Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

News Story: March 20, 2020

** Wednesday 3/25 Update **

Following the issuance of Emergency Order #12 (Safer at Home), the schedule of services as previously outlined will continue to remain in effect.  We will continue to limit the number of people in a single room to fewer than 10 and practice “social distancing” as much as we are able.  Please continue to call the church office at 262-246-3200 to reserve a spot at a service offered on a weekday or weekend.  The days and times remain consistent with what was outlined in the Friday, March 20 post (see below).

As mentioned previously, the standard weekly downloads continue to be available on the Peace website  This includes the bulletin, Congregation at Prayer, and a recording of the sermon.  In addition, other recordings and videos may be found at these sites:

Peace Lutheran Church Podcast:

Full length recordings of the Divine Service, Midweek Lenten Devotions.  You may search for “Peace Lutheran Church Sussex” on a variety of podcast platforms, or navigate to  A link to these recordings is also available from our website by accessing the Downloads > Additional Recordings page.


Peace Lutheran Church YouTube Channel:

In an effort to offer additional options to the congregation, two services were live-streamed on YouTube as a test to determine feasibility of offering live or recorded video of the Divine Service.  We are planning to continue to this practice (now with some different equipment for higher audio quality) and more information will be posted related to which services will actually be streamed live.  Nonetheless, once a service has been streamed the video is available for play back at any time.  Follow this link to the YouTube channel:, or go to and search for “Peace Lutheran Church Sussex” .


The main point for the moment is that we are staying the course.  Please continue to check this News posting area for additional updates.  

As always, if you have questions or special needs please feel free to reach out to Pastor Bender, Pastor Gehlbach, Sherry Prowatzke, an Elder, or the church office.

Original post from Friday, March 20, 2020:

Schedule of Services During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, many of us have been grieved over the events of recent days concerning the outbreak and spread of the Coronavirus and its effect on our society.  If you are sick, stay at home.  If you are in a high-risk group (compromised immune system, other health problems, or elderly), we want you to take care of yourselves, shelter in your homes if necessary, and we will do everything we can to provide you with Christ’s Word and Sacrament.  Pastor Bender, Pastor Gehlbach, and Pastor Anderson will bring the Lord’s Word and Sacrament to those who are unable to come to Divine Services. The rest of the congregation is asked to call the church office (262-246-3200) and reserve a spot at one of the small group Divine Services for you and your family. The office is open Monday through Saturday from 8 to 5.  At other times you may call Susan Gehlbach at 262-372-4353 or Sherry Prowatzke at 414-378-5793.

Why the dramatic change from what was previously announced? The civil government has issued orders limiting the numbers of people gathered in one room to fewer than 10.  According to the statement of the Department of Health Services, “This order may include…places of worship and religious gatherings.”  We have been made aware of individuals and groups that are intentionally trying to shut down churches who have more than 9 in attendance in one room at any one time.  Jesus said, “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” when dealing with the evils of the world and religious persecution (Matthew 10:16). We are NOT closing our church, but we are also not going to give anyone else the opportunity to do so.  We may use the Nave of the Church (pastor, plus 8 people) and the Gerhardt room (9 people) for a total of 17 souls for each Divine Service.

We desire to do all we can under God to follow the mandates of the civil realm; however, for us, as Christians, Christ’s Word and Sacraments are the one thing needful. Through these gifts Christ imparts to us forgiveness, life, salvation, and the strength to face uncertain times with courage and hope.  By these gifts He prepares us for the day in which we will leave this vale of tears.  Now more than ever, when there is so much fear and uncertainty in the world, we need to receive Christ’s gifts.

The following revised schedule of services and opportunities to receive Christ’s Word and Sacrament is intended to meet the civil requirements, while not giving anyone an opportunity to take away our opportunities to receive:

  • Weekend Divine Services: (SIGN UP REQUIRED, Limit of 8 in the nave; limit of 9 in the Gerhardt Room)

3:30 pm  Saturday                                    7:45 am  Sunday

4:30 pm  Saturday                                    9:15 am  Sunday

5:30 pm  Saturday                                    10:30 am Sunday

No Bible Class, Sunday School, coffee or treats

       No choirs until further notice

  • Lenten Devotions on the Passion according to St. Matthew will be posted on the website each week in place of Lenten Midweek Services.

All extended length such as these recordings are posted at  A link to these recordings is also available from our website by accessing the Downloads > Additional Recordings page.

Those unable to access the devotions online, are asked to request copies of the devotions from the Church Office and we will provide them to you on a CD.

  • Divine Services with Communion Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m.

(SIGN UP REQUIRED, Limit of 8 in the nave; limit of 9 in the Gerhardt Room)

If you are able, please consider signing up to attend a week day service in order to leave more openings on the weekend services.

  • Daily Chapel Monday through Friday at 8:00 and Noon

Led by Pastor using the Congregation at Prayer, a homily, and the Great Litany

Communion will be offered at the conclusion of these services for those desiring to receive.

  • In-home communion for shut-ins and those who request it.

Pastor Bender or one of the other pastors in the congregation will bring the Lord’s Word and Sacrament to you in your home.  Call the church office at 262-246-3200 to request a visit and Pastor will reply.

  • Make use of the Congregation at Prayer at Home

When you are at home, set aside time to regularly and faithfully pray and read the Scriptures utilizing the Congregation at Prayer.  Know that while you are doing this in your homes with your families, the rest of the congregation is united with you in faith and prayer.


Note: Check the website each week for recordings and postings of Services, sermons, and devotional updates from Pastor Bender and the leadership of the congregation. Our website is: Our administrative group will do everything we can to supply information to the elderly and others who do not have internet access.


All choirs, Coffee Break Bible Study, and business gatherings of the congregations of greater than 9 people are cancelled until further notice.

Throughout the week, in consultation with Pastor Gehlbach and the Board of Elders, the schedule listed above will be evaluated and adjusted as needed.  If you have specific needs, please contact Pastor.