"Our spirit is the spirit of many, not the idea of just one."
Maybe not all 13-year-olds who are asked to serve on the new-pastor search committee become pastors themselves. But Lori Bievenour did.
Born Lori Godich in suburban Milwaukee, WI, Lori has been affiliated with the United Church of Christ for her entire life. Lori’s uncle was a UCC minister in Illinois for decades, and her mother became a UCC pastor and chaplain after 30+ years of teaching.
Besides serving on church committees, singing in the choir, and playing with the bell choir as a young girl, Lori shared the poem “Drop a Pebble in the Water” with her congregation on Stewardship Sunday and claims to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Around this time, her interim pastor, Ineke Mitchell, quietly planted the seed that young Lori might consider ministry. Years later, Ineke preached at Lori’s ordination service.
Lori graduated from Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, WI and Butler University in Indianapolis, IN with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and English with a Creative Writing concentration. Lori then continued her studies at Boston University School of Theology, graduating with a Master of Divinity in 2003.
Lori first became involved with St. Peter’s United Church of Christ as a youth minister during the spring and summer of 2000. Lori’s special rapport with youth continues today with her twice-a-year service trips to Washington United Church of Christ in Cincinnati , OH with about 20-30 St. Peter’s middle- and high-school students and adults.
In July 2003 Lori was hired full-time as Associate Pastor after her graduation from Boston University. She married Torrey Bievenour at St. Peter’s in 2005, having met Torrey through mutual friends while he was living in NY and she was in MA. Though it is a story for another day, Torrey has been a member of St. Peter’s since he was in the fourth grade, and both Lori & Torrey enjoy their intense connection to this congregation.
Lori’s favorite description of Jesus is that of a trickster, and her commitment to justice keeps her energized for parish ministry.
Last but not least, Lori collects Silly Putty and hosts an annual Miss America party. (Is that where she learned to smile so big?)
Michael never imagined that he would be a pastor, but it wasn’t long after he became a member of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis that he felt a tug on his heart to ministry. Michael graduated in May of 2014 from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis with his Master of Divinity and is a candidate for ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
While at CTS Michael served two years as Student Associate Minister of First Christian Church in Kokomo where he primarily worked in youth ministry. Most recently, Michael served as a Ministry Associate at the office of the Christian Church in Indiana. He also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, serving for four months as a chaplain at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Before pursuing his call to ministry, Michael was a middle and high school French and Spanish teacher and taught at schools in Evansville, Martinsville, and Indianapolis. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in 2004. While he was at Purdue he spent two semesters abroad, studying both in France and Mexico.
Michael is the proud uncle of a set of twins, Aiden and Adriana, who live in Martinsville, and three boys, Joshua, Colton, and Jacob, who live in South Carolina. In his free time, he likes to spend time at the gym, read, go to the movies, and spend time at home with his mischievous cats, Abraham and Isaac.
Cheryl grew up in Dover, Delaware and lived for many years in beautiful Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Cheryl sang in the church choir, the Alumni Chorale, and a fun trio (The CBS Trio) after her day’s work at Bell of Pennsylvania. In 1989 Cheryl married Ben Keckler, a UCC minister.
Cheryl has directed children’s choirs and handbell choirs in various UCC churches. After moving to Indianapolis in 2000, Cheryl began a piano studio and now additionally directs handbell choirs here at St. Peter’s and at Prince of Peace UCC.
Cheryl enjoys history, and volunteers as a docent at the President Benjamin Harrison House. Together Cheryl and Ben enjoy flower gardening and playing games. Her favorites: 2-handed pinochle and Sequence.
A special joy to the Kecklers are their families and especially the four grandchildren, Keira, Audra, Kari and Bryce.
Lori is the Preschool Director at St. Peter’s. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Elementary Education. Lori has been married to Jeff for 15 years, and they have two wonderful boys, Zach age 12 and Jackson age 10. Both of their boys attended St. Peter’s Preschool. Lori has worked at St. Peter’s Preschool in many capacities. She began as a board member, MTO assistant, MTO teacher, Three’s teacher and Pre-K teacher. Lori loves the preschool age and loves St. Peter’s Preschool. It is a wonderful place!
Theresa is St. Peter’s Administrative Assistant. She is in the office from 8:30am – 5pm working on the weekly bulletins, the monthly newsletter and other design needs. Prior to moving to Indiana in 2004, she attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn. While she didn’t obtain a degree at that time, one of her goals is to receive her bachelor degree.
Sandy serves as our church and preschool accountant. Sandy and her husband Chris have lived in Carmel for ten years. hey have two sons, Carter (17) and Sam (9) and a daughter, Grace (4) who attends St. Peter’s Preschool. andy is a born and raised Hoosier. She has over twenty years of accounting experience, ten of which have been in the non-profit sector. In her free time Sandy enjoys photography, being outdoors and being a spectator at her sons’ many sporting and orchestra activities.
Adeline "Addie" K. Yoder
From organizing a Girls Trio at church as a third grader, to taking seminary courses, church music has been paramount as Addie’s ministry. Acknowledging that the source of her talent is God given, she dedicates her life to sharing and inspiring listeners to render thankful praise to their Maker. Like JS Bach wrote at the end of each composition, Soli Deo Gloria, her credo is “to the glory of God alone”.
A native of Ohio and graduate of Goshen College (music education degree), Addie taught music in Ohio prior to teaching for six years at Woodstock School, an American International School located in the first range of the Himalayan Mountains of India. Upon returning to the States with her husband, Dave, and 9 month old daughter, Karmen, Addie served as organist/choir director in many different denominations (including Greek Orthodox). When they moved south for Dave to pursue his Master of Divinity education, Addie earned her master’s degree in organ performance from the University of South Carolina.
The family relocated to Indianapolis in 1990. Following retirement as an executive assistant in a mechanical insulation company, Addie enjoys volunteering – as a tutor in the Warren Schools, as an office worker and pianist at Lutherwood (a lock-down residential facility for court ordered children), and learning Japanese folk dancing. She teaches private piano lessons and we welcome her as organist/pianist at St. Peter’s UCC.
Michelle Cotherman and family has been the Facility Maintenance Crew since 2004. She has three children: Brandt, Taylor and Natalie. Her husband, Jesse, is a native of Indiana, and Michelle is a native of Jamaica. Her duties include keeping the inside of the church clean. In her free time, Michelle enjoys being at home with her family or watching her children’s sporting events.