Sunday, January 10, 2021
At today’s special congregational meeting, Living Waters Lutheran Church voted to elect Vicar Mary “JJ” Simpson-Keelan as our new Pastor. Welcome to Living Waters, Vicar JJ! We are excited to start our journey February 1st
Video Recording of Vicar JJ's Meet & Greet
Pastor JJ graduated from United Lutheran Seminary (Philadelphia campus) in May of 2020. Prior to attending seminary, she worked for 29 years at International Flavors and Fragrances. She started as an analytical chemist, but her most recent position was Director of Procurement Processes and Systems. While working at IFF, Pastor JJ obtained her Masters of Business Administration and achieved certification as a Project Management Professional, and obtained a certificate in Youth and Family Ministry from Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. Pastor JJ recently completed her internship at St. Paul Lutheran Church in East Windsor, NJ where they only had great things to say describing Vicar JJ as a “huge asset” to a church.
Pastor JJ is married to Colleen. Colleen is employed as a Systems Analyst for an insurance company. Pastor JJ's daughter Mae is a sophomore at NYU studying philosophy and linguistics. Their dog, Rusty, completes the family. Rusty is a certified pet therapist who accompanies Pastor JJ in her ministry work.
Pastor JJ begins her call with the congregation of Living Waters on February 1, 2021. She was ordained and installed as pastor of Living Waters Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
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Previous Pastors of recent history:
Rev. Scott C. Schantzenbach
Pastor Schantzenbach served as interim pastor among transitional congregations during his time on the staff of the Bishop and described his three-fold interim role as, “renewing hope, strengthening congregations, and exploring ministry pathways in a rapidly changing world.”
Prior to assuming his responsibilities on the staff of the Bishop, he served as a parish pastor for 25 years, among congregations in Philadelphia, PA, and in Jersey City and Washington, NJ. Pastor Schantzenbach was ordained in 1978. Scott earned a BS in Chemistry from Moravian College and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He completed the Foundations Courses at Indiana University School of Philanthropy, the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising, and studied with the Interim Ministry Network.
Scott lives in Oxford, NJ with his wife, Jody, of 45 years. They have three adult children.
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Sunday, March 15 - Godspeed from Bishop Tracie Bartholomew
February 10, 2020 - Congregational Council Receives and Regretfully Accepts the Resignation of Pastor Lee Zandstra
Letter from Council President, Craig Weinrich
To the congregation of Living Waters Lutheran Church:
February 11, 2020
“For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastics 3:1
Dear Sibling in Christ at Living Waters,
It is with deep gratitude, sadness, and love that I share with you what I shared with Church Council last night, that I have accepted a call as the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Waterford, Michigan. I will begin with them on April 1, 2020.
As many of you know, I am an only child of my parents in Indiana. In recent years, their health has struggled, and with each passing year it has become harder and harder to be so far away from them. I am not taking this new call because of anything to do with Living Waters. I am taking this call to be closer to my parents.
As I will be away this Sunday for a schedule conference that I am presenting at, I am hosting a Town Hall Meeting this Thursday, February 13th at 7:00 p.m. for anyone who wants to come out and talk about any part of this transition. We will close with a short evening prayer service at 8:00 p.m.
When I met with Bishop Bartholomew, she asked me to assure you that the New Jersey Synod will be here for you, supporting and working with you all. She will be attending the regularly scheduled March 3rd council meeting to explain next steps in this time of transition.
I ask for your prayers for Dori, Ginger and I as we navigate this new chapter and move in our lives.
My last Sunday will be March 15th, 2020. Following that service, I will use my accumulated vacation time through Tuesday, March 31st.
My hope and prayer is that God will continue to bless your ministry and bless each of you with a future full of hope. It has been the honor of my life to have served as your pastor, and I will miss you all more than I can say.
"Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith
Know you are most welcome here
to receive the richness of God’s love given for you "
October 2010 - Lee Ann Zandstra Named Pastor At Living Waters Lutheran Church
The Reverend Lee Ann Zandstra accepted the call to serve as pastor of Living Waters Lutheran Church in Ringoes, NJ, back in October 1, 2010. Pastor Lee, as she prefers to be called, holds both a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Sacred Theology/Church History degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Prior to accepting this call, she served as Director of Community Partnering and Lutheran Disaster Response at Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey in Burlington, NJ, and was previously vicar of St. John Lutheran Church in Sinking Spring, PA.
Ordained into ministry on September 19, 2010, (pictured with E. Roy Riley, former Bishop of the NJ Synod) Pastor Lee is excited that Living Waters is the first congregation she'll be leading. "Living Waters is an active congregation with a passion for the community and around justice issues," she says. "I am blessed to become part of a community that strives to show God's love in Ringoes and beyond through worship, education, special events and community outreach."
A Service of Installation for Pastor Lee took place on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at Living Waters Lutheran Church, located at 11 Old York Rd. in Ringoes, just off of Rte. 202. All members of the community were invited to attend.
Video sermons available on the Living Water's YouTube page
About Living Waters Lutheran Church
Living Waters Lutheran Church (LWLC) is a member congregation of the N.J. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is a Reconciling in Christ congregation. Rev. Lee Ann Zandstra now serves as pastor. LWLC's mission statement is: "God's purpose for Living Waters is for us to be a renewed and renewing Christian community reflecting God's love, grace, mercy, justice and peace in all the world."