Getting to Know, Mary Hayes, Our New Pastor


Our new pastor, Mary Hayes, will officially begin her duties January 1, 2021.  Between now and then, she is completing the requirements for her Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary. This semester she is finishing online from Cincinnati due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mary is also doing part-time nannying work before she begins with us. She is taking the classes of Ethics and Theology of Bonhoeffer, Feminist Epistemologies, From Text to Sermon, and Introduction to Missional and Spiritual Formation this semester. Mary will complete her studies on December 14th. Additionally, her ordination service will take place at Heritage Presbyterian Church, Mary’s home church, sometime in December. Her installation at VPC will take place during January.


Mary grew up in West Chester and graduated from Lakota East High School.  She received her undergraduate degree from Miami University where she majored in Comparative Religion and minored in both Spanish Linguistics and Ceramics. While at Miami Mary was a Resident Assistant, which gave her experience in dealing with substance abuse, sexual assault, and mental health issues.


She has traveled extensively starting when she was 13 years old.  She has visited 40 of the 50 United States; backpacked and vacationed in Canada; spent time in London and Paris as part of the People-to-People Ambassador Program; had brief stops in Germany and the Netherlands; while at Miami, studied abroad in Oman and the United Emirates; studied abroad in Israel and Palestine with the Princeton Theological Seminary; went on a mission trip to Peru; and spent a spring break in San Miguel, Mexico. As you can see, Mary loves to travel.


During high school, she bowled and played soccer for Lakota East and while at Miami University, she was on their bowling team. She still plays soccer in pick up games and bowls for fun.


During her free time, Mary enjoys cooking, reading “for fun” books, playing with her cats Jasper and Carlisle, and loves anything competitve, especially board games.


During our check of her references, we learned that Mary is noted for her outgoing personality, empathy, initiative, and maturity.  Several of her references noted that she is mature beyond her years. She enjoys getting to know people of all ages on a personal basis, so don’t be surprised if she asks you to join her for coffee or lunch, or to meet with you at the church or your home.


Mary enjoys preaching and as you can see, she has a broad background of experiences to draw upon. She is looking forward to extending the outreach of the VPC to the youth and young people of the community.


The above information formed the basis for the PNC recommending that the Venice Presbyterian Church issue a call to Mary.  You will find her engaging too.