Pastor Jess Harren – Welcome



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Thank for you such a warm welcome this last Wednesday and Sunday!  For those of you I haven’t had a chance to meet yet, I look forward to getting to know you and your story soon.  I’ll be your appointed interim for the next few months while the church council and synod look for your new permanent called pastor.

When I join a new community, I love to hear the stories of others – of their faith, of their lives.  I’ve been invited by the council to use this space to my own story with you.

I love Jesus and the church.  I was raised in Wichita, KS with my Mom, Dad, and two sisters, Ashleigh and Danielle.  We were active members of our congregations, and I learned to follow the liturgy (pattern of worship), read scripture publicly, and to be the assisting minister quite early in my life.  College for me was at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX where I earned a BA in psychology, with a minor in theology in 2001.   After college, I moved to Chicagoland (Oak Park) and earned an MA in Community Counseling from Loyola in 2003.  As the same time I was finishing that program, I began in seminary at LSTC in Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, where I lived in student housing.  I met Peter, my husband, soon after beginning seminary. 

While we were seriously dating, Peter’s job was moved to Dubai, UAE.  He proposed when I went to visit him over the summer, and I returned to the US to help care for my Dad who was dying of cancer.  At the end of 2004 he passed away, and we were married in January of 2005.  We then lived in Dubai together.  After we both came back to the US, I continued seminary and he continued to work his new job.  We lived in Hyde Park for a year, but mostly lived in our home in Lake in the Hills, IL.  During the 2007 to 2009 school years, I served my internship at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, in Libertyville, IL.  In 2010, I finally graduated with my M. Div. from LSTC and began working as an overnight hospital staff chaplain at Advocate Condell in Libertyville, IL.  On September 5, 2010, our son was born bringing more love then we knew possible into our lives.  (And honestly, more exhaustion, too.  But the love was worth it.) In June of 2012 I received my first call to Capron Lutheran Church in Capron, IL.  My ordination was on June 15, 2012, and we moved into the parsonage.  I had the honor of doing ministry with the wonderful people of Capron until March 1, 2016. It then became necessary for my family to move to Schaumburg, IL where Peter works for Verizon Wireless as a network systems engineer.

Now, I will have great privilege of leading you in worship and discipleship, doing ministry with you, learning your personal, church and Jesus stories, and working together to help the world know how Jesus has changed our lives and has the power to change our community and this world.

I’ll be in the office mostly on Wednesdays from 1PM-8PM (except the week of May 9, when I’ll be in on Monday) and around on most Sunday mornings.  My e-mail address is

I’m excited to be doing ministry with you, and I look forward to hearing your story soon and figuring out together how it is connected to the Jesus story. 

 in God’s love,      Pastor Jess Harren



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