Rev. Holly R. Jackson

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The Reverend Holly R. Jackson (she/her) began her Pastorate at UCCSV in August 2016. Previously, she served for 11 years as the Minister of Christian Education at Hope UCC in Alexandria, VA. As someone who is passionate about children and families, Holly has also spent time as a Stay-at-Home Parent and a School Social Worker. Holly has a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, 2012, a Master of Social Work from Fordham University, 1997, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Relations from Michigan State University, 1995. Holly is also active in the wider United Church of Christ serving as the Assistant Moderator and then Moderator of the Potomac Association from 2019-2023. In addition she was honored to be a Fellow in the Resilience in Leadership Program at Chicago Theological Seminary from 2018-2020. 

Holly will tell you that she is a beloved messy child of God on a mission to make people believe in love, goodness, grace, redemption, and the inherent worth of all beings. In ministry she seeks to follow Jesus as he wades into the sea of humanity preaching peace and hope to the least and lost. She deeply believes that God is still speaking and active in this world and works to help create a church that reflects that reality. She sees spiritual disciplines and justice work as two halves of the whole of what works to propel us on our spiritual path.  She believes that humor and joy make life worthwhile, that being still and silent before God is hard but necessary, and that speaking truth to power is a holy endeavor.

Holly is married to her college sweetheart and has two college age children. They live in the Gaithersburg area with several pets and a whole lot of love. When not focusing on church or family you will often find her singing, crafting, hiking, reading, watching baseball, or playing board games.

Assistant Music Minister

George Benskin V

George Henry Benskin V (he/him) began attending the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley in 2007. Four years later, he played his first full service for the UCCSV on Christmas Day in 2011, and now does so more regularly as a confirmed member and as the Assistant Music Minister. As of 2019, he has attained an Associate of Arts degree in Music from Montgomery College, with a focus on Piano Performance, and began study at his current institution, George Mason University to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Music with a focus in Composition - his lifelong calling, as well as his frequent work teaching music theory, piano, and mentoring beginning composition students.

While available to substitute as pianist for various churches and parishes in the area since 2012, George has always felt called home to this church still today, and certainly from the first dedicated offertory special music it heard and accepted on that aforementioned 2011 Christmas Day - a well-timed arrangement of “You’re A Mean One, Mister Grinch” - a poignant repertoire choice during the passing of offering plates. Yet, however amusing the resulting anecdote, that choice spoke well to the UCCSV’s willingness to continue fostering his musical growth afterward for years to come, despite - or because of - his sense of humor that day.
George is always faithfully listening to the sermon, and to everything around him in the sanctuary. It isn’t only to attune to the energy in the room and adapt it to the liturgy happening in that moment, but it is also because he truly believes in the importance of not just hearing, but listening, whether it is the living Word, the joyful noise of a child in the Prayground next to his piano bench, or even the silence of grief. To him, all three of those are the same thing. 


Office and Communications Manager

Shelly Moore

Shelly (She/her) has been a member of the United Church of Christ since 2014, and joined Seneca Valley in 2015, after stepping away from the United Methodist Church. She is a graduate of Longwood University (2000) with a BA in history and political science, and a concentration in pre-law. Shelly then attended Old Dominion University, where she earned her teaching certificate in secondary history and social studies education. She taught middle school and high school in both rural and urban settings in southern Virginia. In 2009, she relocated from the Eastern Shore to enter Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2014 with a master’s in divinity. During her incubation at seminary, Shelly was a youth pastor and leader of Christian Education; followed by a two-year internship in chaplaincy at a local retirement community and then two years at Mary Washington Hospital, earning 2.5 clinical pastoral education units.

Shelly, with her diverse background in many fields of education, brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the position of Office and Communications Manager at UCCSV. And since she is also a member of the church, Shelly has a vested interest in the flourishing of our faith community in Germantown. Being Office and Communications Manager means Shelly supports the Pastor and the Church in a multiplicity of ways: managing communications (in our weekly newsletter, The Spirit News, on our website, print media, email, and social media); managing the office (bills, payroll, database, ordering supplies); as well as entertaining visitors and friends at the Church Office. Thankfully, Shelly is a curious learner with a willingness to engage in new experiences.

Shelly is passionate about social justice, inclusivity, hospitality, and caring for the earth. Her many interests include cooking, learning, music, camping, stargazing, traveling, socializing, watching Jeopardy, walking in nature, and being in the presence of water features. Shelly is married to Dave, and they have their beloved dog, Louie.