Nanette Sawyer began serving at Fourth Church in December 2015 as Minister for Congregational Life. In December 2017 she was called by the congregation to fill the role of Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Small Group Ministry. Prior to that, she served at St. James Presbyterian Church and Grace Commons, both in Chicago. She was founding pastor of Wicker Park Grace, which grew out of her 2002 call by the Presbytery of Chicago to begin an experiment in new ways of doing church. That effort began with spirituality discussions and book groups in coffee shops and teahouses and eventually grew into a “church without walls” in 2005 with seed money from the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Nanette holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, feminist studies, and creative writing from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She received a Masters of Theological Studies in comparative world religions from Harvard Divinity School and a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.
A past Moderator of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Work Group of the Presbytery of Chicago, she continues to coordinate the Presbytery's interfaith dialogue with the Jewish Federation of Chicago and the interfaith dialogue with the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC).
She was a keynote speaker at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Carl Howie Center for Science, Art, and Theology 2017 program. From 2008 to 2012, she represented the PC(USA) on the Interfaith Relations Commission, National Council of Churches.
Nanette and her wife, Andrea Sawyer-Kirksey, live in the Rogers Park area.