St. John's is a caring place where everyone can live, learn and grow together in Christ.

Staff and Leadership

Reverend Joseph McInnis
Lead Pastor

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Reverend Joseph McInnisBefore joining St. John’s as Lead Pastor in May 2007, Joe served at Antioch Lutheran Church near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Joe received his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio and was ordained in 1997 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He holds a BA in Biology from Wabash College and an MA in Teaching from the University of New Hampshire.

Joe’s partner in life and ministry is his wife, Jane Glover McInnis, a pianist and music educator. They have two children – Katie, a recent graduate of Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine and Joey, who is pursuing a career in film animation.

His passions are proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and sharing God’s love with all people. Joe’s community involvement includes:

  • Creator of the North Shore Interfaith Leadership Award
  • Member of the Start-up Board for Family Promise Chicago-North Shore
  • Convener Wilmette Interfaith Religious Leaders
  • Delegate to the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly

Robert McConnell
Music Director

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Robert McConnellRobert McConnell has served as music director and organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church since late 2010. His contribution to the music offerings at St. John’s have mixed a deep appreciation of the traditional sacred music of the Lutheran church with more contemporary sounds by incorporating gospel, folk, rock, Latin and African music into worship.

Born in New York City, Robert began his musical training at the preparatory division of the Mannes College of Music in New York City where he studied piano, composition, and conducting. Robert received his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Henry Bienen School of Music, and later, a Master’s in orchestral conducting from Northwestern.

He maintains an active schedule as an organist, continuo player, and accompanist, and has appeared as soloist with the Erato Chamber Orchestra, the Bach Week Festival, the Renovo String Orchestra, the Northwestern Baroque Music Ensemble, and the North Shore Chamber Orchestra. Robert has received critical acclaim for his work as Music Director of the 2011 International Beethoven Festival and for his work composing 33 measure of music missing from Beethoven’s piano trio in D-major as a collaborator with the Beethoven Trio Project.

Jan Wendel
Administrative Assistant

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Jan WendelJan Wendel has been the administrative assistant here at St. John’s since 1990. Jan's ties to St. John's go back well before that, though. No less than 5 generations of Jan's family have been members of St. John's, and she herself has been a life-long member. Jan’s greatest joy in her job is working with a great team of people, as well as all the wonderful people of St. John’s. Every day is different and each day is a blessing. Jan also is the current chair of the Worship and Music Committee.

Jan and her husband, Tom, live in Des Plaines. They have one son, Eric, who lives in Woodstock, and a daughter, Amanda, who lives in Rockford. They also have 8 wonderful grandchildren.


Eric Schaefer

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Eric Schaefer Eric is currently a student at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago where he is studying for his Masters of Divinity within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Prior to God’s call to enter seminary, Eric was involved in pharmaceutical research and development for over 10 years after receiving his BS in Chemistry from Western Illinois University.   Eric also served as the chairperson of his home church’s Worship Management Team where he engaged in planning, designing and implementing elements for worship services.  He is currently serving at St. John’s as an intern as a part of the path toward ordination.

Eric is supported in ministry by his wife, Sarah, and his two children, Joshua and Alayna.  Sarah is a recruiting professional.  Together as a family they enjoy outdoor activities both in their Round Lake  

                                                 neighborhood and in their travels.