Good Shepherd Church, ELCA
“Loving God and loving others
with the heart of Jesus”
The Good Shepherd Church Council announced recently that their long time pastor, Reverend Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle, will be leaving the congregation at the end of June, 2015.
Pastor Suzanne has been the pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, ELCA since July 1, 1997. She began her ministry here in Romeoville after graduating from The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago with a Master of Divinity degree. Over her eighteen years of service, she has been involved in a variety of aspects of the congregation and the larger community. In 2000, she was honored to be asked to serve as a volunteer Chaplain for the Romeoville Fire and Police Departments, a position she is looking forward to continuing in the years to come. Pastor Suzanne has also had the privilege of being involved in the Valley View School District as a committee member and advocate for teachers and children, along with her recent service as a guest teacher in the district.
As the spiritual leader of the congregation, Pastor Suzanne has had the opportunity to perform many weddings and baptisms, as well as funerals, for church members and various local residents. During her time here, she helped to start the Good Shepherd Preschool program, assisted Miss Jean Lees and others with the growth of the Shepherd’s Food Pantry (now the Romeoville Community Pantry), led music for summer Vacation Bible School programs, preached at annual community worship services at Romeofest, and much, much more.
More recently, Pastor Suzanne had the unenviable task of leading our congregation through a difficult time, as she and the Church Council uncovered a case of embezzlement, perpetrated by a trusted volunteer. However, even during these hard times, Pastor Suzanne and the congregation maintained their faith and commitment to one another and their call to welcome ALL God’s children.
When asked what she was most proud of in her time here at Good Shepherd, Pastor Suzanne said, “There are so many people who have touched my life and the life of my family, not to mention our community. But, perhaps the thing I am most proud of is our culture of welcoming ALL God’s children. When we voted unanimously in 2006 to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation – a Lutheran status proclaiming welcome to the lgbt community – I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the congregation’s vision. It is this vision that continues to be a beacon of light to those who have felt left out and turned away by other churches. When they come to our church, whether LGBT, addicted, homeless, mentally challenged, physically challenged, etc., they know they will be welcome here.”
Pastor Suzanne and her husband, Steve, along with her two younger children, will maintain a home in Romeoville and plan to continue to be active members of the community. At this time, she has chosen not to serve a local congregation, but will instead be seeking employment in another area of ministry or a different career. “Serving God as a local pastor is the one thing I know I’ve been called to do since I was probably 13 years old. But, I believe God is calling me, and my family, to a new journey. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know God holds the future.”