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Pastor Steve Talmage

Senior Pastor

Office: 480 681 0939
E-Mail:

Our Senior Pastor, Steve Talmage began serving Love of Christ in August of 2017.  Prior to coming to Love of Christ, Pastor Steve Talmage served as the bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America having oversight responsibilities for 100 ministries and 150 rostered leaders in Arizona and Southern Nevada.  He was elected to that position in 2006 after serving as the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Peoria, AZ and American Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tucson, AZ.  He has served on the Boards of Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, Carefree, AZ, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California University, Berkeley, CA, and California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA. He co-authored the book Bishops on the Border: Pastoral Response to Immigration. He has expertise in church leadership, stewardship, formation of disciples, and helping congregations look beyond maintenance and survival to trusting in the abundance and faithfulness of God.  He and his wife Barb are natives of Arizona, born in Tucson.  He graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Psychology and received his Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA. 

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Pastor Nanette Christofferson

Associate Pastor

Office: 480 681 0940
E-Mail:

Reverend Nanette Christofferson was ordained into the ministry of “Word and Sacrament” and was called to Love of Christ Lutheran Church in October of 2019.  Prior to being called to LoC, Nanette graduated from Fuller Seminary in 2017 and fulfilled the ELCA Candidacy requirements by attending Luther Seminary and Internship during 2018-19. 

Pastor Christofferson comes from the Midwest and grew up in Vermillion SD where she was baptized, confirmed and married at the UCC/Congregational Church.  Her first calling was to elementary school teaching and she taught school for 10 years mostly with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Iceland, Japan, and Germany.  It was the military that brought she and her husband Mark to Arizona.  While living in Glendale they became disciples of Peace Lutheran Church in Peoria AZ.  While at Peace Nanette served as Director of Adult and Family Faith Formation, began a Neighborhood Ministry, and served as an Intern.  She also served as a Licensed Lay Leader at Celebration Lutheran Church in Peoria for six months. 

Mark and Nanette have two young adult children Matthew and Thea.

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Kevin Anderson

Youth and Family Faith Formation Director

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Grace and peace! My name is Kevin Anderson and I am the new Director of Youth and Family Faith Formation here at Love of Christ. My wife, Erin, and our one-year old daughter, Reese, are all Arizona natives. Erin and I grew up in ELCA congregations in the West Valley. We met in college. She graduated from Northern Arizona University, and I from Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!). My wife has been a teacher and is now a full-time mom and babysitter. Previously, I spent eight years involved in Youth Ministry leadership. Throughout that time I served as a volunteer, intern, and a Youth Director. Most recently, I attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where I started my track towards becoming an Ordained Pastor in the ELCA. Erin and I are excited to be a part of the community at Love of Christ and we are looking forward to being a part of God’s ministry here with you all!

 

 

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Darlene Fleischhauer

Office Manager, Wedding Assistant, Baptism and Memorial Service Coordinator

Office: 480-981-6198
E-Mail:

Darlene is our all around go-to person. If you have any questions or concerns, she can point you in the right direction!  Email Darlene for information on having your child baptized and attending Pre-Baptismal Conferences;  having your Wedding here at Love of Christ;  making arrangements for a Memorial Service .

Darlene moved to Arizona in 1977 with  her husband, Randy. She has been the office manager since April 17, 1989.  Has two daughters, Brooke and Blaire and in her spare time she enjoys  the company of her two grandchildren Evan and Emerson. 

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Dick Beckman

Operations Manager

Office: 480-981-3550
E-Mail:

My wife Mary and I joined Love of Christ in late 2000 after I had retired from an executive position with a large kitchen cabinet manufacturer that had facilities located throughout the United States. We have been married since 1972 and are both originally from Wisconsin and had lived in York, PA for 15 years before moving to Mesa. We had looked at several churches before joining but liked the open and friendly atmosphere at LOC. In early March of 2001, I joined the staff as its Financial & Operations Manager and have been here ever since. One of the great things about LOC is the multitude of ministries that are offered. You can really meet a lot of new people who have interests similar to your own. Please give any of us a call if you have questions or are interested in joining.

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Janice Herron

Preschool Director

Office: 480-681 0937
E-Mail:

Since 1989, I have been blessed with the privilege of working with the young children and families of Love of Christ Preschool. Richard, my husband of 35 years, puts up with me storing all my craft files in every cabinet in "his" garage. Our son Robert is our pride and joy. He received his Master's in Modern Religious Studies in 2007. In short, I am truly blessed - a husband, son and job that I love!

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Dianne Oien

New Members, Seniors & Logistics Manager Dianne Oien

Office: 480-681 0941
E-Mail:

My husband Terry and I have been members of Love of Christ for 28 years. We are blessed to have a daughter Tera, our son in law Kevin and two grandchildren – Chloe & Carter.  I have been on staff at LOC for 15 years and prior to that I retired from Qwest Communications. There are so many opportunities to serve and to get connected at LOC. The best way to get started is to join or lead a group that you have an interest in and then “just do it”. You never know where it will take you and how many great people you will meet along the way. If you are interested in becoming a member of LOC, feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. Please join us in worship – all are welcome!

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Jung Csuy

Director of Music Ministry

Office: 480-832-2449
E-Mail:

I have been a member of Love of Christ since 2006 when I started serving here part time. Throughout elementary school I was in the band. As a sixth grader, I played piano for the Kwang Moon Presbyterian Church and helped my father as pastor. I was in band and choir in high school and music became my passion. I earned a bachelor of arts in vocal performance while still in Korea. I continued my education at ASU with another bachelor’s degree in piano performance and music education. After that, I received my master’s degree from ASU in choral conducting/music education. As of June 2008 I have served as the Music Director. I lead the Chancel Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Alleluia Ringers, Youth Bell Choir (Soul Ringers), and Summer Children’s Chime Choir. I also direct Christmas and Lenten Cantata. I have two wonderful sons and one beautiful daughter: Joshua, John, and Grace. My children are the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life!  I thank God for my family every day… My passion continues to be leading the congregation in worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through awesome heart-felt music. I look forward to expanding the music program as the church continues to grow and serving the congregation.

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William Hewes

Contemporary Worship Leader

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My World 

The noted singer Bryan Duncan is quoted as saying, “I was raised in a Pentecostal Church, but I’m in recovery now!” My story is similar: I like to tell people I grew up on a church pew of the Pentecostal Christian Church of Mullica Hill, N.J.  Rev. James Demola, Sr., Pastor. I say this because every time the church doors were open, we were there! A stickler for theology and doctrine, Pastor Demola also bathed the congregation in hymns, hymns, hymns! I believe that the great hymns of the faith are an important part of our culture. They often contain deep doctrinal insight, and they inform us about who we are and what we’ve come through as a people. That is why I like to program them into our service  whenever I can.

I believe in corporate worship. The Psalmist declares, “But You are Holy, O You that inhabit the praises of Israel.” Ellicot’s Commentary explains that in this passage, "The ever-ascending praises of His people became a throne for the Divine King.” I believe this is what happens when we gather as a congregation to worship. We remind ourselves of the things Christ has done for us and of the truths that His Word reveals about all aspects of our journey as disciples of Christ. We celebrate those truths which remind us of the eternal solid foundation for our hope which can reset our perspective as we face the day-to-day challenges that can often discourage us. Our corporate worship experience is a refuge as we face the storms of life!

This is why I say, "I’m expecting great things to happen during our worship experience" during the greeting each Sunday morning; we are meeting God here! I believe our worship service is very much like recharging our batteries! I want people to come here and experience God! How’s that for ambition?

I believe music is a gift from God to mankind and is to be shared. I have been involved in music in one form or another throughout my entire life. Music seemed to provide the doors that opened for me in life. I had a thousand piano lessons as a child, played trumpet all through high school in the marching band.  I went to college for music and transferred to ASU where I received my degree in instrumental music as a String Bass player. Being a bassist provided me the opportunity to work with some great musicians along the way that I might not have had access to otherwise. I have also taught hundreds of private lessons as a bass teacher, and a few more on guitar, voice and piano. The funny thing about teaching is: the more you share, the more you yourself learn! While continuing my education culminating in my graduating from ASU in 1995, I spent the next 20 years playing bass and singing for weddings, parties, corporate functions and bar mitzvah’s and bat mitzvah’s. So many of these, in fact, that I think I am actually now a little Jewish strictly through osmosis! Mazel Tov, everyone!

Since 2007 I have performed in a duo that performs a music program for seniors at retirement communities all throughout the East Valley. This has been a great way to learn about our national popular culture, which I have made an assiduous study of in order to better communicate with seniors in a language that they uniquely understand. This is important because music has been shown to help these seniors better adapt to the situations they find themselves in today require less medication to calm them, and help them re-connect with who they used to be. I guess I believe in music therapy, too!

In addition to the secular music, I have also performed at a number of Churches all throughout the Valley since my graduation. I have worn many hats: Worship Director, bassist, keyboardist, vocalist, guitarist, music producer, arranger, substitute musician, sound man, vacuum cleaner, laundryman, chief cook and bottle washer, if you know what I mean!

There was a time when I had hoped for a career in church music. I had some success for awhile but I reached a point where I thought that I had exhausted all of my opportunities. The only “church gig” that I had left, in fact, was here at LOC, where for 12 years I happily played bass in what has come to be a terrific band! In fact, although our weekly Service starts at 9:00 am, I have always felt like worship actually starts when John Lewis takes his sticks out of the bag around 8:00! He and Mike Ozuna have been the nucleus of a terrific bunch of musicians that have come and gone throughout the years. To me they are pure Gold! Being able to perform with musicians of such a high caliber is, in itself, a kind of religious experience. Their high skill level also allows the church to have the ability to successfully utilize a wide variety of music. In other words, there’s not much we can’t do! Their efforts are buttressed by the guy who has taken my place, Mike King, who is, along with John and Mike, one of the most in-demand bassists in the Valley!

In addition to those in the band, the people for whom I work have also been gracious and helpful. Chief among all these is Jung Csuy, who has endured the 5000 questions and problems I have put before her at all hours of the day and night; all with a smile! I just keep finding myself saying, Thank you,  Jung!

Since I have begun leading worship here, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of the congregation. I have received lots of great feedback, support, music ideas, and tips from everyone I have come in contact with and for that I am really grateful. We have also had a few folks from the congregation come up and sing from time to time, and I trust we will have more to come in the near future as I get up to speed on all of my duties here. As I talk to people here about the things that are going on, and I keep finding myself saying, “I think the best is yet to come!” And I do believe that!

 

 

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Heather Parker

WOW Coordinator

Office: 480 681 0925
E-Mail:

Heather coordinates our WOW, The Word on Wednesday program.

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Steve Aman

Church Board Treasurer

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Clyde Anderson

Church Board Member

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Mike Barker

Church Board Member

E-Mail:

The first thing you should know is that my wife and I and our two children are all part of our Faith Formation programs for youth and children at LOC.  When these programs grow and succeed, all our children benefit. A strong faith formation means a strong and thriving church body. 

 Second, like everyone out there, God has given me certain talents and charged me with using them in the service of others. I know that I can contribute to the board in a way that helps us all. I enjoy serving this community however I can. We church here, I am raising my family here, and I am here to stay.

 I am honest and a hard worker. I do not think that the all solutions will come easy. There are complex problems rooted in today’s culture. Identifying the problem is the easy part. Implementing a solution and changing the culture, those are the real challenges. I know that there is not a church member in this community that would not want the best for their church family. We just need to decide how we get there, together.

 Lastly, Even if we do not see eye to eye, we can all agree that we want a strong faith based community were we feel loved and at home to worship and serve. Usually, I find that great ideas are the ones that survive a healthy debate. The conversation must always be respectful so debate does not turn into argument.  I work with a diverse group of people on a daily basis to find solutions to opportunities. If our hearts are in the right place, I know that we can do great things together. 

 

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Patti DeLaney

Church Board Secretary

Office: 480-981-6199
E-Mail:

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Dave Dohrmann

Church Board Vice President

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I was raised in northeast Ohio and confirmed as a high school student into the United Church of Christ. I come from a family of engineers (father, brother, sister) and teachers (mother and all aunts and uncles). I am an alumnus of The Ohio State University and the University of Arizona with degrees in Photography & Cinema and Industrial Engineering.

 My professional career began as a medical photographer supporting the UA College of Medicine. I then transitioned into an engineering-focused career; first as an Industrial / Manufacturing engineer supporting electric vehicle R&D for General Motors in Indianapolis, IN and then later, as a custom software development team leader supporting vehicle test activity at the GM Desert Proving Ground in Mesa. With the closure of the proving ground, I led a software developer team supporting development of a custom recruiter application for the U. S. Army Recruiting Command. In 2015, I retired from Hewlett-Packard with the last 10 years of my career performing in the role as a solution architect developing custom enterprise level solutions for the U. S. Navy and USMC. I currently work as a cybersecurity professional at State Farm in Tempe where I research and integrate emerging information security technology with new and developing insurance products.

 I have been married to my wife, Laurie, since 1990 living most of that time here in Mesa. Laurie and I joined LOCLC in 2001. Laurie is a licensed and practicing professional crisis counselor working valley wide on a part time basis. We have one son and one daughter. Noah is a high school senior at BASIS Mesa and was confirmed at LOCLC. Noah is a Troop 301 Eagle Boy Scout. Grace, our daughter, is a high school sophomore at Red Mountain HS and was also confirmed here. Grace loves to sing.

 

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Karen Humbert

Church Board Member

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Jeff Michaels

Church Board Member

E-Mail:

Hello, I am Jeff Michaels. I joined Love of Christ Lutheran just a few short years ago. While my time here so far is not so long, I have been involved in the world of faith all my life. I grew up in the LDS church here in Mesa and have long family roots here. But as I grew older, I came to leave that and was baptized in a non-denominational church with a new found faith in Christ, and went off to the church sponsored college for a number of years.

  When I returned home, I found and married my current wife, and we have been married for almost 25 years, and I have two daughters, one in high school and one just out of high school and on her way in vocational school.

  Regardless of what I majored in college, I ended up becoming a software engineer, and currently work as a senior software engineer at Northern Trust. I have lived in this area for most of my life, except for my college years.

  I have undergone a number of faith transitions, finding my way out of the LDS church when I was much younger, and into a broader non-denomination evangelical church world where I spent many years. But like the changes that our society has undergone, so too my faith changed, to embrace a more authentic and historical expression of Christianity found here at Love of Christ. In all these transitions, I have not been a stranger to faith & doubts, and this has only made my faith stronger and my understanding deeper, and my confidence in Christ truer.

 

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Michael Obert

Church Board Member

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My name is Michael Obert.  My wife Angie and I are proud parents of two boys – Patrick (15) and Aaron (10).  We have been members of LOC since 2007 and have served on the Church Board and as the Treasurer since 2018.  In addition, I have served on the coffee ministry and, performed in the Maundy Thursday presentation, assisted with the Cross Services on Good Friday, and helped with the music ministry (as a soloist and in the Cantata performances).  I also served on the Mission and Ministry team that put together the church mission statement that was an early step in our search for a new Pastor.  In addition, Angie has been involved with both the Children’s and Youth Ministry and as a communion assistant. 

 I am honored to have served as the board’s treasurer since 2018.  In this time frame we have seen good things happening at the church.  As the treasurer, I have also helped implement and lead the Church’s audit team that provides assistance to the church on contract and financial matters.

I have been a practicing attorney for 24 years, mostly in the area of insurance defense.  During that time, I have served on the board of directors for several organizations, including Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers of Dodge County (Wisconsin), Big Brother Big Sisters of Dodge County (Wisconsin) and the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel. 

 When my wife and I moved to Arizona from Wisconsin, we spent several years searching for the right faith community to raise our two boys.  However, having been raised Catholic and my wife having been raised Lutheran, we struggled to find a faith community in which we both felt comfortable.  Just as we were about to give up on our searching for a church, someone suggested LOC to my wife and she convinced me to give one more church a try.  From our first attendance, we knew we found a faith home.  From the start, we found the people of LOC to be its biggest strength – they were welcoming and inviting in addition to being filled with the spirit.  Over the years, we have developed some deep friendships with members of the church community which has deepened our roots in this congregation.  I look forward to further being part of the church leadership to further identify the ways to continue and to expand this open and inviting characteristic of LOC. 

 

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Dan Wilke

Church Board President

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Joey Bogushefsky

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