The Rev. Richard E. Jaech


The Rev. Rick Jaech was re-elected as synodical bishop at the Synod Assembly in Vancouver WA in June 2019- He is actively serving his second 6-year term. Before his election as bishop, Bishop Jaech was the Pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church of Vancouver,  WA  for 26 years and previously served a Latino congregation in San Francisco. He  holds a master’s degree in conflict facilitation and published a book titled “Transforming Church Conflict: A Guide for Pastors and Leaders” that is available on Amazon. He received his pastoral training from The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and has been ordained for 44 years. Bishop Jaech is working hard to bring ecumenical groups together for common work. He is working with the ELCA to fund and lead creative programs in the Southwestern Washington Synod for congregational renewal and support of rostered ministers. Bishop Jaech really enjoys visiting our synod congregations and rostered leaders; meeting new people and hearing their faith stories.

Bishop Jaech and his wife, Satya, live in Tacoma.  Satya is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Spiritual Director.  Their son, Nick lives in New York.


The Rev. Rebecca Shjerven

Bishop’s Associate

Pastor Rebecca Shjerven (pronounced Sher-ven) was called by the Synod Council to serve as Bishop’s Associate and began this call on September 1, 2019, following the retirement of Pastor Kim Latterell. As Bishop’s Associate, Pastor Shjerven will provide leadership in four key areas: (1) Shepherding congregations in transition, most often supporting them in a call process for a new leader; (2) Working with the Synod’s Candidacy process for people who desire to serve the church as a pastor or deacon; (3) Placing and supporting seminary interns in our Synod; and (4) Providing leadership for our Synod’s new Program for Strengthening Active Lay Ministry (PSALM).

Pastor Shjerven received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Deaf Education from Augustana in 1988. She then entered Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, and received her Master of Divinity Degree in 1992. Pastor Shjerven has served calls at Peninsula Lutheran, Gig Harbor (1992-96), Zion Lutheran, Kent (1996-2001), Bethlehem Lutheran, Tacoma (2001-2008) and St. Mark’s by The Narrows, Tacoma (2008-August 2019). With her experience in both education and pastoral ministry, Pastor Shjerven brings many excellent gifts to her new call as Bishop’s Associate.  Pastor Rebecca and her husband live in Gig Harbor and are the proud parents of 3 children, their youngest in high school and the others living nearby.

Joey Ager 2 2021

Joey Ager

Director for Evangelical Mission

As Director for Evangelical Mission, Joey Ager will focus particularly on cultivating new ministries in our Synod and energizing existing congregations. He will also work with our Synod’s Affordable Housing Work Team. DEM’s are provided and funded by the national ELCA to each synod to support the synod’s evangelical outreach ministry.

Joey is a Scottish transplant to the Pacific Northwest via Washington, DC and San Diego. He has extensive experience in assisting pastors and congregations to work collaboratively through his work for the Church Council of Greater Seattle and the Center for Urban Peacemaking in Tacoma. Joey holds a Degree in Theology from Oxford University, was trained as a faith-based community organizer with mostly Spanish-speaking Catholic communities in San Diego, and writes about the relationship between faith and global humanitarianism, most recently as the co-author of the book Faith, Secularism and Humanitarian Engagement. Joey lives in Tacoma with his wife, Emily and their two boys.


 Allison Kies

Office Manager/Event Coordinator

Allison’s background is in program management working with youth and adults, and in mental health counseling. Allison is a graduate of PLU with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Education- Counseling and Guidance.

She is a lifelong Lutheran and enjoys her work in the Synod Office. Her position as synod administrator entails supporting the staff, managing the synod office and roster, organizing events, and feeding her curious mind by learning new and better ways to do things and meeting new people and facing new challenges (COVID-19, anyone?). Allison co-chairs the Synod Hunger Committee. She ended 2020 in the best way possible by marrying her husband, Alan, in a lovely and tiny live-streamed wedding observing all of the COVID guidelines.  Allison is the extremely proud parent of an amazing son.