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Clergy and Staff


The rev. elizabeth butler jameson, rector

Abundant energy, an ability to get things accomplished, and a profound love for people animate Elizabeth’s life and ministry.  She is delighted to be the Rector of St. Simon’s Episcopal Church, a thriving faith community in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  Before joining St Simon’s in 2013, Elizabeth began her seven year ministry at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth, IL, as curate and then Associate Rector.  She then served for seven years at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary,

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the rev. stephen smith, associate rector

Stephen joined the St. Simon’s staff in July 2016.  He received his Master’s of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis.  Prior to seminary he worked for the Young Adult Service Corps, a mission branch of the Episcopal Church, and was stationed in Grahamstown, South Africa for two years.  Stephen has a passion for fostering relationships and community that help build the Body of Christ and further God’s mission of reconciliation in the world. 

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the rev. larry handwerk, associate for worship*

Larry has a passion for scripture, the interface between culture and religion, the 20’s and 30’s generation and pushing the boundaries of old and new. Outside of church, he enjoys reading, computers, travel, the arts, and his two grandchildren. He is officially retired and gifts his time to St. Simon’s.



email: larry

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the rev. dianne shields, pastoral care coordinator*

Dianne is pleased to be part of the pastoral care ministry at St. Simon’s. She is a “retired” Presbyterian minister who loves people and enjoys sharing their spiritual journeys. She is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary and served for twenty years at First Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights. She also holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in speech and language and has taught at Northwestern, National Louis, and DePaul Universities.

Dianne and her husband Jerry have three children and seven grandchildren.

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carl raezer, associate for music & youth

Carl began his time at St. Simon’s as a Seminary intern and interim music director and has happily  moved into a permanent position as the Music & Youth Associate. His musical background is in classical percussion, completing his undergraduate studies in music performance at Northwestern University in 2011. His seminary studies came at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston where he received a Master of Arts in Music Ministry. Carl is excited to bring his own musical background into the mix to help the community grow in faith through creative,

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sara lewandowski, church school coordinator*

Sara has been a member of St. Simon’s Church since 1985.  She began teaching Sunday School shortly after that and became our Sunday School Superintendent in 1993.  Sara truly enjoys working with children of all ages.  She says that “We have the greatest kids in the world here at St. Simon’s, and they teach us as much as we teach them!”  Sara likes to spend her free time doing things with family and friends,

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Jo Gantzer, Associate For Parish And Family Ministry

Jo believes that every aspect of life is formational, we are always learning and being changed – whether we know it or not.  Her preference is for intentional, “awake” learning, but she’s comfortable with more subversive methods – think bulletin boards that make you think.

There are two Creation stories in the Bible – one for administration and one for formation.

Bringing order out of chaos, in the first story, is an example of administration.

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chelsie coren, accompanist

Chelsie attends the University of Chicago where she plans to graduate with an anthropology major and Latin American studies minor in June 2017. She began her organ career as an Organ Scholar at Rockefeller Chapel and the Fourth Presbyterian Church, and has been a freelance organist for just under a year. In her free time, she loves to cook (mostly because she loves to eat she notes), dance, and spend time with friends and family. 

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howie, chief hospitality officer

Howie’s primary role is to warmly welcome anyone and everyone to St. Simon’s during the week.  While it is true that, on a rare occasion, he may be caught napping on the job, it is only the fault of the very cozy beanbag strategically located in the rector’s office.  His other vital role is as sexton–crumb cleaning is an essential function, although occasionally it requires overtime.  His hobbies include going for runs every morning and making sure the rector doesn’t get out of line.

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