The Session is the body of ruling elders, moderated by the pastor, who guide Faith Immanuel’s spiritual life and govern the church. At Faith Immanuel, the Session has nine ruling elders, serving terms of three years. We are so grateful for the dynamic team of leaders who guide our church’s vision and mission.
Congregational Life Committee
Favorite Bible Verse(s): Philippians 4:13 “I Can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Shirley was a long-time member of Progress Immanuel Church. She retired from Central Dauphin School District in June of 1999 after teaching elementary school there for 31 years. Since retirement she has worked part time for Weight Watchers and volunteered for many organizations. She enjoys every minute of being a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and she is someone who likes to keep busy. She enjoys volunteering, bowling, gardening, walking her dog, and travelling whenever she has the opportunity. She tries to exercise and keep healthy because she has a long bucket list of things to complete.
Favorite Bible Verse: The Book of Proverbs “…for learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight…”
Gail is a life-long Presbyterian. She grew up in Kingston Presbyterian Church where she sang in choirs and was an active member of the Women’s Association. She was installed as a Deacon, then an Elder while a member of Progress-Immanuel church. She also served as Clerk of Session, Stewardship Committee Chair, and Trustee of the S. K. Zarfoss Memorial Book Fund for several years. When she moved to Harrisburg area, Gail worked part-time at Stretch & Sew. Then she became a teller at Dauphin Deposit Bank until a robbery took place, then joined Killian and Gephart law firm, and retired in 1990. After retiring, she worked for Progress-Immanuel Church as an Administrative Assistant and converted the manual bookkeeping system to computer. Gail is married to Norm Diefenderfer and they are the parents of three children. She enjoys being with their children, grandchildren, and their families. She and Norm have seven great-grandchildren. Her hobbies are sewing, machine embroidery, making greeting cards, and square dancing.
Clerk of Session
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 118.14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
Norm is a life-long Presbyterian. He grew up in Ashley Presbyterian where he sang in choirs. He was installed as a Deacon in the Kingston, PA, church. Then he served as Elder, Clerk of Session for over 20 terms, Music and Worship Committee Chair, and choir member at Progress-Immanuel Presbyterian Church,.
Norm and his wife Gail moved to Harrisburg in 1971 from Kingston, where they were married and lived for 10 years. They moved here while he was working for Bell of Pennsylvania / Bell Atlantic and retired in 1991.
Retirement lasted about 5 years when he began to drive a school van for 3 years taking special needs students in the Intermediate Unit to school. Then he began working for Holiday Retirement in a retirement community where he drives a bus and takes residents shopping, banking, and to doctor appointments.
Norm and Gail have had three children. Their daughter, Deb, lives in Maryland where she teaches at a Christian school, and their son, Allen, lives in Pine Grove, PA, when he is not driving a tractor trailer around the country. Mike was a forecaster for the National Weather Service and lived in California when he passed away in 1997.
Norm and his wife enjoy square dancing, an occasional camping trip with family, hiking, and playing cards with family and friends.
Rose Jewell Jordan
Favorite Bible Verse: Luke 12:48 "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Rose Jewell-Jordan is a fourth generation Presbyterian from Indianapolis who has lived in many places. She was ordained as an elder when she lived in New Jersey and became a member of Faith Church in 1998 when her husband’s job moved the family to Harrisburg. Rose also serves Faith Immanuel as the editor of video worship services, administrator of the Facebook page, lay leader and member of the bell choir. She and her husband, Deacon Wendell Jordan, have four adult children who grew up at Faith Church. She is also a proud grandmother of one! Rose graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, NC with a BA in Psychology and she received a MSW from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. She was a television producer in Pittsburgh and in Illinois before starting her family. She is recently retired from a school-based mentoring program she founded and directed in the Susquehanna Township school district. Rose’s hobbies include studying the science of soap making and genealogy."
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Cheryl joined Faith Church in 1999 and served as a deacon and elder. She is an elder and serves the church as a member of the Personnel and Outreach Committees and as a lay reader. Cheryl spent seven years in management with The Limited and 30 years as a Sr. Client Manager with Verizon supporting state government. She is now enjoying retirement. She has been married to her husband Michael for 33 years, and together they have one son and one daughter. Cheryl’s mother Neva Jean Harden is also a long-time church member. Cheryl volunteers with Nutripacks, loves spending time with her friends and family, cheering on her Pittsburgh sports teams, and sitting on the beach.
Elise Kelly Berry
1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Elise joined Faith Presbyterian Church in 1994. Since that time she has served as a Middle School Sunday School teacher, deacon, and as an elder who previously served on Worship, Personnel, and Nominating committees. She eagerly awaits returning to service at Downtown Daily Bread. She retired from Susquehanna Township School District in 2010 after 35 years of teaching the gifted and mathematics at the middle school level. Active in the Susquehanna Township Education Association (NEA), Elise was the chief negotiator for eight teachers’ union contracts. She is married to Robert Berry, and she has three adult children and three grandchildren. A long-time member of The Presbyterian Page Turners book club, Elise is an active reader who also enjoys outdoor activities including swimming, hiking, biking, and kayaking.
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Lori joined Faith Immanuel in 2018. She is currently employed as a senior Economic Development Analyst with the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. Prior to accepting this position in 2005, her career centered around military housing development and rehabilitation through her work as a field operations manager for a national firm, a job which allowed her to live at numerous US Military installations in Rhode Island, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Missouri. She also co-owned and operated her own company which specialized in military housing rehabilitee at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. She continued her work in real estate development, rehabilitation, and finance through her role as one of the first employees of Harrisburg University and part of the team that secured the finance package and administered the rehabilitation of a vacant property in downtown Harrisburg into the current location of the Sci-Tech Campus of Harrisburg High School. Lori writes that her family is her greatest joy! She has three grown children, two grandchildren, a brother living in Lebanon, and she lives with her mom, church member Joan Hoffman—two “Golden Girls” enjoying life! In addition to chairing the Mission Committee, she also sits on the Congregational Life Committee. She volunteers extensively serving as the Chairperson of HANNA’s Pantry Executive Committee, Trustee of the Hanna Education Foundation, Member DCED Employee Association, Co-Chair of the Gettysburg Travel Reunion Committee. Her other great interests are American Civil War studies, reading, traveling, gardening, crochet, cross stitch, and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball! “Go Redbirds!!!”
Favorite Bible Verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
George joined Faith Church in 2008. He married his wife, Susan Hunter, here in 2009. He has served as an elder for six years and is now serving as Treasurer. He retired from Hershey Foods as a Project Engineer/Manager in 2001 after 21 yrs of service. His family includes two children, their spouses, and five grandchildren. He loves to travel and is a member of the VFW and Commander of Dauphin County Veterans Honor Guard.
Building and Property Committee
Building and Property Committee
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…”
Mike began his relationship with Progress Immanuel Presbyterian Church in 1965 as a boy scout. After his marriage to Barbara Arnold, a Presbyterian member, he joined the church in 1975 which he has served as deacon, elder, Bell Choir member, and lay reader. He is retired from Phillips Office Solutions. He and his wife are the proud grandparents of twin baby girls, and together they enjoy skiing, golfing, and traveling domestically and internationally.