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Rick Summy Called to Serve as Senior Pastor

Posted: July 18, 2016

We are very excited and pleased to announce the Reverend Richard (Rick) Summy has been called to serve as Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Following a recommendation from the Call Committee, and approval from Church Council, the congregation was invited to approve this call by vote on Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm. The Call Committee outlined the process, shared a video greeting from Pastor Rick (see below), and took questions. The official minutes will reflect this discussion in detail and will be published on our website ( once they are completed by our Council Secretary.

With 223 people in attendance, the vote in favor of calling Pastor Rick was 98% of those present. There were 218 yes votes, 4 no votes, and 1 vote to abstain. The call to serve as Senior Pastor has been extended to Pastor Rick, and he has verbally accepted. A formal Letter of Call will now be issued.

Pastor Rick’s official start date is September 15, 2016. You can look forward to meeting him at our Fall Block Party on Saturday, September 17! He will be installed the weekend of September 24 & 25 at all services. The Reverend Louise N. Johnson, President of Wartburg Theological Seminary will preside.

Thank you for the care and support you have shown your Call Committee, Pastors, and staff leaders during this interim period. We are excited to move forward in our ministry as together, we experience the Welcome, Transformation, and Sending of Jesus Christ!

Candidate Summary

Reverend Richard (Rick) Summy is currently serving as the senior pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA. He graduated from Wittenberg University and from The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Prior to serving at Atonement, Pastor Rick served at St. Luke’s, Freeland and St. Michael’s, Sellersville. He was also the Region 7 Coordinator and deployed Staff (Synodical Relations and Division for Ministry) for the ELCA. In addition, Rick was the Director of Admissions at The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

His churchwide experience includes service on the First Call Theological Education Advisory Committee and as a voting member to the 2003 Churchwide Assembly. During the 1990s he was active in leadership of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Academy of Preachers. He has led workshops on vocation and Mutual Ministry in a variety of settings.

Pastor Rick has published materials to include sermons, sermon reviews, devotional materials and articles. He was co-author of the Augsburg Fortress Senior High Outdoor Ministry Curriculum for 2007 and of Connect: Calling Faithful Leaders for a Changing World, a successful $3,000,000 grant request on behalf of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries. He wrote a chapter (“Mutual Ministry”) in the book Pastor and People: Making Mutual Ministry Work which was published by Augsburg Fortress in 2003.

Pastor Rick Summy is married to Christine Summy, who is a Spiritual Counselor at the Caron Foundation. They have two daughters, Ashley and Haley. He enjoys golf, racquetball, and is an avid sports fan. Together they share a passion for ministry which the SOTV Call Committee has been able to learn more about. This includes a genuine passion for care ministry, encouraging people to respond to God’s gifts with action and service, recovery ministry, and connecting people together in community.


Call Committee Process and Summary

Your SOTV Call Committee had the opportunity to learn about Pastor Rick’s call to ministry, his balance of “head and heart” to build relationships, leadership style, and vision for ministry. Pastor Rick is a collaborative team leader who is not afraid to make decisions with a servant heart. His passion for ministry, his desire to care for people and facilitate and develop relationships shows through in the work he has done in his previous and current calls, as well as, his discussions with the Call Committee.

Your pastors, Council leaders, and staff have also had the opportunity to meet Rick Summy and have additional conversation. The Call Committee evaluated feedback from these processes including a staff survey. Some of the observations at this time would include words such as (in no particular order): “Leader, Balanced, Relational, Confident, Caring, Good Listener”, etc.

The Call Committee had the opportunity to hear Rick preach a sermon prepared specifically for the Call Committee. In addition, the Call Committee reviewed other sermons available to them.

Based upon the interviews, discussions held, feedback and referrals received, and sermons heard and read, it is the recommendation of the Call Committee as approved by Church Council and supported by pastoral leadership, that Reverend Richard (Rick) Summy be called to serve as Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Call Committee Members

Cheryl Seely, Co-chair
Nikki Zeches, Co-chair
Eric Bartosh
Bruce Feld
Jenny Harrits
Jennifer Maxwell
Mike Schaeffer