MEET THE PASTORS
As the son of an executive of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, I grew up mostly in the Chicago suburbs, but also spent some time in Iowa, where I met Bette. Bette and I both graduated from Iowa State University. Before becoming a pastor, I managed our family retail store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then worked as an underwriter/marketer for a commercial insurance company in Des Moines, Iowa. It was at this time that I answered the call to ministry and attended Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.
My ministry as a pastor began at First Lutheran Church, a large, multi-staffed congregation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where I was pastor of education, youth, family, and discipleship. During this time, Bette and I developed a small group ministry program and equipped multiple groups of leaders to build this ministry. This is also where I honed my understanding of discipleship ministry and discernment of spiritual gifts. From this time on, I would teach workshops in these areas at Synod events and at various churches of medium and large size. I then answered a call to New Life Lutheran Church in Norwalk, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines. There we focused on growing disciples, small group ministry, and youth and family ministry. At New Life, we experienced growth in discipleship and increased participation by the membership. We even took our summer vacations together, packing over 30 of us in the Beach House at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp year after year. Needless to say, we grew to know each other quite well! We also started a Sunday evening youth-led service which grew from twelve participants to over fifty, many of whom were unchurched youth from our community. Eight years later, I answered a call to Fjeldberg Lutheran in Huxley, Iowa. Here again, we focused on education, youth ministry, and discipleship. I also worked with the leadership of the congregation and the community in working through the conflict over the ELCA sexuality statement of 2009. In 2014, I took a call to Bethany Lutheran Church in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and on October 12, 2020, I was called to serve as Senior Pastor at St. Luke’s.
My passions in ministry are preaching, worship, discipleship, stewardship, outreach, teaching youth and adults, and guiding young pastors new to ministry. I look forward to growing together with you in Christ and reaching out to the Middleton area with God’s grace and love, as we are called to do in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Hi there! I’m Pastor Carrie Greenquist-Petersen, Associate Pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. I live in Madison with my husband, Matt, our two French Bulldogs and (on breaks from college) our daughter Ellie. Having the opportunity to serve here is special for me because although I grew up 40 minutes from Middleton in Spring Green, some of my earliest memories of church are of St. Luke’s. My grandmother was a life-long member and my mom grew up here. Whenever my family visited my grandparents, especially on holidays, we came to church. Easter hymns bring me right back to St. Luke’s, a little kid eating animal crackers with my grandma singing right next to me. After high school I went to Beloit College and met Matt in Madison where he was a UW student. We got married and bought a house in the small town of Oregon. Because we missed the coffee shops of Madison, in July of 2001, we opened Firefly Coffeehouse. We loved getting to know the community and our customers became family. About a year after we opened our daughter Ellie was born. A few years of juggling family and small business taught us a lot and we had a wonderful time. But we gratefully turned it over to new owners around 2004 and are thrilled that today it is better than ever. After some more adventures in business and entrepreneurship, through an acquisition of Matt’s employer, an opportunity arose to move to Houston. We lived there, with a two-year hiatus in Florida, for ten years.
During that time, I felt a call to the church which I left as a young adult to explore other faith traditions. I found myself in a small Lutheran church in Texas and was surprised how much it felt like home. I talked to the pastor who thought the questions I was asking sounded like good questions for seminary. I took a class at Wartburg Theological Seminary and fell in love – reconnecting with the beautiful tradition and rich gospel theology of the Lutheran church. I was able to work at the church and attend seminary as a distance learner at Wartburg. This hybrid learning environment of working and going to school grounded me in study and tradition while teaching me to be open to the call of the Spirit and whatever lies around the next bend. During my time in Texas I had the privilege of working as a chaplain intern at CHI St. Luke’s and Texas Children’s Hospitals, serving as Vicar and head of Women’s Ministry and Pastoral Care at Tree of Life (ELCA) Lutheran in Conroe, and working in urban ministry with Kindred Lutheran Church in downtown Houston.
I graduated with a Masters of Divinity in May of 2021 and moved back to the Midwest to answer the call to ministry as Associate Pastor at St. Luke’s. I was ordained on August 21st. My special areas of interest have included women’s ministry, Pub Theology, Centering Prayer (ancient Christian meditative prayer) and Interfaith Adventures connecting with those of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I love to read, watch old movies, run and hike, cook and play drums and guitar. With faith in the Holy Spirit, who I trust to do more than I could ever ask for or imagine, I am thrilled to walk this path of discipleship with St. Luke’s anticipating with joy what might be around the next bend!