PASTOR JIM “PJ” HEARNE
Street Theologian, Pastor, Educator, Storyteller
Jim has a gift for the written and spoken word. His passion for narrative theology expresses much of the yearning of 2,000 years to connect people’s life stories with “The Story” of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. He enjoys preaching using storytelling, poetry, song and humor and tries to challenge the listener to enter more deeply into the mystery of grace which is the mystery of God.
Jim grew up in an Irish Catholic family in the southeast suburbs of Chicago. He felt a calling for ministry serving God and others early on in life. He attended St. Jude Apostle School and Mount Carmel High School before entering the college seminary at Loyola University Chicago. After graduating he attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary outside Chicago. Jim was ordained a priest in May 2005 and served at two parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. While at his second parish assignment he met and fell in love with a young woman who helped him see God in a new and beautiful way. After leaving the priesthood, the two searched for other churches to help nourish their faith and found the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Jim was encouraged to use his training and gifts to serve in that denomination. He went through some training and coursework before now serving as a Pastor in the ELCA.
As Jim says it best: “He gets the best of many worlds: being a husband, father of three little ones and a servant leader of God.” No matter where he ministers, his mission is to help make the Good News of the Gospel real and understandable for the people he serves. Making the message fun and concrete, Jim sees himself as a street theologian acting as a public witness of Jesus wherever he goes.
Jim has served as Associate Pastor at St. James (Arlington Heights, IL) and St. Giles (Oak Park, IL) Catholic Churches as well as Pastor at Barneveld Lutheran Church (Barneveld, WI) and Messiah Lutheran Church (Wauconda, IL). He is married to Amy and daddy to Anna, Peter and Liam. He holds a Masters of Divinity and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.). He helps people joyfully “go be church after church!”