Meet the Team!

From our founding in 2001, we have been committed to a multiplicity of diverse leaders. We don't believe the church is best served by the limited gifts and character of one person. Rather, we trust the Lord has gifted us with many leaders, men and women, who each offer their gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. (Read a little more about our commitment to a multiplicity of leadership here.)

Below, you'll meet our 3 main teams: our ministry team and our shepherd team give oversight to our central ministries and overarching vision as a church, while our deacon team supports and builds up the 5 house churches that are spread out throughout the north/northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Ministry Team

  • Juliet Liu, Pastor

    Juliet has served as a pastor at Life on the Vine since 2014. She is married to Sheldon and they have two wonderfully bright and active children who keep them on their toes.  Juliet is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div, 2005) and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (2001).  Prior to coming to Life on the Vine in 2010, she ministered as a college campus minister with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and as the Director of Worship at Northshore Chinese Christian Church (2005-2007) and Trinity International University (2007-2009).  Juliet also serves as Chair of the Board and writing team member for Missio Alliance

  • Jeff and Susanne Calhoun, Co-Directors of youth and family mInistry

    Jeff and Sus have served as our co-ministers of youth and family ministry at Life on the Vine since the spring of 2018. Susanne earned a PhD in Historical Theology from Wheaton (2017), and Jeff is working on completing his doctoral dissertation in Systematic Theology at Trinity International University. Together, they are raising two wonderful daughters. In addition to ministering to our youth, earning PhDs, and parenting, the Calhouns also teach as adjunct professors at Trinity International University and serve Life on the Vine as Building/Grounds and Administrative Coordinators. 

  • Leah Strom, Director of Children's MInistry

    Leah has serve as Director of Children's Ministry since August of 2019. Not only does Leah have many years of children's ministry experience, she works as an Instructional Coach in District 62 (Des Plaines) where she gets to be a teacher to teachers. Along with her vast experience as an educator, Leah brings her passion for creativity and her warm nature to our children and to the parents and volunteers she trains.

  • Eric Bangeman, Liturgical Arts Coordinator

    In addition to being Managing Editor of technology and science website Ars Technica, Eric serves as our head liturgist and liturgy team coordinator at Life on the Vine. Eric earned an M.A. in Theological Studies from North Park Theological Seminary. Since September of 2018, he has helped coordinate and train the liturgists who shape our prayers and worship at Life on the Vine. Eric is married to Kerry Bangeman; they have a daughter, a son, and two dogs in Park Ridge, IL.

  • Dina Lindemann, Treasurer

    Book keeper, geo cacher, mom of two bright young women, wife of the multi-instrumentalist Hans Lindemann. Dina has served as Treasurer to Life on the Vine for an untold number of years (although she probably knows the exact number since her job is all about numbers). 

Shepherd Team (Elders)

The shepherds of Life on the Vine, together with the pastor(s), oversee and guide the community toward the ongoing fulfillment of its calling and vision together.

To that end, shepherds are consistently engaged in the process of:

  • Shepherding

  • Disciple-Making and Equipping

  • Deepening Community

  • Mobilizing for Mission

  • Spiritual Discernment

  • and Organizational Governance.

In the offering of their own gifts, Shepherds are not the ones who do the ministry of the church alone, but they help equip, empower, and release all members of the church into the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

  • Brian Sutherland

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  • Jana Sundene

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  • Jeff Andrews

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  • Heather Cordero

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  • Marie Butson

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  • Tim Vanlaningham

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  • Susanne Calhoun

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  • Thomas Middlebrook

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  • Sheldon Waite

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House Church Deacons

"Deacon" is an ancient term, often translated as "servant" or "minister" in the bible. Deacons in the New Testament are often associated with the leadership of house church communities - and that is what they represent here at Life on the Vine as well. Deacons offer their gifts of pastoring, nurturing, and hospitality for the building up of our house church communities.

We have 5 house church communities, and the groups are named by geography: North, South, East, West-Central, and HWY14. You can read more about our house churches here, and meet the deacons for these groups below.

  • Laurie frey - South

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  • Stan Frey - South

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  • Rich Cordero - East

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  • Heather Cordero - East

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  • anthony Lamb - HWY 14

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  • Renae LAMB - HWY 14

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  • Mark Snyder - W. Central

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  • Doris Strom - W. Central

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  • Laura Moon - South

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  • Jeff Andrews - North

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  • Kristin Andrews - North

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