Bishop Scott Alan Johnson

Bishop

Bio
The Rev. Scott Alan Johnson was born and raised on a family farm near Wakefield, NE. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary. Prior to being elected bishop of the Nebraska Synod in 2022, he served as pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Barrett, MN, as campus pastor of the University Lutheran Center at Iowa State University in Ames, IA, as pastor of St. Petri Lutheran Church in Story City, IA, and as Director of Campus Ministries at Midland University in Fremont, NE. Scott and his wife Kristin are the proud parents of two daughters, and they live in Fremont, NE.

Assistants to the Bishop - Mobility & Call Process Team

Rev. Greg Berger

Assistant to the Bishop

Bio
Greg grew up in Southeast Nebraska, farming with his Dad for ten years before heading to seminary. Greg earned a Bachelors in Social Science at Peru State College and his Master of Divinity at Gettysburg. He served as a Licensed Lay Minister in the Disciples of Christ Church at the Peru Community Church, where he also was Campus Pastor for United Ministries in Higher Education. After seminary he served as Associate Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran, Grand Island, then Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hooper. His most current call was Messiah Lutheran, Ralston. Greg and his wife, Kim live in Omaha and have two sons, two daughters-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters.
Areas of responsibility
Relating to Omaha and Fremont areas, Call Process, Mobility, Congregational Care
Contact info

greg@nebraskasynod.org

Juliet Focken
Rev. Juliet Focken

Assistant to the Bishop

Bio
Juliet Focken is a life-long Lutheran that grew up in the eastern United States and did undergraduate and graduate work in Special Education. After teaching Special Education at a private boarding school near NYC she moved to Gettysburg to attend seminary. She did her First Call in Genoa, NE and now works with 80 ELCA congregations in eastern NE as one of four Assistants to the Bishop for the Nebraska Synod. On staff her three areas of priority are congregational relations, call process, and First Call Theological Education. She lives in Elkhorn with her husband and three sons.
Areas of responsibility
Call Process / Mobility, Serving the Elkhorn Valley, Fremont Area, Metro East, and Metro West Clusters, First Call Theological Education, Systems Thinking, Pastoral Care
Rev. Jon Mapa

Assistant to the Bishop

Bio
Rev. Mapa has most recently served as Pastor of American Lutheran Church in Gothenburg, and has been serving as Dean of the Pony Express Cluster and as a member of the Nebraska Synod Council. He is married to Rev. Carol Mapa, Administrator of the PMA program. They will be living in North Platte.
Areas of responsibility
Mobility and Call Processes, Serving central and western Nebraska, including the Central Southern Prairie, Loup-Platte, Panhandle, Pony Express, Tumbleweed, and Two Rivers Clusters, Pastoral Care
Rev. Kristen Van Stee

Assistant to the Bishop

Bio
Kristen Van Stee graduated from Roanoke College in Virginia in 2007 with majors in History and Spanish. She graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia South Carolina in 2011. She was ordained September 21st, 2013 and served as the pastor of Christ’s Lutheran Church in Davenport and St. James Lutheran Church in Edgar until 2017. She served as half-time Associate Pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne Nebraska from 2017-2020. She has been serving as a half-time Assistant to the Bishop for Mobility and Congregational Care for Northeast Nebraska since 2017.
Areas of responsibility
Call Process/Mobility, Serving the Northeast and Lewis & Clark clusters
Rev. Heidi Wallace

Assistant to the Bishop

Bio
Originally from Minnesota, Heidi Wallace attended Winona State University where she double majored in Elementary Education and Special Education with a minor in Language Arts. After teaching reading, coaching speech, and directing theatre for several years, she finally answered the call to ordained ministry. She graduated from Luther Seminary and was ordained in 2009. Most recently, she served as Pastor of Bethany Evangelical Lutheran and First Presbyterian Churches in Lyons, Nebraska. She loves her nephews and godchildren, puzzles, documentaries, decluttering, and preaching.
Areas of responsibility
Relating to congregations in Southeastern Nebraska, developing & supporting full communion partnership ministries throughout the synod, Boundaries Training, Congregational Care
Contact info

heidi@nebraskasynod.org

Discipleship Team

Deacon Sunni Richardson

Director for Leadership Development

Bio
Leading started in third grade when Sunni became the unofficial captain of the Buttercup softball team. Thanks to wise mentors, strong role models and opportunities she has been able to utilize her leadership skills as a trainer, consultant, program developer, fund raiser, ELCA coach and preacher. Sunni worked with Camp Fire in Iowa, Alaska, Minnesota and Lincoln before joining the Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministry staff as director of programs. Most recently she served at First Lutheran Lincoln. One of her greatest joys has been walking with others as they discern God’s call and learn to use their gifts. Sunni lives in Lincoln and can often be found on the road taking photos, connecting with friends or hunting down a good Thai restaurant.
Areas of responsibility
Leadership Development, Candidacy, LGBTQQIA2S+ Team, Coaching Network
Deacon Timothy Siburg
Deacon Timothy Siburg

Director for Mission, Innovation, and Stewardship

Bio
Deacon Timothy serves as the Director for Mission, Innovation and Stewardship. He has been a Deacon since 2016, serving on synod staff here in Nebraska since May 2016. He has previously served on staff and in leadership roles for congregations, nonprofits, startups, and another synod, in Minnesota and Washington. Areas of interest in ministry include: leadership and stewardship; mission and outreach; innovation and experimentation; vitality and transformation; generosity and gratitude; writing; and cultivating and sharing stories of ministry in action. Timothy is available to preach, lead worship (outside of the sacraments), workshops and discussions, and meet for conversation. He resides in Fontanelle with his wife, Rev. Allison Siburg (Salem Lutheran, Fontanelle) and their two daughters.
Areas of responsibility
ELCA Churchwide Relations (including the DEM Network), Giving, Innovation, Leadership, Mission, Outreach, Stewardship, Synod Assembly Planning Team

Administrative Team

Angela Geier

Administrative Assistant

Bio
Being a wife to a firefighter and a busy mom, Angie has consistently brought her experience, dedication along with her outgoing and entertaining personality to the Nebraska Synod for the last 2 ½ years.
Areas of responsibility
General Information, Office, and Events
Michele Herrick

Administrative Assistant

Bio
Michele joined the Nebraska Synod in May 2016 as part-time admin support/receptionist. Prior to working at the Synod, she was a church secretary and an elementary school teacher. She has a BSBA from UNK and a teaching certificate from College of St. Mary’s. Michele enjoys spending time with her family, reading, genealogy, and yoga.
Areas of responsibility
General Information, Office, Development
Stephanie Lusienski

Director of Finance and Administration

Bio
Stephanie Lusienski has served on synod staff since October 2008, and prior to that served for 5 years on the staff of her congregation, American Lutheran Church, Ashland. She and her husband, Jerry live in Ashland, and have 3 grown children. Her interests are reading, traveling, and gardening, or just about any activity that requires being outside. “I love meeting and talking with people throughout the Nebraska Synod. I am humbly honored to be a part of a faith tradition that serves others and welcomes everyone, no matter their faith, ethnicity, or gender."
Areas of responsibility
Budget & Finance, Giving, and Global Mission
Rev. Kat Montira

Parish Ministry Associate (PMA) Administrator

Bio
After arguing with God for many, many years, Kat finally entered seminary in 2005 and has recently retired from full-time ministry after 12 years. She now serves as a Transitional Minister for Immanuel in Benson. She is also a certified Spiritual Director. Kat has 3 grown sons and 4 grandchildren and has been widowed for over 6 years. She is a member of the Women Marines Association where she recently began serving as National Secretary. She loves to spend time with her family and friends and can be found watching old westerns and crocheting in her free time.
Areas of responsibility
Parish Ministry Associates
Contact info

pma@nebraskasynod.org

Morgan Tranmer

Executive Assistant to the Bishop and Roster Management

Bio
Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and previously served as the Youth Coordinator at Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln. A Lutheran since birth, Morgan was baptized and confirmed at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilber and was later an active participant at The UNL Lutheran Center as a host and peer minister. When she is not in the office, she can be found reading, spending time with her family, indulging in the occasional Netflix binge, or planning her next big travel adventure!
Areas of responsibility
Bishop's Calendar, Rostered Management, Synod Council administration, and Candidacy administration

Other Resources

Bill Biggs

Synod Attorney

Other Resources

Areas of responsibility
Constitutions, Governance, and Legal Concerns
Joel D. Pedersen

Synod Attorney

Other Resources

Bio
Former General Counsel of the University of Nebraska - specializing in philanthropic public/private partnerships for high-impact projects. Frequently requested to conduct complex and challenging negotiations for priority projects. Thrives in an environment of elected officials, executives, and highly educated professionals with high expectations. Strategically involved in drafting and implementing large projects, combining governance/oversight with sophisticated real property, construction, and financing deliverables. Excels at identifying original solutions. Proven results in the various areas of practice.

Other Ministry Contacts

1) Nebraska Synod Substance Abuse Resource: Rev. Otto Schultz (starfish@inebraska.com)
2) Prison Ministry: Rev. Rob Corum (prisonministry@nebraskasynod.org)
3) Candidacy: Jennifer Carnahan (candidacy@nebraskasynod.org
4) Synod Volunteer Archivist: Ian Hartfield (i.hartfield@sheridanlutheran.org)
5) Serving Arms: The ministry partners and organizations that are essential to helping the Synod carry out its work.