bless us through her leadership as we embrace the opportunities in front of us.
With Christ’s Love, Scott
Scott Johnson has served the United Methodist Church in numerous roles. He was elected Lay Leader of the former Western New York Annual Conference in 2004 and 2008. He was elected the first conference lay leader of the Upper New York Annual Conference in 2010 and served until 2016. Peers across the connection elected him to two terms as President of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders. He also served as a delegate to General Conference two times, leading the Upper New York delegation in 2012. Dr. Johnson has been blessed to be a member of two unique denomination-wide efforts: The Council of Bishop’s Call to Action Team and the Commission on a Way Forward. After receiving his license for pastoral ministry in 2017, he was appointed to serve the First United Methodist Church of Buffalo.
Scott is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He came to Buffalo from Penn State University in 1994 to join the faculty of the Criminal Justice Department at Buffalo State. His scholarly interests include criminological theory, racism in the criminal justice process, and criminal justice ethics. He served in academic administration for several years, returning to the faculty in 2017.
He and his wife Jennifer live in the city of Buffalo. Jennifer works as an administrative assistant at Medaille College. They have three daughters - Kristian (22) who works as a customer service representative, Angelyn (19) will be a student at the University of Buffalo this fall, and Michaela (15) who attends Mount Saint Mary’s Academy.
Mary has been a member of the church since 1995 and joined the church staff in 2002 when her daughter went to Kindergarten. Her responsibilities include software systems data maintenance (payroll, accounting, contributions & membership information), and fundraising coordination (Lent & fall fish fry dinners). Basically, Mary is the “go to” person for money, numbers and information. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Buffalo. She previously held Human Resources positions in Pittsburgh and New Jersey before returning to her roots in Western New York. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Louie, and they live in Pendleton with their daughter, Kate.
Gidget's spiritual journey and her love for teaching children led her to Pendleton Center Church through the grace of God.
A mother of four children, Gidget loves to serve God where ever He leads her and to love, nurture, teach and help others.
Her responsibilities include: Director of the Genesis Preschool and Mom's Morning Out programs, teaching the three year old Preschool Class, development of the Vacation Bible School Early Elementary program, and coordinator of outreach and missions.
Debbie and her granddaughter, Makayla, fell in love with Pendleton Center Church when Debbie became a staff member and Makalya began preschool in the fall of 2012!
After spending 20 years working for one of the denominational offices of The United Methodist Church, Debbie now has supervisory responsibility for the internal (newsletter, etc.) and external (website, mailings, radio) communications, facility management, and meal ministry (Sunday breakfast and Wednesday supper).
Debbie lives in Niagara Falls with her husband Paul, and three cats. Together they have two children, and one very spoiled granddaughter.
Ann loved staying home with her children when they were young. When her daughter was in kindergarten she volunteered in the classroom. She realized she loved working with children. Ann is grateful that God's path lead her to Genesis Preschool. She loves seeing all the smiles on the childrens' faces each & every day.
In Ann's spare time, she enjoys gardening, taking walks, cooking, and listening to music. She also has a great love for animals.