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Our Clergy and Staff

The Rev. Dr. Paula Harris, Priest

“I grew up in a missionary family. My paternal grandparents were missionaries in the Tibetan part of China; my uncle and his wife in Taiwan; and my great aunt and her partner, in Ethiopia. But I was born in a more ordinary place: Dallas, TX before my parents left the US for their first call to Papua New Guinea (where I spent some of my childhood and where my three sisters were born). Imagine, I was a toddler, my mom hugely pregnant with my next sister, while we attended “jungle camp” - a sort of intense bootcamp training for missionaries to live in the jungle. I won’t start naming all the countries I grew up in or have worked in or visited because my current country count is about my age. (We have a map, in our home.)

 

Although my folks were obviously committed Christians, they never committed to a denomination, so I grew up in all different types of churches which helped me be flexible. Every time we moved, we changed churches and denominations. I became an Episcopalian in the early 1990s. I appreciate the historicity, the liturgy, the sense of mystery, the sense that “you don’t have to check your mind at the door” and the commitment to love and to justice which I find in the Episcopal church. As a young person my education was equally peripatetic (moving around), but my professional education has all been in Illinois: Wheaton College, BA English and Secondary Education 1986; Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Masters of Theological Studies 2006; Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Doctorate of Ministry (preaching) 2012.

 

In the late 1980s, I settled in Madison WI and I’ve chosen to keep it as my hometown until now. My spouse is near retirement and loves his ministry, so we are moving to Galena on the slow plan. I am married to Chaplain Guta Cvetkovic, who is ordained in the American Baptist Church (Dr. Martin Luther King’s denomination) and serves as a Chaplain at Capitol Lakes Retirement Community in Madison. We have two young adult children: our oldest lives in New Orleans and is an international climate justice organizer and videographer, and our youngest lives in Seattle, where he works in tech sales (but really, he mostly loves mountains). Both cities are great places to visit.

 

I have served seven churches from 1500 members to 50, in urban and rural contexts. In every place, I have enjoyed getting to know the folks and finding ways our different churches could be vibrant and sustainable.

 

I obviously don’t have a lot of spare time, serving the church and commuting from Madison, until we move. But when I do, I like to read (usually mystery novels which come to a satisfying conclusion); to grow plants indoors and out; to organize wine pairings for my spouse's fabulous meals; and to listen to jazz. We like to travel, still adding a country a year… except during the pandemic. And on our holidays, we always manage to find an Episcopal or Anglican church.”

Paula Harris

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The Rev. Linda Packard, Priest Associate

Linda retired to Galena in 2008 having served as Rector of Church of Our Saviour in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago for eleven years. She and her husband Tony live in Galena. Prior to that she had been called to various parishes in the Diocese of Chicago as Interim Rector and was active in Diocesan life on the Standing Committee and as chair of several diocesan committees. Like many women in the 20th century, her call to ordained ministry was a second career; the first, was exercised in administration in universities and teaching hospitals. Her first five years as a priest were spent in hospital chaplaincy in Evanston. In Galena she spent one year as Interim Rector at Grace prior to Gloria Hopewell’s arrival.

She has served briefly in missionary settings in Africa, Haiti and Myanmar. She now assists at Grace, primarily in liturgy and pastoral care. She enjoys the vibrant community life at Grace in which growth in faith is supported and all are encouraged to carry their faith from pew to community both locally and internationally.

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The Rev. Diane Luther, Deacon

Diane and her husband Richard were drawn to Grace after experiencing a very warm welcome during their first visit, and upon learning that this parish supported ministry internationally, nationally, as well as locally. Shortly after retirement, Diane began experiencing a call to the ministry of a Vocational Deacon. After a period of discernment, education, and field placement, she became ordained in August 2020 and has been serving at Grace and in the community since then. While baptized as an infant, she finds the promises made when we renew our baptismal covenant several times a year to be very important and meaningful, especially the responses to the questions, “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” and “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?"

Formal classes in her study to become a deacon were from Bexley Seabury and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Diane completed a PhD in clinical psychology and was in practice for over 25 years prior to retirement. She and Richard love spending time with their son Brian, his wife Michelle and grandsons Dylan and Brody. They enjoy travel that allows them to learn and to meet people from other places. Diane likes to quilt and knit and often uses these as contemplative practices. 

Robin French, Music Director
A life-long musician, Robin has been Music Director at Grace since 2019, after 6 years as accompanist of Grace Choir under the inspiring direction of Pat Terry, and as organist. With a rich and varied background in music - she has been a public school educator; private piano teacher; plays a few other instruments; has led or collaborated in many pit orchestras for various theater productions; been the Music Director at several churches in Colorado; and sung in choruses and ensembles in all 7 states where she has lived as an adult. The 5th in a full octave of children in a multi-talented musical family, she had no choice but to sing in harmony from an early age, and is still known to encourage “finding a note in the chord” wherever two or more are gathered. 

Nancy Cook, Associate Music Director
Nancy joined the Galena church in 1988 and began playing the Erben organ on Mothers' Day the same year. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a double music major (vocal and instrumental), taught General Music grades 1-8 in Dodgeville, WI for five years, retiring when she started her family and began giving piano lessons. After moving to Cuba City, Wisconsin, she continued giving piano lessons and got a job teaching music at Holy Ghost School in Dickeyville, Wisconsin for fifteen years as well as teaching for eight years at St. Rose School In Cuba City. Nancy is a member of the Grace Choir, singing in the alto section, which she continues to do in addition to her responsibilities as an associate director. During Sunday services, she plays for Communion in addition to directing the choir when Robin French is absent.

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Kris Egan, Parish Administrator 

Kris is a native of Dubuque, Iowa. She joined the Grace staff as Parish Administrator in 2022. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Loras College. She has a diverse career background, including 23 years of fundraising and development for healthcare, educational and a human services institutions. She has also been a business manager for Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque. She is the oldest of 10 siblings, an aunt to 15 nieces and nephews and a great aunt to six great nieces and nephews with one more on the way. She is passionate about her Irish heritage. 

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Teresa Burke, Sunday School Teacher
Teresa, who grew up in Galena and attended local schools, teaches children in the Godly Play education program on Sunday mornings before Eucharist. She has attended Cursillo and has received training in the "Godly Play" curriculum and the "Keeping God's People Safe" program through the Diocese of Chicago and is an EfM graduate.

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