Meet Our Staff

Janis Kinens

E-mail Janis Kinens

Pastor Kinens has been at Advent Church since 1998. He is Latvian by birth and fluent in the Latvian language, having served the Latvian Church as a parish pastor. He has also returned to Latvia a number of times since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Pastor Kinens is a graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (M.Div. 1979, D.Min. 1986). Prior to Seminary, he graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Art Education. It was there that he met and married Aina Kaire (also Latvian) who is an artist and former High School Art teacher. The Kinens have five daughters and two new grandsons. A collector of die-cast model cars, Pastor also has a passion for the arts, having been an art teacher himself, and when time permits, a watercolorist. The Kinens household includes two cats named Wendel and Clover.

Sandy Knuth

Organist/Handbell Choir

Sandy has been Advent’s organist for an astonishing 51 years and she also directs the handbell choir. Sandy is supported by husband John, who helps tune the organ periodically. Sandy said that when she started in 1962 as the organist, she would continue as long as it was enjoyable. She says that she still loves it, and can’t wait until each Sunday arrives.

Cheri Hesse

Office Secretary

Cheri has been church secretary since November 2008. She and her husband Phil joined Advent in 2001, right after 9/11. They have two children Sarah and Daniel. Cheri has been on council serving; Finance, Family Ministry and as secretary. She has also enjoyed being a member of the Evening Circle Women and is a board member of Mr. Bob’s Under the Bridge, Inc.  You can contact her at or call the office Monday through Friday from 8AM to 1PM.

Ethel Veik


Ethel has been the treasurer at Advent for over 25 years. She works with several committees including; Finance, Wills & Memorials, and the Womens Group. She and her husband Norm are retired and live in Mequon, visiting Florida and Arizona at certain times of the year.

Jackie Vandenberg

Senior Choir Director

Jackie Vandenberg is the director of our senior choir at Advent for the last 10 years. She is a retired elementary music educator who holds a bachelor’s degree in organ and voice from UW-Stevens Point, and a master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University Minnesota. “Working with Advent’s musicians is a blessing and a privilege!” Advent’s Senior Choir rehearses on Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm and sings at 3 services each month.

Cindy Westgor

Pastor's Assistant

Cindy and her husband John joined Advent in 1976 and have 2 daughters, Heather and Andrea.  Cindy has been active in many rolls, joining council as “Secretary” and “Worship and Music”, has sung in Choir since 1986,  taught Sunday School for 11 years and was President of Evening Cricle from 1994-2002.  She currently subs and has volunteered as office secretary since 1991, belongs to the Syzygy Group and is on the Columbarium/Prayer Garden Committee.

Sarah Slavin

Youth Director

Sarah is a “life-r” at Advent, having been baptized, confirmed, and married in the church.  She has always had a passion for working with young people, and teens in particular. She served as an Advent Sunday School teacher for many years before welcoming the opportunity to guide middle and high school students as they transition into life as young adults.  Sarah works with the youth to explore faith, values and relationships with a Christian compass- putting Jesus’ teachings into action in our everyday lives.  “Faith on the go” is encouraged through service projects and outreach activities.  Her hope is to nurture an atmosphere of openness and trust while navigating the joys and challenges faced by teens today.  Sarah is a member of the Advent Haiti mission team, and feels blessed to work with the children at MABO Orphanage.  In her free time, she loves to travel, cook, and enjoy nature with her husband Eric and her two daughters.

Lisa Wegner

Prior to becoming the Sunday School Director in 2003, Lisa spent 18 years in youth ministry and two as a stay at home mom. She enjoys helping children build a faith foundation through learning, worship, and outreach, and believes all children should feel welcome at Advent.  Her career in ministry has taught her many new things and helped her own faith to continue to grow.  Lisa and her husband Matt have two children, Nathan and Rachel.