Our Staff

Pastor Janot Blessing the Communion-1

Pastor Sharon Janot hails from the state of Wisconsin.  She was raised in Racine—a city known for its Danish connections—where Kringle was regularly served at parties and where a model ship hangs at the head of the aisle of Lutheran congregations with Danish ties.  She attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie where she received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Psychology in 1983.  During her college years she was very active in campus ministry as a peer minister and worship leader.  She also was a Resident Advisor for two years.  These experiences helped in discerning a call from God to ordained ministry.  Pastor Sharon attended the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in Hyde Park, earning the Master of Divinity in the spring of 1987.  She has served congregations in New York (Long Island) and (southeast) Michigan. 

Pastor Sharon began her ministry at Abiding Presence as a transition pastor in February 2012 during a pastoral vacancy.  She received and accepted the call to serve as Pastor in October of 2012.  What brings her joy in ministry is leading worship, helping others learn more about scripture and the life of faith, and supporting the discipleship of those who are a part of Abiding Presence.  She is a trained labyrinth facilitator, using the labyrinth as a tool for prayer.

In May 2017 Pastor Sharon married her long-time partner, Karin Cavanaugh, at a joy-filled service at Abiding Presence.  Together they live in Rochester Hills and enjoy the company of their three ministure Schnauzers–Jodi, Izzy and Winnie.  She enjoys gardening, knitting, reading, traveling, and visiting art museums in her spare time.

Ellen Sherwood - Director of Operations

Ellen Sherwood has been a member of AP since 1997 and has served on the board on and off for many years. Her degrees in Marketing, Business Communications, Accounting and Computer Programming, as well as her many years working in marketing for major corporations makes her well suited in the role as Director of Operations.

Julie Cavellier grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She joined Abiding Presence in 2015 when her family moved to Rochester Hills from West Chester, OH.  Julie and her husband Mike have two children, Jack and Anna, who attend Rochester Community Schools. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and volunteering for the PTA. Julie works as an assistant in the church office sending out our Thursday email as well as creating the bulletins and announcement sheets. 


Carolyn Smith is Abiding Presence’s Organist.







Matt Smith Portrait 2014 -1

Matthew Smith, a native of the Rochester area, graduated from Rochester Adams High School and completed his Bachelors Degree in Music Education at Oakland University. During his undergraduate studies, Matthew performed with the University Chorus, The Symphony Chorus and the Chorale.

Matthew currently works in Romeo with a Children’s Theater School, “All The World’s A Stage”, where he and his wife, Allyson have directed music, taught musical theater classes, choreographed dance and even performed with the students!  He loves being able to work closely with his lovely wife while teaching and working with students. 

Mr. Smith is the Choir Director at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Rochester Hills where he really enjoys working with the Adult Choir.  Matt’s mother, Carolyn, is the organist at APLC and he cherishes all the time they get to spend working together and creating music.