CEMP Clergy Team

Douglas Sparks was ordained the 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana on June 25, 2016. He is committed to the faith communities in Northern Indiana and the wider church, encouraging and increasing conversations with our neighbors. He is serving as Priest In Charge to CEMP during our time of discerning our next steps after Fr. Mike's departure on 10/15/17. Welcome Bishop Doug!

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Pastor Kris Graunke was born and raised in Wisconsin. She studied comparative literature and German at the University of Wisconsin, and a study abroad program took her to The University of Freiburg in Germany. When she returned to the states, she lived in a student prayer community in Madison, Wisconsin. Out of this experience, she decided to go to seminary. She attended Chicago Theological Seminary, graduating with an M. Div. In 1979, she accepted an invitation to live and work with the Ecumenical Community of Taize in France. This experience continues to inform and influence her life in ministry.

In 1982 she moved to Quebec, Canada, to be married to Patrick Ormos, a friend from seminary. They have one son, Daniel John Ormos, who now lives in Valparaiso. Kris worked with the United Church of Canada for six years, when they moved to the States where she became affilated with the Episcopal Church. She was ordained in the Diocese of Northern Indiana and in 1999 began working in the Pastural Care Department of St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. She also served as Priest in Charge with St. Barnabas in the Dunes in Gary, and with St. Andrews by the Lake in Michigan City.

In 2007, Kris and Patrick moved to San Antonio, Texas, when Patrick received a call to pastor a church. The Diocese of West Texas invited Kris to work with a small parish South of San Antonio, in an isolated location close to the US/Mexican border. Kris served St. James, Hebronville for seven years. She and her husband divorced in 2014 and remain friends. In August of 2016, Kris retired and relocated to NW Indiana to be closer to family. She discovers, however, that she is semi-retired and enjoys her connection with CEMP. For the last 10 years, Kris has studied iconography and has attended icon writing retreats. She also enjoys cooking, knitting, history, and on-going learning, especially with her granddaughter, Sarah.


Pastor Jim Swanson, a native of Minnesota, has a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California with a Master's of Divinity in 1966. He was ordained into the Holy Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on July 8th, 1966

Swanson was a mission developer in Shelbyville, Indiana, and served as first pastor from 1966 - 1974. From 1974 - 2004, he was pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Hammond, Indiana. Upon retiring from Christ Lutheran in October, 2004, Governor Frank O'Bannon gave him the state award of "Sagamore of the Wabash" for community service. Later, he was made Pastor Emeritus by Christ Lutheran of Hammond, where he still lives.

Pastor Jim is widowed and has two children; a son, Jonathan (Melissa) Swanson, a daughter, Stephanie, Harkins, and a grandson, Gavyn Harkins. He coached youth and adult softball and baseball for 23 years and is an avid sports fan, particularly baseball/softball and hockey.

Among Pastor's many other hobbies are keeping Tropical Fish, Chess, Old Time Radio Shows, Rail Fanning, and Model Railroading. He is also a Musician, playing Piano and Banjo. He plays Tuba in the Highland Community Band and in the Brass Quintet, "Four Flats and a Sharp."

Mother Michelle Walker is a graduate of The University of Notre Dame with a Master of Art in Theology. Ordained as an Episcopal Priest in November 2012 she has been involved in many ministries including: hospitality, greeting, youth, family, and leadership development through both our Diocesan Church Development Institute and the Interim Ministry Network. She works part-time with CEMP and part-time as the Missioner for Administration and Communication for the Diocesan Office. She's enjoyed previous careers as a computer systems implementation specialist, massage therapist, and hospice chaplain. Mother Michelle is happily married with two lovely teenagers. In her spare time she loves to travel, scrapbook, and uses up some of her excess energy by knitting up a storm.
Pastor Pamela Thiede is a graduate of Elmhurst College (B.A. Communications) and Trinity Lutheran Seminary (M. Div.). She was ordained into the Lutheran ministry on October 23, 1999, serving Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregations in Otterbein and Bear Branch, Indiana. Prior to seminary, Pastor Thiede worked in various secretarial, administrative, and training positions at Indiana General-Magnet Products (Valparaiso), St. Timothy Lutheran Church (Chicago), Bethel Lutheran Church (Palatine, IL), Montgomery Ward Service Center (Des Plaines, IL), and AAA Chicago Motor Club (Des Plaines, IL). She also served as organist/choir director in Hoffman Estates, IL.

In her spare time, Pastor Thiede enjoys music, reading, crocheting, and knitting. When the opportunity arises, she likes visiting with her four brothers and sisters-in-law, ten nieces and nephews, and their children and grandchildren, all stretched out from Michigan to Minnesota, Wisconsin to Texas (as well as her brother and cousins who winter in Florida!). She lives with her main man, Moppet, a 5-year-old, 8-pound Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie).