At WPLC we empower all people to be leaders in the congregation, bringing forth new ministries and ideas to engage the world and help others glimpse the work of God among us. Our paid staff help guide this process, along with the elected congregational council.
Pastor Jason grew up in East Dundee, Illinois, with his parents, brother, and countless pet turtles. He majored in religion, biology, and pre-medicine at Augustana College, Rock Island and worked in Chicago as a homeless shelter case manager with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. He continued his education at both the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Yale Divinity School before receiving his Master of Divinity with a concentration in urban/metropolitan ministry. During his studies he served in pastoral roles at Temple University’s Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministries and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Easton, Pennsylvania. Before coming to WPLC in December 2013, Pastor Jason worked as a hospital chaplain at Yale–New Haven Hospital.
His passions for ministry include high liturgical worship, pastoral care, Christian education, community engagement, spiritual care research, and social ministry at homeless shelters, prisons, hospitals, and with other marginalized groups (e.g., LGBTQ and immigrants). His favorite Gospel is Luke, especially the story of the Good Samaritan, as it is a continual reminder to love God and to love and show mercy to others and ourselves. Its implications are complex and rich, and it shapes and informs Pastor Jason’s ministry.
In his spare time, Pastor Jason enjoys going to the gym, biking, hiking, spending time with family and friends, volunteering, the fine arts, attempting to both garden and cook new recipes, reading The Atlantic, and listening to NPR.
Contact Pastor Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicar Paul Eldred, pastoral resident
Vicar Paul Eldred is a senior at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. The son of an ELCA pastor and a teacher, Vicar Paul was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Growing up, he moved around, and lived in Iowa, Washington, and Alaska, but considers Washington and Alaska his dual home states. After high school, Vicar Paul attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where he majored in politics and minored in religious studies.
After college, Vicar Paul moved to Seattle, Washington. In August 2013, he married his college boyfriend, Ryan Moothart, at their home church, University Lutheran in Seattle. Two weeks later, they moved to Chicago to begin Vicar Paul’s seminary education.
Vicar Paul has a deep passion for liturgy and strives to connect the assembly with the ancient communion of saints whose song we join each time we worship. He is fervent in his understanding of God’s expansive and surprising love for all people and adamant that this love be proclaimed by the church through word and deed.
Vicar Paul and Ryan both have a deep love for the mountains and share a passion for sports—especially soccer—and are ardent supporters of Seattle Sounders FC.
Vicar Paul is also a fan of the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks. Vicar Paul enjoys reading, running, hiking, music, theatre, and watching Netflix.
Mary O’Brien is a volunteer with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and will be serving at WPLC through July. Mary grew up in Melrose Park, Illinois, where she attended Walther Lutheran High School. She then went on to attend Valparaiso University where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work in May 2015. As an LVC volunteer, Mary lives in community with five other volunteers in Albany Park. Mary has attended Lutheran churches all her life, so she is very excited for the opportunity to serve at one through LVC!
Contact Mary at email@example.com
Jordan Chua, church musician
Jordan has been a musician in the Chicago metropolitan area for over 15 years, serving as an ecclesial musician, music educator, and performer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in music and philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and studied the sciences in Loyola’s postbaccalaureate program. He was awarded a master’s in music education from VanderCook College of Music and is currently working on his dissertation for a doctorate in education from Loyola University Chicago
He enjoys reading literature by George R. R. Martin, Orson Scott Card, Margaret Atwood, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien; recreating by Lake Michigan; and playing with his baby niece. Jordan delights in working with both young and experienced musicians. Through his music ministry at WPLC, Jordan desires, as J. S. Bach affirmed, “. . . to give God the greater glory and refreshment to the soul.”
Raye moved to Chicago from California in summer of 2014 to study at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago as a PhD student in the field of Systematic Theology. A lifelong Lutheran, Raye worked in various ministry contexts across California, including youth and camp ministries, and served in the Sacramento area as the program director for the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network (a young adult service year program). She received her BA in Religion from California Lutheran University and her Master of Theological Studies degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Raye lives in Hyde Park with her two cats, Steven and James, loves to listen to 90s grunge rock, and plays roller derby with the Haymarket Rioters, a Windy City Rollers team.