Mary Ka Kanahan, our lead pastor, brings gifts for ministry in the areas of leadership, mission and teaching. Her passion is for people to be transformed in relationship to God and one another through study and spiritual practices, particularly in small group community, as they follow Jesus Christ. She has served as Pastor for Spiritual Formation and Pastor for Community Life in other local UM congregations.

Mary Ka became the lead pastor of SJU in July 2013. She was born and raised in Baltimore County, MD. She attended the University of Maryland (BS, Recreation) and Wesley Theological Seminary (MDiv). She is an ordained elder in full connection with the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the UMC.



Ingrid Sampson, our Music Director, studied music education, voice, piano, and organ at Bucknell University. A part-time early childhood music teacher, Ingrid also teaches private piano and voice lessons. She lives in Ellicott City with her husband and two daughters.


Patricia Hammer holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from UMCP and Towson University. She taught Music for 31 years and is a classically-trained pianist who is adept at playing many musical styles. Patty lives in Columbia and has an adult son, daughter, and two granddaughters.


Yvonne Barner, SJU’s administrator, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in English. She comes to SJU with a variety of experiences in office and consulting work with Marriott, The Enterprise Foundation, and the Rouse Company.