The Rev’d Dr. David Zwifka, Rector
The Rev’d Dr. David A. Zwifka is most passionate about the ministry of preaching. “Bringing the Word of God to the People of God is one of the most important things any pastor does. In the preaching ministry, I can touch just about every aspect of a person’s spiritual life. I have always taken seriously the admonition St. Paul gave to Timothy: ‘Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.’” For a sample of the preaching at St. Luke’s, click here.
Before beginning ministry with us in September 2015, Father Zwifka had been rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Lewistown, PA and St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Middletown. A native of Western New York, Father Zwifka studied at Houghton College (Houghton, NY), Christ the King Seminary (East Aurora, NY), and The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), where he received his doctorate degree in canon law. He was ordained deacon in 1980, a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in 1981 and was admitted to ministry in The Episcopal Church in 2006. Father Zwifka has been active in parish ministry, higher education, and diocesan administration. He also has experience as a consultant and executive for non-profit organizations. He often assists other parishes in clarifying their mission and planning for the future.
In addition to his responsibilities at St. Luke’s, Father Zwifka is currently an instructor and member of the Board of Directors for the Stevenson School for Ministry, which offers educational and formation opportunities for those seeking admission to ordained ministry or certification as one of several licensed lay ministries in The Episcopal Church. He is a charter member of The Society of Scholar Priests, an organization dedicated to reconnecting theology with parish life.
Father Zwifka resides in Harrisburg and is married to Kenneth J. Suter, an attorney that works for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Rev’d Mary Kisner, Assisting Priest for Children, Youth, and Young Adults
St. Luke’s pastoral plan, VISION 20/20, called the parish to “engage a specialist in youth and young adult ministry on a part-time basis.” In response to that call, the parish has been able to engage The Rev’d Mary Kisner, retired rector of Christ Church, Berwick, PA, for that work. Reverend Kisner is an experienced “story teller,” a form of ministry where imagination and story take center stage in the work of spiritual formation among children and youth.
In this position, Mother Kisner helps us to frame our ministry with youth as a sort of “resident bard” where both Scripture and the Church become “narratable” worlds into which our youth are invited to live. In addition to the theological power of imagination and story, such ministry draws upon literature and the arts and considers how these might equip the Church—and its youth—for telling and living the gospel of Jesus through worship and discipleship. She is certified in the ways of Godly Play, which is based in Montessori principles and uses a special curriculum to young disciples through early, middle, and late childhood and beyond.
Mother Kisner is a mother, grandmother, an avid reader and skilled with needle and thread. She has just restored one of St. Luke’s historic vestment sets that depicts the legend of the pelican as an image of the self-giving love of Christ. She resides with her husband, Francis Kisner, a teacher and amateur photographer, in Lebanon.