Rev. Kara Wolf Berg, Local Licensed Pastor with the United Methodist Church
Pastor Kara is a native of Edwardsville IL. She grew up a veteran of St. Mary’s Catholic School. Her mom was a 4th grade Catholic school teacher and her dad was a Professor of Philosophy and Religion at SIUE (both retired). She finished her undergraduate degree at SIUE in 1998 with a BA in Art History and Anthropology. After graduation Kara managed Aeropostale at MarketPlace Mall in Champaign, IL. After marrying in 2001, Kara and Jeff moved to Chicago and started a family. Carroll Robert (Cary) was born in 2002 and Genevieve Mary (Evie) in 2005.
In 2005, Pastor Kara and family moved from Chicago to Elgin, IL. They found a local United Methodist Church in 2007. Thanks to a Spiritual Gifts inventory and recognition of her professional gifts by the local church leadership, Kara was offered a position as the Communications Coordinator at Epworth UMC in Elgin IL. She served in that position for 3 years. After that she became the Assistant to the Pastor, then Assistant Pastor. In 2014 Kara completed Licensing School with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and was appointed as the Associate Pastor at Epworth UMC in Elgin, IL.
Thanks to the urging of Dr. Howard White, Kara applied and was accepted to Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. After much discernment and a blessing by the bishop in NIC, Kara transferred to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and served as the lead pastor of Bernardsville UMC (2015-2019) while completing her Masters of Divinity (2015-2018). Kara graduated in 2018 with her MDiv. In 2019, with a transfer to the IGRC, Kara began an appointment at Watseka First UMC in Watseka, IL. She has been a Local Licensed Pastor for 8 years.
Pastor Kara has a passion for creative worship & contemporary series preaching, building Latino relationships & ministry, young children, youth & family disciple-development, and stewardship storytelling & servangelism. In the past few years, Kara has presented series like; Hosea: Images of God, Reel Stories Advent: 4 Funniest Christmas Movies Of All Times, Simon Says: Messages from 1 Peter, Miracles, Everywhere; An Encanto Inspired Series, & The Art of Neighboring. She enjoys using creative and timely themes, uplifting music, practical preaching, and multi-sensory experiences including sound, sight, smell, and even taste. Kara very much enjoys helping both the youngest and the oldest among us learn to worship authentically, at their given age and in their natural language. Kara feels passionately about the absolute need to welcome the most un-practiced in our communities and help them find space and place to experience God through worship and service by providing a comfortable yet spiritual expression of worship.
Latino ministry is something Pastor Kara is also deeply committed to promoting in her own ministry and family too. Evie, Kara’s 16 year old daughter, has been in an immersive bilingual Spanish classroom since 1st grade. Kara has also served on the District Latino Task Force in both the Northern Illinois Conference and the Greater New Jersey Conference. Kara currently serves on the IGRC Board of Church and Society as well as the Iroquois River District Cross Cultural Pastoral Support Team. Families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors these days and Kara has a great desire to promote inclusive ministry that cares for the unique needs of children and families.
Pastor Kara has also been an advocate for Christian “videovangelism” for almost 10 years and uses video storytelling regularly as a part of a healthy stewardship model. Kara loves to help churches learn to use video, branding, and social media storytelling to increase giving and engagement in local churches. By sharing what our gifts are doing, and letting people see the transformations they are financing, Kara helps churches celebrate their giving and learn to celebrate and invite others to get involved. To see more of Kara’s REACH videos, visit her website: https://reachministryvideos.wixsite.com/reach
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