Staff

The Reverend Joanne Groman-Stewart

Pastor Joanne Groman-Stewart grew up in central Pennsylvania, and attended Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania, receiving a BA in Sacred Music with a major in organ performance.

Upon graduation, she served as a Minister of Music in congregations in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She then attended Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, was ordained in 1992, and has served congregations in Columbia and Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and Grand Island, New York. Most recently, Pastor Joanne has served as co-pastor with her husband Doug Stewart at The Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word in Rochester.

Pastor Joanne’s passions for ministry include a love of music and Biblical Studies. Through teaching and preaching, she tries to allow the biblical text come alive, speaking to our own contemporary context with a message of God’s grace, love, and a call to justice. She believes that the Church has a voice to empower us to live out our baptismal calling to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Studies through the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.   Musically, Joanne plays piano, organ, and harp, and loves to sing.

Joshua Ehlebracht

Director of Music

My name is Joshua Ehlebracht and I am very much looking forward to working at Immanuel Lutheran as Music Director! I am 20 years old and come from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I am part of a family of five. I have a younger brother and a younger sister, my father is a Lutheran Minister pursuing a PhD, and my mother is a Registered Nurse.

My first musical experience was with the piano when I was seven years old however even at the age of seven I knew my true passion was organ music. Fortunately enough, when I turned 11, my piano teacher, Dr. Peter Nikiforuk, who was the music director at the church where my father was the pastor, took me under his wing and began giving me organ lessons. Since then I have been hooked on the pipe organ and knew right away that I wanted to make the instrument into my career, which is what led me to my studies at the Eastman School of Music for my undergraduate degree! Over the years I have delivered many recitals at various churches in Kitchener, as well as Toronto. I am an active member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and I have been involved heavily with church music since I was 13 years old. When I was 16 I held my first Music Director position at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church where I learned lots about directing choirs and playing services, as well as learning how much I love to work in a Church Community! I held two more interim music director positions at Lutheran churches after that, and worked in Episcopal, Catholic, and Presbyterian churches.

Outside of organ music, I play a few other instruments such as the Clarinet, the Accordion, and a little bit of Ukulele. I very much enjoy playing and listening to all different and new styles of music on different instruments during my spare time, and am very excited to be a part of a school which allows me to experience this every day! As pass-times I like to mountain bike, ride my skateboard and scooter at the skatepark, and I love to do tricks on trampolines. Feel free to approach me and ask me anything! I’m excited to become a part of the Immanuel church community and I look forward to meeting everyone!

Warren Jenson

Sexton

In 2009, Warren came to Immanuel Lutheran Church, seeking a comfortable congregation that could help him on his spiritual path. Not only did he find insightful advice, but he also developed wonderful friendships and a place where he was respected and nurtured in many ways. One of the ways that Warren felt he could give back for that support, was to accept the position of Sexton in 2012. Warren has a long history of experience in the construction industry and his expertise has proved invaluable to Immanuel. He states that is has been a joy and an honor to help maintain this historic structure and to provide comfort and cleanliness for the people of Immanuel and the community.

Barb Rafferty

Administrative Associate

Barb has served as our Administrative Associate since 2002.  She has been a member of Immanuel since 1968 and has served as Sunday School teacher, on Altar Guild and as a member of ImmanuBells.

Leadership

The Church Council has general oversight of the life and activities of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. Church Council consists of the pastor, the officers of the congregation and not more than 15 members of the congregation. Any active voting member who is of legal age may be elected a councilperson.

Currently serving on Church Council are:

Toni Baller—Council President
Susan Hughes—Vice President
Natalli Bogart—Secretary
Charles Klauck—Financial Secretary
Darla Lacey—Treasurer