Staff

Lars Stromberg

Lead Pastor

lars@hinsdalecovenant.com

Pastor Lars has been serving Hinsdale Covenant Church since 2006. He graduated from Bethel University in 2002 and earned his Masters of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, in 2006. Lars was ordained in the Covenant Church in 2008. Lars is passionate about teaching and preaching God's Word with creativity and care. He loves helping the Bible come to life for others, especially his Confirmation class. A Minnesota native, Lars enjoys disc golf, art galleries, watching 30-year-old basketball games, trees, Covenant camps, writing, reading, cooking, Minnesota sports and wearing itchy sweaters. He is married to Katie, has two wonderful sons and a delightful daughter and lives in Hinsdale.

Simon Guevara

Associate Pastor of Congregational Life

simon@hinsdalecovenant.com

Pastor Simon joined us from Restoration Covenant Church near Austin, TX. A native of Michigan, he is a graduate of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (’08) and was ordained with the Covenant in 2016. He and his wife Alicia were married in 2001 and have 5 children. Having given his life to Christ as adult, Simon is passionate about sharing the gospel, encouraging transformation in Christ and relational discipleship. Simon enjoys biking and often daydreams about playing in the French Open tennis tournament.

Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation

Joy was moved to join the ECC Denomination on All Saint's Day in 2000. She joined Hinsdale Covenant in June 2016, served as the Pastoral Intern and joined staff permanently in fall 2017. Called to pastoral ministry out of educational theatre, she brings a strong creative and performing arts background to her work. Joy holds a MCS from Regent College and is completing her M.Div. at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joy has lived in seven states and one province, and has taught worship theology and Scripture performance internationally. Joy has been married to Justin for seventeen years and they have two lively children. Joy's prayer for you is that the Spirit's work continues to transform your heart, soul, and mind to reflect Jesus.

Caleb Nilsen

Director of Youth Ministry

Caleb has recently joined the Hinsdale Covenant team as Director of Youth Ministry! He works with 7th-12th grade students on a weekly basis and fosters the spiritual journey of the youth at HHC. Caleb has been with Hinsdale Covenant since September 2019 and is originally from Northwest Covenant Church in Mount Prospect, IL. He plays for the North Park golf team and enjoys anything that involves a little healthy competition!

Jade Cook

Children's Ministry Director

jade@hinsdalecovenant.com

Jade joined our staff in 2018 as our Children's Ministry Director! She works with the children of our church on Sunday mornings at Sunday Kids Camp and organizes our Cov Sports Camp Program in the summer. Jade can often be found chatting with parents and welcoming children on Sunday mornings during our 10:30am church service. Jade lives in Hinsdale with her husband, Rob, and two children.

John Rakes

Chancel Choir Director

john@hinsdalecovenant.com

John has been serving the music ministry of Hinsdale Covenant Church since 2016. As a passionate and versatile conductor, professor, and collaborative pianist, John also serves the music students of Wheaton and Kishwaukee Colleges and is the Artistic Director of the Downers Grove Choral Society. John has earned degrees in music from Wheaton College (BME), Northern Illinois (MM) and the University of Iowa (DMA). His doctoral research consisted of an international research and editorial project into the sacred choral music of Antonio Caldara. John lives in Warrenville with his wife Marissa and their young son and daughters. He enjoys sharing God’s love and beauty through music.

Ruth Rottschafer

Organist

Ruth joined Hinsdale Covenant Church in 1998 and served as Director of Music until 2014. Ruth now serves as organist and accompanist. A Chicago area native, Ruth received a BA Degree from Calvin College and a Masters of Music Degree from the American Conservatory. Ruth performs as both piano soloist and organist and also accompanies instrumentalists, vocalists, choral groups and ensembles. She teaches piano privately and taught General Music for 28 years. She enjoys walking, biking, reading, and traveling to visit friends and relatives. Ruth spends as much time as possible with her children and 5 grandchildren, who live nearby.

Jennifer Hart

Preschool Director

hinsdalecovenantpreschool@gmail.com

Jennifer Hart began teaching at Covenant Preschool in 2016 in the Twos classroom, and has been serving as director since 2019, but actually began at Covenant Preschool when her four daughters attended years ago. Jennifer received her degrees from Indiana University. Jennifer is passionate about Early Childhood Education, and is committed to maintaining a strong, faith-based educational program for our wonderful school. She is honored to work with an extraordinary faculty of caring, educated and attentive teachers, who are focused on each child’s needs, as well as the families we serve. Jennifer resides in Hinsdale with her family.

Kirsten Bell

Office Financial Assistant

kirsten@hinsdalecovenant.com

Kirsten Bell joined staff in 2015. Her Covenant roots run deep. She's a Covenant pastor's kid, third generation graduate of North Park University, and previously worked at Covenant Offices as CHIC coordinator. Long-time members of the Covenant church, Kirsten, Jim and their two children live in Riverside, IL.

Norman Frees

Office Assistant

norm@hinsdalecovenant.com

Norm Frees joined our staff in 2017. Norm joined Hinsdale Covenant in 1988, and has loved participating in a number of areas of church life, having served as Christian Education chair and Treasurer. After a long career in information services, he is enjoying his retirement by working part time in our office and spending quality time with family, including wife, Stephanie, their daughters and grand children. Norm also loves participating in the worship band and playing guitar every Christmas eve for over twenty years.