Rev. Scott Summerville, Pastor
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.
Rev. Mary Ellen Summerville, Liturgist
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.
Mary Thombs, Minister of Music
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 newly created position of Minister of Music in April of 2006 after having served as Director of the Asbury Junior Choir for nearly eleven years. She has served on the music faculties of The Dwight School in New York City (Director of Choral Studies); the Elisabeth Morrow School (Englewood, New Jersey); the JCC Thurnauer School of Music (Tenafly, NJ); and for ten years taught violin, voice, and string ensembles for the Rivertowns Arts Council program in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, where her students occupied principal positions in the orchestra, chorus, chamber orchestra, and chamber singers and were frequent soloists and prizewinners in venues throughout Westchester County.
As a performer, Ms. Thombs is a former concertmaster of both the Sarah Lawrence Community Orchestra and the Sound Shore Orchestra in Mamaroneck as well as a former member of the first violin section of the Rockland Symphony. She has appeared with Musica Sacra in Carnegie Hall and in a variety of chamber ensembles on the Rivertowns Arts Council faculty recital series, both as a violinist and as a vocalist. Her musical interests cover a wide range of styles, from classical to jazz, contemporary, and folk.
She is deeply committed to the philosophy of music as a means of self-expression and worship, and has crafted the music programs at Asbury to reflect this. “There are wonderfully meaningful, powerful messages to be found in all musical styles, and I feel that presenting a diversity of repertoire is essential to making the worship experience relevant to more people. I also believe that the experience of participating in the worship service should be available to as many members of the congregation as possible, and that the choir can provide an ideal vehicle for that.”
Mary lives in New York City with her husband, George Robinson, and her sweetpea, Evan George, age 6.5. Aside from music and her family, she loves flower gardening, fashion, and films (especially sad French ones!).
Nehemiah Luckett, Associate Minister of Music
Nehemiah Luckett (Associate Minister of Music/Composer in Residence) began his career before his 13th birthday as the Director of Music/Pianist at Blessed Trinity United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi where his father, Rev. Paul Luckett was (and remains) the pastor. In 2000, he came to New York to study at Sarah Lawrence College. There he developed and shared his broad ranging musical talents as a church musician, composer, choral director and theater music director.
Nehemiah works with a number of musical groups at Asbury and composes music for liturgies and services. His Secular Mass was premiered here in 2004. He has also written a full length musical, Brick by Brick, based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe with his friend and collaborator, Ross Wade. Nehemiah was the Music Director/Composer for Private Ear Audio Theater from 2008-2010. Nehemiah currently serves as the Music Coordinator for The Gallery Players. He also enjoys working with The Congregation which started as The Stevie Wonder Cover Band and is now a 10+ piece explosion of Soul, Funk and Love.
Music Direction credits. Off-Off Broadway: Caroline, Or Change (Gallery Players, Brooklyn) Dial “N” for Negress (Asst. Music Director under Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Clurman Theater, NYC). Company, Man of No Importance, Bat Boy, Promenade, Urinetown and Cabaret at Sarah Lawrence College and Cyrano with the Asbury Summer Theater. Nehemiah recently had a chance to work with David Loud and John Kander on The Scottsboro Boys which will be opening on Broadway October, 2010.
Nehemiah is proud to have performed with the Children’s Choir of Mississippi and Youth Ensemble, APAC Music and Theater Programs, Murrah High School Choir, Murrah Madrigals, Mississippi Opera, Jacskon Choral Society, Sarah Lawrence Chamber Choir, Sarah Lawrence Gospel Choir, Res Miranda and Cygnus Ensemble. Nehemiah has been a featured soloist at the National Cathedral, Carnegie Hall and has performed all over the US and in Europe.
Nehemiah is on the Steering Committee for Methodists in New Directions (MIND) a group dedicated to fighting for full equality in the the United Methodist Church for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people. Nehemiah currently lives in Harlem and teaches private piano and voice lessons. For more information visit: http://www.nehemiahluckett.com (a work in progress)
Barbara Foley-Sette, Office Manager
Barbara Foley-Sette began working as the Asbury Church secretary in February 2001 after working in the medical field for over twenty years. As time passed, more responsibility was given to Barbara and in 2004 she became the office manager.
Barbara earned her degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Seton-Iona College in 1978 and previously worked at Westchester Cardiology as Medical Biller and managed an Internal Medicine practice in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY for seventeen years. Barbara and her husband Frank will be married for 19 years in October and have a 16 year old son, Patrick George., who will be a junior at Archbishop Stepinac in September. After recently undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer in 2007, Barbara remains cancer free and is most happy to be a part of Asbury Church.