Reverend Glenna L. Olumstad, Senior Pastor at the North Shore United Methodist Church, joining our church family on July 1, 2013, is a native Chicagoan. She was baptized at the Albany Park United Methodist Church and grew up in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. Glenna received her Nursing degree from Wesley Hospital Nursing School in 1973 where she worked with high-risk pregnancy patients. She received her B.S. degree from St. Francis University in Joliet, in 1983. Glenna enrolled at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2004 under a full scholarship, earning a Master in Divinity degree in 2007. Pastor Glenna was appointed immediately after graduation at Hope United Methodist Church in Joliet, Illinois. She became a Full Elder in 2009. Pastor Glenna and husband Martin have two adult children – Erik, who teaches Special Education specializing in autism disorders and Sean who recently completed his Nursing degree.
My passion in the ministry is to bring the Sacred Story to Children and Youth by embracing the creative power of the Holy Spirit. The Sacred Story, integrated into the life of the Congregation through Worship, Mission, and Fellowship is woven into an experiential education process following the model of our Teacher, Jesus Christ. Interpreting the Sacred Story through art, music, drama, play and movement provides an avenue for Scripture to be infused into the life experience of children and youth.
I am a United Methodist Deacon serving as the Director of Christian Education at North Shore United Methodist Church in Glencoe, Illinois. I also serve as an Adjunct Professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in the Vocation Formation and Christian Leadership Program and teach a course on Children and Christian Faith. I have recently completed a PhD in Christian Education, centering on the recovery of creativity in the methods and practices of Christian Education. I also have a Master of Divinity Degree from Garrett-Evangelical and a Masters in Music Education from the University of Illinois. I am the Youth Coordinator for the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, a Candidacy Mentor and am on the Board of Outdoor and Retreat Ministries.
I have a passionate commitment to the children and youth I serve. They are our hope for the future. As Christianity continues to adapt to the challenges of the new millennium, our children and youth have a unique opportunity to bring about transformational change to a broken and hurting world. Assisting children and youth to discover and implement their role in the life of Christian ministry to the world is the heart of my ministry. Sharing in the dialogue of teaching and learning with Christian educators is a privilege.