Pastor Joe and Amanda Murdy and family

Joseph Murdy, Pastor

Pastor Joseph Murdy (or PJ as he is affectionately called) began serving Ascension as his first call in 2012. He grew up on the Northside of Pittsburgh and is proud to have “crossed the river” in order to be with us. Pastor Joe graduated from Thiel College, a Lutheran liberal arts college here in Southwestern Pa. From there, he attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  Pastor Joe also serves as the Minister of Formation for the Order of Lutheran Franciscans (OLF), a Franciscan Community of the ELCA.  Prior to coming to Ascension, Pastor Joe served Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Naples, Florida as Vicar and also supplied at dozens of congregations throughout central Pennsylvania while in seminary. His passion for ministry lies in sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ by recognizing our mutual call to be people of mission and Disciples of Christ. Our call to serve begins with worship where we are equipped and sent. Pastor Joe enjoys taking care of his fish tank, gardening, reading and spending time with his family. He and his wife Amanda met while in the Thiel College Choir and now have three beautiful daughters – Zoey, McKenna and Harper – and one son, Jameson. If you would like to talk with PJ, he can be reached at

Johnathan Snatchko, Music Director


Johnathan Snatchko is a recent graduate of Duquesne University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance. He is an active Pianist and Collaborative Pianist in the greater Pittsburgh area and regularly performs with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and their Students. He has worked as church musician in many different Christian denominations and has experience working with choirs of various skill levels. Johnathan also is a piano instructor, teaching for Lewis Music Studio in South Fayette and additionally runs his own private studio from his home. To reach Johnathan, please email him at

Darlene Fejka, Office Administrator

E-mail Darlene Fejka, Office Administrator

Darlene began her adventure at Ascension Church as the Office Administrator in October 2020. She proudly shares her wealth of experience in everything she does, from tending to myriad clerical and secretarial duties, to assembling Ascension’s newsletters and bulletins, to creating seasonal displays “and more.” A native of Youngstown, Ohio and graduate of Duquesne University, Darlene majored in Communications and has worked in that field at a number of places, including the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, where since 1998 she also serves as director of the Archeparchy’s choir. She and her husband Greg cantor at their church, St. Gregory of Nazianzus in Upper St. Clair; Darlene also serves the church as music ministry director. Enjoying and embracing their marriage adventure for over 40 years, the Fejkas have three children, five grandchildren and nine furry ones to love. And, as she often tells Pastor Joe, “I love this job!”

Darlene can be reached at