Our Staff

Pastor Julie Brenden

Pastor Julie Brenden, Lead Pastor

God’s grace and the peace of Jesus Christ be with you! I began my call as Lead Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in February of 2019. I grew up on a farm in West Central Minnesota and attended college in Fargo, North Dakota. I graduated from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary in 1989 and have served in calls in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod and the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin. My husband, Mel, and I are making our home in Eau Claire while our sons, Zachary and Isaac, attend college and high school. We like to keep in touch with extended family in Minnesota and North Dakota including Mel’s daughter and granddaughters. I enjoy walking, hiking, biking, reading, cooking and traveling. I am a fan of women’s basketball and other sports.

Contact Pastor Julie Brenden
Pastor Christine Emerson

Pastor Christine Emerson, Associate Pastor

Greetings in the name of Christ! My call as Associate Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church began October of 2010. I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest, born and raised in the Seattle area of Washington State. I attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, graduating from there in 2005 and entering my first call in Strum, Wisconsin. I reside in Eau Claire with my husband, Jim, and my dog, Luna. When possible, I love to be out in God’s creation walking the dog. I also love reading, traveling, and going to baseball games. Having a professional background in music, I love to sing and during the concert season, both Jim and I sing with the Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire.

Contact Pastor Christine Emerson
Pastor Chris Sims

Chris Sims, Director of Christian Education

Welcome to St. John’s website!! I began my time here at St. John’s in 2009. My position supports all facets of Christian education from birth to high school, such as Sunday school, faith milestones, confirmation, Vacation Bible School and youth service groups (C. I. A. – Christian Youth in Action and Summer Stretch ). I enjoy helping families and youth learn more about ways they can grow their faith.

My husband Mark and I have two children, Nathan and Gabrielle. In my free time, I enjoy doing outdoor activities, such as camping, riding bike and reading. We would love for you to visit us at St. John’s and learn more about the many exciting opportunities we have to offer!

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Patti Gorell Ministry Assistant
Patti Gorell, Ministry Assistant
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Bonnie Thalacker Office Manager
Bonnie Thalacker, Office Manager
Contact Bonnie Thalacker

St. John's Christian Preschool

Nancy Hanson co-director
Nancy Hanson, Co-director/teacher
Contact Nancy Hanson

Phyllis Meier
Phyllis Meier, Co-director/teacher
Contact Phyllis Meier

Julie Kitzman, teacher
Julie Kitzman, Teacher
Contact Julie Kitzman

Building And Grounds

Mike Gorell, Facility & Grounds Manager
Mike Gorell, Facility &
Grounds Manager
Contact Mike Gorell

Larry Krause, Custodian
Larry Krause

Mary Ann Holte, Custodian
Mary Ann Holte


Jo Rauckman
Jo Rauckman, Accountant
Contact Jo Rauckman

Music Directors

Roxanne Litchfield-Holey, Director of Music
Roxanne Litchfield-Holey,
Director of Music
Roxanne Litchfield-Holey

Roxanne Litchfield-Holey, St. John's Choir