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01/19 - 01/23

Pastor Andrew Bansemer


Greetings! I am Pastor Andrew. I love sharing the Gospel with people, especially with people who may not have heard it as actual “good news.” Just so we’re clear, the Gospel is the story of God’s love for us freely given through Jesus, also called “grace.” We are called to share this love with others. So therefore, Grace First is more than a name of a church, it literally prioritizes how I believe the church properly functions in the world—speaking of God’s Grace first!

I am married and have two wonderful boys. We share our home with a dog and two cats. One of our favorite activities is to embark on what we call a Random Adventure Day, or RAD, where there isn’t necessarily a destination and everyone gets to choose one thing to do. We love adventure and figure moving all the way across the country is the start of a great one!

I was born in Colorado and have lived in Virginia and both of the Carolinas. I love mountains and everything that comes with them, the views, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, Jeeping, camping and so on. I love playing guitar, throwing yoyos, kite flying, canoeing, and pretending I can fish.

We are looking forward to getting to know all of you better! Please come share a cup of coffee with me and let’s talk about how God is active in your life.

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01/19 - 01/23

Now Hiring!

Church Administrator

The Church Administrator manages all functions of the church office, including - but not limited to - facility rentals and all materials related to our services.  They also coordinate volunteers & work with various committees, groups and on the Worship team.


The position at GFLC is a wonderful fit for for someone who enjoys working with others in serving a community. The flexible schedule allows one to be supportive of their family activities.  If you enjoy the people, being part of a warm and generous community, all while having a flexible schedule, please email your resume to


01/19 - 01/23

Barbara Novelli

Director of Children’s Ministry

I have served as Director of Children’s Ministry for over two years. 

I bring 30 years of teaching both children and teachers to this job. I am currently teaching Math and Science for George Fox University as well.  My passion is working with children, and walking with them as they make their way in their Faith Journey.

I love to enthusiastically bring Jesus messages and words to the children of Grace First Lutheran!


01/19 - 01/23

Christine Jacobsen

Director of Family & Youth Ministry

Hello! My name is Christine Jacobsen, and I’m the Youth and Family Ministries Coordinator here at Grace First Lutheran. Here are a few things you might like to know about me:

Grew up in San Pedro, CA, and have lived in Santa Barbara, Vancouver BC, Vienna, and Bend


Read a lot of books and love authors like Anne Lamott and Jen Hatmaker


Active outdoors as a walker and hiker


Camp all over our beautiful state every summer


Educated at Westmont College (BA in Religious Studies and a teaching credential)


Fond of our adorable Holland Lop bunny


Incredibly excited about working with our awesome teens and GFLC families


Raising two boys (and a husband) who are into soccer, xbox, board games, and Great British Baking Show, and cheering on the Portland Timbers


Spent two years as a missionary in Vienna, Austria, teaching at an international school

Thankful to be a part of the amazing Grace First family.

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01/19 - 01/23

Julie Hanney

Music Director

Hi! My name is Julie Hanney and I'm the Music Director here at Grace First.  I'm a pianist, piano teacher, composer, recording artist and I love leading worship music. I have worked in churches for several years and was the founder and director of a community choir called the Gospel Choir of the Cascades for over a decade.  I have also taught Kindermusik, ukulele lessons and groups, children's choirs and more.  I'm inspired by all kinds of music from Mozart to Alexi Murdoch (look him up if you don't know his music).  :-)  

I have three kids and two doodle dogs - a labradoodle and a sheepadoodle.  My husband Derwyn and I love kayaking, hiking and camping.  I also love reading and writing and I'm a big fan of old movies.  You can find my original piano music on Spotify and all of the other streaming services.  My hope is to share peace and love through the music God has given me. 


01/19 - 01/23

Dana Topliff

 Parish Nurse

The role of Parish Nurse includes: Integrator of faith and health, health educator, health counselor, referral adviser, health advocate, developer of support groups, and volunteer coordinator. Parish nurses assist individuals to achieve higher levels of wellness by making recommendations for improvement for both physical and spiritual health. Health education is a large part of parish nursing. As a health advocate, the parish nurse provides encouragement, support, and information to motivate and facilitate clients as they seek to utilize health services.

Parish nurses are licensed registered nurses with additional educational preparation for parish nursing either through a continuing education parish nurse certificate program or through parish nurse education at bachelor’s or master’s level.

I have been a parish nurse for 20 years. I taught parish nursing and was a consultant for Bay Area Health Ministries in San Francisco CA. I was the parish nurse at my last congregation in California and started a volunteer caregiver program to help seniors in the area for the local hospital. This I did at the same time as I was working as an emergency registered nurse (16 years) and then Home Health and hospice for (14 years) with the last 12 years working as a professor of nursing at the community college in Bend OR.

I love Grace First Lutheran Church because of all the kind, Christ centered and friendly people.

Dana Topliff MPA, BSN, RN

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