About us

Who we are

We are a team of forward-thinking and adaptable individuals who are passionate about creating a welcoming and inclusive space for spiritual exploration and community development.

We are innovative problem-solvers who are willing to take bold and creative steps to reimagine the traditional concept of a church and its role in the community.

St. Barnabas parish in Kutztown, PA was formally closed at the Fall 2021 Diocesan Convention. In the five years prior to its closure, the parish suffered steady losses in the number of parishioners and just prior to the COVID closure, attendance at Sunday services had dwindled to 6-10 people in a given week. 

During the 2019-2020 year, the vestry set very specific targets for the recruitment of new parishioners. The untimely arrival of COVID in early 2020, resulted in the closure of all diocesan facilities in mid-March and prevented us from fully implementing our plans. 

In Spring 2021, the vestry was asked to submit a church reopening plan to the Diocese by the end of June. The vestry met to consider its options and came to the conclusion that reopening the parish was not feasible. Our numbers were too small and quite frankly, members did not believe we could continue to carry on as a traditional parish.

Instead of submitting a reopening plan, several members of the vestry developed a proposal for the closure of the parish and its “resurrection” or repurposing as a spiritual and community development center that would serve the greater Kutztown Community and under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem provide opportunities for practicing Episcopalians and the “unchurched” in our area to engage in spiritual inquiry and development as well as participate in community development-focused activities in a warm welcoming but less structured environment.

Our Team

Our group is made up of talented and dedicated individuals. They work tirelessly to support the center and the community.

Patricia Brown


Pat has been an active member of the Kutztown community since moving to the area with her family 35 years ago.

As a long-time member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Kutztown, she was deeply involved in parish life, serving on vestry in various capacities including Senior Warden. She has been active as a volunteer with multiple community organizations over the years and enjoys singing with the Kutztown Community Choir. A retired graphic designer, she is currently employed as office manager for an Allentown accounting firm.

“The greatest manifestation of the power of God comes when we work together and do justice together and love together and stand together.” 
– Yvette Flunder

Doreen M. Tobin, D. Ed.


Dr. Doreen M. Tobin is a retired higher education administrator who most recently served as Vice President for Student Affairs at East Stroudsburg University.

She remains active in the community, serving as co-director for the St. Barnabas Center; a member of KOFEE (Kutztown Organized for Equity in Education); member of the Warrior Food Pantry staff at St. Matthew’s in East Stroudsburg; member of the Monroe Carbon regional board as well as the agency’s Governing Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters NEPA; and adjunct faculty member at DeSales University. She embraces the St. Barnabas Center mission and goals to serve the residents of the area by providing opportunities for spiritual and community development.

Our approach

Our Vision
Our community welcomes people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to explore spirituality and personal growth in an inclusive environment.

Our vision is to create an all-inclusive, non-judgmental, and welcoming environment in which spiritual exploration, personal growth, and community development flourish through intergenerational social and interfaith interaction.

Our Mission
Our mission is to provide accessible and creative programs, services, and advocacy initiatives for community and spiritual development that empowers individuals of all ages and promotes social justice and well-being.

To offer a transformative approach to spiritual and/ or community development in a centrally located and accessible facility through creative programming, services, and advocacy initiatives. We strive to empower area residents of all ages to engage in activities that strengthen their relationship with “The Holy”, promote social justice and improve the health and well-being of the individual and our community.

St. Barnabas Center of Kutztown