Our staff consists of our pastor and a group of dedicated lay workers.
Dr. Rev. Daniel Smith
Read Pastor Dan's Welcome Message.
I was born in 1973 in the Los Angeles area and spent the first four years of my life in Iowa, where my father attended seminary. The son of a pastor, I grew up in Oakland and then Davis, attending Davis High School (class of 1991). I majored in Biochemistry/Cell Biology at the University of California San Diego (class of 1995) and then studied at the University of Hamburg, Germany during the 1996-97 academic year, where I became fluent in German. While I was there I became engaged to my wife, Nele, a native of Germany. We were married in May, 1998, and were thrilled by the births of our two sons, Jakob (2002) and Lukas (2004).
Feeling a call to the ordained ministry, I entered Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where I earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Systematic Theology degrees in 2000, writing my thesis on the theology of the cross in the writings of Martin Luther and Søren Kierkegaard. I was ordained in 2000, and my first call was to King of Glory Lutheran Church in Orange County, CA (2000-2004), where I was Associate Pastor for Discipling Ministry, responsible for adult education and small groups. After that, I accepted a call from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in San Carlos, CA in 2004 where I served until 2010 before beginning my ministry at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in February of 2010.
In addition to pastoral ministry, I am also an academic theologian. I completed a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 2013, writing a dissertation entitled: Toward a Lutheran Theology of Nature: An Ecological Ethics of the Cross. One of my great concerns and passions is helping the church go green and move toward a more sustainable way of living with the planet. I am also a lover of jazz, an avid reader, jogger, a guitar player and a sports nut. I love children, especially my two boys.
Lay Youth and Family Minster
I was born in 1979 and raised in the Sacramento area untilI graduation from Casa Roble High School in 1997. As a high school student I became involved in the Sierra Pacific Synod Youth Committee and discovered my love of working with other youth forging their faith journeys. I also spent a great deal of time serving my church musically through singing in choir, playing piano for the children’s choir and accompanying different groups on the flute. In the fall of 1997 I moved to Davis California where I attended UCDavis majoring in History. I continued my love of music by playing in the UC Davis Marching Band and taking as many music classes as I could. It was at UC Davis where I met my husband Travis and we were engaged a couple months before I graduated in the summer of 2001.
After graduation I entered into the management trainee program through Enterprise Rent-a-Car and worked my way up to Regional Sales Executive. During my almost ten years at Enterprise I gave birth to my daughter Reagan (2007) and my son Ethan (2010). After I re-entered the workforce from my second maternity leave I felt my heart pulling me in a new direction.
While worshiping at Advent in Citrus Heights the need for a Youth Director was publicized. Because of the wonderful experiences I had in youth group growing up and the great church leaders I had, I knew that this was what I had been looking for.
I started working with the High School and Junior High groups in December of 2010 and haven’t looked back.
Being a youth leader allows me to work with great kids and parents and has given me a chance to see how our Lord works through young people.
In my free time I play and teach piano as well as run around after my two kids on the soccer and baseball fields. I also enjoy spending as much time out doors as I can camping, hiking, or on the lake.
Worship and Music Director
Jeff has been playing in churches throughout the Sacramento area since 1995. Being a lifelong Lutheran and having a strong passion for music, Jeff enjoys reworking and recreating his favorite hymns in a more modern, soulful style.
Jeff studied history and music at UC Davis and is currently working on his teaching credential at CSUS to teach high school history. Having sung in a variety of choirs, Jeff enjoys directing musical groups, including children and adult choirs, as well as worship bands and other music ensembles.
Jeff currently lives in Orangevale, CA with his wife Mallory and his son Thaddeus.
Michelle was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. She studied music at Cabrillo College in Aptos, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Cal State Fullerton in 2010. After earning her Master of Music from New England Conservatory in Boston in 2013, Michelle enlisted as a vocalist in the US Air Force and joined the Band of the Golden West at Travis AFB. She has been serving in the Air Force since 2014. Highlights of her enlistment include performances for the World Series and Monday Night Football, and a 4-month deployment to the Middle East serving as a musical ambassador.
Michelle has been blessed by the wonderful community at LCI. She enjoys leading worship, singing with the choir, and working with LCI’s children. She currently lives in Winters with her husband Brian and young daughter Rosemary. They enjoy day trips to Napa and San Francisco and eating out, and they always save room for dessert!
Julia was born in Los Angeles, California in 1998. She grew up in a Los Angeles Suburb with her parents and 3 older siblings. She attended West Ranch High School where she graduated in 2017 and then attended College of the Canyons where she graduated with an Associates Degree in Social Sciences in 2019. As a UC Davis transfer student, Julia studies Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Middle Eastern and South Asia Studies. She hopes to attend graduate school for Museum Studies and have a career in Cultural Resource Management. She enjoys Latin music, coffee and Edward Said books.
“All knowledge that is about human society, and not about the natural world, is historical knowledge, and therefore rests upon judgment and interpretation.” -Covering Islam, Edward Said