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.


01/19 - 01/23

Lynn Heilman

Church Administrator

As Church Administrator, my position encompasses all functions of managing the church office, in addition to managing church rentals and all materials related to our services.  I coordinate volunteers & work with various committees, groups and on the Worship team.


The position at GFLC is a wonderful fit for me professionally and personally.  I am able to effectively accomplish my duties for GFLC, while retaining the flexible schedule that allows me to be supportive of my family and my teenagers’ activities.  I thoroughly enjoy the people and the community here at GFLC, and am delighted to be in a role that allows me to help the church and its mission.


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.


01/19 - 01/23

Carolyn & Larry Reeck


The Treasurer Position oversees the financial procedures and records for Grace First Lutheran.  Duties include processing payroll, recording deposits and posting account payable.  The treasurer works with council on monthly statements, delivering the annual financial report, future budget and formulating financial policies and procedures.

We took over the Treasures position in April of 2018 from former treasurer Carol Powell who was in the position for over 12 years.  Big shoes to fill.

Having owned and operated a restaurant for over 20 years, we sold our business and moved to Bend in 1994.  Carolyn has been a travel agent since moving to town and Larry had worked in restaurant management and transitioned into management positions with Jeld-Wen and Pella windows.  Presently, Larry is a Guest Host at St Charles and Carolyn continues her work in the travel industry.  We are avid skiers, fly fisher persons and enjoy all of the Central Oregon outdoor activities.

We have been at Grace First Lutheran since 2007.  Grace First is a special place with a welcoming congregation, deep commitments to youth programs, social concerns and faith filled education.  We feel blessed to be part of a dynamic church family.


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