Meet Our Staff

Pastor Sean Motley

Senior Pastor

I went to bed one night a student in law school and woke up the next morning telling my wife I needed to go to seminary. I would never have thought when I was a child that I would be a Lutheran pastor, veterinarian maybe, professional chocolate taster possibly, but not a pastor. Yet, God calls to us, every one of us, and even surprises us along the way. As a husband to my wonderful wife Colleen for over thirty years, as a father for twenty-seven years and counting, and as a pastor for twenty-eight years, I have not understood every turn in the road, I have faced challenges I did not expect, joys and sorrow and I have never faced any of life alone. God called me through His Son, claimed me as His own and has never let go. I want every person to know that God is calling them to be His children, that He is with them and always will be, and that Jesus is our life now and forever.  

Renata Conger

Parish Education & Youth Ministry Coordinator

When I'm not at church, I can be found cooking up a storm in the kitchen or dancing in the living room with my husband, Dave, and our two children. Though I love to travel the globe—including trips to Japan and Australia—I am a Michigan girl through-and-through. I enjoy baking, swimming in lakes, talking to strangers, going out of my way to pet random dogs, and identifying tree species. I'm a proud graduate of St Thomas in Eastpointe, where I spent ten years training to be a professional Lutheran. I am privileged and humbled to serve Christ in ministry to the families of First English. 

Robert Foster

Music Coordinator

I joined First English as an organist in 1983, after completing two degrees in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan. I became choir director a year later. I now serve as Coordinator of Music at First English, where I direct our choirs and bell choirs, as well as lead our praise band. I'm also very active in musical theater, and in addition to serving as the musical director for countless productions at First English, I have served as pianist for many Grosse Pointe Theatre productions. I am also serving as accompanist for the Motor City Chorale. I live with my wife, Patty, and son, Danny, along with our two basset hounds and three cats, in Grosse Pointe Park. My daughter, Jessica, lives in Chicago with her husband, Nolan.

Lierin Muehlbrandt

Office Manager & Building Coordinator

My favorite title is “mom” to my son and baby girl. We enjoy spending time outdoors as a family, exploring new local places and spending time at the lake, or working on our garden at home. I personally love to be creative in all kinds of ways and have the most fun getting to do that for a job here at First English, all while striving to ensure church members and visitors feel at home and cared for! 

Kelley Bidigare

Communications Coordinator

My family and I joined First English Lutheran Church in 2016 and it was absolutely the best choice we could have made regarding our faith. My husband, Ted, kids (Jack, 19, and Meghan, 14) and I welcomed a rescue dog, Winston, into our family in June 2021. He's the cutest thing but definitely has attitude! Outside of church, I love to listen to music and always seem to have it playing. It never fails to improve my mood! Soccer is a favorite sport of mine and enjoy watching Meghan play with her travel team. I started working part-time at Assumption Nursery School in September 2022. Those 2-year-olds make my day and I just love them! Life is busy, but as long as I can spend time with those I love and do things that make me smile, then I'm happy!

Amanda Onoro

Preschool Director & Teacher

I have been working in Early Childhood since 2006 and can’t imagine doing anything else - it’s truly my passion! When I’m not in the classroom you can find me reading a book, browsing a thrift store, or on a family walk with our 2 kids and our labradoodle - Coney. I grew up outside of Ann Arbor and graduated from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). I feel so lucky to be a part of the community at First English and am so glad I joined the team in 2021. 

Elizabeth Roberts

Preschool Teacher

Hi! I'm Elizabeth Roberts, so excited to meet everyone. I am new to FELP but have been a teacher for 20 years. I live in St. Clair Shores with my husband. We have two grown kids and two granddaughters who spend a lot of time with us. I am loving that Nana & Papa time! 

Katie Howard

Preschool Teacher

Hello! My name is Katie Howard. I'm a Mom of two kids ages 3 & 6. We moved here from Cleveland two years ago and love the community. I studied Human Resource Management at Baker College. My favorite things to do are going on bike rides, traveling, spending time with family and friends and also hosting play dates for my kids. I'm looking forward to a fun and fantastic year in the classroom.