New conference staff

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The following persons were interviewed and chosen to come on staff part time at the Conference office beginning July 1, 2012. The selection committees were unanimous in their recommendations. I am excited about each of the candidates and their abilities to move the respective ministries forward in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

Christopher Kurien

Gordon HendricksonRev. Gordon Hendrickson is hired as Part Time Coordinator, Congregational Development.  Rev. Hendrickson is an ordained Elder of The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and has been in charge of short-term mission projects for ACTS6 and Bethany UMC in Wescosville, Dean of the EPA Conference Licensing School, Dean of the Wesley Seminary Phila. Area Extension School for the Course of Study, Director of the Meru, Kenya Licensing School for Pastors, and supervisor of Saving God’s Children Ministry.  He previously served as senior pastor of St. George’s UMC in Philadelphia, founding pastor of UMCR in Lionville, and senior pastor of Coventryville UMC in Pottstown.  Rev. Hendrickson has a BA in History from Albright College and MDiv from Duke Seminary.  He is married to Karen Nowak and they have one daughter, Heidi.


Esdras SedaRev. Esdras Seda is hired as Part Time Coordinator, Latino Ministry.  Rev. Seda has been a Local Pastor appointed to Holy Spirit Church in Philadelphia for six years.  He is also presently studying for a Masters in Divinity at Palmer Seminary.  As a Local Pastor, he guided two congregations to a merger, served as board member of Philadelphia Hispanic Clergy and of ESPERANZA, a community development organization that offers housing, job training, charter school, cyber school and college.  He has organized outreach events in Philadelphia such as Convey of Hope, family festivals, and personal evangelism in the difficult streets of Philadelphia.  He and his wife, Eva, have been married for twenty-four years.


Suzy KeenanMs. Suzy Keenan is hired as Part Time Coordinator, Communications.  Suzy has served as Communicator for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference for twelve years.  During this time, she created the newspaper NEWSpirit, led the redesign of the Conference website three times, introduced email communications, introduced the conference to Social Media through Picasa, Facebook, and Twitter, and recently had a mobile app created (for IPhone and Android phones and tablets) for the Conference by Ourchurchvideos.  She developed a crisis communications plan, served as spokesperson for the Conference during church trials, obtained grants for radio, TV, and newspaper advertising, and led trainings on welcoming ministry.  She received the Award of Excellence from the UM Association of Communicators in 2009 for one of her photographs, and has had multiple articles published in UM communications: Response Magazine, Interpreter Magazine, UM News Service, and the UM Reporter.  She has three children: Katie, 25; David, 22; and Sarah, 15.


Myra MaxwellMs. Myra Maxwell is hired as Part Time Coordinator, Urban Ministry.  Myra has served as Lay Supply Pastor of St. Luke’s Restoration Worship Center in Philadelphia since 2009.  During that time she has also been director of Victim Services for the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia.  Her skills include community outreach, case management, supportive counseling, training, victim advocacy, public speaking, grant writing, and community organization.  Myra has been a radio show host for WURD AM.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from Jameson Christian College and has taken classes at Lincoln University and University of Phoenix.  Myra is a board member of the PA Council of Churches and was recently elected National President of Church Women United.  She is married to Gary Maxwell, Sr., and they have five children: Jeanne,Taneha, Chalynn, Chrisstina and Gary, Jr.