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.


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.

Word from Father Kevin: Baptism

Anglicans believe that “matter matters.” That things physical – bread, wine, water – can convey spiritual realities. This Saturday, when Cayden is baptized, the water will both picture something and convey the reality of that picture. As the water is poured over his head, it symbolizes cleansing from sin; and through prayer and faith it also conveys that cleansing. A former Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, explained, “… all the sacraments are Christ’s acts, the touch of the hand of Christ upon human lives through visible media.” 

When we come to the waters of baptism “rightly, worthily, and with faith” (as one of our foundational documents, The Thirty-Nine Articles, expresses it), spiritual blessings are received: “they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.” 

I look forward to our baptism this week! And I encourage you, if you or your child has not been baptized, to consider being baptized at Easter Vigil (April 20). Email me if you’d like to talk more about this.

Word from Father Kevin: Epiphany

One of our Savior traditions that is sweet – in both sense of that word – is to eat Rosca together on Epiphany. This Saturday, following the service, we’ll enjoy this traditional bread eaten to celebrate the visit of the Three Kings to baby Jesus.

And as the all-knowing Wikipedia explains, “At least one plastic miniature figurine of the baby Jesus can be hidden inside the cake. The person who finds it is seen as the lucky winner of the prize (whatever that might be).” In our case, the “prize” is that you get to bring cookies to our Annual Business Meeting (this year, Feb. 9).

This year, I can’t help but remember that our Rosca tradition was started by Marilyn Stewart, a founding member of Savior who went to be with the Lord in December. We will miss you, Marilyn. And we will keep sharing food and sharing fellowship, as you taught us to do.

Word from Father Kevin: Favorite Sermons of 2018

At the end of each year, I like to look back and select “Fr. Kevin’s Favorite Sermons” of the year. In case you missed these, you might want to stream or download one of these Top 3:

As I look back on this year, my heart fills with thankfulness for the many people who have preached at Savior this year. Truly we are blessed. Two of my favorite sermon series of the year featured 4 of our preachers who contributed:

  • Revelation: Visions for a church under pressure (starting August 18)

  • Blessed to Be a Blessing: practicing God’s presence in and for the world (starting Sept. 22)

Word from Father Kevin and Mother Karen

So we had this grand plan to send each of you a Christmas letter, filled with newsy updates from the Millers. Then life happened… So we hope you’ll feel the warmth in this simpler, shorter update.

We are calling 2018, in the words of Dickens, “the best of times, the worst of times.” The Best of Times included the joyous July wedding of our daughter to a godly man, Jordan; you will sometimes see them worship at Savior. The wedding also gave us time with family from across the country, including our son. The Worst of Times included Karen’s being in chronic pain and having 2 surgeries and spending 3 months unable to even sit up; and Kevin’s receiving the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. But those lead back to the Best of Times, as you friends of the Savior carried us with your prayers, encouragement, and homemade meals.

 At the end of a year like this, we feel more deeply how astonishing it is that Jesus entered our world, knowing what it would mean for him. But he came to be with each one of us and to save us. May you have a merry Christmas and find that, no matter what your circumstances, Jesus is with you.