Posted by Savannah Hemmig

What is something that most people don’t know about you?
For about 11 years, starting in the early 90’s, I had a side profession as a photographer.  I photographed weddings, religious events, family portraits and modeling shoots.
What has been a spiritual turning point for you?
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, I volunteered for an agency that provided service to people with AIDS at a time when there was no effective treatment for HIV.  My experiences in working with so many young people was very difficult, but proved to be a spiritual turning point for me.
What is the best advice that you’ve received?  
Back when I worked for a large corporation, a very good friend of mine, Donna, encouraged me to go back to school to get an advanced degree in social work. She was very familiar with my volunteer work in HIV/AIDS and felt that it was my calling. I’m so grateful for her advice and wisdom.
 What is your greatest accomplishment?
 My wonderful relationship with Mike Pankratz is my greatest accomplishment.  I was single for many years before meeting him. He was worth the wait! We’re very happy.
 What book had a major influence on you?
The book that prompted my love of reading was “She’s Come Undone”, by Wally Lamb.  Soon after I joined a book club and was then inspired by, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay”, by Michael Chabon.  I love fiction.
What inspired you to become a Board member?
 My partner, Mike, introduced me to Neighborhood Church 6 years ago and I’ve been a devoted member ever since.  The church is such a big part of our relationship that and I’m grateful to serve as a board member.
What would you tell someone new to Neighborhood Church?
 Settle in and get to know the congregation.  Eventually, you’ll find an area of interest where you can devote your energy and talents.  I’d also tell someone to sing to their hearts content!