Staff and leadership

The People of St. John’s

An inclusive congregation committed to Christian worship and service to the community, St. John’s is a vibrant and diverse group of people of all ages, races, abilities, and identities, engaged in anti-racism and other transformative work. We offer two Sunday services, religious instruction for children, and an adult and youth choir. In addition to our annual Darwin Day celebration of science and religion, St. John’s offers a free series of concerts, sponsors a asylum seeking and refugee families, hosts an Electric Vehicle Charger for parish and community use, and is actively working to identify, disrupt, and dismantle racism in our church and community. Established in 1883 in Old Irving Park, the church is located on Chicago’s northwest side, on the corner of Byron and Kostner.

Our Staff
The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer, our rector for over eighteen years, has left to become Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, New York. We hope to have an interim Rector in place by August 1st. In September, we will begin the process of discernment and searching that we expect will last about a year, concluding with the calling of a new Rector.

Lisa KraLisa Krappmanppman, Parish Administrator

Lisa Krappman is a graphic designer with extensive experience in the field of marketing communications. During her career, she has produced a broad range of corporate communications, identities, annual reports, advertisements and packaging for Fortune 100 companies to non-for-profit organizations. She holds a BA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Lisa is married and has a son who just graduated college. They are members of Queen of Angels Roman Catholic Church.

Dee Murphy, Music Director 

Dee Murphy conducts the choir, coordinates worship music with the organist and other musicians and manages the St. John’s Concert Series, which introduces new performers and ensembles to our community. Dee teaches “Elementary Music Education Materials and Methods” at North Park University as an adjunct professor. After many years of teaching K-8 Vocal and General Music at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy in Lakeview, she enjoys sharing her passion for teaching music with young adults. Ms. Murphy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from Simpson College in Iowa, and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University, where she studied with Phyllis Hurt. Upon returning to Chicago from New York City with her family in 1997, Dee joined the choir as an alto, and has been affiliated with the music at St. John’s ever since. Dee enjoys singing, being with her` extended family, going on road trips, and attending plays and musicals.


Mio Nakamura, Organist

Mio Nakamura earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano performance with honors at Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. She has performed at the PianoForte Salon Series on WFMT, the Musicians Club of Women Artists in Recital Series, and with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest. Ms. Nakamura is on the faculty at Music Institute of Chicago. She frequently appears as a keyboardist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hear recordings of Mio Nakamura and other great musicians on her website.

Luca Van Oss, Coordinator of Children and Youth Programs

Luca is a lifelong Episcopalian and ultimate PK (preacher’s kid) as their dad is an Episcopal priest and their mom is a Christian formation director, both serving a parish in Florida. A third year DePaul University student, Luca is a double major in Women and Gender Studies and Spanish. They also work in Chicago Public Schools through Take Back our Halls, teaching healthy relationships. Their work at St John’s is centered around creating meaningful relationships that help facilitate hard conversations rooted in narratives of care and restorative justice. They’re looking forward to continuing support of the community of engaged young folks at St. John’s and listening to what’s on their hearts and minds as opportunities for ministry.

Abby Munz, Nursery Caregiver

Julian Urbaszewski, Sexton

Julian makes the coffee, sets up the tables and preps the Parish Hall for post-worship fellowship

Back to top

The Vestry

The vestry of St. John’s, along with the Rector, are the leaders of the church who discern, articulate, and direct the vision of our community. They care for the spiritual life of the parish, including pastoral care and Christian formation. They guide the work of evangelism and outreach to our community and world. They are responsible for assets of the church, maintaining financial health and the buildings and grounds. Members are elected in January to 3 year terms, and can serve two consecutive terms. The dates listed are the year they finish their terms.

Khara Gonzales, Senior Warden (President), 2025
Harry Burgan, Junior Warden (Vice-President), 2026
Olga Ivari, Treasurer (Ex-Officio)
Krystyna Gallagher, Assistant Treasurer (Ex-Officio)
Stephen Linam, Clerk (Secretary), 2026
Mike Underhill, 2025
Jeanie Wallenstein, 2025
Danielle Fitzsimmons, 2025
Michael McGovern, 2026
Juanita Raman, 2026
Brad Gehrig, 2027
Cheryl Jarvis, 2027
Laura Urbaszewski, 2027

We are part of the Diocese of Chicago, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion. Click on the logos to visit those websites.

Back to top