We are delighted to welcome Rev. Lynn Horan as an interim pastor serving the St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown starting August 1st. We wanted to take a moment to connect and learn a little more about her.

Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up, any siblings, your family, etc?

I was born and raised in Guilderland and attended Guilderland High School. During summers, I remember going to Heldeberg Workshop summer camps, taking horseback riding lessons at the Dutch Manor and seeing music concerts at Tawasentha Park.  Guilderland was such a wonderful place to grow up and my parents still live in the area, along with my brother Carl who owns his own law practice on Western Avenue. My parents, Bill and Charlotte Hasselbarth, are still active members of my home church, Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church, where I was baptized and confirmed.

Share with us a little about your hobbies?

One of my greatest passions is dance. I began studying ballet with the Guilderland Ballet at the age of three and continued through high school, where I was introduced to modern dance through the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (a local Albany company). I continued to explore modern dance at the University of Michigan where I majored in political science and women’s studies.

After college I returned to the Albany area and worked for the NYS Senate and performed with the Maude Baum and Company Dance Theater. In 2008, while serving as a Young Adult Volunteer in Peru, I developed a dance therapy program for survivors of sexual abuse. I’ve now expanded my love of dance to include liturgical and worship dance, involving people of all ages and abilities in moving their bodies in worship.

I also love music and picked up the guitar in my mid-twenties. I tinker around with the ukulele, which my husband Vince gave me for Christmas a few years ago. And I am and arts and crafts enthusiast, from hand-made cards to pressed flower designs, curtains and pillows, whatever I can get my hands on!

When were you last associated with the Albany Presbytery?

My last formal connection with Albany Presbytery was on August 10th, 2014, when I was ordained as a Teaching Elder at my home church Hamilton Union in Guilderland. I had been under care of the Albany Presbytery during my studies at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, and prior to that I was a member and ruling elder at Hamilton Union.

What have you been doing while you were away?

Following my ordination in 2014, my husband and I moved to Wilmington, DE where I began my first call as the solo pastor of Concord Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. During the three years I served at Concord, I explored all areas of parish ministry, from pastoral care, worship leadership, staff development and also leading creative chapel services for the church’s preschool. I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced my first call in ministry in such an enriching environment and with a wonderfully caring congregation.

What brought you back to Albany Presbytery?

As many people have shared with me, becoming a parent changes everything. And Vince and I found this to be very true, in a good way!  On March 29th, 2016 Vince and I welcomed our daughter Margot into the world. Fortunately, we had many opportunities to come home to Albany during her first year, splitting our time between our families in Guilderland and Ballston Spa. But we soon realized that we wanted to be closer to family and began exploring work opportunities in upstate NY. In early spring Vince was offered a position as the Lead Audio Visual Technician at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Stockbridge, MA and soon afterward I was called to serve as the interim pastor at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown.

What are you looking forward to now that you are back in Capital Region?

Vince and I are thrilled to be back near family, but we’re also very excited to be starting this next chapter in a new place, Columbia County. We both feel very drawn to the rural landscape, the intentional living and community involvement, meaningful arts and culture, as well as fascinating local history. Living in the manse next door to St. Peter’s, Margot and I take a walk each morning in the beautifully cared for church cemetery and it is quite moving to be surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses. And to see new life with the renovation of the old Methodist Church across the street which will become the new Town Hall for Austerlitz and Spencertown. And oh, did I mention the festivals! It’s a great time of year to be back home in upstate NY!

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