At Resurrection Lutheran Church (RLC), we believe that God created the whole world good and loves it deeply. God’s limitless love is revealed in Jesus Christ and lived out in the church, the community shaped by the Holy Spirit. Nourished and guided by scripture, prayer and Christian community, we live, serve and grow together in the power of God’s forgiving and renewing grace.
RLC is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a Christian denomination with 3.7 million members in 9,300 congregations across the U.S. and in the Caribbean region. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbors.
For more about we believe, visit the ELCA website.
Pastor Kelly was called to RLC in May 2015, following a long line of passionate and creative pastors. She loves serving in a congregation that has a passion for weekly worship, being connected to the neighborhood and serving our neighbors in need.
Born and raised in Wheaton, Illinois, Pastor Kelly has always considered Chicagoland home. Her call to ministry began as a teenager as she became increasingly involved in her congregation. Through the people in that congregation, God began encouraging and paving a path to ministry for Pastor Kelly as she led worship, organized youth events and participated in service trips and national youth gatherings.
Pastor Kelly attended Valparaiso University in Indiana, where she studied English, education and theology. She spent summers working at Lutheran camps in Colorado and Indiana. Following college, she entered the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), where she received her Master of Divinity degree and completed an internship at the International Lutheran Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Always interested in learning more, she completed her Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching from LSTC in 2013.
Before coming to RLC, she served congregations in Warren, Ohio and River Forest, Illinois.
Pastor Kelly lives in the Edgewater neighborhood with her husband Justin. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, knitting, going to the movies and drinking strong coffee or beer (though not at the same time!). She’s always happy to meet you for the beverage of your choice—email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every week, RLC sends a weekly email update, In Our Community. Every month RLC publishes a newsletter, The Messenger. We share our joys and concerns, reflect on past events and look forward to upcoming events and opportunities.
“(We) help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through use of the time, talents and finances God has entrusted to them.” -Charles R. Lane in Ask, Thank, Tell
God has given us so much, we respond in love and good stewardship of all we have and are. RLC’s stewardship committee writes prayer petitions, identifies service opportunities in the congregation and the community, and inspires members to prayerfully commit their time, talents and treasures to God through our annual stewardship campaign.
RLC has been a Christian community since 1970, but its roots date back to the 1880s.
Late in the 19th century, Swedish immigrants were moving to Chicago and settling on the city’s north side. Trinity Lutheran Church was founded by Swedes in 1883 on the corner of Seminary and Noble (now Barry). The building is still there, but it has since been converted into condos. The community at Trinity worshipped in Swedish. In 1896 Messiah Lutheran Church was founded by 14 families from Trinity who wanted to worship in English. They built it at the corner of Seminary and School, the original building still standing and since converted into our fellowship and preschool areas.
In the 1960s both congregations began to decline in membership, eventually sharing a pastor. The pastor at that time, the Rev. Ronald Johnson, was known to neighbors as “the flying nun” because he would run three blocks in his worship garments from one service to another every Sunday morning. In October 1970 under Pastor Johnson’s leadership, Trinity and Messiah merged to form Resurrection Lutheran Church. In response to the needs of the surrounding community, Barbara Johnson, the wife of the pastor, and others founded Resurrection Preschool, a program with a secular, values-based curriculum.
In 1912 the congregation at Messiah voted to allow female members to vote alongside male members in congregational meetings, 8 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 1976 our Church Council approved the welcome of gays and lesbians into the church community, and RLC began hosting meetings for Lutheran gays and lesbians on the north side. In 1984 we became one of the first Reconciling in Christ congregations through Lutherans Concerned North America. Today we continue to be a welcoming congregation to the GLBTQ community.