Illinois Women of the ELCA

Conference Representatives


Bonnie Hartke

West Central Conference Representative

Bonnie is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Litchfield, Illinois where she currently serves as Treasurer. She is active in Trinity’s Women of the ELCA unit having served as President, Vice-President and Treasurer. This coming year she will serve as Secretary. She is currently on the board at a local bank and volunteers with Meals on Wheels and the American Red Cross. In the past she has helped Hearts United, Breaking Bread, the local food pantry and served as an elementary classroom helper.


Cindy Lierly

Northwest Conference Representative

Cindy is a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Coatsburg, Illinois. Some of the many ways she has served include Church Council Vice President and Council Member at Large, VBS Director, Parish Education Committee and a substitute teacher of the Adult Sunday School Class. She is also an active member of the Women of the ELCA. Cindy has attended Conference events and Synod Assemblies and has been a delegate and participant in the Triennial and Biennial Conventions. She has an Associate’s Degree in Business Management, and is currently working as a Crop Insurance Specialist for the Agrilogic Insurance Company in Camp Point, Il. Cindy believes in God’s Work to serve others, grow in faith and learn more about God’s Word.


Deb Rathert

Southern Conference Representative

I would like to introduce myself first as a child of God. Then I am a wife, mother to four beautiful daughters and grandmother (so much joy and fun in this role) to 4 wonderful grandchildren 3 boys and 1 girl. I am still a child to my parents, so grateful that I can still say that.

As for what I do – I am also a SAM – Synodically Authorized Minister in our C/SIS – serving since 2004. Currently serving two rural congregations of the Wartburg Parish, Steeleville.

I have been active in WELCA for many years, some years more than others as other duties came up. Currently I am serving as the Southern Conference Board Coordinator. Participating in the WELCA units of the congregations I serve and my home congregation of St. Luke.


Donna Schuler

NorthEast Conference Representative

Donna lives in Gilman, Illinois. She and her husband, Ernie, have been married 55 years and have 5 children and 12 grandchildren. She attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and worked at Christ Lutheran Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and then at Muscatine Lutheran Home for Children at Muscatine, Iowa. She likes to sew doll clothes, and work in her garden and flower beds. She is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Gilman. St. Paul has an active Sunday School program and LYO. She enjoys helping in various ways at church, such as coordinating Lutheran World Relief and Sewing Circle efforts. St. Paul has 2 WELCA Bible study groups and the evening group uses the Gathering Magazine for their Bible study. Donna reports that the Northeast Conference has 20 churches in their conference and they meet the first Saturday of April and the first Saturday of October, hosted by different congregations.