John Lottes - 10 Years as Pastor of Ourlord's
With great thanks to the members and friends of Our Lord’s Lutheran Church, I have had the privilege of serving as Pastor during the celebrations of our 40th and 50th Anniversaries. But, more importantly, I have had the distinct privilege of serving for ten years as Pastor here to accompany beloved people through the great joys and deep sorrows of your lives, as we sought together to fulfill our vocation in Christ of being "Called to Share Christ’s Love with All." As Vicki and I conclude our time here during this month and I retire from full-time service as a Pastor, we want to thank this blessed community of faith for letting us be a part of your church family. We have ministered to one another and to the community in ways that blessed others with the Love of Christ-and we all were blessed in the doing. Our Lord’s is a vibrant church that nurtures growing faith and dedicated service. Dana Callahan, now herself "retired" as Lay Ministry Coordinator, has pioneered the Spiritual Gift Assessment to identify, celebrate, and utilize talents and abilities in each of us, so that we may be a blessing to all whose lives we touch individually and as a church community. Our core ministries of Worship, Education, Fellowship, and Service are in the good hands of gifted and effective leaders.

My "farewell sermon series" using the Gospel Readings of the last five weeks has sought to affirm what is strong at Our Lord’s and to gently encourage concrete and achievable continued growth in each core ministry area, even during the coming transition when everyone’s presence and participation are especially needed. Our Lord’s Caring Ministry Team has been formed to provide continuing care to our church family leading up to and following my retirement. Mary Olsen has details. This congregation has highly capable leadership on our Church Council, Steering Team, and (soon) Call Committee, all of whom will assist Synod Staff with the transition to new pastoral leadership. Vicki and I will deeply miss this very special congregation, and we wish you all a blessed continuing faith journey together!

Love Always,

Loretta Williams - Administrative Assistant
Loretta Williams has served as the administrative assistant at Our Lord's since 1998 and has been a member since 1994. She came to the area from her home state of North Carolina, where she lived in several towns representing the geographic diversity for which the Tarheel state is known. She has been married for 28 years to Mike, and they have two grown children: Alex (and his wife Nicole) and Caitlyn, four lovable dogs and five cats. Loretta obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Appalachian State University (Boone, NC), and a Master of Education degree from East Carolina University (Greenville, NC).

Loretta enjoys singing with the Our Lord’s praise band, beading and making jewelry, reading, gardening and hanging out with family.

Robert Valentine - Director of Choirs
Robert Valentine began as the Director of our Vocal Choir and Bell Choir in the fall of 2012. A native of Georgia, Robert has been involved in church music all of his life. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Piano Performance from Georgia College and State University and his Masters in Conducting and Collaborative Piano from Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville in 2010. In addition to his ten years of church music experience, Robert has worked throughout Georgia, Illinois, and Texas in conducting, accompanying and vocal coaching.

Robert presently is Rehearsal Accompanist at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, where he also coordinates the "Opera Hour" outreach to local elementary schools. Robert practices what he teaches by being a member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus.

His enthusiasm for music is contagious, and he welcomes all who would like to play handbells or sing in the choir.

Chery Sides - Organist
Chery grew up in Nebraska, attended UCLA and NU, ending with a Master's in Philosophy. She taught philosophy at Central Missouri State University. She married her husband Gary in 1972, and has two children (John and Nathan). For 26 years, she has been working at Goodwill Industries as assistant to the President. Chery joined Our Lord's in 1981, and has been organist since 1983.