The Reverend Dr. Vern Swett began as our Senior Pastor on September 1, 2020. Prior to serving in Sylvania, Pastor Vern faithfully served United Church of Christ congregations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida. Educated at Boston University, Harvard Divinity School, and Chicago Theology Seminary, Vern continues “to seek to always to be growing spiritually, intellectually and in all areas of ministry.”
Raised in Connecticut where his father pastored a congregational UCC church, Pastor Vern is the fourth-generation clergy person in his family. He is married to Rebecca who is an accomplished harpist and gourmet cook. Their son, Jordan, lives and works in New York City.
Pastor Vern is an avid reader and enjoys biking.
He shares, "I’m passionate about sharing God’s love. I believe that for individuals, for humanity and for the earth, sharing God’s love is the hope of the world - our only hope.”
Pastor to the Confirmands
Director of Congregational Life
Kristen Leverton joined the church staff in 2016 as the Director of Congregational Life. Kristen's responsibilities include outreach initiatives in the church and building community within the congregation. During this time of transition for our congregation, Kristen is also overseeing the work of Children's Ministries.
Kristen is a graduate of Ball State University, having majored in marketing and math. She served a faith-based nonprofit resourced development organization for 18 years prior to her work here. In addition to her responsibilities at Sylvania UCC, Kristen is an M.Div. student at Chicago Theological Seminary and a Member in Discernment through the NWOA, Heartland Conference, UCC. Kristen is the mother to a vibrant daughter who keeps her on her toes.
Director of Music / Organist
Sally Mossing began as the church's organist in the summer of 2000. As Director of Music, she coordinates the music programs and yearly budget. When not accompanying the choirs, she rehearses with soloists from the congregation as well as guest musicians. Planning and taking part in the Taize Service is something she looks forward to each month. She enjoys composing and hopes to do more of it in the future. She shares her musical talents with other area churches and organizations.
Sally is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and in 1983 received a Bachelors Degree in Organ Performance from Bowling Green State University.
Chancel Choir Director / Chancel Bell Choir Director / Praise Team Coach
Lori Bitz joined the staff at Sylvania United Church of Christ in August 2015 as Chancel Choir Director. In 2017, she accepted the positions of Chancel Bell Choir Director and Praise Team Coach. Lori has been a church musician for over 25 years, directing adult and children's choirs, handbell choirs, praise teams, and a trumpet choir.
Since the 1990s she has served as the Principal Trumpet for the Adrian Symphony Orchestra and Utility Trumpet for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. For over 20 years, she has served as Adjunct Music Faculty at the University of Findlay where she teaches Applied Brass Lessons. She is currently on staff at Siena Heights University. Lori earned a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University.
Joyce Beatty joined the church staff as Administrative Assistant in November, 2018. She has extensive experience working in office settings and over 17 years of customer service, administrative and marketing experience.
If you call the church office or stop by during the week, Joyce is the friendly voice and face who'll greet you.
Bruce joined the staff in January 2006 as Facilities Manager. He maintains the building and grounds of the church and takes great pride in doing so.
Bruce graduated from Ohio University.
Christy has served as the church's Financial Secretary since 2004, tracking all donations and expenses, sending out quarterly and end-of-year statements, and reporting budgetary information.
Christy has a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management from North Carolina State University.
Child Care Provider
Laura Mitchell joined the church staff as a child care provider in 2018. A long-time member of Sylvania UCC, Laura finds great joy in serving families with young children. You'll find Laura in the church nursery almost every Sunday morning, providing excellent care to our infants and toddlers and helping to lead Children's Church during the 10:40 a.m. worship service in September through May.
Child Care Provider
Julie Boyer has excellent experience in caring for children in church settings as well as being a professional nanny. Julie has over 15 years of customer service and organizational experience in the real estate and food industries. Julie joined the church staff in November, 2018. You'll find Julie in the church nursery almost every Sunday morning, providing excellent care to our infants and toddlers.