Staff Contact Information and Bios
Whether in worship, in conversation with others or outdoors in the midst of creation, I see the face of God all around me. My childhood instruction as a Roman Catholic gives my ministry an ecumenical stance and openness to others. Each faith tradition has a different lens through which to catch a glimpse of God who remains veiled. I believe that God loves us even when we are unlovable and sends the Holy Spirit to bring us to faith This unconditional love moves me towards responsible action on behalf of all creation.
In addition to serving as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, I am Vice President of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, Secretary of the Chicago chapter of ReconcilingWorks, Dean of the Near West Conference of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA, and Chair of the Companion Synod Relationship of the Metro Chicago Synod.
The first question I am usually asked is, “What is a deaconess anyway?” The quick answer is that a Lutheran deaconess is a woman who is called, trained and set apart for service. For me, this service is lived out in a congregation setting, currently here at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church as the Director of Christian Education. I did my education/formation at Valparaiso University, a year of internship in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was consecrated as a deaconess in 1999.
My ministry at Good Shepherd focuses on faith education and spiritual growth for all ages. I lead our Sunday School, Confirmation ministry and youth program, coordinate our summer Vacation Bible School, and offer support and resources to our many member-led programs. I am passionate about encouraging others in what God has called them to do and to create opportunities for mentoring between age groups.
What makes my work so great is that I get to do crafts with kids, go bowling with middle schoolers, ride horses with high schoolers and camp with college students. At the same time, I am able to talk with parents about the challenges of parenting today, explore the gift of being a woman of faith with other women, and volunteer at a food bank side by side with people of every generation. I truly love what I do!
As Good Shepherd's Director of Music, I am responsible for planning worship and guiding music choices for all Good Shepherd activities. If you want to request particular hymns for an upcoming Sunday, or are planning a wedding, funeral or other activity requiring music, please contact me by email.
I am classically trained on piano and have been playing in church settings for ten years. I received the Adele Stoppenbach Piano Scholarship and played at Carnegie Hall in May 2006 with the National Wind Ensemble. I am a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in International Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
I'm very blessed. It's fun to go to work when you get to serve such a lively spiritual & socially-conscious community!
As the first contact many have with Good Shepherd, my most important job is welcoming and introducing people to the church. Among my many areas of responsibility are publishing worship bulletins, database management, parish reports, bookkeeping, office equipment maintenance, and calendaring. I enjoy working to bring together information and resources in support of the work of the church. After 10 years of service at Good Shepherd, I know most of the members and probably know where to find the answer to your question.
In my personal life as animal-lover and conservationist, I sit on the boards of four not-for-profit organizations working on issues of homelessness/mental illness, historic landmark preservation, eco-conservation, and the humane treatment of animals. I'm married to a great guy who enriches my life endlessly. My background includes an Economics degree from the University of Michigan, 13 years as owner/operator of a database business, legal office management, and catering/event planning.
During the 10:30 Sunday worship service, small children may be taken to our nursery where they are watched over by one of our caring professional attendants. Elois Gardner and Courtney Roberson alternate Sunday childcare so you may worship and nourish your spirit knowing your small children are playing games, napping, doing crossword puzzles, snacking, and being entertained in a kind, caring and responsible environment. Check the church calendar to see who is attending the nursery each Sunday.
During the 10:30 Sunday worship service, small children may be taken to our nursery where they are watched over by one of our caring professional attendants. Courtney Roberson and Elois Gardner alternate Sunday childcare so you may worship and nourish your spirit knowing your small children are playing games, napping, doing crossword puzzles, snacking, and being entertained in a kind, caring and responsible environment. Check the church calendar to see who is attending the nursery each Sunday.