Pastor Amalia (she/hers) is passionate about helping others live freely, sharing God’s love with neighbors and creation. Drawn to ministry among believers, skeptics, and seekers of all ages, she seeks new ways of telling the true story of God’s love in Jesus Christ for the world. Amalia believes Christ-centered communities see us for who we are, freeing us to live transformed lives with love for ourselves and others. As a publicly-identifying bisexual person, Amalia is committed to authentic hospitality, celebrating diversity, and seeking justice and belonging for all people.
Pastor Amalia earned an M.Div at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa and a B.A. in English and Religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Prior to pursuing a call to ordained ministry, she spent a decade working on public policy for Planned Parenthood and a decade as the director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a nonprofit ministry affirming and equipping LGBTQIA+ Lutheran rostered ministers and seminarians.
Pastor Amalia and her spouse David Lester moved from Decorah, Iowa with their "chillhuahua," Cholla. They co-parent three adult humans from David’s first marriage - Oran (he/him), Aidan (he/him), and Heather (she/hers), who live in Decorah, Portland, and Chicago. Amalia and David enjoy exploring Tucson, hiking, talking to their dog in ridiculous voices, checking out breweries, and hosting visiting family and friends.
Pastor Amalia began at Our Saviour's on November 1, 2021.
Michele and her husband Matt followed their dreams and relocated to Tucson, Arizona from Hermitage, Pennsylvania. They have a daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter back in Pennsylvania.
Michele has worked in the church world for the past 24 years in many different administrative and communication positions. In their free time Matt and Michele enjoy traveling, putt putt golf and remodeling projects.
Our Saviour's welcomes Michele to her new role beginning July 10.
Gréta Pásztor is entering into her second year as a DMA student, pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona in Piano Performance, and studying with Dr. John Milbauer. She has previously earned Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Choral Conducting from Kent State University (2021), as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Keyboard Performance and Music Theory from Baldwin Wallace University (2018). Her passion for music has started at an early age and has grown since. Gréta was born in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and started playing the piano at the age of 6, and the organ at the age of 16. To date, she has participated in several local and national piano competitions and has been awarded for her academic and musical achievements. Gréta and her piano duo partner, Alexandre Marr recently won 1st Prize in the 2021 Gloria Artis International Music Competition. In addition, she won the 2021 Concerto Competition at the Fred Fox School of Music, and received 2nd Prize in the 2022 Lois Trester Piano Competition. Gréta Pásztor grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist Christian family, and has been involved with church music in different capacities since childhood. She has served as pianist, accompanist, organist, choir director, and music director in Seventh-day Adventist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian church congregations. Her goal is to use her talents to praise God and be a blessing to the people around her.
John was born and raised in Tucson and has been in building maintenance for over 30 years. He enjoys hunting, camping and his trucks. John has three adult children, eight grandchildren, and is pleased to be working for Our Saviour's.
John began his role in June 2022.
Vicar Wendi Van Beek (she/her/hers) is the Minister of Word and Service (Deacon) intern at Our Saviour’s Lutheran. Vicar Wendi earned her MA degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in May of 2023, a M.Ed in Education Administration from the College of Counseling and Human Resource Development at South Dakota State University in 2011, a BS degree in Behavioral Science from Bellevue University in 2008, and an AA degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in History from Kilian Community College in 2007.
Vicar Wendi feels her vocational call in the Church to accompany others, equip others, empower others in their process of discernment and their identity as disciples. She feels called to do this through the gifts of coaching, spiritual practices, spiritual direction, and personal development. She is committed to radical welcome and inclusion, so that we may more fully embrace our neighbor, our community, our world, and work for advocacy and justice in and for the world that God so loves.
Vicar Wendi is an Arizona transplant and is originally from South Dakota. In addition to her work as intern at OSLC, she volunteers her time as liaison to Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Arizona, on the national board for Diakonia: Growing in Faith, and on the Internship Task Force for Wartburg Theological Seminary. She likes to spend her free time reading, traveling, crocheting, camping, cheering for the Minnesota Twins, and spending time with beloved family and friends, including her spouse and their incredibly spoiled greyhound.