Jeffery Alvestad, Pastor

We moved to Lawrence from my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa on January 1, 2021.   Coincidentally, my undergraduate degree was earned in the last century from KU, before earning Master’s degrees from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.  I have served congregations in Texas where I met Candace, and Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Candace is from Victoria, Texas.  She is an RN with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  We “parent” a Brittany (Katy) and Golden Retriever (Rose).  The four of us make good use of our South Park front yard.

We both love living in the refurbished parsonage next to the church and walking up and down Mass.  We enjoy long distance bicycling, theatre, Nelson Atkins and the Lied Center.  I enjoy watching sports – the Chiefs, Royals and (in order) the Kansas Jayhawks, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones and Alabama Crimson Tide.  I read mostly biography, history, and current events while Candace exercises.

Kate Stephenson, Director of Congregational Life

Kate was born and raised on a 5th generation family farm near Clay Center, Kansas, along with her 4 siblings (including TLC members Jacob and Leah Larson) and many animals.

She received an Art degree from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, and has lived and worked in Wichita (2007-08), northern Germany (2008-09), Lawrence (2009-2016, 2018-present), and Clay Center (2016-18) with a rewarding variety of careers including scenic artist, au pair, bread baker, Montessori and preschool teacher, program technician for the US Department of Agriculture, and administrative assistant. She is thrilled to join the team at Trinity Lutheran Church in her new role as the Director of Congregational Life.

In her free time, Kate enjoys gardening, birdwatching, attending art and music events, cooking, and spending time with her husband Michael and 1-year-old daughter Scarlet at their East Lawrence home.

Megan Duke, Office and Communications Manager

Megan Duke started the position of Office & Communications Manager at Trinity Lutheran Church in May of 2022.  Prior to TLC she was a graduate student with the University of Kansas in the department of mathematics. She had previously attended Wayne State College in Wayne, NE and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pure Mathematics. Megan was born in Sioux Falls, SD and grew up near there. Megan and her husband have lived in Lawrence for about two years. She is excited for the opportunity to be with TLC!

Kevin Cooper, Property and Maintenance Manager

Kevin has been a wonderful addition to Trinity and brings with him a wealth of experience. He worked with the University of Kansas for ten years and was a self employed painter for ten years but most of his life he worked in the restaurant business.

Susan Hash-Hires, Director of Music

Susan comes from Marshfield, Wisconsin, where, at Christ Lutheran Church, she grew up singing in the choir with her mom, aunt and grandmother. She came to Lawrence in 1980 to study voice at KU and then to St. Louis for continued private study at the St. Louis Conservatory and School of the Arts (CASA).
In 1992, she and her family moved to Austin, TX. While there, she served for 10 years as the Music Director at Round Rock Presbyterian Church. At RRPC, she grew the choir from 12 to 36 members, established both adult and youth bell choirs, created an interfaith / intergenerational orchestra, and ran a yearly summer musical theatre camp. After her tenure there, she became the Assistant Music Director at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church in Austin.
In performance endeavors in Austin, she had the privilege to work with Craig Hella-Johnson and sang with the professional vocal ensemble Conspirare. She also sang for a short season with the Austin Lyric Opera.
In addition to her job at Trinity, she runs a successful private voice studio at her home in Lawrence, and is very much involved at Theatre Lawrence as show manager, bartender (a skill learned during that Wisconsin childhood), and music director for The Rocky Horror Show, The Ballad of Blackjack, Quilters and Yours, Anne. She has also appeared on stage as Violet Snustad in Church Basement Ladies, Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins, Carmen Bernstein in Curtains! and most recently in the ensemble of Hello Dolly!.
Susan’s two daughters, one son-in-law and one significant other (finally!) all live in Minneapolis, (and in a crazy twist of fate), less than two miles apart. She’s very excited to have them all within easy driving distance at last.

David Cason, Organist

David Cason earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Kansas in the 1990s and in 2017 returned to Lawrence to pursue a Master of Music degree, completed in 2020. He is continuing organ study with James Higdon to earn a doctoral degree in organ performance. He comes to Trinity from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Leavenworth, and previous positions have included Missouri United Methodist Church, Columbia, Missouri and St. James Episcopal Church, Wichita, Kansas. When in school at KU in the 90s, he was organist at All Saints’ Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Kansas. David is originally from Ewing, Missouri.