The Very Rev. Emily Richards was called to serve as our sixth Rector in June of 2009. Emily is a native Kentuckian where she grew up as a member of Christ Church Cathedral in the Diocese of Lexington. She recalls fond memories of singing in the Cathedral Girls Choir and participating in youth activities in her parish church as well as in the Diocese. Emily felt the stirring of the Spirit during her young adult years as she discerned a call to ordained ministry. She graduated from The School of Theology at The University of the South (her undergraduate alma mater) with a Master of Divinity. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2003. Before being called to St. Peter’s, Emily served as vicar of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Morehead, KY and then Assistant Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgefield, CT. In the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Emily currently serves as the Dean of the Montgomery County Deanery and is a member of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral Chapter.
Emily has been blessed with a fruitful and varied ministry as a priest of the Church. At the heart of Emily’s ministry is her call to witness to Christ’s love for all people and to create communities where all are invited to experience the healing grace of Jesus Christ through the life of the Church.
Emily’s husband Daniel Richards and daughter Maggie bring great joy to her life and are very much a part of the St. Peter’s family. She feels very blessed to have them share this journey with her. When she’s not busy in her ministries as priest, wife and mother, Emily enjoys reading a good book on the beach, exploring new places, entertaining friends and family in her home and cheering on her Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.
Emily feels very privileged to serve alongside the faithful people of St. Peter’s as together they continue to be rooted in love, to grow through God’s grace and to reach out to all!
Rev. Patricia Rubenstein grew up in Ventnor NJ and is a proud, third-generation alumna of Atlantic City High School. Since graduating from the University of the State of New York she has had two previous careers, working first in medical technology and pharmaceutical research for 25 years, then as a special education learning support instructor for 11 years, first for Central Bucks School District and then the math department in the Centennial School District. After completing the Education for Ministry program at her home church, St. Paul’s Doylestown, she felt the call to the vocational diaconate and began the formation process which led to a Masters in Ministry and ordination in January 2014. Her personal ministry revolves around individuals with special needs, particularly with the use of certified emotional therapy dogs. With Brogan, a Glen of Imaal terrier, she calls on emotional support and autism support classrooms in the Central Bucks elementary schools and is part of the Courthouse Dogs program at the Bucks County Courthouse, offering companionship to children and youth at Dependency Court. She is also on call with the District Attorney’s office, should a young victim of crime need comforting. Pat has two grown sons, Michael and Joel, and lives in Doylestown with her husband Steve and the dogs, Brogan and Wren. She is very excited about joining St Peter’s as their deacon.
Click here to read an article written by Pat about her journey to become a deacon.
Minister of Music
Tim Brown was born and raised in Columbus, OH where he attended Capital University. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree, he moved to New Jersey to attend Westminster Choir College where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Music. Tim has served as a church organist and music director for over 25 years among various denominations in a variety of liturgical styles. He has a passion for more traditional forms of music and liturgy, but throughout his ministry, has encouraged flexibility, diversity and openness in exploring new worship experiences.
He has served as accompanist for The New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, VOICES Chorale and The Capital Singers of Trenton and can be heard on their recordings. As a chorister, he has sung with The Bucks County Motet Singers aka Cantus Novus, The Capital Singers of Trenton and Caritas Chamber Chorale. He currently accompanies the Raritan Valley Community College Chorale and also sings with the Cranford, NJ based Madrigal Singers. Active in musical theater, Tim has worked with many schools, universities and theater companies throughout the area as a pianist and musical director. He also maintains a private piano studio.
Tim and his partner Gustavo, a native of Panama, are very excited to have found a new church family at St. Peter’s! They are blessed to be able to worship here and to participate together in the church’s ministry!
Director of Faith Formation
Jessica Miller hails from Lancaster County, PA where she grew up attending the Lutheran Church. It was not until her senior year at college that she was ready to answer her call to ministry after being involved with youth groups and serving as a camp counselor in outdoor ministry for most of her life. She completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Psychology and then came to Philadelphia to attend the Lutheran Seminary in Mt. Airy where she earned a Masters of Divinity. Since coming to Philadelphia she has fallen in love with the rich urban life and the hustle and bustle of the city. St. Peter’s is the first official ministry position Jessica has held.
Jessica is very active and has a hard time sitting still. In addition to her work at St. Peter’s, she is a counselor at The Renfrew Center. She is an avid runner and enjoys rooting for the Phillies. Her free time is spent with friends and family and walking her dog, Penny. Jessica is grateful to the St. Peter’s community for welcoming her with open arms and trusting her to provide rich faith formation opportunities to members of all ages.
Coordinator of Children’s Ministry
Shannon Godwin was born in Lewistown, Pa. She graduated from Lock Haven University with a degree in Elementary Education in 1999. Shannon has taught Title I reading, was a Read to Succeed teacher as well as a Reading Specialist and first grade teacher. She married her college sweetheart, Mike, in 2002. Shannon and Mike have three children, Ethan, Zachary and Abigail. In addition to St. Peter’s Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, Shannon is a Pre-K teacher at All Hallows’ Episcopal Nursery School in Elkins Park.
Tim Valera was born and raised in Glenside. He has worked exclusively for ATD American Co. in the IT department for 30 years. He joined the St. Peter’s community as our caretaker in the summer of 2012.
As caretaker, Tim opens and closes all buildings, offers security on the property, and supports all parish, tenant and rental events. He also works with the property committee on special projects.