We, as the Vestry of St. Paul’s Church, are very excited to both honor St. Paul’s history and to embrace the challenges of the current community, as we move forward to effect positive changes for our parishioners, church, and communities.
Gretchen’s Episcopal faith is anchored at St. Peter’s Church, Morristown, NJ. Her parents instilled the importance of being involved, engaged, and active in Episcopal church life. Her father, a research metallurgist for Bell Labs, served several terms as a warden before retiring as the church gardener. Her mother, an elementary school teacher, was a Sunday school teacher, too.
Before settling into DeKalb, IL, Gretchen’s professional career in academia took her to Ithaca, NY; Bloomington, IN; Kalamazoo, MI; Oxford, MS, and College Park, MD where she attended the local Episcopal churches. Given each move required transition and adaptation, Gretchen was always comforted by church conventions and inspired by the rich traditions of the Episcopal faith in each locale.
Since joining Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1991, Gretchen has served as a Eucharistic Minister and Acolyte, and several terms as Vestry member. She is excited to have the opportunity to serve in a leadership position and contribute to the life-giving and spiritual activities at St. Paul’s. Gretchen and Lorraine call St. Paul’s home.
Lucinda Brunner was born and raised in Brussels Belgium to English parents. Consequently, she was raised in the Anglican faith. She was baptized and confirmed at the Anglican Church (now Cathedral ) in Brussels. Upon moving to the US in 1981, she and her parents began attending the Episcopal Church. A tradition she has continued on her own. She has attended numerous Episcopal Churches in Michigan and Illinois. She is currently employed by the NIU Police department and lives in Cortland. Her passion is working towards social justice and shedding light on the importance of mentors. She began attending St Pauls in September 2019. She ushered during Taize services and she serves as the Director for Kids Hope at St Paul’s, which is a mentor program that works with elementary age kids. St. Paul’s currently works with Lincoln Elementary School to provide mentors. The school has a high demand for mentors and is really appreciative of our involvement.
My church life began as a child in a Bible church in Chicago led by Mr. Reisma along with my Sunday School teachers, Miss Alice and Miss Nellie I learned that Jesus loved me. An also important part of my religious education was living in a Jewish neighbor and in a three-flat (as we say in Chicago) with two Jewish families, with whom we had warm relations. After moving from Chicago, my mother took us my to Oak Lawn Presbyterian Church, whose pastor, the Rev. Garth Barber, always wore black. The church was austere in its unadorned beauty. I continued to learn about Jesus’s love while getting some basic Calvinist theology. Three other friends and I attended together and were active in Sunday School and youth group in high school But sin was not stressed as I remember. In the last semester of high school, I announced that I would not be going to church anymore. My mother did not ask why, and it was a good thing because I didn’t know why, as I recall.
I didn’t return to Church for 17 years and returned then for two reasons: I missed church (I had always loved it), and, having two small children, I couldn’t bear that they grow up without church. I had several intellectual and spiritual misgivings, but I found St. Paul’s. Or it found me. I returned to St. Paul’s because of the beauty and thoughtfulness of the sermons by Fr. Charles Brieant. He used the word trust as a synonym or an alternative to the word believe. I return to that word often. I stayed with St. Paul’s for the sense. of the sacred our liturgy develops, a sense my protestant background had ignored. And I found the Episcopal hymnal not only offering beautiful hymns but also a rich theological perspective.
I became active, my children were baptized, my husband joined us, and here I am – along with him – decades later. I have always been in the pew, but found other sources of worship: at the altar as an acolyte, at the lectern as a reader, and in the conference room for adult education. I am now serving a second term on the vestry. In addition to my church life, I am an active mother and grandmother, and I have had an active professional life as a teacher and a professor of rhetoric and linguistics in Purdue University Northeast after I earned my Ph.D. I play the piano, write, and paint, all somewhat.
Donna de Oliveira
Donna enjoys participating in many of St. Paul’s programs and activities.
In addition to serving on the vestry, she is a member of the Adult Choir, a Lector and Intercessor for worship services, and a member of the book club.
Terry Dickow is a retired teacher. He and wife Jackie were married in St. Paul’s by Fr. Brieant in December, 1969. They have attended St. Paul’s off and on since then. They live in Rochelle and have two children, Julia and Emily, and one granddaughter.
Terry currently volunteers at Brookfield Zoo twice a month. He also does a weekly column in the Rochelle News Leader, is active in Vice Carney Community Theatre in Rochelle, and serves on the Flagg Township Historical Society Board.
Terry enjoys serving as Eucharistic Minister and Lector for worship service. He also enjoys leading the children (& adults) in the annual pumpkin carving and cookie decorating crafts day, of course along with Jackie’s help in cookie decorating.
Rebecca and her husband Brad have been part of the St. Paul’s family for five years. She helps with the flower guild and our church community garden ministries.
Rebecca is retired from NIU and in her free time she enjoys gardening, reading, cooking and time with family. She was very happy to serve as a member of the Rector Search Committee.