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Our Staff

Christian A. Schmitt, Pastor

Pastor Christian grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and attended Hempfield High School. After high school, he went on to Middlebury College in Vermont where he studied German and Economics before earning a Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. While at Gordon-Conwell, he served on the pastoral staff of Forestdale Community Church in Malden, Massachusetts. In addition to Forestdale, Christian has worshipped and served with Hempfield United Methodist Church (Lancaster, PA), Memorial Baptist Church (Middlebury, VT), the Hub (Millersville, PA), the Mainz City Mission (Mainz, Germany), and Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church (Mechanicsburg, PA); he has also served other churches as short-term pulpit supply. This wide experience has given Christian a deep appreciation for a variety of streams of Christian thought.

His primary interest is the proclamation of God’s Word in all of its complex richness, and he hopes that his ministry would cause people to experience resurrection life and communion with God. As preacher, he loves to draw on lesser-known scriptures and take unfamiliar approaches to familiar texts, hoping always to draw the congregation (and himself!) beyond the bounds of familiarity and into the scandalous grace of the Christian gospel. His writing, both on popular and scholarly levels, has been featured in Preaching Today, Artos, and the Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society. He is considering pursuing a Ph.D. in preaching in order to strengthen his service to the church. As a minister, he is committed to the pursuit of moral excellence, to love, to integrity, to honesty, and to cooperation. Christian also enjoys time he can spend on a run, in his kitchen, with a good board game, thinking deeply about just about anything, or with his wife. He is eager to join Messiah Church of York at such a dynamic and exciting moment and looks forward to growing together and walking in obedience to whatever call God might have for the church.

Aria Rajnic Schmitt, Family Pastor

Pastor Aria is excited to take part in what God is doing at Messiah Church through her position serving our congregation’s families, children, and youth. She holds a double-major BA from Messiah University in Christian Congregational Ministry and Music & Worship. During her studies, she served as a mentor through the school’s women’s ministry and completed a pastoral internship with the children’s and worship ministries at Mechanicsburg BIC. She also explored a model for understanding children’s formation through worship in the local church and completed an honors project in pastoral theology entitled, “Words of Salt, Presence of Light: Leading the Church in Conversations with a Polarized, Post-Christian Culture.” Aria enjoys developing programming that integrates children into the liturgical life of the church and engages families together in the richness of Christian worship and prayer. In addition to growing up in a United Methodist Church, Aria has experiences in Evangelical Free, Congregational, Brethren in Christ, Roman Catholic, and Pentecostal traditions that shape her appreciation for Christ’s faithfulness through the global Church.

Aria also values her experience caring for children and youth in church, camp, and domestic contexts. In addition to ministering pastorally, Aria has a passion for serving single and newly married women, as well as women and children in need. For instance, she and her husband have pursued knowledge about trauma-responsive care for foster and adopted children. She also enjoys time with her husband, meals with friends and family, concert dance, singing, and playing the viola, guitar, and piano. Aria has a heart for encouraging and supporting parents and coming alongside families with Christ’s pastoral presence. She is honored to shepherd our families and youngest generations with hope for His redeeming work throughout their lives.

Nancy Lensch, Administrative Assistant

Nancy, originally from Baltimore, settled in York County during the early years of raising her children alongside her husband.  Prior to joining Messiah Church of York, Nancy worked to support middle and senior management at a major U.S. food producer, as well as sales and marketing leadership at security and transportation companies.  Throughout her career, Nancy held a deep belief in the power of faith. Her favorite scripture, Jeremiah 29:11, reminds her of God’s unwavering plans for each of us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Renee Montag, Assistant Treasurer

Born the youngest of nine children, I grew up in rural York County near Seven Valleys. I attended and graduated from Spring Grove Schools and pursued some college courses in business. Always interested in civics and social studies, I first worked in state and county government. September 1982 I truly married my best friend. About that same time, I became the high school principal’s secretary for 17 years at West York. My final employment was as secretary-treasurer for the Borough of Windsor for 11 years, where I enjoyed keeping the accounts for the Borough and the Borough Authority.

Retired, I’m an avid reader. Barry and I love to travel and spend time at our home. God has bestowed so many wonderful blessings on us and one we cherish dearly is being Godparents to our triplet great nephews and niece. We have treasured interacting with them and watching them grow to the young adults they are now. We are pleased to be a part of the Messiah Church family and I look forward to working with each of you in this position and in the many ways we all serve our Lord Jesus and each other.

Jan Frey, Organist & Music Ministry

Jan is a retired public school teacher, an avid gardener, and a kayaker.  She loves making music and spending time with her family and friends.  She is a brain injury rehabilitant who, in recovery, became a resource line representative for the Brian Injury Assoc. of Pa and gladly helps others who want support for neurological challenges and issues. 

Yiovani Gonzalez, Custodian

Yiovani, originally from Puerto Rico, is bilingual in Spanish and English. Along with her husband, Ivan Gonzalez, she has two sons and two grandchildren. As the custodian at the Messiah Church of York, she finds joy in serving both the Lord and others. During her free time, Yiovani delights in gardening, sewing, arts and crafts, and reading. Her favorite verse serves as a reminder that she can trust God unconditionally and in His unfailing love. Psalm 143:8, “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”