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Meet the new pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside

Published: Sunday, May 12, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:23 a.m. CDT
(JERRY MOORE - jmoore@shawmedia.com)
The Rev. Jennifer Fisher was installed as the new pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside on April 21.

RIVERSIDE – The Rev. Jennifer Fisher recently accepted the position of pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside. She was installed during a ceremony April 21.

Her husband, the Rev. Greg Moser, also has taken on a new assignment. In March, he became pastor of Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream.

Fisher said she was drawn to the pulpit at Ascension Lutheran Church because of the enthusiasm members of the congregation have shown to serving others.

“I enjoyed the passion they conveyed in their paperwork for what they do, and I loved meeting with the people here,” Fisher said.

Fisher served as associate pastor of Living Lord Lutheran Church in Bartlett about three years. She attended the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, graduating and becoming an ordained minister in 2011.

“I think I’ve always had a calling to the ministry, probably back to junior high,” Fisher said.

Fisher said her family was not religious while she was growing up. She often would attend church services with other people including her relatives.

After graduating from Penn State University, Fisher embarked on a career in the financial services industry. She eventually became a vice president with Northern Trust, working as a systems analyst.

But time away from Northern Trust gave Fisher time to contemplate the direction of her life.

“I had a surgery that was not supposed to be a big deal. But it ended up being a big deal, so I took a leave,” Fisher said. “I felt the nagging sense that God was calling me into the ministry.”

Fisher first became acquainted with her husband during her second year at the Lutheran School of Theology. She has known many members of the armed forces and strongly supports military families.

So Fisher considered joining the Illinois National Guard as a chaplain while in seminary. Moser has been a chaplain in the National Guard about 15 years, and he regularly counsels Lutherans thinking about the chaplaincy, Fisher said. She contacted him for guidance as she weighed her options.

While she chose another ministerial path, Fisher maintained her relationship with Moser. They married in 2010 and are expecting a baby in October.

Fisher said the people at Ascension Lutheran Church have been supportive as she grows into her new role.

“As an associate pastor, you have a more limited scope,” Fisher said. “But as a senior pastor, you may have to change gears. I love the challenge of that. I love getting to know people and getting to know their stories. It’s been a wonderful transition.”

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