Pastor Linda Thurston, Pastor

Pastor Linda is a New Jersey native who was ordained in 2008, after a first career as a high school social studies teacher. She attended Princeton Theological Seminary and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary).  She served her first call in New Jersey before moving to Chicagoland in 2015 when her husband began working at the ELCA Churchwide Offices.

Pastor Linda began her ministry at Trinity in October, 2019. She is passionate about youth ministry and helping people understand the Bible and apply it to their lives. 

In her spare time, she enjoys reading (especially nonfiction and mysteries), knitting, and singing with Lux Cantorum Chicago. She and her husband, Tom Cunniff, live in Mount Prospect and are the parents of three teenage/young adult daughters.

Eric West, Minister of Music

Eric is a native of Butler, PA, but has called the Chicago area home since 2016. Prior to joining the staff at Trinity in 2017, Eric was the director of music at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Houston, TX. and Faith United Methodist Church, Gibsonburg, OH. 

Eric attended Bowling Green State University, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Music in 2007. He also received his Master of Music degree from the University of Houston, where he studied choral conducting with Betsy Weber. In addition to his duties at Trinity, Eric also teaches choir and general music classes at Chippewa Middle School in Des Plaines. 

Eric lives in Brookfield with his wife Jackie and their two children. His hobbies include cooking, gardening, and swimming.

Cathy Williams, Faith Formation Director 

Cathy has been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church since the age of 4 when her family moved to Des Plaines from Chicago. She attended Orchard Place School, Algonquin Jr. High, and Maine West. Following high school graduation, she attended Illinois Masonic School of Nursing and spent 10 years working in her first career, as a nurse. Following several years at home raising her two children, Neil and Catie, she went back to school at North Park University. She began her second career at Maine South High School, working in Special Ed. specifically in the Life Skills program.

Cathy is a long time member of Trinity, having been confirmed, married, and then her children baptized and married. She began volunteering as a Sunday school teacher along with her mother, when Neil was three. They taught fourth grade Sunday school for many years and had the pleasure of watching Trinity’s youth grow and have families of their own. She has even taught their children. 

Cathy has a passion for working with young people and became the Sunday school director under Pastor Julie. She enjoys the connections that are made between herself, members of her team and Trinity’s families. Her position has changed over the years to include youth of all ages and she is currently the Director of Faith Formation.  

In her spare time she enjoys reading, crocheting, watching reruns of old T.V. shows, and walking Henley, their dog.  

Becky Henkes, Office Manager

Becky is a lifelong resident of Des Plaines. She grew up on Forest Avenue attending Forest, Algonquin, and Maine West High School. Becky spent many years working for corporate America.

Becky began working at Trinity in the Fall of 2015 as the Finance Secretary. In that role, Becky maintains the church finances and assists with stewardship and fundraising.

When not at the church office, Becky spends time sewing items for pets, enjoying time with the family dogs: Buckingham, and Snow; and horses, Mervin (fostered) and Lady Star.

Emily Olivos, Communications Manager

Emily and her family moved to Des Plaines in 2020. She was drawn to Trinity by the warm and inviting congregation members and by the church’s mission to serve the community. In her role as Communications Manager, Emily prepares the weekly bulletin, Trinity Weekly, and maintains the church’s website and social media pages.

Emily grew up in central IL before attending college at Loyola Chicago then moving to St. Louis to complete her MSW at SLU. Baptized and raised ELCA Lutheran, Emily has been involved in ministry in various capacities throughout her life.

In her spare time, she loves to read, bake, and explore Chicagoland parks with her husband, Matt, and their two children.