Journeying Together:
Loving God,
Loving Others,
Loving Life

The vision of Church of the Savior is based on the words Jesus proclaimed as the two greatest commandments: 

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”
  2. “The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31).

These two commitments lead us to also embrace “Loving Life.” To show love for God and others, we seek to promote and protect fullness of life for others, as we do for ourselves.


Loving God

We strive to love God completely, both as individuals and as a church. We long for a deeper experience of God's transforming love. We walk in the light of Scripture, God’s written Word, as our highest authority and only certain guide on our journey into his love (Psalm 119:105; Hebrews 4:12).

In order to express our love for God, we commit ourselves to worship, prayer and the other ancient disciplines of the Christian faith as the only sure path toward spiritual transformation (Jeremiah 6:16). Specifically, we worship in the liturgical tradition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which helps us to proclaim the Word of God (Acts 10:42; Titus 1:19) and to share in the sacraments of Communion (Ephesians 6:18; Luke 22:19) and baptism (Mark 16:15-6; Romans 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

Loving Others

The Bible calls Christians "the body" of Christ (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 12:27), and so we believe we are united with Jesus Christ in his suffering, death and resurrection. We are therefore called to a common life of “humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-6).

We seek to empower one another to live and proclaim the Good News in our relationships, neighborhoods, and vocations -- especially locally, but also globally (Matthew 28:19-20). We commit ourselves to recognize and respond to those who are suffering and in need through giving, serving, praying, and promoting social justice (Micah 6:8). Learn more about what Savior is doing on our Loving Others page.

Loving Life

We believe that wholehearted love for God and others produces a love for life that is contagious.

Because we love God, we receive with gratitude and celebration the life he gives us. God called his creation good, so we affirm the goodness of his world and seek to enjoy and conserve God’s creation (1 Timothy 6:17). We receive every good gift that comes down to us from God (James 1:17). We claim the victory of Christ over sin, so that we might “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The weekly Sabbath is an important part of our tasting the abundance of life that Jesus offers. (Exodus 20:8; Mark 2:27). 

For more on Loving Life, you might enjoy our sermons on:

No list can capture the heart of our church, but here are a few things we value (in alphabetical order):

Always Welcoming

St. Benedict wrote, "Let all guests who arrive be received as Christ, because He will say: 'I was a stranger and you took Me in' (Mt 25:35)." We welcome people from all walks of life, those from diverse cultures and gifts, young and old, and with disabilities of many kinds. 

CHILDREN & YOUTH INCLUDED

We take children’s spiritual lives seriously. Young people are not just “the church of the future” but “the church of now.” They experience God and pray and take in the Word of God. Though our children and youth have special times on their own, they participate fully at Savior—as musicians, acolytes, dancers, Bible dramatists, worshipers, missionaries. As Pastor Mary says, "When we don’t find ways to integrate children into the life of the church, the church misses out."

Collaboration in Ministry

We encourage each other to recognize and use our God-given gifts. Since God created men and women in his image and poured out his Holy Spirit on both, we welcome leadership and teaching from both men and women. We try to be low on competition and high on collaboration.

Community

We are not meant to be alone. Genuine community is always a grace. It is a gift. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it: “Because God has bound us together in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ, long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that common life not as demanders but as thankful recipients.” Christian community becomes real in small steps, relationship by relationship, genuine connection by genuine connection, small group by small group. 

Eating Together

It's true! We really do enjoy that. (For more on our commitment to "Loving Life," please see our Vision.)

Goodness of Godly Authority

We affirm that “Holy Scripture is the supreme authority in the Church, that it is the Word of God written, and contains all things necessary to Salvation" (from the Thirty-Nine Articles, a historical document important to Anglicans). We also embrace the historic pattern of leadership in which churches are led by bishops, priests, and deacons; and we thank God for the wise authority and teaching of our bishop and the Anglican Church in North America.

Grace

Paul described the grace that we receive from Christ as a free gift. It is not something we can earn. It is not based on merit. We hope that a vivid sense of God’s grace will infuse all our interactions with others.

Inward Journey & Outward Journey

We believe in inner transformation through prayer, silence, honesty with others, and other Christian practices. This "inward journey" is designed to be balanced with the "outward journey" of loving others. God loves the poor, and the poor in spirit; God loves those who are far from Him, or alienated from the church; God loves every race, every class, every culture. An integral part of our mission is to look outward, confront darkness, and live in faithful witness, service, and care for those in need. Learn more on our Loving Others page.

Radically Resisting Busyness and Hurry

Modern life requires and rewards busyness and hurry—and even a local church may become frenetic. We try to resist busyness and over-programming, for as Eugene Peterson taught, “Busyness is an illness of spirit.” 

  "I am passionate about healthy churches. A healthy church is a wonder, and God does amazing things through a church like Savior."

"I am passionate about healthy churches. A healthy church is a wonder, and God does amazing things through a church like Savior."

Rector: Kevin Miller

  • Ministry Area(s): Prayer, Preaching, Vision, Leading Vestry and Clergy.
  • Background: Editor and vice-president at Christianity Today for 26 years; associate rector at Church of the Resurrection for 5 years; rector at Savior since January 2017. Co-founder of PreachingToday.com and CTPastors.com.
  • Family/Pets: Kevin is married to Savior’s Associate Rector, Karen. Their daughter, Anne, teaches high school English and attends Savior sometimes. Their son, Andrew, lives in Houston with his family and works in software. “No pets, though I’m partial to Lexi, the Australian shepherd of Karen’s sister.” Kevin loves the Cubs and great coffee.
  • Quote: “You can accomplish a great deal more by quiet, thoughtful work done as in God's sight, than by all the busy eagerness and over-activity of your restless nature” (Francois Fenelon, 17th-century spiritual writer).
  "I love to help people grow their leadership skills and care for their leader's soul."

"I love to help people grow their leadership skills and care for their leader's soul."

Associate Rector: Karen Miller

  • Ministry Area(s): Leading Staff Meetings, Coaching Staff Members, Leading Worship, Preaching, Serving on Vestry.
  • Background: a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Karen led the counseling center for Evangelical Child and Family Agency for 9 years; coached church planters with the Greenhouse Movement for 3 years; and served as executive pastor at Church of the Resurrection for 14 years. She founded and leads a leadership-coaching practice, Strengthen Your Leadership.
  • Family/Pets: Karen is married to Savior’s Rector, Kevin. Their daughter, Anne, teaches high school English and attends Savior sometimes. Their son, Andrew, lives in Houston with his family and works in software. Karen loves making cards, and beating Kevin (or trying to) in Scrabble.
  • Quote: “If you have the gift of leadership, lead diligently” (Paul, to the Christians in Rome) and “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (Jesus, to his disciples).

  "My ministry passion is serving at the altar, helping others meet Jesus through the sacraments.  I also love coming alongside people to encourage them as well as help meet practical needs."

"My ministry passion is serving at the altar, helping others meet Jesus through the sacraments.  I also love coming alongside people to encourage them as well as help meet practical needs."

Deacon: Sandy Oyler

  • Ministry Area(s): All Things Altar-Related, Acolytes, Pastoral Care, Preaching, Serving on the Vestry
  • Background: Sandy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has worked for Outreach Community Ministries for the past 15 years, and is currently the Director of the counseling center at their Warrenville location, Warrenville Youth and Family Services. Sandy has been part of Church of the Savior since its beginning and was ordained as a Deacon in 2014.  
  • Quote:  "Think and wonder.  Wonder and think"  (Dr. Seuss).
  "I am passionate about coming alongside families as they hear and share God’s story and journey closer to Jesus."

"I am passionate about coming alongside families as they hear and share God’s story and journey closer to Jesus."

Pastor of Family Ministries: Mary Gonzalez

  • Ministry Area(s): Family Ministries, Children, Youth
  • Background: Mary Gonzalez is our Pastor of Family Ministries and has worked at Savior since its beginning in 2004. 
  • Family/Pets: Mary lives in Winfield with her husband of 27 years, Angel.  Their daughter, Mariana, is in high school, and their son, Daniel, is studying at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.
  • Quote: “We always have enough time to do the work that God has for us" (Sibyl Towner).

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Pastor of Adult Formation: Sandy Richter

  • Ministry Area(s):  Adult formation: community-building, education, and worship-service teams.
  • Background: Sandy grew up in the Church of God, but gravitated toward 'higher church' settings in college, making her way to the ACNA and Church of the Savior in 2013. Sandy and her husband love the liturgy and tradition they have found in Anglicanism, and the warmth and depth of spirituality at Savior.
  • Family/Pets: Sandy has been married to Ian since 2007 and they have three children: Kiah, Elle and Ezra.
  • Quote: "Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid" (Frederick Buechner).
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Music Director: Erin Pacheco

  • Ministry Area: Music/Worship
  • Background: Erin has been involved in church music since childhood, and she is passionate about leading worship in a way that enfolds people of all ages and abilities. Erin has a B.A. from Trinity Christian College, where she studied music, philosophy, and ministry, and an M.Div from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
  • Family/Pets: Erin is married to Moises (Moe), who is a musician and realtor. They live in Chicago with their children, Gloria and Moises. They also share their home with Moe’s parents. Erin is firmly a cat person and Moe is firmly a dog person, so they have neither. Maybe someday they will get a turtle.
  • Quote: "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas" ("In necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom; in all things love").

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Communications Coordinator & Children's Ministry coordinator: sarah lindsay

  • Ministry Area(s): coordinate children's worship and activities, communicate with the congregation
  • Background: Sarah has a background in teaching (English literature and writing) and she currently blogs. She has been an Anglican since she discovered liturgical worship in college; she joined Savior in 2017.
  • Family/Pets: Sarah is married to Brad, and they have three daughters: Isabel, Claire and Vivian. Their two dogs are named Darcy and Lizzy, after characters in one of their favorite novels.
  • Quote: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well” (Julian of Norwich).
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Youth Ministry and ministry intern (2018-19): ellen Vosburg

  • Ministry Area: Youth Ministry
  • Background: Ellen is an Editor of Bibles & Reference at Tyndale House Publishers; she has worked there since 2014. She has worked and volunteered in a variety of youth ministries over the past decade and she began attending Savior in 2017.
  • Family/Pets: Ellen is married to Dawson, and they have a miniature schnauzer, Andromeda (Drom).
  • Quote: “If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me” (W.H. Auden).

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Youth Pastor (with All Souls'): Andrew Unger

  • Ministry Area: Youth Ministry
  • Background: Andrew has been doing youth ministry at All Souls and Savior since 2007, and enjoys (almost) every minute of it!
  • Family/Pets: He has been married to Deacon Joy Unger since 2007, and has two sons (Luke, born in 2011 and Simon, born in 2015). They live in Winfield.
  • Quote: "From God’s point of view, the distance between being ordinarily sinful (what we all are) and extremely sinful (what the people we don’t like seem to be) is like the distance between London and Paris seen from the point of view of the sun" (N.T. Wright).
 

Church of the Savior is fully evangelical, fully sacramental, and full of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the power of Jesus to transform our lives, relationships, and communities. 

Our faith is summarized in the ancient words of the Apostles' Creed or the contemporary words of the Jerusalem Declaration. (You can read those below.)

While we ask those being baptized to affirm the Apostles' Creed and to "live as Christ enjoined," all are welcome at Church of the Savior—doubters, skeptics, the curious, and the burned-out-on-church. We invite you to join us as we learn "Loving God, Loving Others, Loving Life."

As Anglican Christians, we are happy to be part of a large, culturally diverse, global family:


Apostles’ creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
He was conceived
by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Jerusalem Declaration

1. Salvation

We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. The Bible

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. The Creeds 

We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds [Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed] as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

4. Anglican History 

We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

5. Jesus 

We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

6. Worship

We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

7. Church Leaders

We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

8. Marriage & Sexuality 

We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. Sharing Faith

We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptize, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. Environmental Care & Social Justice

We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

11. Christian Unity

We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

12. Christian Charity

We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. Theological Clarity

We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. The Goal of History

We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.

Vestry (Board)

Savior's Vestry oversees the finances of the church and provides big-picture discernment and direction. Vestry members are elected by the parish and serve 3-year terms. Please direct questions to the wardens:

  • Deb Nickerson - Senior Warden

  • Al Hsu - Junior Warden

  • Janis Hultgren

  • Steve McNeely

  • Marj Mead

  • Karen Miller

  • Kevin Miller

  • Ted Olsen

  • Sandy Oyler

  • Kristen Page

  • Erik Peterson

Team Leaders

To ask about a ministry or volunteer to get involved, please click on the leader's name.