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.
Director of Music
Ali Santos grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Psychology with a Minor in Music in 2018. In 2015, she received a joint scholarship from the American Guild of Organists and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Richmond, Virginia to study the pipe organ with Patricia Schrock, Director of Music at the Church of the Epiphany, and Daniel Sañez, Director of Music & Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. As the organ scholar at the Cathedral, she organized and co-directed a student choir and developed an appreciation and skill set for sacred music under the direction and guidance of Mr. Sañez. Ali served as the organist and choir director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Hanover, VA from 2016-2019 and Penfield United Methodist Church in Penfield, NY from 2019-2021. In March 2018, she was awarded an E. Power Biggs Fellowship to attend the 2018 Organ Historical Society Convention in Rochester, New York. The following year, she was admitted to the Eastman School of Music and currently studies under David Higgs. Her current position is the organist and choir director at Immanuel Lutheran in Webster, NY. This summer, Ali fell in love with the movies again and likes to improvise with film. She also loves to ride her bike.
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 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.
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 12 members of the congregation. Any active voting member who is of legal age may be elected a councilperson.
Currently serving on Church Council are:
Dave Ekimoff—Council President
Kathy Bannon—Vice President
Deb Pitts—Financial Secretary