Session

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.

G_Diefenderfer.jpg

Gail Diefenderfer

Stewardship Committee

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. 

N_Diefenderfer.jpg

Norman Diefenderfer

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.

RJ.jpg

Rose Jewell Jordan

Worship Committee

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, 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."

SC.jpg

Cheryl Caplan

Personnel Committee

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 has served as a deacon and elder. She serves the church as Chair of the Personnel and Concert committees, Outreach committee member and as a lay reader. Cheryl spent seven years in management with The Limited and 30 years as a Sr. Client Executive with Verizon supporting state government. She is now enjoying retirement. She has been married to her husband Michael for 34 years, and together they have one son and one daughter. Cheryl’s mother Neva Jean Harden is also a long-time Faith member. Cheryl volunteers with Nutripacks, loves spending time with friends and family, cheering on her Pittsburgh sports teams, the outdoors, biking and the beach. 

EKB

Elise Kelly Berry

Nurture Committee

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 enjoys her time volunteering 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. 

LB.jpg

Lori Beamer

Congregational Life Committee

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! 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!!!”

GH.jpg

George Hope

Treasurer

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.

MikeLegg.JPG

Michael Legg

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.

DSCF2180_edited_edited.jpg

 Jackie Webb

Outreach Committee

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23 because it really speaks to Jackie for what God does for each and every one of us.

 

Jackie grew up in the Presbyterian Church.  When she and her husband, Bob, moved to the Adirondack Mountains in NY they joined the Methodist Church in their little town and remained active members until they moved to Harrisburg and became members of Faith Presbyterian Church several years ago. Jackie and Bob owned, managed and operated a resort (Hemlock Hall) on the shores of Blue Mountain Lake, NY in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Jackie has a daughter, son, daughter-in-law and 2 granddaughters. Besides all the Faith Immanuel activities Jackie is involved in, she enjoys working on genealogy for her family and her late husband’s. She enjoys knitting and works on projects including prayer shawls for people who need prayers and to remind them God is with them, and hats, mittens and scarves that are provided to Downtown Daily Bread, Bethesda Mission or Hannah's Pantry.

DSCF2180_edited_edited.jpg

Carrie Barnes

Mission Committee

Carrie’s favorite Bible verse at the present time is from Revelation 21:3-4. ”Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.”  These verses give her hope as to what is to come and are from the section in Revelation on “The New Jerusalem”.

 

Carrie joined Faith Immanuel in October 2019. She became an Elder in 2022 and is chair of the Mission Committee. Carrie graduated from Robert Morris College in the Pittsburgh area.  After 10 years at the Upper St. Clair High School as a secretary in the guidance office, she moved to the Harrisburg area and worked for Kelly Services for 3 years until accepting her dream job at the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Secretary to the Board. She retired from PHFA in December 2019 after 41-1/2 years. She is a certified member, along with her dog Rosie, as a pet therapy team with Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services (KPETS). She finds it is such a wonderful feeling visiting with people who need to have a bit of love and peace in their lives. It is one of the most rewarding things she has done since her retirement. Carrie thoroughly enjoys working and gardening in her yard, getting involved in Church activities and spending time with her Church family. She has been married to her husband Lee for 41 years. They currently have 3 Labrador Retrievers and have had 3 Labs most of their married life – “their kids”.

DSCF2180_edited_edited.jpg

Susan Anthony

Nominating Committee

Favorite Bible Verse: Ecclesiastes 3: Verses 1-8.

 

Susan L. Anthony grew up at Progress-Immanuel Presbyterian Church. She attended Paxton Presbyterian Church and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament as an adult and joined Faith Immanuel Presbyterian Church to honor her parents, Anita and Lee, now deceased.

 

Susan was a high school English teacher, college professor, member of senior management and assistant city editor at The Patriot-News/PennLive and communications director for Susquehanna Township School District. She serves on Dauphin County Library System, Susquehanna Art Museum and HANNA Foundation boards. She helped found HANNA's Pantry and coordinates HANNA Packs.

 

She's a member of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Public Relations Society, the Foundation for Enhancing Communities Women's Fund and at church, she is a member of the worship and nurture committees. She resides in Midtown Harrisburg with a polydactyl cat whose name is Pearl S. Buck.