Staff & Leadership
Dave Stong, Leadership Team Chairman
Kim Merkert, Vice Chairwoman
Jonathon Bell, Treasurer
Bev Patton, Secretary
Bill Baker, Team Member
Tom Bell, Team Member
Judith deChamplain, Team Member
Pastor Thomas W. Caruso, Interim Pastor
Our interim minister, The Rev. Thomas W. Caruso, was called in November 2018 to help us discern where God is calling us, who God wants us to be and what type of leadership and structure will best let us proclaim God’s mission and ministry of love, service, and hospitality.
Pastor Tom comes to Church of the Redeemer after serving Grace UCC/York and Elias UCC Newmanstown. He previously led the ministeriums of the York and Lancaster associations. He hails from New England and was ordained at The Church of the Redeemer/UCC in New Haven, CT.
He lives in uptown Harrisburg and is a member of Colonial Park/UCC and Metropolitan Community Church, both in Harrisburg. His hobbies include classical music, theater, films, and discussion groups. Pastor Tom can be contacted at email@example.com
Jorja Barton, Office Administrator
Jorja re-joined the Redeemer Team as our Office Administrator in February 2019. Ironically, she held this very same position with us 30 years ago when she stepped back into the working world from full time mom to full time employment. Over those thirty years, Jorja focused her passion for serving her community by working for non-profit human service organizations including Keystone Service Systems and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. She retired from the Food Bank in 2017 after serving more than 19 years as the Director of Agency Services and Programs, managing a network of more than 1,000 non-profit food distribution partners throughout 27 counties in central PA. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of multiple food distribution and nutrition programs targeting service to at risk youth, seniors, and retired or active members of our military. For this work, Jorja received awards from the Penn State Extension, the United Way of Central PA, the YWCA of Harrisburg, and Partnerships for Better Health for her dedication of service to individuals in need.
Jeannette Juhala, Organist
Jeannette is our wonderful Organist. A native of South Dakota, Jeannette lives in Hershey. She has two children - Eric and Heather, and 2 granddaughters. Jeannette is employed by Giant Foods.
She is also involved in the liturgical arts ministry of the church and enjoys spending time with her four dogs.
Dr. Michael Wojdylak, Choir Director
Dr. Michael Wojdylak leads a double life both as a dentist in his own private practice and as a musician who composes, performs and teaches at Lebanon Valley College as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music. He directs the College Choir at Lebanon Valley College and is the music director for Voices of Palmyra, a forty-voice community choir that rehearses and offers several concerts annually.
Dr. Wojdylak earned his B.S. degree at the Pennsylvania State University, 1977; M.AGR., 1983; D.D.S.,University of Maryland, 1987; B.A., Lebanon Valley College, 1997; and M.M., Marywood University, 2003.
Michael has created compositions for performance at Church of the Redeemer as well as various churches across the country. He is an accomplished pianist, organist, director, composer and vocalist.
In his spare time, Dr. Wojdylak enjoys the outdoors, especially gardening and taking care of his menagerie of pets. He is always looking for musicians to write for and people to audition for his choirs.