This is how God showed his love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11.
Pastor Tarras is a 1995 graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and a 2003 graduate of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is comfortable using a variety of lectionaries and worship styles from traditional liturgies to contemporary praise as well as blending various styles together. Pastor Tarras is also very concerned with reaching out to the larger community through ecumenical events and less formal outreach such as attending community sporting and school events.
When reflecting on her call to ministry, Pastor Tarras noted, “I have been able to live my whole life knowing that I am saved by God’s grace through my faith in Jesus, and my purpose and calling is to share the good news of God’s love for all people.”
Pastor Tarras is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. She has a background in music, is an avid quilter, and jam maker. Pastor Tarras has been married to her husband Jeff for the last fifteen years. Jeff works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The couple also enjoys spending time with their four grandchildren.
Intern Pastor 2022-2023
Intern Pastor Kathy Cartwright graduated from UW Oshkosh, WI in 1985 and remained within her first career of Banking Industry IT: Management, Development and Software Testing for 35 years before entering Wartburg Theological Seminary, in Dubuque IA in the Fall of 2020. Kathy has completed two full years of seminary studies, and has joined the staff to complete her year of contextual learning as an intern. Upon completion of her internship year, she will have one additional year of academic seminary study beginning September 2023.
As Kathy reflects upon her call to ministry, she expresses how she recognizes God daily within the magnificence of God’s created world, and especially enjoys these daily wonders within the stars, the sun sets, rainbows, the colors of seasonal changes and the beauty of the creatures. Kathy has been a church musician for over 40 years, including the last 13 years as the choir director and evening worship leader at Calvary Lutheran church in Oshkosh. Music has been very influential in guiding her spiritual growth toward seminary, and answering God’s call to pastoral ministry. She is excited to be able to grow, learn and minister within this church community.
Kathy was born and raised within the Oshkosh community, and has lived in this area for all but 11 years of her life, while she lived in Milwaukee for a portion of her first career. She enjoys many hobbies of singing, playing guitar, love of horses and kitties, sewing and involvement in the community choir, Oshkosh Choraliers. She also enjoys spending quality time with her nieces and nephews, most of which are also in the Oshkosh area.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Worship and Music Coordinator
Jessica grew up helping lead music at Grace. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Piano Pedagogy from Carthage College in Kenosha. After graduation, she became the Director of Music at Bethania Lutheran Church in Racine, WI, and the moved on to St. Edward's Catholic Church in Racine as their Director of Music while also teaching elementary and middle school music. After moving back to the area, Jess was given the opportunity to serve as the Worship and Music Coordinator at Grace. She helps plan and coordinate the worship services as well as serve as the worship leader. In addition to accompanying the adult choir, Jess also runs a successful piano and voice studio. "I have a great passion for church music and worship. It is so important that worship is a meaningful experience so that we can live out our faith every day."
A lifelong musician member of Grace English Lutheran Church, Jeremy is currently the Dean of Students at the Montello MS/HS. He received his undergraduate degree in Music from UW-Stevens Point and his Masters in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. "I believe that being a member of the church choir gives people the opportunity to be part of enhancing the worship service through music. It is a way to express your love of God through a different avenue."
Penny works to ensure the church office runs smoothly. She helps with accounting functions, scheduling, and printing materials. Penny loves to do crafty things and spend time with her grandchildren.
A long-time member of Grace, Sandy works to ensure the church office runs smoothly. She helps with accounting functions, scheduling, and printing materials.