Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Staff

Peter C. Bender

Education

M.Div., Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
Bachelor of Music Education, Concordia College, River Forest, IL
Contact Pastor Bender

Peter C. Bender

Pastor

Peter C. Bender was ordained into the public ministry in 1987, serving the dual parish of St. Paul, Boone, and Trinity, Dayton, IA, from July of 1987 to September of 1991. On September 1, 1991, he was installed as the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church. Pastor Bender has done extensive work in the area of Lutheran catechesis, which he defines as "God's way of teaching the new life in Christ and His forgiveness to sinners. Faithfully teaching the Word of God and passing on the language of our holy faith, so that the baptized learn how to receive God's gifts in the Divine Service, how to pray, how to confess, and how to live where God has called them—in the freedom of the forgiveness of sins, with faith in Christ and love to the neighbor. The goal of all catechesis is faith in Christ." Pastor Bender is the founder of the Concordia Catechetical Academy (CCA). The CCA is a society of pastors and laity who are dedicated to the promotion of faithful Lutheran catechesis in the United States and overseas. Much of the CCA's work consists of the creation of catechetical materials for use in congregations and the sponsoring of an annual symposium on catechesis held in late June. Pastor Bender's studies in Luther's concepts of catechesis contributed toward his desire to start a school where Lutheran catechesis would be the centerpiece. By 1995, the congregation had established a preschool and decided to begin Peace Lutheran Academy.

Publications

General Editor, The Lutheran Catechesis Series and the principal author of a number of volumes in that series, including Lutheran Catechesis: Catechumen Edition—A Guide to Catechesis for the Lutheran Catechumen and Family (Second Edition) and Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition—A Comprehensive Guide to Catechesis for a Lutheran Congregation (Second Edition). Contributor, Lutheran Service Book: Agenda; Contributor, Lutheran Service Book: Pastoral Care Companion.
Matthew W. Gatchell

Education

B.A. History, California State University, Sacramento, CA
The LCMS Lay Ministry Certification, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, WI
Contact Deacon Gatchell

Matthew W. Gatchell

Deacon

Deacon Gatchell's future as a servant of the Church may have been foreshadowed from his youth, in his preparation as an Eagle Scout to his wandering through history in his college years, focusing on the Reformation and Church history with a minor in German language. Matthew is no stranger to fulfilling his duty, serving as a Lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery in the United States Army, stationed in Ft. Bliss, TX, and Germany. After discharge from service, he gained business experience as a restaurant manager before entering the diaconate. He has served at Peace Lutheran Church since 1994. In addition to his Lay Ministry Certification, Matthew has proficiency in Biblical Greek and taken various graduate-level courses in theology.

Deacon's primary service to others is through the administration of the temporal affairs of the congregation and the Academy. He is called upon to perform a variety of duties in his office: promoting the Concordia Catechetical Academy, assisting in catechetical instruction in Pastor's absence, or teaching a Reformation history class in the Academy. Off duty, Matthew spends time woodworking and clock making.

Awards and Accomplishments

Confessional Lutheran of the Year, 2008; presented paper on the diaconate, The Association of Confessional Lutherans National Free Conference, 1992; Army Commendation Medal, 1982; Eagle Scout, 1970
Katherine J. May

Education

B.A. Lutheran Education and Parish Music, Concordia College, Mequon, WI
Contact Mrs. May

Katherine J. May

Director of Cherub and Academy Choirs; Organist

Perhaps Kathy is the person who most clearly embodies the unity between the congregation and the Academy as expressed through the integral relationship between faith, music, and education. Maybe this is because she believes the Scripture: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). Prior to Peace, Kathy has both homeschooled her children and taught in other private Lutheran schools in inner-city and suburban churches where she directed adult, hand bell, and children's choirs.

Kathy has been teaching music, leading children in singing, and directing the string ensemble at Peace, as well as maintaining her private studio of piano students. In true faith, she proclaims, "It is with thankfulness in my heart that I have the privilege to teach the children to sing, to hear them lead the congregation's singing, and to know that we are all being fed the Word of Christ richly through their music. It is a beautifully unique situation to see every child in the school sing with freedom and joy in daily chapel and devotions, choir rehearsals, and ultimately the Divine Service—a true joy in every way!"

Publications

"A Mighty Fortress," audiocassette, 1994.

Brenda K. Greschner

Administrative Assistant

Brenda has worked as the administrative assistant for the congregation since 2006, performing her responsibilities for Pastor, Deacon, Headmaster, faculty, staff, and congregational members as needed. As a good listener, Brenda is called upon to answer questions, take, fill, and mail orders for the CCA, nurse Academy students' sicknesses, and track-down parents. She patiently attends to the concerns of whomever enters the office. Brenda is "Mom" to her own four children, all of whom have graduated from the Academy. While she's not being our mom, Brenda enjoys decorating, cooking, and baking.
George and Sue Kaminski

George and Sue Kaminski

Custodians

We always think of them as one: George-and-Sue. The Kaminskis were members of the congregation long before they began to assist as custodians in October of 1982. No stranger to service, George is also employed as a dental technician, and he has worked as a local firefighter and EMT. His interests include computing, fishing, and hunting. Sue currently works in her home babysitting her grandchildren, some of whom have attended the Academy preschool. Family is important to both of them, whether watching their grandchildren play sports or coming together for their weekly tradition, "Cheeseburger Sunday" lunch.