2024 COM/CPM Gathering Leadership

Conference Leadership

DeEtte Decker is the Manager for Vision Integration and Constituent Service for the Presbyterian Mission Agency and considers herself a storyteller, strategist, and spiritual distiller.

Growing up in a long line of Pentecostal pastors taught her how to spin a tale with passion and charisma while simultaneously setting objectives, determining actions to achieve goals, and mobilizing the women’s ministry to execute the potluck. It’s fair to say the Church was DeEtte’s first love, biggest heartbreak, and more than an outdated institution she can’t seem to quit.

 

Corey Schlosser-Hall is the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Deputy Executive Director of Vision, Rebuilding and Innovation. As a ruling elder, Corey has a passion for all people called to serve the twenty-first century church. One of Corey’s favorite parts of ministry is “helping the church re-invent itself for the kingdom of God.” Corey will guide us though a discussion of energy that is individual, interactive, and systemic.


Workshop Leadership

 

Rebecca Blair is an experienced scholar and visionary leader whose curiosity helps her connect diverse professional passions.  With over 40 years as an educator and 28 years as a mid-council leader, Rebecca’s work as a writer, speaker, professor, and consultant focuses on relational issues in communities of practice, catalyzing change, and meaningful adaptive practices within organizational systems.  Her interest in trauma-informed ministry is rooted in her ongoing professional scholarship concerning healthy dimensions of communities of practice in church settings.  Currently, Rebecca serves within the Synod of Lincoln Trails as the Lead Presbyter for Transformation and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois as well as serving the PCUSA as a member of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution.

Nate Brantingham and Macy Ruple are pastors in the Champaign Urbana, IL area. Nate Brantingham is a member at large based in Champaign filling in at pulpits all over the Presbytery giving him a broad view of the presbytery. Macy Ruple, meanwhile, is a pastor at Danville First who has a complimentary experience that is rooted and grounded.

Macy and Nate bring a lot to the table such as: creativity, problem solving, and being under 60. They are old enough to have gathered some wisdom but not wise enough to avoid committees. They met during presbytery work on CPM and have been working on the Presbytery on the Road project for almost a year!



Jennifer Burns Lewis serves the Presbytery of Wabash Valley as its Visioning and Connecting Leader since August of 2016.

A native New Yorker, Jennifer has had a really fun career in ministry since 1983.  She’s served in North Carolina and New Jersey as a college chaplain and faculty member, an associate pastor, a transitional pastor and as a non-profit executive director before heading west to two congregations in the Synod of Lincoln Trails from 1995-2016, one in the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois and the other in the Presbytery of Chicago. She’s served on and moderated COM and CPM in four presbyteries as well as serving as moderator of the Synod of Lincoln Trails and the Presbytery of Chicago.

Jennifer has a deep passion for quality education and leadership development for ministers of Word and Sacrament and ruling elders.

Kenneth Green is a Church Consultant with the Board of Pensions. In that role, and formerly as an Education Specialist, he leads member education seminars across the country and assists in developing additional education resources for plan members and the broader Church community.

Before joining the Board of Pensions in 2014, Ken was the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange, Illinois. Previously, Ken and his wife, Tassie, were associate pastors at Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis for nearly seven years. Ken loves teaching and is excited to be serving his pastoral colleagues.

 

Eric Heinekamp has been serving as Transformational General Presbyter and Stated Clerk for Blackhawk Presbytery since August 2020. Prior to this call, Eric served as pastor at First Presbyterian Church of DuPage and Director of Business Affairs for the Presbytery of Chicago. He is an ordained pastor in the PC(USA). Eric is a life-long presbyterian and a second career pastor. Prior to his call to ministry, Eric worked for 20 years in commercial banking. He holds an MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Eric and his wife, Patty, have been married 44 years and live in Naperville. They have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

 

Ken Hockenberry is a graduate of Grove City College (Bachelor of Music / Voice Major) in Pennsylvania,  and Princeton Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) in New Jersey. He has served churches in Syracuse, New York, Louisville, Kentucky, and Skokie, Illinois. Currently he is serving as Stated Clerk and Business Manager for Chicago Presbytery.

Ken is married to the Rev. Judy Hockenberry, who recently retired from service as an Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Arlington Heights, IL. Ken and Judy have three adult children – all in their 30s – Katie, Jenny, and Andrew.

 

Craig Howard is in his third year as Executive Presbyter of Chicago and tenth year in presbytery leadership that includes presbytery of Milwaukee and Giddings-Lovejoy (St.Louis). In addition to executive leadership, Craig has served several racial ethnic churches including Latinx, African American, Korean, and Euro American.

Craig’s spouse is the Rev. Marilyn Gamm. He has two adult daughters living in the Chicagoland.

 

 

Susan McGhee is in her fifteenth year of service as the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley, and lives in fabulous Bloomington, Indiana, with her cat Abby Cadabby.  Susan is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation, a Certified Mentor/Coach with the Institute of HeartMath, a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Developmental Inventory, and a Certified Laughter Leader with the World Laughter Tour. She recently completed a term as Moderator of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, and currently serves as Vice-President / President-Elect of the Association of Mid Council Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

In addition to cooking, walking, sitting by the fire, and hanging out with friends (none of which are mutually exclusive), Susan loves working with small groups. She understands that when leaders attend to good process and group dynamics, group members can make smart decisions. She is a big fan of smart decisions.

 

Jihyun Oh is a Teaching Elder member of Greater Atlanta Presbytery currently serving as Director of Mid Council Ministries and Associate Stated Clerk in the Office of the General Assembly of the PC(USA). Prior to denominational work, she served congregations as interim pastor, associate pastor, and parish associate, and served the patients, families, and staff in the ICUs of a Level I Trauma hospital as a chaplain. Jihyun is an ICF-trained coach and a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

She believes that situations of transition or crisis offer opportunities for growth if we can stay curious and imaginative. These opportunities help us to become more fully who we are meant to be. She is passionate about helping people and the many parts of the church discover anew who they are becoming… and then put action behind that discovery. Part of her task in her current role is to proactively imagine ways to bridge the gap between the Church that was and the Church that is and is still becoming.

Ann Schwartz began serving as the Lead Presbyter of Great Rivers Presbytery in June 2023. Prior to that she served as Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church, Danville, Illinois; staff chaplain at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, Illinois; and co-pastor, with her spouse, at First Presbyterian Church, Hoopeston, Illinois.

She completed her undergraduate degree at Central Michigan University and earned her MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary. She worked in the publishing industry prior to (paying attention to) her call to ministry. Ann lives in Bloomington, Illinois, with her spouse. They have two adult daughters.

Manuel Silva-Esterrich has been an ordained minister in the PC(USA) for 15 years and has been the Manager of Call Process Support and CLC since 2020. He has worked with youth, presbyteries, universities, and entities that work with people with disabilities. Also, had his own ministry media company for awhile Media Trii, that built websites for inter-ecclesial networks like ChurchScraps.com. With his leadership, the Office of the General Assembly has completed the difficult task of creating a new matching system for the PC (USA) in the new CLC.

 

 



 

Synod Leadership

Sara Dingman

Sara Dingman

Wynesia Jackson

Jana Blazek

 

 

 

 

 





Worship Leadership

Christopher Henry, Senior Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church

Hannah Ostend, Lake Fellow at Second Presbyterian Church

Rachel Klompmaker, Lake Fellow at Second Presbyterian Church

John Allegar
Organist and Assistant Director of Music and Fine Arts at Second Presbyterian Church

Ben Davison, Lake Fellow at Second Presbyterian Church

 

Tom Markey
Director of Youth and Families at Second Presbyterian Church

Gracie Payne
Director of Young Adult Engagement at Second Presbyterian Church

Madison VanVeelen
Associate Pastor of Care at Second Presbyterian Church

Sara Dorrien-Christians
Associate Pastor of Children and Family Ministries at Second Presbyterian Church

Rev. Michael Samson,
Associate Pastor for Engagement at Second Presbyterian Church