Rev. Susan Joseph Rack grew up as a Lutheran in Milwaukee, WI. She graduated from St. Olaf College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Religion (with a minor in dance) after which she spent an extra semester of study at Birzeit University in Palestine and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Susan served 3 summers as chaplain and curriculum writer for Johnsonburg Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center during her seminary years. She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity, and a Master of Theology in Old Testament. Susan is also a trained Domestic Violence Responder, an authorized Enneagram teacher and a Non-Violent Communication practitioner.
Susan was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament of the PCUSA in September of 2001. She has served as an Associate Pastor for Education in Wilmington DE, and the solo pastor of a small, impactful, out-of-the-box church in Martinsville, NJ for 17 years. Susan’s passion in ministry is curating spiritual growth experiences in both Christian and Interfaith worship and retreat settings. She has also been instrumental in building 2 outdoor labyrinths… to date. All this is in service of fostering a spiritual foundation for Jesus-followers to be equipped for sustained social justice action.
You will likely find Susan working remotely here and there around Trumansburg. You may also happen upon Susan and her Reverend husband Paul Rack hiking, canoeing or picnicking and reading in a quiet spot under a good shade tree. Susan and Paul reside in the Village of Trumansburg with their cat Julia (of Norwich).
Joe Pepper grew up in Lancaster County, PA where he studied piano from an early age and began as a church musician near the end of elementary school. While studying piano at Ithaca College, Joe played for the campus Protestant Community services and was choir director and accompanist at Newfield United Methodist Church.
After graduating from IC, Joe pursued his Master’s in piano in Kansas City, where he played for the Kansas City Ballet and KC Ballet School. In Vermont he taught piano and music theory at several universities and colleges, worked as an announcer and audio engineer for Vermont Public Radio, and was the pianist for the Burlington Unitarian Universalist Church.
In 2012 Joe returned to the Ithaca area to again work with Edward Swenson, the restorer of historic pianos who refurbished the Steinway in the sanctuary. Joe owns one of the row buildings in Interlaken where he restores pianos, teaches students, and makes recordings. He is excited to lead FPCU in music.
Kristin provides administrative services to the pastor, staff and church organizations. Operating her own online business and serving as a retail manager provided her with computer skills to maintain FPCU’s online presence and care for its administrative needs. She says she enjoys working with the church and its members!