Our Staff

To reach the church office, email churchoffice@bethanylc.com.


Senior Pastor - The Rev. Cathy Daharsh (cathy.daharsh@bethanylc.com)








Associate Pastor - The Rev. Paul Cannon (paul.cannon@bethanylc.com). 








Worship Director - Ruth Ann Poppen (ruth.ann.poppen@bethanylc.com)







Ministry Assistant - Bethany Gola (churchoffice@bethanylc.com)



Sunday School Superintendent - Barb Buczek (barb.buczek@bethanylc.com)


null   Accompanist Kristin Lundine (kristin.lundine@bethanylc.com)



Official Church Pet & Assistant Youth Director - Danger Cannon

Pastor Cathy's Story

My call to Bethany began in August 2015. Before I was called to Bethany, I served at Gilbert Lutheran Church in Gilbert, Iowa. I am a graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary where I earned a Master of Divinity degree.  Prior to beginning ordained ministry, I served First United Lutheran in Sheboygan, WI, as Director of Youth and Family Ministry. I also was an elementary teacher and a high school volleyball coach in Sheboygan. I have been married to Tom for 24 years. We have two children, Aaron, a senior, and Mitchell, a sophomore in college, both at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  Some of my interests are playing volleyball, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.

My leadership is rooted in strong honest relationships.  My hope and dream for Bethany is to build upon what is already good and to find new and innovative ways to communicate a rich outreach focus to the larger community. It is important to me to listen to members of the congregation and members of the community of Crystal Lake to discover what Christ is doing in this place and to equip and empower leaders to serve the needs of our community and our world.  

I hope when you come to visit our church you find it to be a place where you can let your hair down and be exactly who you are. All are invited and all are welcomed at Bethany!


Pastor Paul's Story

I was called to Bethany in August of 2012 after receiving my Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minnesota).  I married my wife Kirstin in 2010, and we have a son, Isaac, who was born in April of 2015.  This is not the first time for me being called to Bethany, however.  I was baptized at this congregation, along with my identical twin brother Neal, and my sisters, Susie and Marybeth.  My family moved away when I was only five years old, but through a random series of events (also known as the Holy Spirit), I was called back to this congregation to serve and love the people of Bethany.

My job here is to faithfully preach the gospel, love my neighbor and serve whomever God happens to put in my path.  Sometimes that means presiding at a wedding, and sometimes that means praying with a person who comes in off the streets.  The best part of my job, however, is working with the youth of Bethany.  Whether teaching Confirmation, weekly Youth Group, or going on mission trips, I am always inspired by the faithful witness of our young people.  

Bethany is a warm, welcoming congregation to ALL people.  I hope you can join us!


Ruth Ann's Story

I spent my childhood on a farm in northern Illinois where animals and crops were much more abundant than people. Music lessons on various instruments, drama experiences and many church activities played a vital role in my development. Following graduation from Wartburg College, I spent 14 years teaching elementary and junior high vocal music in the Cedar Rapids public schools. During that same time I served as organist at several area Lutheran churches.

In 1991, I earned  my Master of Arts degree, with an emphasis in church music, from Wartburg Theological Seminary. In August of that same year, I began serving as a fulltime church musician. I have served at Immanuel Lutheran in Palatine, Edison Park Lutheran Church in Chicago and now at Bethany.

I am especially grateful for the opportunity to share God’s marvelous gift of music with people of all ages. I find it most rewarding to help both children and adults express and strengthen their faith through music. The talented and committed people of Bethany keep Bethany’s music ministry vibrant and strong and I am energized as we witness together through music.


Bethany's Story








Barb's Story

My husband, Mark, and I (and our 3 kids) have been members of Bethany for about 20 years, since moving to Crystal Lake.I started volunteering here when my kids were young so we could enjoy VBS together! And I have been involved with children’s ministry ever since. I have taught every grade of Sunday school all the way up to High School and I’ve been involved with VBS every summer including serving as VBS Director at least 10 times! I love sharing the love of Christ with children. Helping them to know that Jesus is their FRIEND and that church is a “cool” place to be. I was hired as Sunday school Superintendent just as I became an empty-nester.











Danger's Story

As the Official Church Pet and Assistant Youth Director, I, Danger Cannon the Beagle, love this place.  Mostly, my interests are sniffing stuff, people petting me, getting treats, and going on long walks. I don't like baths.  You might see me around the office, or at youth events (I get a LOT of treats and attention at youth events).  Paul and Kirstin adopted me in 2012 and ever since I have protected them from the mailman and been their constant companion.