Pastors & 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

Associate Pastor

Jordan Stone is a graduate of Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) and 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.

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 a bunch of fun-filled years! They have 2 college-age kids, Ian and Olivia . Boo enjoys giggles with her kids, family time, cooking, quilting, and girlfriends and watching football. 

Drew Renollet 

Director of Youth & Family Ministires (YFaM)

Drew Renollet is a West Coast kid who grew up in Washington. He has lived in the KC area for 5 years now and is so excited to be part of the staff here at Atonement. In his free time he loves hanging out with friends doing pretty much anything, but if it was up to him, it would be something outdoors (preferably, in the mountains, if that is a choice). His favorite food is tacos, and it really can be any type of taco if they are made right. He is looking forward to meeting and serving with each and every one of you. He has worked in ministry for about 10 years (7 of those at Camp and the last 3 in Youth Ministry). He can’t wait to see all that we are going to do together.

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!

Nathan Choate

Director of Communications

Nathan joined the staff in 2024 as Director of Communications and has been a member of Atonement since 2010. He has served in various volunteer positions in our congregation over the years, including twice as a council member. Nathan studied photography and mass communications at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has enjoyed a diverse career in management, administrative, paralegal, and technology-related positions. He has owned and operated a photography business and a project support business. Nathan is loves following God's call to serve in vocational ministry and always looks forward to what God has in store for Atonement.

Nathan is a lifelong resident of the Kansas City Metro area. He enjoys spending downtime with his husband Sid Wartha, experiencing God’s presence in the beauty of nature (especially lakes, forests, and mountains), hiking, camping, road trips, photography, music, movies, cooking, and basking in a colorful sunset.

Erin Neuman

Director of Kids' Care

Erin was born and raised in the Kansas City Area and has been part of the Atonement community for the past 35 years. She started in the nursery as a youth volunteer during her confirmation and has been part of the staff at Atonement since 2008. Erin has been working with children and youth for over 15 years in education and childcare. She holds a Master's in Early Childhood Education from Emporia State University and a Kansas teaching license.

When not at Atonement, Erin can be found at her other job as an educator at a local non-profit museum. Beyond education and learning new things, her passions include board games, literature, and art.

Penny Eaton

Catering Advisor

Penny Eaton was born in Johnson County, Kansas, and has lived here her whole life. She graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School with an associate's degree in Paraprofessional Education from the University of Phoenix. Penny is currently working in the Springhill School District. She has been married to Mark Eaton for almost 25 years, and they have a son, Jackson Eaton, who is attending KU and will graduate in December 2024 with a degree in Psychology.

In her free time, Penny likes to go on walks with her dogs and her husband and spend time with her family and friends.