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Rev. Jeffrey Wade - Pastor

Pastor Wade is a life-long Michigander, born and raised in Sterling Heights. He attended Concordia University - Ann Arbor. He graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education. On April 29, 2014 he was blessed to be called as Associate Pastor of St. John's. He graduated with a Master's of Divinity in 2014. He was ordained and installed on July 20, 2014.

Tell us a little bit about your family:
  • I am married to my ever-patient and compassionate wife Christine, who is currently employed by Airport Community Schools.
What’s your Christian philosophy of education?
  • What I try to do when I teach Catechism Class here at St. John's is to form the students into disciples of Christ. I also desire to empower parents (who are statistically the primary faith developer of their children) to build lasting relationships with their children with Christ Jesus as the foundation.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • This is no simple question. My favorite place to vacation is at my grandparents' cottage on Lake Manistique in Curtis, MI. However, if I got to choose to go anywhere in the world it would be in one of three places: London, England - home of the greatest football club in the world The Arsenal; New Zealand - to see all the sets and places from the Lord of the Rings movies; or Istanbul, Turkey - one of my life's desires is to see the famous Hagia Sophia.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • I thoroughly enjoy reading, writing, and working on my yard.
The best part of following Jesus is…
  • ...that I am adopted by God the Father and made His son through the waters of Holy Baptism. Following this, the best part of having this new identity is daily reminding our students of who they are in Christ - the forgiven and innocent sons and daughters of God the Father.
 
 

Rev. Kyle Jones - Pastor

I grew up just north of Detroit in Sterling Heights, and Melissa grew up in Lee’s Summit, MO, just outside Kansas City.  She and I met during orientation week at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  We talked about our mutual dislike of bugs, all the while her roommates decided, “This has to happen!”  We started dating a few months later, and were married a few months after that on June 16, 2012.  Melissa is brilliant.  Her knowledge of Scripture and handle on sound doctrine is unmatched.  She loves me and sometimes laughs at my jokes, which is more than I or my jokes deserve.  We have two living children, Elliott (almost 4) and Jonathan LD (baby), and two children, August and Owen, we lost to miscarriage and stillbirth.  Elliott has too much energy, and he is hilarious.  He will be happy to give you a high-five before he high-tails it.  Jonathan is the smiliest little bugger I have ever seen and is excited to be passed around like a hot potato (the last person holding him has to change his diaper!).  These two couldn’t have a better mother, and God has truly blessed us as a family.

What’s your Christian philosophy of education?
  • Given the vocations of parents and pastors and educators by God, we are told to “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  This teaches the Christian parent and educator the value God places on learning.  We are to teach our children who our God is and to confess what he has done in Christ; we are also to teach our children about the world, that they can delight in God’s creation and serve their neighbors well in their own vocations as they grow.  Education is all-encompassing, beginning in the home, developing in the classroom, continuing into adulthood.  The world God has given us to take care of is amazing!  We could explore forever and never witness all the wonders that he has given us.  A Christian education pursues this wonder, delighting in the lessons of history, the orderliness of math and science, the beauty of literature, and the Way, Truth and Life nailed to the Cross. 
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • I would love to go to England, Cornwall specifically.  My dad’s side of the family emigrated from there, and I grew up eating Cornish pasties made by Great-Grandma Jones, who learned to make them as a youth.  I still have relatives there whom I have yet to meet, and I would love to learn more about my family history.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • I am a dabbler, and I like to do a lot of things.  I have a life-long love of making things, and currently that is finding its expression in woodworking. I found some of my great-grandfather’s hand planes and saws and have been learning about traditional joinery.  I love to read, and I really love super hero movies.  I like to lift weights and move my body.  As a family, Melissa and I love to play board games and read books out loud to each other, especially fantasy, like the work of Dianna Wynn Jones and C.S. Lewis.  We like to go on walks as a family, cook, and find interesting places to go on day trips to. 
The best part of following Jesus is…
  • ...the hope that he gives to us in his death and empty grave.  We are made fully human in Christ, and our life, joy and suffering on this side of the Resurrection is given context and meaning.

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Mrs. Adrienne Gurney - Principal & Sixth Grade

Born and raised in Seymour, IN, I am a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church. I received my Bachelor's of Science in 1998 from Indiana University Southeast. My Lutheran colloquy certification was earned from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2003. Following, I received both my Master's of Arts degree and administrative license from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2006-2007.

Tell us a little bit about your family:
  • I taught at Lutheran Central School in Brownstown, IN for nine years while also coaching volleyball, cheerleading, and filling the role as a five year athletic director. After teaching high school English at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis for two years, I took an administrative position at Our Savior Lutheran School in Marlette, MI. I served as both teacher and principal there for the three years leading up to my call to St. John's. I accepted the call and began serving as principal and sixth grade teacher in the summer of 2014. On February 27, 2015, I married Bob Gurney, who retired from appliance sales and repair.  We had our son, Severin Michael, on April 4, 2016 and currently live in Flat Rock.
What’s your Christian philosophy of education?
  • A short paragraph is not enough to describe my philosophy on education. As a teacher, it is not only my job to prepare students for life as citizens of the world but also to teach them what it is to be Children of God. Everything we learn in a classroom we also learn how to apply in life. We don’t simply teach the Bible then set it back on the shelf. It is part of our lives in every facet of our day. As a principal, it is also my job to help teachers do that very thing. We strive to be good examples for our students, and at those times when we’re not, it is our job to show how we, who are also sinners, are saved through the death and resurrection of our Lord.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • I’ve always dreamed of vacationing in the beauty and splendor of Hawaii. I have a friend who was stationed in Hawaii…he once told me it is always hot and sunny there, but there’s a constant cooling mist surrounding you everywhere!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • Spare time?!?!? What is that?!?!?! J I love to be outside in the sunshine! I love being on the water…boating, skiing, tubing, tanning. Most of my spare time is spent with my little boy, who will soon be a year-old toddler. God blessed me with a wonderful family, and we enjoy spending time together in any way we can.
The best part of following Jesus is…
  • The best part about following Jesus is knowing that He is following me…AND leading me, AND with me always…it’s a great feeling that I’m never alone. It is also wonderful being able to reassure all our little ones that they are never alone either.

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Mrs. Diana Sarkkinen - Church Secretary

Tell us a little bit about your family:
  • I am married to Art. We have three grown daughters and five grandsons.
What’s your Christian philosophy of education?
  • I was sent to St. John’s by my parents and always knew that my children would attend also. We even sent our daughters to Lutheran High School Westland. They weren’t necessarily happy about it at the time, but they have come to appreciate the faith based education. My oldest daughter also attended Concordia University in Ann Arbor and is now a Lutheran school teacher.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • We enjoy going on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • I enjoy crocheting and working jigsaw puzzles.
The best part of following Jesus is…
  • I love knowing that Jesus is always there. He helps me daily even when I forget to take the time to talk to Him.

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Mrs. Carol Puchalsky - School Secretary

Tell us a little bit about your family:
  • Carol is a lifetime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, She Attended St. John’s Lutheran School as did both of her sons:  Matthew and Bradley, She also has 1 daughter- in –law and 1 granddaughter. Carol loves spending time with her family.
What’s your Christian philosophy of education?
  • My Christian philosophy of education is to always let the children know that God is with them and loves! The Bible is the greatest book and can give you the courage to concur anything in life.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • I would love to go to Alaska. I would enjoy seeing the glaciers, beautiful mountains and especially the Elk and Moose.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • In Carol’s free time she loves spending time with her granddaughter and playing cards with her family, she also enjoys crafting and gardening.
The best part of following Jesus is…
  • The best thing of following Jesus is: knowing he is with you always! Having Jesus in your life can give you the strength to continue going. Somedays you may have trials in your life that you may think you cannot get through. Having Jesus there with you and beside you, being able to turn to him in prayer, asking him for his guidness will help you!

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