About Christ Lutheran

CLC is a welcoming, multi-generational family of faith that provides contemporary spiritual support while balancing traditional ideals. Our services offer something for everyone, whether you prefer a more traditional or contemporary style. We offer thriving education, social, and community programs in a warm and friendly setting for those of any age. We are glad you are here and hope these pages will answer any questions you have about Christ Lutheran Church.

Mission:  Making Christ Known

"Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a kernel. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:2

Christ Lutheran is a story of dying and rising. In spring of 1995, its struggling predecessor, Living Christ Lutheran Church, closed its doors. A faithful remnant of Living Christ's members moved to a storefront, where -- under the leadership of Pastor Arthur Bergren -- it reopened its doors as Christ Lutheran.

Experiencing rapid growth, Christ Lutheran was organized as a congregation on October 6, 1995 and became a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on June 21, 1997. Soon after, it purchased a parcel of land and built its beautiful new facility on Riverside Road. This facility was dedicated on December 10, 1998. Today, Christ Lutheran is a vital community of faith with 400+ baptized and associate members.

Read more information on what Lutherans believe at


Deacon Laura Gorton
Associate Minister

Deacon Laura joined the ministry team at Christ Lutheran Church in September of 2020, coming to us from St. Paul, MN.  She brings with her experience with education, children & youth ministries, and service ministries.  She has a love of worship, liturgy, and reading.

Deacon Jennifer Fox
Minister for Worship and Music

Deacon Jennifer began directing the music ministries here in 1996. She is responsible for worship planning, music, and drama in worship and development of lay leaders
for worship.

Katie Belinson
Director of Outreach & Communications

The new kid on the block, Katie joined the CLC staff in August 2021 as a part-time employee and transitioned to full-time in February 2022. She has 14 years of experience in church communications. Prior to this, Katie worked at two Rockford-based advertising agencies and was employed as a freelance copywriter.

Michelle Nelson
Office and Finance Administrator

Michelle joined the Christ Lutheran staff in 2010 as Finance Assistant.  She has worked
in similar capacities at Bright Stars of Bethlehem and Faith Lutheran Church in Rochelle.  Prior to that she worked as a Financial Analyst at AMCORE Bank.

Dagny Brandt
Spirit Singers Director

Dagny joined the Christ Lutheran staff in 2021.  She has served as the Celebration
Choir Director for 18 years at First Lutheran Church in Freeport where she also served
as Music Coordinator and Children’s Choir Director.  She is employed at Highland College as the Highland Youth Choir Director and a vocal music instructor. 

Chris Parkinson
Congregational Musician

Chris joined the Christ Lutheran staff in summer of 2021.  She served as organist at First Lutheran Church in Freeport for 10 years.  An elementary music educator in the Lena-Winslow Schools, Chris has also served as the LOMC Swing Choir director.


Congregational Leadership

Jenny Campbell, President
Jenny serves as liaison to PATHWAYS.  A recent empty-nester after homeschooling for many years, she enjoys many things including reading, home organization projects, and traveling.  She also enjoys time with her husband and visiting their two daughters.

Howard Yakey, Vice President
Howard works part time as a school bus driver and driver instructor. He enjoys fishing and gardening. His favorite things include traveling and spending time with his wife, Sue, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild.

Shirley Collins, Secretary
Shirley and her husband, Lyn, have been Christ Lutheran members since 2007. She works as Office Manager for a small Machesney Park company, but will retire later this year. Shirley enjoys sewing and other crafts, gardening and spending time with family and friends. She is a member of both the Spirit Singers and Spirit Ringers.

Jeff Bieck, Treasurer
Jeff retired in 2010 from Rock River Valley Blood Center. He enjoys volunteering! One that he does on a regular basis is drive veterans to the VA Hospital in Madison. Jeff also enjoys traveling with his wife, Nancy, playing golf and visiting with their family of 6 children, 10 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. Family gatherings have 32+ people when all together.

Jenny Breckenridge
Jenny is a retired Registered Nurse, and is enjoying her retirement with family and her grandchildren. She loves going to their sporting events and school activities. She belongs to the Golden Glow, which is an organization that educates members on antique Christmas ornaments, and plans to attend their convention soon with her daughter Emily. This past year she has been volunteering at the Belvidere Historical Museum as well as giving tours at the Funderburg House.

Elizabeth Brinkley
Elizabeth serves as liaison to the Finance Advisory Committee. She works in finance with a focus on accounting and controls for a company in Rockford. She firmly believes in lifelong learning and development both personally and professionally. Along with her husband, Jason, she cultivates in her children: love for God, curiosity, joy, kindness and desire to learn. Elizabeth loves to read, travel to new places as well as spend time with family and friends.

John Herring
John joined CLC in June of 2022. He retired from 30 plus years in contract food service management. He now enjoys his six Saturdays per week reading, gardening, and volunteering in our community.

Peter Hightower
Peter has been a member of Christ Lutheran for 20 years. He currently serves as an offering counter and worship host. Peter volunteers at Habitat for Humanity. He is a retired mechanical engineer (Purdue 76, MBA NIU) and enjoys traveling with his wife, Deb. He is a vegetable gardener and has three grown children and two grandchildren plus a grand dog and cat.

Lori Murphy
Lori serves as liaison to the Evangelism Team.  She works for United Healthcare and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and jigsaw puzzles.

Denise Rindels
Denise serves as liaison to the Education Committee.   Responsible for accounts payable at a machine tool distributor, Denise enjoys spending time with her husband and looks forward to having her daughters home from college.

Don Skadow
Don grew up in Park Ridge and was baptized at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. He graduated from NIU in DeKalb with a business degree, and then made his way to Rockford. He has two children from his first marriage, Karen and Bobby, who now have children of their own. He loves visiting them and enjoys being a grandpa. He and his wife Kathy live in Rockford with their dog, Chip! In addition to traveling, they both enjoy the fellowship and services at CLC.

David Swanson
Dave Swanson serves as liaison to the Stewardship Team. Dave and his dog Sunny volunteer in the Therapy Dog program at Saint Anthony Hospital.