Community is the heart of how I understand and express my faith. What we believe only makes sense when it is acted out in our relationships with others. Growing up on a farm near Arnold in central Nebraska, I learned the importance of friends, neighbors and fellow church members. The community served the needs of families. It is a privilege and a great joy to be a member of the St. Luke community and to serve on this staff. I invite you to check out our faith community at St. Luke.
I have served churches in Madison and Norfolk, Nebraska. I have also been a Church & Community Worker with the Nebraska Rural Ministries Project, an Organizer for Community Organizing in Nebraska, a licensed funeral director and a mediator.
At this time, my wife Cindy works as an Audiologist at Children's Hospital & Medical Center and is an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church. We met as co-eds at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After getting married I attended seminary at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.
Our son Sean graduated from Doane College and now lives and works in Omaha.
Sarah has been a member of St. Luke for seven years, along with her husband Chris and two children. She has volunteered with youth and has been a Sunday School teacher during those years. When the opportunity of Children & Youth Ministry Director presented itself, she felt it was a calling. Leaving her job of 20+ years, she now feels very blessed to be part of the St. Luke community. Sarah enjoys being involved with children and seeing youth grow in their faith along with forming lifelong friendships.
Chris has been shaped to be who he is currently by some of the following factors: Jesus. Travel. Nachos. Football. Technology. Coffee. Reading. Music, the outdoors and loyal friends. But ask him why he has not eaten a banana in over 40 years?
He has had the privilege to travel and live all around the world, having opportunities to expand his education while serving with many new people. From the jungles of Guyana to the desert peoples of North Africa. From refugee camps in El Salvador to youth camps in Estonia. From the mountains of Chile to the temples of Angkor Watt in Cambodia, Chris has discovered that God is GOD everywhere.
Chris best understands faith to be about life giving conversations, loving community and commitment to serve the world Jesus loves.
His childhood dream of living in the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory remains currently unfulfilled. Sighs. Although he still searches for his golden ticket. Until that time, he resides in NW Omaha.
Chris looks forward to working with the young people of St. Luke UMC. Ask him why and he will tell you. "Some of the early disciples may have been teenagers. I guess you could say Jesus was leading a YOUTH group of sorts. Those young people went on to change the world. I want to work with future world changers and lovers of people."
Chris is married to his beautiful wife Sarah. He has 3 kids--2 grown daughters and a middle school aged son. He is also a grandparent, AKA “Grand Dawg,” to an adorable toddler.
Jenny grew up in Omaha and graduated from Millard West. She has studied at Texas Christian University, West Virginia University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jenny is currently an Elementary Music Teacher in the Millard Public School district. For many years she was the Director of Music at Christ United Methodist Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Not only will Jenny be directing the Chancel Choir, she will also be working with the children and youth to determine whether other musical groups might be created. She will have music time with the children every Sunday from 10:00-10:15 and plans to have them sing during services a few times each season. Next summer she plans to offer a week long musical arts camp in which the children and youth prepare and present a musical.
Jenny lives in Gretna with her husband and three children.
Joan Young is the Organist for the worship services and serves as accompanist for the Chancel Choir. She also serves as Organist for weddings and funerals held at St. Luke. Joan has a Bachelor's Degree from Wayne State College.
Betsy is a longtime member of St. Luke. Her first handbell experience was as a ringer in the church’s newly formed Chancel Ringers in 1990. She continued as a ringer for six years and then took over as director of the group in 1996. Betsy graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in instrumental music education and served as band director for the Bennington Public Schools for fifteen years. She continues as a music educator today, teaching private flute lessons in her home studio, and frequently serving as a clinician and adjudicator. Betsy loves singing in the Chancel Choir and playing the occasional flute accompaniment. She is a member of the Nebraska Wind Symphony, has served on its board as treasurer, and is presently secretary for the group. Betsy loves using music as a tool to inspire, to worship, and to bring people together. Betsy’s husband, Lee, teaches at Omaha North High School and her daughter, Kathleen, is a clinical psychologist. Of course, her toddler grandson, Sebastian, already loves music!
As is true with a number of others on St. Luke's staff, Sherrie Lindsey does not attend St. Luke for worship; however, her heart and energy are here every weekday (as well as a few off-hours). She has enjoyed the challenge of coordinating St. Luke's offices and serving as assistant to the Senior Pastor, as well as helping coordinate the Child Development Programs. Her responsibilities range from secretarial to administrative and personnel-related, with a lot of little things thrown in that don't seem to fit anyone else's job description. Two of the aspects she likes most about her work at St. Luke are the quality of people she works with and the fact that her job has never been the same any two years in a row. Sherrie and her husband, John, have two grown daughters, Marissa and Hannah.
Even though Venita Watts does not attend St. Luke, she is so blessed to be a part of it by being the Administrative Assistant and working in the front office. She started at St. Luke in October, 2016, and has enjoyed working with the staff and the wonderful people of St. Luke. Venita and her husband, Pat, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Katrina. Venita enjoys camping, scrapbooking, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.
Randy and his family have been members of St. Luke for over 25 years. He recently retired from working in accounting and finance for almost 40 years. The past 30 years his job consisted primarily of financial analysis for the Nebraska Medicine system. He has been married to his wife, Cindy, for over 35 years. They met while playing co-ed softball on Sunday afternoons. She is active in the St. Luke choir. Randy and Cindy have two sons and one granddaughter. Randy enjoys spending time with family, road trips, trains, Bruce Springsteen, and watching sports, especially Husker football and the College World Series.
Brian has been a member of St. Luke for 24 years. As someone who has grown up a part of the St. Luke church, he has been able to grow and strengthen his walk with God. When the opportunity of becoming the audio-visual person presented itself, he felt it was a calling. He has always liked the technical side of things and he can't wait to grow more and to help make St. Luke the best it can be. Brian enjoys being involved anywhere in the church that presents itself and helping to make all visitors that enter St. Luke feel welcome. As we enter into a new phase of St. Luke, he plans to help bring new ideas into the worship services that all members and visitors will enjoy.
As a child, Dale's family were members of St. Paul UMC. More recently, his oldest sister and husband and their family were members of St. Luke. Over six year ago, Dale's sister, Rhoni Lantz, became ill, and he spent five years taking care of her until her passing in 2012. Dale has three daughters and one son. In his free time, he likes wood carving art.
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