Meet The Staff

Pastor Carla
Pastor Carla Thompson Powell


1996 Ordained, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
1996 Master of Divinity, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH
1991 Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Religion, Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH

Ministerial Service

September 2014-2015 – Interim Pastor, First Lutheran and St. Philip Lutheran Churches, Blue Island, IL
April–August 2014 – Summer Youth Employment Program manager, Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago, IL
March 2014–May 2014 – Good Friday walk for justice project manager, Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s Working Group on the Middle East
March 2012-March 2014 – Pastor-Redeveloper, Salem Lutheran Church, Chicago, ILS
September 2011-March 2012 – Hospital Chaplain, Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, IL
December 2010–August 2011 – regular supply preacher, Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, Oak Forest, IL
March 2005-October 2010 – Associate Pastor Youth/Family/Outreach, Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL
March 2003–March 2005 – Year-round Camp Director, Stony Lake Lutheran Camp, New Era, MI
1996-2003 – Solo Pastor, Timothy Lutheran Church, Livonia, MI

Professional Training

April 2015 – Crossroads 2 day Anti-Racism Training
February 2012 and February 2013 ELCA Missional Leaders Training Events (redeveloper, part 1 & 2)
May 2011 – Professional Certificate of Nonprofit Management at North Park University (Axelson Center)
October 2010 – Boundaries Training (including Safe Child training)
January 2010 – Human Trafficking Awareness Training

Community/Professional Involvement

2015-present - Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (Oregon, IL) board
2014-present - Advocate Christ Medical Center (Oak Lawn, IL) CPE Professional Advisory Group
2013 – Illinois Network of Charter Schools Parent Engagement training class
2009-2013 – Vice-president for communications for the William H. Ray Elementary School PTA board
2008-2011 – Pastoral Advisor, 2011-present, Coordinator ,Chicago Chapter of Reconciling Works (formerly Lutherans Concerned/Chicago
2007-2010 – Co-dean of the Northeast Conference of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod


October 2011 – Bible Study Leader, Metro Chicago Synod Women’s Organization, Philippians 4:4, “Renew Yourself and Your Faith; Respond to God’s Call; Rejoice in the Lord”
July 2011 – Theological Leader, Theka (Counselor in Training) program, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center, Oregon, IL
June 2011 – Co-Teacher, week-long “Cross-Cultural Ministry” class, Seminary Consortium on Urban Pastoral Education, Chicago, IL
March 2011 – Keynote Speaker & Workshop Leader, “Honoring the Gifts That Differ: Supporting One Another’s Spiritual Gifts,” at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church Women’s Retreat
February 19, 2011 – Speaker, “Talking To Kids About Homosexuality,” at Deepening The Welcome
December 2010–January 2011 – Teacher, Diakonia class “Lutheran Faith in the American Context

Published Writings

2010-2015 – Living Lutheran/Seeds for the Parish print and blog articles
2013-2015 – Lutheran magazine e-newsletter articles
2010 – Numbers: Book of Faith Bible Study, co-written with Rev. Darryl Thompson Powell
2009 – Spark (lectionary): Sunday School curriculum for grades 1-2
2009 – Spark NRSV Children’s Bible introductory materials (targeted to 4th-6th graders)
2008 – Here We Stand: Confirmation Curriculum contributor (7-8th grade primarily); Sundays & Seasons worship planning resource, Family Christmas Eve service (intergenerational)
2007 – Sundays & Seasons, worship planning resource, “Ideas With Children” contributor; The Lutheran Handbook 2, article contributor; Akaloo event curriculum for large groups (intergenerational)
2006 & 2007 – The Clergy Journal, sermons contributor
2006 – devotional contributor, The Funny Shape of Faith; section contributor, Akaloo Adult Faith Practices
2006 – Christ In Our Home, devotional contributor


Derek H. Sire, Church Administrator

Derek Sire brings an abundance of passion for social justice, enthusiasm for authentic relationships, and a drive to build communities of radical hospitality to this administrative support position. Derek Sire joined the staff of United in Faith in August 2016, and has a professional background in customer service in a variety of settings, including in the office. His strengths include collaborating with others, finding new solutions to problems, seeing diversity as a blessing in the workplace and faith communities, skills in technology and social media, and multi-tasking. He also has a diverse set of past experiences being led and leading in the Christian church and on campus, is currently pursuing undergraduate studies in Religion, and is planning to enroll in an ELCA seminary upon graduation. He recently completed a paper on Solving Poverty, ELCA Lutheran Christians, & the 2016 Election and is seeking to raise awareness among Christians about how to connect their faith to activism that advocates for the human and civil rights of all.

Please feel free to contact him during his office hours at (773)-283-2326 or with questions or suggestions.