The Staff Parish Relations Committee is excited to announce that we have hired an Evening Worship Leader and a Ministry Associate. Steve Thorngate will be our Evening Worship Leader starting the week of January 2. Rev. Polly Toner will be our Ministry Associate starting the week of January 9. Please help us welcome them into the Holy Covenant Community.
Evening Worship Leader – Steve Thorngate
Steve grew up in an evangelical church, where he cut his musical teeth playing in praise bands. He studied classical music at Wheaton College and has since worked in several churches that have welcomed his passion for music that a) is stylistically eclectic and b) encourages everyone present to sing. Steve loves many kinds of music but has a particular interest in traditional country gospel.
By day Steve works in nonprofit journalism. He’s currently an editor at the Christian Century magazine; before this he interned at Sojourners and the Utne Reader and edited publications for a social policy advocacy organization. Steve is also the music director at Christ Lutheran in Albany Park, a job he’ll continue alongside his work at Holy Covenant.
He and his wife, Nadia Stefko, live in Hyde Park, where Nadia is a student at the University of Chicago Divinity School. They like to cook, preserve food, geek out about beer, play Scrabble, and lavish embarrassing amounts of attention on their cat.
Ministry Associate – Rev. Polly Toner
Polly has been a resident of Lakeview/Lincoln Park since 1997 where she currently lives with her Beagle, Bella. She has also lived in Idaho, Massachusetts, Southern California, and briefly in both Wisconsin and Salt Lake City. She completed her undergraduate work and Occupational Therapy school at the University of Southern California.
She attended Divinity School at the University of Chicago with some extra work at McCormick Theological Seminary, and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, Polly has been involved with Protestant churches since junior high when she persuaded her family to give the Presbyterian church in San Diego a try. Both Fourth Presbyterian and Lakeview Presbyterian churches in Chicago have been formative during her journey into ordained ministry.
Polly enjoys her work with older adults and youth in physical rehabilitation, mental health and school settings, and in faith communities. She continues to work at St. Joseph Hospital where she has been on staff for 15 years. She looks forward to getting to know the Holy Covenant community, learning and growing along side everyone, and participating in God’s work in the world here.
Those who look at her eclectic music collection, books or inbox may struggle to put her into a category. She is passionate about people, inclusion and health care; loves the outdoors, travel and dogs; and is happiest when she makes time to exercise regularly.