The Rev. Scott Summerville has served Asbury Church since June 2000. He has thirty years experience in parish ministry in urban, small town and suburban settings in the New York area. His passionate interests include: Mary Ellen — his wife and life partner for the past thirty years, his two adult children, Meredith and Thomas, the Adirondack Mountains, and the work of parish ministry.
As a pastor Scott has found the greatest satisfaction in working with and loving people of all ages and backgrounds, and in working to build the congregation as an inclusive and loving community. He particularly enjoys retreat work, the fostering of small groups for study and fellowship, preaching, and strengthening the church as a serving community in the world.
Scott is a trainer for both clergy and laity in issues relating to church conflict, congregational health, and professional boundaries and ethics for clergy. He has received training from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, the Center for Creative Church Leadership, the Alban Institute, the FaithTrust Institute, the Focusing Institute, and the JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation (United Methodist). He conducts seminars in the New York area on church conflict and consults with local congregations in the process of conflict transformation.
The Reverend Mary Ellen Summerville is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary. She has been an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church for the past 25 years. She has served as a pastor in Stamford, Connecticut and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. In 1986 she returned to school and received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. Since 1989 she has served the church on a voluntary basis while working full time in social work and chaplaincy. For fifteen years she was a social worker with Cancer Care Inc. She is currently the pastoral care coordinator and coordinator of volunteers for Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam, Inc. Mary Ellen brings to the Asbury congregation a great deal of experience and compassion. She has developed, trained and coordinated our Lay Ministry Team and the eucharistic ministry for the sick, homebound, and institutionalized members of the congregation. She also teaches Adult Education at the church.
Minister of Music Mary Thombs brings to Asbury Church a varied background in vocal, violin, piano, and organ performance as well as extensive experience in the teaching of violin, voice, and choral and string ensembles. She assumed the position of Minister of Music in April of 2006 after having served as Asbury’s Director of Children’s Music for eleven years. She has taught violin and voice for the Rivertowns Arts Council program in Hastings-on-Hudson since 1996 and has been a member of the voice faculty of The Dwight School’s Conservatory Program since 2006 (where she was formerly Director of Choral Studies). Previous faculty positions include the Elisabeth Morrow School (Englewood, New Jersey) and the JCC Thurnauer School of Music (Tenafly, NJ).
As a performer, Ms. Thombs is a former concertmaster of both the Sarah Lawrence Community Orchestra and the Sound Shore Orchestra in Mamaroneck has appeared with Musica Sacra in Carnegie Hall. She appears frequently in chamber settings and recitals as both a violinist and as a vocalist. Ms. Thombs received an AB in music from Bowdoin College, did graduate work in musicology at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and studied Suzuki pedagogy with some of New York’s most respected teachers.
Prior to her current work as a music educator and performer, Mary Thombs enjoyed a successful career as an arts administrator. She served as Administrator Director of the internationally-acclaimed Bowdoin Summer Music Festival from 1985-1996; Director of Development and Special Programs at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music for ten years; and Director of Development at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School in New York. She ran her own fundraising, publicity, and management services consulting firm for arts organizations from 1993-1999.