Staff and Vestry
Mother LaRae Rutenbar - Rector

LaRae Rutenbar was ordained in the Episcopal Church in May of 1980, just four years after the Episcopal Church officially began ordaining women to the priesthood.  Since then she has served as a hospital chaplain, parish priest, interim rector, interim dean, transitional consultant and supply clergy for many of the Episcopal Dioceses around the nation. Her passion for preaching reflects a desire that those who share in the community of faith, live out our faith and belief in our daily lives and relationships.   LaRae is originally from the beautiful state of Montana, but since ordination has served parishes and institutions in Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and now Illinois.   She has two adult children:  Michael and Libby.  LaRae’s husband, Mark, is also an ordained Episcopal Priest.   LaRae graduated from Rocky Mountain College, in Billings, MT with a B.S. in Psychology and has her M.Div from Virginia Theological Seminary. 

Reverend Bill Rimkus - Deacon

The Rev. William (Bill) Rimkus has been a Deacon in the church for twenty-five years, eleven of which have been in service here at Emmanuel.  Deacon Bill is married to Rebekah and is the father of five children and grandfather to three.  He is self-employed and enjoys painting in various media.  (Take a look at our Youth Group gathering space downstairs - Bill's artwork is amazing!)  One of Deacon Bill's many gifts to the church is his powerful preaching which offers sermons that both challenge and inspire our congregation.

Michael Moon - Head Verger
As Verger, Michael Moon facilitates Lay Minister duties, including assigning, training and checking in with lectors, chalice bearers, acolytes and prayer intercessors, as well as coordinating with the clergy and altar guild. Please keep him informed of any last minute substitutions or changes to the Rota (rotation).
A member of Emmanuel Episcopal for almost his whole life, Mike is also available to help respond to any inquiry concerning upcoming services, church facilities, and its history and current program offerings.  He's the one moving about the church in simple black vestments, helping prepare the church for our next worship. 

Linda Brongel - Treasurer

Linda Brongel, C.P.A., J.D., retired, is the founder of State Tax Advisers L.L.C.  She is a state tax professional with 25 years of experience in income, sales and use, and property taxes.  She was the Director of State & Local Taxes for Hyatt Corporation with responsibility for all state taxes for Hyatt hotels domestically. Linda was also the National Associate Coordinator for State & Local Taxes at Grant Thornton LLP. She has also been an administrative law judge for the Illinois Department of Revenue, hearing both income and sales tax cases.  Prior to that time, she held positions in the tax departments of several Fortune 500 companies.  In addition, she has been an adjunct professor of Accounting at Elmhurst College. 

Linda received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University and her undergraduate degree in Economics from Kenyon College in Ohio.

Linda has been a member of Emmanuel for three years. She is married to Larry and has one son, James Snaza, of Washington D.C.

Chris Meyer - Pledge Recorder

As Pledge Recorder, I am responsible for the weekly donations recorded by the Church’s counters and posting them to each Parishioners Giving Statement. These statements are printed and mailed quarterly to any Parishioner, pledger or free-will giver. I also work closely with the Stewardship Committee to see that each yearly pledge is accounted for.

Louise and I have been members of Emmanuel since 1998 when we wandered in Christmas Eve during the children’s service and fell in love with the place. Both  our children have been Acolytes and have been confirmed here. Louise and I recently renewed our Vow’s at Emmanuel to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I am also Chairman of the Endowment Committee.

Judy Staiano - Parish Administrator

As the Parish Administrator, Judy's role is to assist the Rector in compiling and preparing the service bulletins, announcements, and Prayers for the parishioners on a weekly basis. Also to help co-ordinate the many ministries that serve the community within the church, and the organizations that use the church for their meetings and social events.

I was born in Coventry, England, am married with 2 teenage children, and I have lived in the U.S for the last 10 years. I lived in Hinsdale for 3 years and now live in Western Springs. I have been studying at the College of DuPage for the last 6 years, learning new skills and achieving Honors status. I admire the diversity of this community and the generous, caring spirit of this beautiful old church and its parishioners.

Kathy Lampert - Altar Guild Director

The Altar Guild is the liturgical partner of the Priest.  As one Altar Guild manual puts it, "We are the ones chosen to prepare for the meeting of the people with God."  We care for the objects used in worship.  We handle them carefully and respectfully, because those objects have been dedicated in prayer for use in worship for the glory of God.  We also care for the sanctuary of the church.  The work of the Altar Guild is to ensure that our sanctuary reflects the holiness and the joy we all create together in our worship.

The members of the Altar Guild are part of an unbroken tradition reaching back to the faithful people who provided for Jesus during his lifetime.  Joining the Altar Guild means learning many fascinating aspects of Church tradition, including the esocteric names for all the various vessels, vestments, linens and paraments we use in worship.  Most importantly, serving on the Altar Guild is a spiritual exercise.  Caring for the Altar is a way to act out our relationship with God.  It is quiet, prayerful work.

Please consider joining and helping in this special ministry.

George Tarasuk - Music Director

George has over twenty years’ experience as a liturgical musician, directing the choirs and preparing rehearsals, anthems, hymns and service music.  Additionally, he has designed a personal website for the purpose of teaching choristers to learn and practice in a "virtual rehearsal" space. George has led a series of "Technotyme" workshops for church musicians to assist them developing their own music databases and web sites.  Previously, he has instituted a children’s choral program and concert series, a performing arts series and formed a committee to administer fundraising, marketing and receptions and planned a major capital campaign for the purchase of a new pipe organ.  Along with teaching keyboard to students he is versed in many instruments and vocal skills.

As with most church musicians, George has a full time position.  He is a Grants Officer/Information Systems Analyst for the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago.  He lives in La Grange with his wife and their two children. 

Choir Practice

Wednesday, 7:00 PM  All Are Welcome

Andy Dolliff - Acolyte Director

Andy Dolliff became the Acolyte Director in 2012.  Andy was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.   He also served as a long-time Acolyte at St. Paul's which helped him in his transition to Acolyte Director here at Emmanuel.   Andy is married to Kerry and is the father of 3 children – two of which are Emmanuel Acolytes.  Andy is the Vice President at McNellis Insurance with offices in Evergreen Park & Chicago.  Andy & his family enjoy spending time at the family summer home in Grand Beach Michigan & attending Notre Dame football games in the fall.   

Ben Nesler - Children's Ministry Director

Ben Nesler has been a high school Social Studies and English teacher at Evergreen Park Community High School for ten years and Chair of the Social Studies and World Languages departments for the last seven.  One of his professional highlights was attending the 2012 Nobel Laureate Peace Conference in 2012, where he and his students saw the Dali Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Sean Penn speak.   Ben met his wife Heather while they were both studying to be teachers at Illinois State University, and upon graduating they moved to the La Grange area, as Heather grew up in Western Springs.  Ben and Heather, along with their daughters Charlotte and Kathryn, have attended Emmanuel-La Grange for three years.  Ben enjoys spending time at the family summer home on the Kankakee River and collecting records.


Fidel Romero - Parish Sexton
As Parish Sexton, Fidel is in charge of cleaning, making repairs and working on improvements for what he and many others consider the most beautiful church in the whole world, all the galaxies and beyond the stars.  Under the supervision of the Rector and the Chair of our Building and Grounds Committee, he works with many volunteer parishioners and general contractors in rejuvenating and updating our church facilities.
He joins with them in the vision to keep this building in excellent condition for the generations to come and to find good horizons that the "keeper of the stars" offers for all of us.   For Fidel, this is more than a job - it is participating in God's work to benefit the community who uses our facility.  He believes this is what Emmanuel Episcopal Church is for - to care for one and all.   

Katelyn Gibbons - Media Assistant

A lifelong member of Emmanuel, and current member of our Confirmation Class, Katelyn helps our Rector with media projects, including transfering recordings of sermons to the website and other similar projects.

The Vestry

The Vesty is the governing body of Emmanuel.  The Rector is a voting member of the Vestry.  Each vesty member is elected to a three year term.  The junior and senior wardens are elected to two year terms.  The Junior Warden succeeds the Senior Warden.

Our Vestry is made up of the following parishioners.

Senior Warden -- Bill Hoekwater

Junior Warden -- Randy Valenta


Jen Enriquez -- 2015

Cindy Mottl -- 2015

David Shallow -- 2015

Jim Beyer -- 2016

Penny Longo -- 2016

Jamie Workman -- 2016

Sam Brenneman -- 2017

Andrew Dolliff -- 2017

Rob Ekroth -- 2017

Linda Brongel -- Treasurer

Jim Beyer -- Clerk

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