By: Mary E. Speedy


Finding a playmate is rarely a problem when you grow up with six siblings. Neither is it a problem finding a book to escape with when you live in a Presbyterian manse with the church library next door. Add to that two parents who encourage both play and reading. How fortunate I have been to be called to a ministry that needs both, and to find so many others along the way with whom to work, learn and play.

My call to educational ministry came early when I learned I loved teaching Vacation Bible School. But it wasn’t until college that I answered the call and studied for my degree in Christian education at Waynesburg College. There I met Jim, my sweetheart, and married him. We started our family right away and are blessed with a daughter, Melissa (an engineer with Boeing) and a son, Ted (a major in the Army).

I entered the work force part-time in churches in upstate New York. With a family transfer to Philadelphia, I was led to Abington Presbyterian Church and later to Camp Hill Presbyterian in Central Pennsylvania. In 1991, I began working for the Synod of the Trinity in educational ministries with responsibilities in Carlisle and Donegal presbyteries. After a short stint working in Louisville, setting up the POINT program, I returned to Central Pennsylvania to work at Pine Street Presbyterian and then Monaghan Presbyterian, from which I retired in 2009.

With Debra Hough, I co-authored study guides for Children in the Sanctuary and Jazz Belongs in Church. I served on the APCE Eastern region cabinet and represented my region on the National Cabinet. Certified as a Christian Educator in 1998, I continue to serve as an advisor for certification. Both the Synod of the Trinity (2008 and 2009) and Carlisle Presbytery (2012) have elected me to serve as moderator and I currently serve on the Synod Permanent Judicial Commission.

Retirement allows Jim and me to fill our days with enough work to keep us busy and time to play, read and enjoy life. I look for time to play with our grandchildren, Natalie (age 14) and Ben (age 9), my knitting friends at the local yarn shop, and always with my special auction buddies. God is good!

Mary E. Speedy is a retired certified church educator living in Mechanicsburg, PA.