Nebraska Synod Welcomes New Staff Members

Beginning in April, the Nebraska Synod welcomes three new staff members.

Nebraska Synod Welcomes its Director for Leadership Development— Deacon Sunni Richardson

Deacon Sunni Richardson has joined the staff of the Nebraska Synod in the role of Director for Leadership Development. This new, Immanuel Vision Foundation grant-funded position is dedicated to coordinating and marshaling the leadership development efforts with which the Nebraska Synod is already blessed, and with envisioning and developing new efforts for developing lay and rostered leaders alike.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is making even clearer, the church is changing, and so are its needs for leadership. Sunni will be working with several groups within the synod and connecting with members, leaders, and staff across the synod as she transitions into this key role, with an eye to maximizing the effectiveness of existing leadership-related efforts and listening for needs that aren’t yet being addressed. Existing efforts she will relate to include Seeking the Spirit Within, the Candidacy Committee, the Emmaus Lutheran Leadership Academy, the Leadership Team, How Then Will I Lead?, and Faith Formation. Sunni brings a wealth of experience in leadership and leadership development to the role.

Deacon Sunni is a familiar face in the Nebraska Synod having served as Director of Programs for 17 years with Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries and 17 years with Camp Fire as regional director, camp director, and executive director. Most recently she served as Director of Discipleship at First Lutheran Church in Lincoln. Her skills and expertise include program development, volunteer development, retreat and workshop leadership, multigenerational challenges, visioning and strategic planning, vocation and call conversations, and administration. She is also an ELCA Certified Level 1 Coach. Sunni says she is looking forward to engaging in conversation with lay and rostered leaders across the Synod as we learn to be adaptive leaders, acknowledge the challenges of being church in today’s world, and have honest conversations that empower us to go make disciples. Her energy will be focused on raising up leaders for Christ’s church by equipping, exciting, engaging, and empowering God’s people.

Welcome, Morgan Tranmer

Morgan Tranmer has joined the Nebraska Synod staff in a multipurpose support role. Working in the Omaha office, Morgan’s role is primarily related to the work of our new Director for Leadership Development, assisting in the organization, administrative, educational, and communications matters that will arise as that position begins to bear fruit in the ongoing development of leaders in the Nebraska Synod. She will also assist the administrative support staff of the synod office, aiding with event-related matters such as planning and registration. We are grateful for the Immanuel Vision Foundation grant that makes this position possible.

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!

Bishop’s Associate for Panhandle

Rev. Ron Youngerman will begin working with the Nebraska Synod on a part-time basis as a Bishop’s Associate to aid in the work of call processes and congregational relations in the Panhandle. Working closely with Rev. Steve Meysing in the North Platte office, Rev. Youngerman, will help ensure strong and efficient connection and communication between congregations, leaders, and the synod staff. This will also significantly reduce travel time for Rev. Steve and improve scheduling flexibility for all of the congregations west of Aurora (yes, it’s a big territory!) and permit some shuffling of his responsibilities to benefit staff effectiveness as a whole.

Rev. Youngerman is retired, having served a number of congregations in Nebraska Synod, most recently as a Transitional Minister. He lives with his wife Mary at Lake Minatare. Both are members of the Lutheran Franciscans (you may have noted them in the familiar Franciscans’ brown robes at a synod event). Please greet Ron and welcome him to his new role when you next see him!