Convention Speakers

image37

Keynote Speaker - Sara Larson

  

Sara Larson was elected to the executive board of the Women of the ELCA in July of 2017. Sara serves as the chair of the budget and finance committee.


Previously, Sara served as a board member for Southwestern Minnesota Synodical Women’s Organization (3F). She has been actively involved in the ELCA on the community, regional and national level sharing the mission of the Women of the ELCA for the past 15 years. 


Sara loves to meet new people and share God’s message. She has traveled to South Africa, Central America, Spain, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and many North American destinations and most recently, Europe. 


Sara is a member of First Lutheran Church in Marshall, MN, where she is a part-time Lay Minister. She is working on obtaining her Master of Divinity at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA, as part of the Collaborative Learning Program.

Sara previously worked as a guardian ad litem in the court system, for 20 years, advocating for abused and neglected children.


She lives in rural Balaton, Minnesota, with her dog. She loves to garden and being physically active. Sara coached and lead youth activities for many years and recently became a licensed Minnesota State High School League basketball official. She is a positive role model and an encouraging spirit for men, women, and youth.

image38

Bible Study Leader - Pastor Dianne Finnecy

  

Pastor Dianne Finnecy is currently serving in her first pastoral call at Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church-ELCA in Big Bear City, CA. This is her third career, having taught Elementary School in Houston, TX for three years and as an attorney for the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office for over twenty years before answering God’s call to ministry. 


Dianne has an adult son from a prior marriage who started medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, NE last fall. She is married to Jay, who has two children from a prior marriage; a daughter studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a son in his senior year in high school. 


Besides enjoying ministry in the mountains, Dianne is involved with Pacifica Synod, and the larger ELCA. She enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, cooking, singing, and skiing. 

image39

Bible Study Leader - Deacon Leah Lind

Leah Lind is a Deacon in the ELCA, a Minister of Word and Service, commissioned in 2008. For over 18 years she has served three congregations in a variety of roles which utilize her gifts of care and administration. Leah served at her home congregation of Mission Lutheran in Laguna Niguel for 12 years providing pastoral care, visitation, Stephen Ministry leadership, and parish nursing. She also served St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tustin as the Parish Administrator, and for the last five years as the Business Manager at Laguna Presbyterian in Laguna Beach where she also participated in the congregation’s pastoral care ministry. Leah was co-chair of the Pacifica Synod’s Malaria Campaign.


Leah is married and lives in Laguna Niguel. She has two grown children. Her daughter lives in Redondo Beach, works in health care insurance and was just married on June 8th. Her son lives in Irvine and works as a website designer. Leah graduated in May with an M.A. in Pastoral Care from Fordham University and she has a B.S. in Nursing from Mount St. Mary’s College. It’s been a busy year!


Leah is a Lutheran, not by birth, but because she is overwhelmed by the amazing grace of God. She looks forward to serving an ELCA congregation again and to working with Pastor Kinndlee Lund and the people of King of Glory!

image40

Worship Leader - Pastor Jennifer Schultz

 I am excited and honored to be a part of the Pacifica WELCA’s Fall Convention, to share in a time of faith, service, and worship together. I still feel new to the Pacifica Synod, so here’s a little bit about me. I was born in South Korea, adopted at a young age, and grew up in MN. I grew up in a very small town, New Richland, MN…living in a parsonage next door to one of the churches my father served as a pastor. My mother was an elementary teacher and I have a younger sister and brother and we’ve all since moved to different states. My education background includes attending Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. My first two calls were served in two different congregations in Mount Vernon, WA and I began serving in my current call at Bethlehem Lutheran in Los Alamitos in January 2017.  I’m currently serving as the Dean of the Son & Surf Conference and am a Team Leader for the Volunteers Team for the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, cooking and baking, travelling, playing the piano and singing, and I’m trying to increase my enjoyment of exercise. I have a beautiful Husky/Malamute puppy named Ruby, just let me know if you’d like to see pictures. A fun (funny) fact about me is that while I don’t enjoy peanut butter, I do enjoy lutefisk. Lastly, I cherish the opportunities to worship and share in faithful conversations with one another, for I truly believe God is all about relationships. I’m looking forward to our time together, to engage and be engaged, to speak and to listen, to give and to receive…gathered as women, as followers of Jesus, learning to live and love as Christ’s beloveds.   uniE04

image41

Host Pastor - Pastor Kinndlee Lund

Pastor Kinndlee was born in Minot, North Dakota and received her Masters of Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School and further training at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.  She has served as a Resident Chaplain at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Chicago and as Associate Pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brenham, Texas. She joined King of Glory Lutheran Church here in Fountain Valley as their solo pastor in 2015.  Her ministry passions include planning integrative worship, teaching, and pursuing Christ’s priority for social justice and radical inclusion.  She loves seeing people have new faith experiences and insights, especially when it results in their “God box” being expanded and transformed.


Pastor Kinndlee is married to Josh Baesler, the Praise Band leader at King of Glory, and they welcomed their first child, Jules Ronen Baeslund,  in the spring of 2017.  They have been enjoying getting to know Southern California, becoming a part of the King of Glory family, and being new parents.


In her free time (at least when it existed prior to the birth of her baby), she enjoys running, doing yoga, singing, reading, spending time in nature, drinking Chai lattes (extra cinnamon and nutmeg) and practicing the ever-elusive Spanish language.

image42

Professor Charlene M Rachuy-Cox

Inspiring. Thoughtful. Empowering. Open. Welcoming. Prophetic. Influential. Wordsmith.


Charlene holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with an emphasis in Spirituality; a Master of Sacred Theology Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, with an emphasis in Preaching and Worship, a Master of Divinity Degree from Luther Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Augustana University, Sioux Falls. She has served as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for over 28 years, serving in seminary, collegiate, and congregational settings. She loves reading – especially memoirs and historical fiction, and enjoys writing poetry, travelling, and all things winter.