I’ve been at St. Elisabeth’s since 2005 when I was drawn here by its “can-do” spirit. The best part about being the Rector at St. Elisabeth’s is leading a truly inter-generational congregation, where everyone’s contribution and life experiences are valued, from the longest-time members to the littlest children. I enjoy preaching about the great stories of the Bible, developing leaders, and gathering the community of faith. Outside church, I like camping with my husband and two teenagers, classic literature, and all sorts of games – from cards to whiffleball.
The Rev. Larry W. Handwerk, Assisting Priest
Since my second retirement in early 2009, I have been assisting the Rector in liturgy, preaching, an occasional forum and anything else she asks me to do. After 46 years of ordained ministry, I’ve covered a lot of territory in church life. At St. Elisabeth’s I enjoy being among a group of people many of whom have that broad experience. Here I also benefit from being with new church folk and seekers who keep me open to new perspectives.
I also serve as Associate for Worship at St. Simon’s in Arlington Heights.
I have a passion for scripture, the interface between culture and religion, the 20’s and 30’s generation and pushing the boundaries of old and new. Outside of church, I enjoy reading, computers, travel, the arts, and my two grandchildren.
Dillon Shipman, Director of Music and Seminarian
Originally from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, I made my journey to the North Shore in August 2013 to begin the Master of Divinity program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston. I feel very blessed that God quickly opened up a door for me to become part of the St. Elisabeth’s family. I am overjoyed about the warm, inviting atmosphere this congregation has created, and am excited to be part of growing the ministries of the church, as both Director of Music and Seminarian. Outside of the church and seminary, I enjoy getting lost in a good book or my favorite daytime soap, Days of our Lives. Growing up in a family of auto racers, I also enjoy catching the NASCAR and IndyCar races. Still, most of the time, I can be found behind the piano in my apartment. I look forward to lifting up our voices and instruments together in worship!
Jamie Johnstad, Director of Children’s Education
Before I moved to Lake Bluff a year and a half ago with my husband and children, I lived in Houston, TX for 8 years. There I was introduced to not one, not two, but three amazing communities that give shape to God’s call for me: the Episcopal church, AMI Montessori, and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. God continues to light a path for me within those communities, and I am excited to find myself at St. Elisabeth’s. I feel called to create love and joy in my own home with my family, to support other families in doing the same. I respond to this call through sharing my gifts and the things I love to do: dancing, visual arts, being active in nature, cooking healthy, local, real food, and bringing people together to experience hospitality and celebration. I like to view all these things through the lens of Christian spirituality and our particular Episcopal practices.
Ida Butler, Director of Administration and Communication
I was born and raised in Chicago and moved to the suburbs in the early nineties. I come from a large family and grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. In 2009, I was drawn to the Episcopal Church and received in 2010. That was one of the best decisions of my life. My son, Luke, and I are active members at St. Gregory’s in Deerfield. My passions include music, working with youth, and visiting my daughter and grandchildren in Oklahoma when time permits. I am excited to share my gifts and talents with the community at St. Elisabeth’s. I bring with me over 25 years of experience in nonprofit administration as well as a deep commitment to serving others and doing God’s work. During my time here, I hope to contribute to the welcoming spirit at St. Elisabeth’s while keeping parish operations running smoothly and efficiently. Please let me know how I can be of service to you!