The Rev. Adam Spencer, Rector
Adam came to Saint Elisabeth’s after serving two years as Associate Priest for Pastoral Care at Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue in New York City.
He grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. He formally began discernment of a vocation to the priesthood while serving as the Youth and Adult Education Coordinator and Dean’s Assistant at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio from 2008-2012. He received his Master of Divinity degree at the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2016.
During his time at the Divinity School, Adam served as seminarian at the Church of the Atonement in Chicago and continued serving there after ordination as assisting clergy. He was ordained a transitional deacon in June of 2017 and a priest in June of 2018 at St. James Cathedral in Chicago. Before going to New York to serve at St. Thomas, Adam worked as Manager of Volunteer Services at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
Adam is a big fan of The Lord of the Rings, the Cleveland Browns, Ignatian spirituality, and the poetry of Mary Oliver. He and his wife Rose share the rectory with their cat Fawkes.
Walter Aldrich, Director of Music
Originally from Sacramento, California, Walter has worked as a professional musician in the Chicago area since Fall of 2018. As a pianist and singer, he performs regularly both locally and around the country; appearing both as a soloist and in several professional ensembles (including Chicago Opera Theatre, Stare at the Sun, Ensemble Affekten, Roots in the Sky, Grant Park Chorus, and the multi-Grammy winning ensemble The Crossing). Church music is an integral part of his life, and he has worked continuously as a professional church musician for over seventeen years.
Walter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from California State University in Sacramento, and a Master’s Degree in Music from Northwestern University. He appeared as an apprentice artist for two seasons with the Aspen Music Festival, and for one season with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood – where he starred in the American premiere of a new opera under the baton of Thomas Ades. He currently serves on the faculty of Lake Forest College where he teaches voice and assists with the college choral program.
Outside of music, Walter’s greatest passions are traveling (especially road-tripping), attending live performances (with a special love for Opera), exploring galleries and museums, and watching classic and international films.
Pam Green, Director of Administration
I have been a parish administrator since 2009, and truly love the work that I do. I was raised in Upstate New York, as a cradle Episcopalian. My family moved to IL in 2012. I live in Gurnee with my husband Brian. My family is very involved in our hobby of playing in bagpipe bands and I am a member of The Daughters of Scotia, a fraternal organization for Scottish women. I also enjoy reading, counted cross stitch, painting and crafting.
Elizabeth Clemmitt, Associate for Spiritual Wellness
A resident of Wilmette for over 25 years, I have raised a family while working part-time as a music teacher and as a children’s choir director at Christ Church in Winnetka. I have pursued my passion for all things spiritual through reading, attending multiple weekly groups at my church, and by meeting with a spiritual director. With the encouragement of my spiritual mentors, I received my certificate from the Spiritual Guidance Training Program at Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin. I am available to meet at St. Elisabeth’s with parishioners who are interested in pursuing personal and spiritual growth through the practice of spiritual direction for a fee. I also lead a spiritual retreat for St. Elisabeth’s once a year. I love to sing in choirs, practice yoga, and hike in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with my husband and two grown sons. I may be contacted at (312) 618-1238 or by email.
Shelley Byrnes, Coordinator for Children, Youth and Family Ministries
I see God in the faces of children and teenagers and am so blessed to be involved with them as they grow in their faith and mature. It is such a gift to be able to witness that growth and support them as they ask questions such as, “who am I to God?” or “why am I here?” I have been involved in Christian Formation in various roles from Sunday School Teacher, Camp Counselor, Nursery Coordinator, Youth Group Leader, Social Service Director, Sunday School Administrator, Chalice Players Administrator to Family Minister over the course of 20 years. I have served churches and schools in Washington DC, Denver and Golden CO, and Scottsdale AZ. My core position is currently serving as Family Minister at St. Gregory’s, Deerfield.
I have a certificate in Children and Family Ministries from the Diocese of Arizona and a Certificate in Leadership in Lifelong Christian Formation from Forma and Virginia Theological Seminary. I also have a BA in English from Ripon College and an AAS in Massage Therapy. I have two adult daughters who bring me joy and help me laugh at myself! I have a granddog, Athena, who works with me in my office and three kitties: Max, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. As you can tell, I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fanatic. I enjoy walking, swimming, yoga, and movies.
THE REV. LARRY W. HANDWERK, ASSISTING PRIEST
After over 50 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 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.
St. Elisabeth’s Vestry
Ann Tuohy, Warden
Tasker Generes, Treasurer
Kathy Svetina, Treasurer
Leslie Alter, Warden
John Tuohy, asst. Treasurer