Pastor & Staff

Zac Sturm

Senior Pastor

Pastor Zac Sturm was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He spent his formative years attending MacArthur Park Lutheran with parents John and Paula and brother Beau, as well as working for Cross Trails Outdoors Ministries in Kerrville, Texas.

In 2002 he graduated Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas, packed up his belongings, bought a winter coat, and headed for seminary in Chicago. In 2004 he married Jana Klaehn, also a native Texan, and in 2006 he graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Ministry then brought Pastor Zac and Jana to the St. Louis area where they lived for a decade and welcomed three boys into the world—Jackson, Grant, and Bryant. In St. Louis, the Sturms learned about life in the Midwest and fell in love with the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2017, Pastor Zac felt the call to move west and is delighted for this opportunity to serve on staff at Atonement Lutheran Church. He’s already a fan of KC bbq, and the Royals are growing on him.

Jordan Stone

Vicar

Jordan Stone is a graduate of Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) and pursuing her Master’s of Divinity through Luther Seminary (Saint Paul, MN). She grew up in Dell Rapids, SD, and has lived and worked in Sioux Falls, SD for the last four years. In her spare time Jordan and her dog, Bean, enjoy adventuring together. When the weather permits, that consists of hiking, camping, and outdoor festivals. When the weather is not so nice, she enjoys crafting, watching movies, or spending time with her family/friends.

Jordan is excited to spend this next year at Atonement Lutheran as the new vicar. She looks forward to learning and growing as a pastoral leader. And we are delighted to welcome her!! 

Ros Thorpe

Director of Outreach

Ros joined Atonement in 2005 with her husband Jim. In her role at Atonement, Ros works with the visitors/new members ministry, publications, maintains the congregational database, and is taking on the new role as Director of Outreach, expanding the congregation’s ministry and mission. She had previously worked at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Topeka for 11 years as a Parish Coordinator – working in volunteer management and supporting a variety of ministries within the congregation – followed by 4 years at Lutheran Brotherhood/ Thrivent as an Agency Resource Manager, again focusing on volunteers. Ros worked for 8 years in the Financial Services industry. Ros and Jim’s family include 3 children in Wisconsin, Missouri, and California, and their spoiled cat, Gracie. Ros is an active member of the adult handbell choir, and has in the past served with stewardship, and as chairperson of the Hospitality team. 

Boo McCready

Director of Kids and Family Ministries (KFaM)

Boo joined the Atonement staff in 2007 as Communications Administrator. In February of 2010, she became the Director of Kids and Family Ministry (KFaM). Boo is passionate about working with kids, parents, children’s ministry and nurturing faith in families.She grew up in the St. Louis area, lived in Florida for 18 years and has lived in Overland Park since 1997. Boo has been married to Bob for 30 fun-filled years! They have 2 children, Ian who is 18 and
Olivia who is 15. She enjoys giggles with her kids, family time, cooking, quilting, and girlfriends. 

Grace Vannoy

Youth & Family Director (YFaM)

Grace Vannoy joined the staff as Director of Youth and Family Ministry (YFaM) during the summer of 2022. She realized her call to vocational ministry in her senior year of high school. Her passion is to connect young people to the Church. Grace experienced deep connection as she grew up at Atonement. This place was and is her home and her family. Grace attended Wheaton College and graduated with a degree in Christian Formation and Ministry and a certificate in discipleship.

When she’s not thinking about the next idea for ministry, she loves doing ceramics, playing volleyball or basketball, and watching the Chiefs. She loves being around people and sharing stories around food. She will take every chance she has to be on a lake during the summer, and she loves watching the sunset and stargazing.

Cherri Jestmore

Deacon, Director of Caring Ministries

Cherri joined Atonement’s ministry team in February 2000. In her role, she visits the home-bound and the hospitalized, she works closely with the ministry teams of Bread of Life, Stephen Ministry, Parish Nurses, Prayers during Communion, just to name a few. Cherri is a Deacon in the ELCA, a certified Spiritual Director and trained Stephen Leader. Cherri resides in Mission, Kansas and has chosen this Bible verse as a reflection of her ministry at Atonement: “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it”. Hebrews 13: 1-2.
Another favorite verse of hers is “Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. “ Galatians 6:2. 

Rick Deasley

Director of Worship/Organist

Rick has been leading church music/arts ministries since 1986. He has been on staff at Atonement since 2005. He holds a degree in music composition from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he studied organ with John Ditto and John Obetz and composition with Gerald Kemner. He is published by several church music publishers, including Lillenas Publishing Co. and MorningStar Music Publishers. In his “other” job, he is involved in music and media publishing, including audio and video recording and e-publishing website development. Since the early 1990s, he has presented seminars on music software extensively at church music conferences across the United States, including at three National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He is a past Dean of the Greater KC chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Active in KC area recording studios, he has been involved in dozens of CD projects, including producing, performing, and CD art/design. 

Dr. Ray Feener

Director of Adult Choirs

Dr. Feener is the Director of the Adult Sanctuary Choir. The choir performs standard sacred choral music, often performing a large choral work once per year with an orchestra or chamber ensemble: Faure Requiem, Rutter Requiem, Requiem for the Living, and more. 

Julie Assel

Director of Handbells and Youth Instrumental Music

Julie joined the Adult Bell Choir at Atonement in 1999 and became its director in February, 2001. She directs three handbell choirs (Joy – adult small ensemble), Adoration Ringers (adults), and Youth Bells (grades 2-12). She holds level one certification from the Handbell Musicians of America and has a degree in instrumental and choral music education from Luther College. In her “other” job, she is the President and CEO of Assel Grant Services, a professional grant services firm providing comprehensive grant support to nonprofits, universities, school districts, health systems, and behavioral health care center. 

Will McKown

Director of Operations

Will joined the staff as the Director of Operations in September 2022. Will comes to us with an MBA and has owned his own business for several years. He is married and has 2 children (boy and girl) and loves baseball - he's even traveled to all the major league baseball stadiums!

Traci Johnson

Bookkeeper

Traci joined the staff in May of 2019 as Bookkeeper. Prior to Atonement she worked as a bookkeeper for over 20 years in retail and independently. Traci enjoys the attention to detail that is required in finance and looks forward to helping Atonement prosper.

She grew up in Western Kansas, graduated from Park University, moved to Washington State, and then back to Kansas! She is married to Les and has two children. Zsofia is 17 and Kasper is 13.

Her hobbies include training horses and teaching riding lessons, being a musician, and sewing. 

Ricki Neuman

Catering Advisor

Ricki has been a member of Atonement for 30 years. After many years of volunteering for functions at Atonement, she joined the staff in 2011 as Catering Coordinator. As a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Restaurant, Hotel & Institutional Management along with her management career in food service she is well suited for her position at Atonement.