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About us

"The Church in the Woods" began as a neighborhood gathering of faithful friends whose welcoming legacy is felt today through the warmth and openness of our members.


The first worship service was held on November 11th, 1962  and the congregation was officially chartered on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 1963, with a little over 100 members. The church continues to grow, inviting the faithful to study, pray, grow spiritually, offer outreach, and enjoy fellowship.

Our Mission

We believe that the door to salvation is always open and so are the doors to our church. Our mission is to live in Christ, celebrate Christ, help others to know Christ, and serve others as Christ served.

Alter  in the Church of the Holy Spirit

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Pastor Tim Linstrom and his wife Maria Linstrom
Pastor Tim Linstrom
Pastor Tim was called as Lead Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in the fall of 2016. Pastor Linstrom is the son of a Lutheran minister being born in Minnesota but growing up in Indiana. He attended Indiana University and has a degree in Clinical Counseling which he did before entering seminary.  He graduated from Wartburg Seminary and served calls in Indiana and Illinois before being called to Holy Spirit. Pastor Tim is married to Maria and has two grown children.
If you are interested in more information about the life of the church, please contact Pastor Tim at
Jennifer Williams, Children's Ministry Director & Youth Coordinator
Jennifer Williams,
Children's Ministry Director & Youth Coordinator
Jennifer has an undergrad degree in early childhood education and a master’s in teaching language arts.  She lives in Chicago with her husband and 3 children and is director of a preschool program in Edison Park.  Her hobbies include reading, movies and music.

Kathy Roderer Organist
Kathy Roderer

Kathy was born and grew up in Toledo, Ohio, graduated from the University of Toledo and earned a Master of Music degree in Organ and Church Music from Northwestern University. She currently lives in Evanston with her husband, Kurt, and their two dogs. 

Bill Vaananen, Youth Choir Director

Bill Vaananen,

Youth Choir Director

Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. V. has been Youth Choir Director at Holy Spirit for the past 15 years.  He has taught elementary music in Northbrook and in Missouri for the past 40 years and is a composer of over 400 songs and dozens of musical plays for children.  He lives in Deerfield with his wife Linda and their 2 children, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and other assorted critters.


Karen Jirsa,

Music Director

Karen holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Concordia University—Chicago and a Master of Science in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois.  In 2019, she retired from a 30-year career teaching 6th through 8th grade General Music at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee. Prior to coming to Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Karen spent five years as the Sunday Morning Worship and Music Coordinator at Concordia University—Chicago; directing the choir and instrumentalists as well as being their organist.  Karen is excited to now serve as the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit Music Director. Karen is a resident of Lincolnshire and in her spare time, she loves to play tennis, spend time with my friends and tell a lot of bad jokes.


Ciara Crews

Office Manager

Ciara is originally from New Jersey and a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Photography. Ciara also holds an Illinois Real Estate license.  She lives in Deerfield with her husband and two children.

Our Community

​Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit welcomes all to worship, to hear the Good News, to celebrate the sacraments, and to share in fellowship and service.  Without exception, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit welcomes YOU today.

  • We welcome new visitors, old friends, and our members;

  • We welcome single, married, widowed, and divorced;

  • We welcome all regardless of age, sex, race, or national origin;

  • We welcome all people of any sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression;

  • We welcome all people of any ability or challenge;

  • We welcome all who are happy, sad, rejoicing, grieving, celebrating or recovering;

  • We welcome all who are seeking justice and peace among all peoples and nations;

  • We welcome all who are seeking God's love and God's grace.

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