spotlight

Spotlight on New Members

On June 1st, we welcomed several new members. In today's "Spotlight" post, get to know two of them — Amy Allan and Shellie Morgan.

1. Where do you live now, and where are you from?

Amy Allan

Amy Allan

Amy: I currently live in Wheaton, but have lived quite a transient life including Miami, FL; Vernon, NY; Washington DC; Ithaca, NY; Columbus, OH; Syracuse, NY; Indianapolis, IN; Rochester, NY; St. Louis, MO.

Shellie Morgan

Shellie Morgan

Shellie: I was born and raised in Southern California (Torrance), the youngest of 4 children. After high school, I (reluctantly) moved with my parents to Illinois. We lived in Roselle, then moved to Decatur for about 9 months, and then back to Bloomingdale. After 2 winters here, my parents moved back to California! I currently live in Bartlett., where I've lived since 1987.

2. Who shares your home?

Amy: I have two amazing sons, Blake (senior at Baylor University) and Riley (junior at Wheaton College). Although we currently do not have any pets, we previously had a hilarious strawberry-loving turtle named Juanita.

Shellie: My son is grown and lives in Hoffman Estates. I am a foster for Anderson Animal Shelter, so I am kept busy with kittens during the spring and summer months. Some empty nesters turn the extra bedroom into a guest room or a den, mine is the foster room now!

3. What do you do when you’re not at church?

Amy: When I am not at church, I am likely to be found researching or writing on my Old Testament Ph.D. dissertation exploring the emotive dimensions of the relationship between Yahweh and his people in the books of Hosea, Amos, Micah, and Zephaniah. I absolutely love studying the Word of God! I am also a professional pianist and enjoy performing and teaching private piano lessons. For fun, I love to workout at the gym, explore the beauty of nature, and laugh with friends.

Shellie: I handle the business office functions in our administration department at the library (so, not a librarian!). I suppose it's not surprising that I've ended up working at a library given my love for words and books. Besides reading, I also enjoy paper crafting (card making specifically), bird watching and watching British shows online.

4. What are some favorite books?

Amy: A few of the authors who have deeply impacted my faith journey are Walter Brueggemann, Abraham Heschel, Ellen F. Davis, Lauren Winner, Scot McKnight, Anne Lamott, Carolyn Custis James, and Henri Nouwen.

Shellie: Picking a single favorite book is pretty much impossible, but I can share a few of my favorites. My long-standing favorite fiction book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I dust it off every couple of years and it's like getting together with an old friend. The writing is lovely and captivating and the storyline compelling. And who can forget the classic line, "Miss Jean Louise, Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your Father's passing". Other fiction favorites are the Harry Potter series - which covers all the bases: fantasy, adventure, friendship, good vs. evil, loyalty, trust, consequences for our actions, courage, love and sacrifice; Hinds Feet in High Places (which I just finally go around to reading recently) and then a toss up between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Great Divorce. On the non-fiction end of things, I highly recommend Just Mercy by Byran Stevenson, an eye-opener for me on our incarceration system, and Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, a story of racism and poverty colliding with faith and unconditional love.

5. What brought you back to Savior after your first visit?

Amy: So many incredible aspects of Church of the Savior brought me back after my first visit: powerful preaching, warm welcome, worshipful spirit, and a healing environment.

Shellie: The sense that I was treading on Holy Ground. The Spirit of God was palpable the first time I visited. From the beautiful liturgy, to the wonderful blend of music, to the welcoming atmosphere - it was so lovely it was all I could do to refrain from weeping with joy. The second week I attended, Alice made a point of reaching out to introduce herself and welcome me. When I went to the Paschal candle making event, Sandy Richter warmly welcomed me and made sure everyone there met me. It was clear that this was a community who cared for one another, was welcoming to strangers, and above all, loved God deeply. I knew this was a community I wanted to call home and become a part of.

6. What are your passions?

Amy: I have a tremendous passion for the oppressed – abuse survivors, immigrants, the poor, marginalized, and overlooked of society. I also deeply love studying the Word of God and worshipping.

Shellie: I am passionate about women and social justice issues. In the past I've led women's small groups, served in the human trafficking ministry, and helped put together a refuge welcome kit for World Relief.

Spotlight on Hope Grant

Hope Grant.jpg

Hope Grant is a long-time member of Savior and, even if you haven't met her yet, you benefit from her ministries every week. Hope coordinates the lay readers — the people who do the ordinary weekly scripture readings as well as all of the dramatic readings throughout the year — and she also coordinates altar clean-up. In today's post, get to know Hope a little better:

Where do you live and where are you from?

I live on the west side of Wheaton, near the DuPage County Complex, with my cat Lewis — a short-haired, domestic cat with white fur and black spots. I was born in Washington, D.C and raised just outside the city limits in Maryland. I also have two grown children who both live in Europe. Kyle is in Barcelona, Spain and Katie living in England with her husband and my 3 ½ yr old grandson.

What do you do when you’re not at church?

I work part-time at Wheaton College’s Wade Center greeting visitors, giving tours of the museum and occasionally presenting a story time using one of our authors’ works. I’m also an occasional “cat whisperer”—caring for all the needs (including medical) of cats whose owners are out of town. I love to cook and share it. I Enjoy calligraphy and making my own cards. I enjoy sewing, too, and have made all of the banners for Children's Worship at Savior.

What is your favorite quote?

“The movement from illusion to dependence is hard to make since it leads us from false certainties to true uncertainties, from an easy support system to a risky surrender, and from many 'safe' gods to the God whose love has no limits." — Henri S.J. Nouwen

How do the ministries you lead serve the life of our congregation?

As Lay Reader Coordinator: We in the Anglican Tradition have a very high view of Scripture and at every worship service read from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Epistles and the Gospel. My prayer is that when the Word is read and we take it in, that God will become flesh in us and make us into living Christs!

Altar Clean-up Coordinator: I delight in setting an inviting table. That is what our Eucharist is, the Table of the Lord where all baptized Christians are welcome. I want each time to be very special and taking care of our altar ware and linens is an integral part of the celebration.

How can people get involved in the ministries you lead?

Just connect with me (hope.h.grant@gmail.com) and let me know your interest. I’d be glad to talk with you and get you involved.

Spotlight on Sandy Richter

Sandy Richter has been on staff at Savior since 2015, first as the Children's Ministry Coordinator and now as the Pastor of Adult Formation. In today's post, get to know Sandy and her passion for spiritual formation.

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What is your role at Church of the Savior?

Pastor of Adult Formation, which means I am responsible for two major areas of our church life. One, I help to support and oversee our many ministry team leaders, including those who lead our set-up team, our meals ministry, our prayer and communion ministers, our small group leaders, and more. Two, I help to shape and shepherd our corporate spiritual formation, which includes coordinating and leading our silent retreats, creating devotional materials, preaching a few times a year, and discerning how to strengthen and support the rich tradition of spiritual formation in our community. Frederick Buechner describes vocation as the place where our greatest joy meets the world’s greatest needs. I love the way my job as Pastor of Adult Formation allows me to express my passions for spiritual formation, leadership development and teaching in a way serves our community. It has truly been a joy.

Where do you live now, and where are you from?

I live with my husband, Ian, and three kids, Kiah (10), Elle (8) and Ezra (6) in Oak Park, where we share a two-flat with our longtime friends and two adorable cats Sunshine and Pazu. I moved around a lot before coming to Wheaton for college. I came here from the Pacific Northwest which is still a heart home for me.

What do you do for fun?

I’m passionate about people, so I spend a lot of time getting to know my neighbors, deepening relationships with friends, discerning ways to encourage people in their life and faith journey. I also love to play board games, to read fiction, especially mysteries, and to watch tv and movies.

What are you reading?

The past few months I have been rereading David Benner’s *Surrender to Love*, which is probably my most recommended book of all time. It’s been great to sink back into the good news of God’s love in this run through, and to see the things that stand out to me this time around. As Benner says, “There is nothing more important in life that learning to love and be loved… \[and] Christianity is the world’s great love religion. The Christian God comes to us as love, in love, for love. The Christian God woos us with love and works our transformation through love.” Isn’t that such good news?

How can people get involved in the ministry you lead?

If you are interested in being involved in a specific ministry area, please contact our ministry team lead who oversees that area. If you would like to know more about spiritual formation, if you’d like to be involved in a small group, if you’d just like to talk about life and faith and the intersection thereof, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to talk more.

Spotlight on Emma Shane

Savior is thrilled to welcome several new members this fall! Over the next few weeks, we'll turn the spotlight on Savior's newest members so we can get to know them and welcome them into our community. This week, we meed Emma Shane:

Emma, left, with her sister.

Emma, left, with her sister.

Where do you live now, and where are you from?

I am from Littleton, Colorado, where I am one of 5 kids in my family! I have two older sisters (both are married and live in Denver), a younger brother who is a sophomore at Wheaton, and a younger sister (She is my best friend). I am currently a junior at Wheaton College working towards a B.A in English Literature and a Master’s in Education.

What do you do when you’re not at church?

When I’m not working on classwork, I love to spend time with my friends at Wheaton. I also enjoy painting, running, and reading.

What’s your favorite song?

One of my favorite songs is an instrumental song by Sleeping At Last titled “Sun.” I listen to this song almost every day and I love it because I feel like it describes my relationship with God. It feels like God sings this song over me whenever I hear it, it is a promise of the light-filled life I’m living with Him and the hope of an eternity to delight in Him.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means of telling about light” –C.S. Lewis; The Great Divorce

What brought you back to Savior after your first visit?

The extremely long passing of the peace and Marilyn Stewart. The next week I came back and she came up to me at the end of the service. She remembered my name and told me that she had prayed for me that week. I knew Savior was a place where people genuinely knew and cared for each other and I wanted to be a part of a community like that.

What passions and skills do you bring to Savior?

I really enjoy singing but I don’t get many opportunities to sing other than in church. I also really enjoy decorating/building/making spaces more beautiful or inviting.

Note from Sarah: Emma is also a talented visual artist; watch for her painting of her great-grandmother, which will go up on the blog on All Saints’ Day (November 1).

Spotlight on Luke and Christine Wulbecker

We are excited to welcome Luke and Christine Wulbecker as new team leaders heading up a new ministry area! In addition to serving on the music team and in the nursery, Luke and Christine will be leading the Compassion Ministry, which will identify places where members of Savior can practice their outward journey by caring for those around us. Get to know Luke and Christine in today's post.

Where do you live and where are you from?
We live in Schaumburg with our Corgi, Barnabas (or Barney, as he prefers), who rules the home. Luke grew up in Roselle, and Christine's childhood was spent between Park Ridge and Nigeria, where her parents were medical missionaries.

What do you do when you’re not at church?
Luke is a recruiter for a staffing agency, and has a passion for connecting with college students. Christine is a therapist for expectant and newly parenting families. We spend a lot of time with our families, most of whom live in the area. Luke loves riding his motorcycle, playing music, and baseball/softball. Christine loves reading, yoga, and Zumba.

Luke's favorite quote:
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking about yourself less."  -C.S. Lewis

Interesting fact about Christine:
She was a goalie for the water polo team in high school.

How does the Compassion Ministry serve the life of our congregation?
A major goal of the Compassion Ministry is to support the church in efforts to connect and engage with the local community.

How can people get involved in the Compassion Ministry?
Pray for Wheaton and the surrounding area. Speak with Luke and Christine about your ideas of how to best engage the community. Watch for upcoming announcements about Outreach Community Ministry's Christmas Store, a chance to donate gifts to families in need this holiday season.”