Father Aaron Damiani
Rector (Head Pastor)
Father Aaron is Immanuel Anglican’s Rector and author of the books The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent (2017) and Earth Filled with Heaven: Finding Life in Liturgy, Sacraments, and other Ancient Practices of the Church (2022). Originally from Ohio, Fr. Aaron moved to Chicago in 1997 and spent the following years living and working on the North Side of the city. Aaron holds a Bachelors degree in Pastoral Theology from Moody Bible Institute and a Masters in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College. After moving to Washington DC in 2008, Aaron discerned a call to ministry while researching public policy at the Potomac Institute. After his first ministry assignment on Capitol Hill, he and his wife Laura moved back to Chicago with a vision to raise up a vibrant Anglican church that would seek the good of the city. Fr. Aaron and his wife Laura were married in 2003, and live in the Irving Park neighborhood with their 4 kids: August, Samuel, Olivia, and Mona. Fr. Aaron enjoys cycling, audiobooks and the occasional CrossFit workout.
Nichole Sangha serves as the Executive Pastor of Immanuel, working with Father Aaron to provide pastoral and organizational leadership for Immanuel’s staff and systems. Nichole originally hails from Memphis, Tennessee. Though you can still catch that Tennessee twang, her heart has found its home in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood where she lives with her husband, Chicago-native Aaron Sangha, and their lively daughters, Ananda and Vivienne. Her passion is to see hearts, relationships, systems and neighborhoods transformed by the presence of the living Christ. She is delighted by anything that involves the outdoors, possibly having more picnics in a year than anyone else you know.
Deacon Susan Raedeke
As Equipping Pastor, Susan identifies and facilitates opportunities for Immanuel leaders to teach, train, and disciple the congregation in the teachings of Jesus. She also oversees the liturgical architecture of the church’s worship services and helps to provide pastoral care. The Uptown neighborhood of Chicago has been her home since 1992, and the people of Uptown have had a firm grip on her heart ever since. Susan married Chicago native Joel Raedeke in 1998, and in addition to homeschooling their three children—Ellen (‘01), Sam (‘04), and Lorelai (‘06)—she enjoys eating at Siam Noodle and Rice, amicable verbal sparring by means of intense topical conversations, and seeing how long she can keep her ryukin goldfish alive.
Kayla Parker joined Immanuel’s staff team in July 2021 as the Parish Administrator. Kayla grew up in Champaign, Illinois, and moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute. She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Communications, and is working on a M.A. in Theological Studies (MATS) at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. As a child, Kayla experienced great hospitality and generosity through the hands of her local church when her mother became terminally ill. This experience instilled a passion for inclusion and hospitality in Kayla. This passion finds its fusion in her role at Immanuel, which involves creatively coordinating Sunday morning hospitality and supporting the day-to-day operations of the staff. For fun, Kayla enjoys reading voraciously, wandering around her neighborhood, and bouldering with her husband Michael.
Director of NextGen Ministries & Communications
Jennifer directs Immanuel’s ministries for children and youth and coordinates our church communications. Originally from rural Illinois, Jennifer moved to downtown Chicago in 2012 to pursue a linguistics degree at Moody Bible Institute. While a student, she began attending services at Immanuel and was deeply drawn to Immanuel’s liturgical worship, community life and fellowship with the global church. She joined Immanuel’s staff as Parish Administrator in 2016 and transitioned into leadership of NextGen Ministries in fall of 2018. In her free time, she loves reading novels, biking along Lake Michigan, tending houseplants, shooting hoops and hosting parties. Her favorite part of working at Immanuel is seeing how Jesus Christ transforms ordinary men, women and children and uses them to bring His healing and hope to the world.
Director of Worship Arts
Abigail grew up near Nashville, Tennessee. Since childhood, she has been drawn to stories and songs; this passion led her to pursue both theatre and music throughout high school and college. After completing a MFA in Acting in 2017, Abigail moved to Chicago and quickly settled into community life with the Immanuel church family. After serving as a volunteer for several years, Abigail became Immanuel’s first ever ministry resident! Her worship arts residency began in August 2020 and continued through the end of 2021, at which point she became full-time Director of Worship Arts. She now leads the worship and arts ministries of Immanuel, which includes the musical teams and Scripture reading teams. Abigail is deeply passionate about Jesus and enthusiastic about Arts and the Church. In her down time, Abigail likes walking by Lake Michigan, drinking coffee and tea, reading good books, and losing track of time with people she loves.
Coordinator of Media Technology
Drew Smith joined Immanuel’s staff team in May 2020 as coordinator of media technology, to grow and steward Immanuel’s use of technology in service of its vision to be a spiritual beacon church in Chicago. Originally from central Illinois, Drew has lived in Chicago since 2012. He studied Communications and Media Theory at Moody Bible Institute and began attending Immanuel the day after graduation. He has worked in live event production and consumer technology roles in churches and organizations around Chicago for 8 years, and has been Immanuel’s tech lead since May 2017. Drew’s focus is communicating the rich orality of the Word of God to a mediated world. Drew lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and can often be found consuming too much Sci-fi, making too much coffee, and outsourcing his meal plans to the incredible restaurants of Chicago.
The Parish Council is a team that exercises “resource leadership” at Immanuel Anglican; through prayer, fasting and godly discernment, the Parish Council helps discern how the Lord is building our church. Balancing “faith and facts,” they provide godly counsel and support to Father Aaron and the staff, ensuring they have the resources needed to flourish in their ministries.