Vanessa comes to us from the western suburbs of Chicago, where she has worked in youth and family ministry for more than 18 years (beginning when she herself was in high school), most recently as the Director for Children’s, Youth & Family Ministry at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL.
She is a 2004 graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, and a 2014 graduate of Luther Seminary, where she completed an MA in Children, Youth, & Family Ministry.
Vanessa is an alumna of the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program, having served in a youth ministry capacity for a year in the United Kingdom following her college graduation, and worked in the ELCA Churchwide Offices in Chicago for two years following her time in the UK in a recruitment role for the same program. She has also been a contract employee for the ELCA Youth Gathering, a triennial event which most recently took place just this summer in Houston. Vanessa’s first order of business here at Grace will be to accompany the high school mission trip in late July/early August. She’ll be in worship with our community for the first time on Sunday, August 5, and her first day in the office will be Monday, August 13.