Rev. Lisa M. Leber

Rev. Lisa M. Leber began her call at First Lutheran in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in August 2013. She is grateful to minister to, with and among people who love good liturgy and music, have a heart for social ministry, and are warm and welcoming to all!

Pastor Leber is a native of Central Pennsylvania and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Marshall-Wythe School of Law (College of William and Mary) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. She served as associate pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, from 1995 until 2000 and calls to specialized ministry at two Lutheran social ministry organizations between 2000 and 2013. Pastor Leber is the dean of the West Cumberland Conference and currently serves on the boards of the Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania, which she chairs, Safe Harbour, a non-profit providing services to the homeless in Cumberland County, for which she serves as treasurer, and National Lutheran Communities & Services.

Recording of her recent sermons may be found here: https://firstlutherancarlisle.org/sermons

Thomas Whiteford

Mr. Whiteford focuses on real estate, business, commercial, employment and insurance related litigation matters. He represents national and local clients in negotiations and litigation involving land use disputes, real estate, riparian rights and construction defects. He also handles litigation involving cemeteries and funeral homes. He regularly advises a range of companies, particularly real estate
developers, commercial lessors, cemeteries and providers of funeral services, with regard to potential litigation and other business-related decisions. Mr. Whiteford is also experienced in the representation of licensed medical professionals before
a range of governing bodies both in hearings and on appeal.

Mr. Cornell P. Abod

Cornell P. Abod serves on National Lutheran Communities & Services Board of Trustees and as a member of the Joint Finance Committee. Mr. Abod, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in private practice, owns and operates C.P. Abod & Co. LLC, a tax and accounting firm, located in Gaithersburg, Md., as well as Beacon Investment Advisors LLC, a registered investment advisory firm, also located in Gaithersburg.

Prior to entering private practice in 1997, Mr. Abod served as a Financial Accounting Director with Adventist Health Care in Rockville, Marlyand. and was with Ernst & Young’s financial statement audit group in Washington, D.C. for five years. Mr. Abod received his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park.

The Rev. John Wertz, Jr.

Rev. Wertz, M.Div. served as the pastor of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, Va. from 2004 until he was recently appointed as Director for Evangelical Mission and Assistant to the Bishop of the Virginia Synod. He now serves on the Board of Trustees as the Virginia Synod Bishop’s designee.

Rev. Wertz has a passion for putting God’s Word into action. While at Good Shepherd, he helped launch Shepherd’s Care—an Alzheimer’s Respite program—and expanded a food pantry. At St. Michael, Rev. Wertz helped create Micah’s Caring Initiative, a community partnership sponsored by St. Michael, which works with more than 200 partner organizations to provide weekend meals for hungry students, monthly meals to low income senior adults and fresh food in the summer to local food pantries.

Pastor Wertz has served on the Council of the Virginia Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), on the Synod Finance Committee and as President of the Lutheran Partners in Mission Board.

A graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., Rev. Wertz was ordained by the South Carolina Synod in 1997 and served his first call at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Walterboro, S.C., from 1997 until 2004.

Julie Swanson

Julie Swanson was elected to serve on National Lutheran Communities & Services’ (NLCS’) Board of Trustees in January of 2016.  Recently retired as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia (LFSVA) where she served in that role since 2005. Under her leadership, LFSVA has expanded its services, staff and reach, creating a $30 million agency that employs more than 440 people in 23 locations. The agency offers a network of care that includes adoption and foster care, education for children with complex needs, supports for individuals with disabilities, and an array of services in the community to strengthen families

Throughout her career, Ms. Swanson has been an ardent advocate and thought leader, using her broad experience to create programs and policies that help children, families, refugees and the elderly find the fullest and most complete life. She currently serves as treasurer and board member for the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and is a founding member, and past chair, for the Virginia Nonprofit Leadership Council. She also serves on the Board of Lutheran Services in America (LSA) and is the past chair of the LSA Disabilities Network.

The Rev. Joseph P. Lettrich

Rev. Joseph P. Lettrich joined National Lutheran Communities & Services’ (NLCS’) Board in January of 2013. He is the Delaware-Maryland Synod Bishop’s designee. Ordained 45 years ago, he is now a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) clergy, currently serving the Delaware-Maryland Synod as a supply pastor.  

Rev. Lettrich’s call to ministry came during his work with Lutheran Campus Ministry both locally and nationally. He has served four congregations in the Delaware-Maryland Synod: St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Wilmington, Del., Second English Lutheran Church in Baltimore, St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, Md., and St. John’s Lutheran Church and Christian Day School in Brooklyn, Md. Rev. Lettrich also served as an interim minister for six parishes, supervising three interns.

He continues to serve on the Global Mission Task Force assigned to Estonia since 1994 and formerly served as Dean of the Baltimore South (LCA) Conference. He was also on the Church Vocations Committee and the Worship and Music Task Force during the introduction of the Lutheran Book of Worship in 1978.

Always on a quest for knowledge, he has participated in numerous seminars and studies at St. Andrews in Scotland and The Alban Institute. Rev. Lettrich currently helps with Meals on Wheels, various Campus Ministry projects, and Global Mission work in Estonia.

Rev. Lettrich received his B.A. in History from Indiana State University of Pennsylvania in 1963 and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 1967. He has taken additional studies at Bethel Theological School in Bielefeld, Germany.

The Rev. Dr. Wollom A. Jensen

The Rev. Dr. Wollom “Wally” A. Jensen joined National Lutheran Communities & Services’ (NLCS’) Board of Trustees in November of 2013 as an appointee by the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA’s) Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod. He is a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington, Va.

Dr. Jensen is a native of North Dakota, and is a retired Captain, U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps, an ordained Pastor of the ELCA and served as the Executive Officer to Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries of The Episcopal Church.

Dr. Jensen is a published author who has served the church as a parish pastor, seminary executive, and college professor. He is a member of the Conference of Diocesan Executives, The American Academy of Religion and North American Academy of Ecumenists.

Dr. Jensen holds a B.A. in English from The University of North Dakota,  Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degrees from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., and his D.A. from George Mason University, Washington, D.C.

Donna Duss, MSN, RN, RAC-CT

Ms. Duss joined National Lutheran Communities & Services’ (NLCS’) Board of Trustees in 2014. She is a registered professional nurse with forty years of experience in health care with a focus on home care nursing, long term care management and clinical and regulatory management consulting. Ms. Duss is the founder and owner of Duss Healthcare Consulting, LLC, based in Alexandria, Va. since 2003. Through this company, she provides consulting services in clinical, regulatory and management, professional coaching, and educational services to long term care providers. She has also served as Director of Health Care Services at Vinson Hall Retirement and as Director of Nursing in other communities and health care systems throughout her career.

Ms. Duss has served on many panels and boards as well as making presentations and lectures at several conferences in the health care industry. She is the recipient of the James G. Dunton Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Virginia Health Care Association; Trustee of the Year from Florida Association for Homes and Services for the Aging; and is a Sigma Theta Tau Inductee, Zeta Omega Chapter, Pace University, Pleasantville, N.Y.

Having attended multiple higher education facilities in New York, Ms. Duss has earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Nyack College; Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree from Rockland Community College; and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from Pace University, Lienhard School of Nursing.

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