We subscribe to the idea of the "priesthood of all believers," (1 Peter 2:9) something that Christian reformers of the 16th century emphasized. Each and every one of us has gifts to lead. Although leadership is shared by many lay people at Ascension, we do have called and hired staff to lead and guide our community.

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pastor chris honig

Pastor Honig is deeply committed to a pastoral ministry focused on building community through the nurture of relationships.  A gifted listener, he finds great joy in witnessing “how we all weave together our stories, adding to the fabric of God's story, revealed in Christ Jesus.”

Worship and liturgy are two of Pastor Honig's greatest passions.  He also has expertise working with children and young people, and is a long-time amateur musician.  He is involved in the life of the Riverside area through various community and ecumenical events, and seeks out opportunities for partnerships with diverse social ministries and outreach organizations both within and outside of the congregation. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (LOMC) in Oregon, IL.

Pastor Honig received his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, following the completion of his undergraduate studies at Valparaiso University, where he also met his wife Liz.  Both are avid runners, hikers, and enjoy exploring Chicago and the surrounding area. Pastor and Liz Honig live in Riverside, IL with their daughter, Hanah, and their faithful dog, Ruby.

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dan mcdaniel, director of music

Dan McDaniel holds degrees in Vocal Performance from Murray State University in Murray, KY and in Organ Performance from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, where he was a student of Marianne Webb. He has done advanced studies at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England.

Mr. McDaniel has sung with the William Ferris Choral, the Choral Sounds of Chicago, the Bach Week Festival Chorus and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. As a participant in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Musicians in Residency Program, he worked with the Community Chorus at the Northshore Cultural Center and the Community Chorale at Symphony Center.  His handbell arrangements have been published by Hope Publishing Company.

mary jean marinier, administrative assistant

Mary Jean Marinier has been an ever-present strength to Ascension since 1990. She was raised in Chicago and has resided in the area since; currently, she lives in Orland Park. She and her husband, Dave, have two children, Lara and Daniel. Mary Jean enjoys traveling to see her children when she isn’t reading a good book or hitting the scenic roads with their Harley.