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Pastor Brian R. Mortenson

Pastor Brian R. Mortenson
is the Intentional Interim Senior Pastor. He was called to First Lutheran in January 2017.

Pastor Mortenson attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies; Luther Theological Seminary, receiving his Master of Divinity; and the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP), Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

Pastor Mortenson has served as Senior Pastor and Interim Senior Pastor at churches in Arizona, Minnesota and South Dakota for 14 years, he was the Founder and Senior Chaplain for the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department and Sioux Falls Police Department and for the past 17 years has worked in Philanthropy and Development.

Pastor Mortenson was called to First Lutheran to serve as the Intentional Interim Senior Pastor, following the retirement of Pastor Paul Peel, Senior Pastor who served for the past 48 years. His role is to provide leadership to the congregation throughout this "in between" time and help them with everything involved in the process of calling the new permanent senior pastor.

Pastor Mortenson's personal calling and conviction right now is to be serving as a Transition Interim pastor. He has confidence that this is what he is supposed to be doing and he is experiencing immense satisfaction in the opportunity to be doing precisely that here at First Lutheran.

Pastor Mortenson is married to Sheri and they have three grown children and three grandchildren!
Pastor Mark S. Patzke

Pastor Mark S. Patzke is an Associate Pastor who was called to First Lutheran in 1998.

He has an Associate of Arts degree from Concordia College, Milwaukee, WI; a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, IN; received his Master of Divinity from Christ Seminary--Seminex, St. Louis, MO; and his Doctor of Ministry from Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Prior to being called to First Lutheran, Pastor Mark served at Lutheran churches in inner-city Chicago and rural Wyoming.

His primary responsibilities are in worship leadership; adult education; hospital, care center and homebound visitation, counseling and officiates weddings, memorial services and baptisms. He also facilitates the Cancer Prayer Support Group, Christian Caregivers and Befriender ministry.

Pastor Mark's wife Linda is a retired United Methodist pastor. Together, they enjoy time with their dog, Jiminy, raising tomatoes and looking after the flowers. Their adult children are married and have blessed them with five wonderful grandchildren.

Pastor Mark's spiritual journey began in his baptism where some wonderful promises were made between himself and God that have secured his place in God's loving family for eternity. He believes that such promises are too good not to be shared and brought into the lives of others. The presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit in his life led him to pastoral ministry and continues to shape his motivations and aspirations in grateful response.
Pastor Carrie A. Baylis

Pastor Carrie A. Baylis is an Associate Pastor. This is her first call in pastoral ministry. She was ordained at First Lutheran on August 29, 2010.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Geography at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1999 and her Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2008.

Her primary responsibilities are worship leadership, visitation, faith formation (confirmation, adult education), new member classes, pastoral care and counseling, community engagement, synod faith formation activities.

Pastor Carrie is married to Philip (Monk) and they have two school-aged daughters.

She believes we are all called to be Disciples of Christ sharing our gifts with those around us for the sake of the Gospel. It is her hope that we can all find joy in the world around us through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Hank Maertens

Pastor Hank Maertens leads the Grief Recovery Ministry at First Lutheran Church and has been a member of First Lutheran since 2002.

He is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and spent 45 years in active ministry serving churches in Huntington, Rhinebeck and Brewster New York. He received his Master of Science Degree in Counseling from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Pastor Maertens serves as the facilitator and counselor for the Grief Recovery Ministry at First Lutheran offering group and individual counseling to members. He further serves the congregation with visits to our homebound members and preaching each year at the Good Friday service.

He enjoys helping people get the most out of life and as a therapist he is able to help people overcome their fears and live a fuller life. When asked why he chose to specialize in grief therapy, he answered, "I enjoy watching people bloom."

Pastor Maertens lives in Woodland Park, Colorado with his wife Sally McCracken Maertens. During the summer months he spends his free time hiking, cycling and fly-fishing and in the winter months he enjoys downhill skiing. He is also an avid reader, declaring his favorite time of day to be when he can sit down with a book and a cup of coffee.
Deacon Joan Kuehn

Deacon Joan Kuehn is our Director of Music Ministries and was called to First Lutheran in September of 1988.

She has a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Redlands, Redlands, California. Joan was commissioned to the Lay Roster of the American Lutheran Church in 1984 and in 2016 the Evangelical Lutheran Church voted to refer to those on the Lay Roster as Deacons.

Joan oversees the Music Ministry program at First Lutheran. This includes Sunday morning worship and additional worship services, which include Christmas, Easter, Lent as well as the Gallery of Living Art, Lessons and Carols. She directs both the choir and handbell choirs.

She is married and has 3 children, 2 step-children and 16 grandchildren.Her greatest joy is encouraging people to use their gifts and talents for ministry.
Eric Wicks

Eric Wicks is our organist, and joined the staff in January 2013.

Eric received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in organ performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Todd Wilson. He also studied piano, harpsichord, Eurhythmics pedagogy, and early music performance practice.

Eric plays organ and piano for our worship services, supporting congregational singing and accompanying our choir. He leads the Women's and Men's Ensembles, and works with instrumentalists. In addition, Eric works closely with our director of music, Deacon Joan Kuehn, helping her with musical arrangements, instrumental resources, and more. He provides music for weddings and memorial services, and provides technical support for our services through his work with our sound and video systems.

Eric has served as a church musician for nearly 25 years in Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Reform Judaism congregations. A long-time member of both the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, Eric is currently serving his fourth term as dean of the Colorado Springs chapter of the AGO. In addition, Eric plays harpsichord with Parish House Baroque, Colorado Springs' early music ensemble.

Eric and his wife Elisa moved to Elisa's hometown of Colorado Springs in 2012 after discerning a call from God to live closer to Elisa's parents. Along with their sons Paul, Daniel, and John, they enjoy discovering new hikes in the mountains around the Springs, swimming at the Y, and spending time together. They became members of First Lutheran in December 2012.

Long ago, Martin Luther said, “The gift of language combined with gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.” Since God calls us to worship, glorify, and praise him through music, Eric strives to offer music that speaks to the heart, is rooted in grace, and is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Marcia Hanscom

Marcia Hanscom is our Director of Lay Ministries and Women's Ministries. She has been a member of First Lutheran since 1996 and joined the First Lutheran staff in 2009, working part time as Small Group and Women's Ministries Coordinator. In 2013 she began working full time as the Director of Lay Ministries and Women's Ministries.

Marcia is a graduate of University of South Dakota where she received her B.A. in Business. She has worked the past 30 years for nonprofits, both in management and social work.

Her combined position is multi-faceted. As Director of Lay Ministries, she coordinates the time and talent of our members with our many volunteer opportunities. She also oversees volunteer training and is the church liaison for our local outreach ministries. If you are exploring membership, Marcia will assist you through the process. She also develops, coordinates and supervises the various small group activities at First Lutheran and maintains the membership data base

As Director of Women's Ministries, she oversees and supports women's ministries and circle groups. She also leads a bible study.

Marcia enjoys spending her leisure time hiking, reading and working on various craft projects.

Her intention is to lead with a compassionate heart and a positive attitude by showing her faith in God through her actions.
Shelly Schmidt

Shelly Schmidt is the Director of Christian Education and Special Youth Programs.

She has a B.S. in Industrial Construction Management from Colorado State University.

As Director of Christian Education, Shelly leads a dedicated staff of teachers in year round Sunday school as well as Vacation Bible School and summer Kid's Kamps. Through teaching, music and service projects the youth of First Lutheran learn what it means to be a follower of Christ.

She joined our staff in 2005, serving as Reception Hostess for weddings and memorial services. In 2007 she moved to her current position where she has served for the past decade.

Shelly is married and the mother of four. She enjoys gardening, yoga, hiking and spending time with her family, which includes their dog Marley and Bugs the bunny.

Shelly has a passion for teaching children about the love, grace and mercy of Jesus and giving them the knowledge, at an early age, that they are loved and valued by God. It's important to her that the youth of First Lutheran feel welcome and valued as a part of our church family.
Drew Lindsey

Drew Lindsey is our Director of Youth Ministries. He began volunteering his time with the youth group in October 2006 and became the Director of Youth Ministries in September 2014.

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Drew is a graduate of Palmer High School and received his Bachelor's degree in History/Education from UCCS. He is also a Graduate of the UCCS Teacher Education Licensure Program.

Drew is responsible for all middle school and high school youth activities not associated with music. He teaches sixth and seventh grade Sunday school class, leads the youth group Sunday afternoons, with middle school youth meeting from 3-4:30 pm and high school youth meeting from 5-6:30 pm. He also leads special events which include the "First Friday" of the month fun events for middle school youth from 5-9 pm. and the "Last Friday" of the month for high school youth from 5-9 pm. He also assists Pastor Carrie Baylis on confirmation retreats as well as local and synod youth gatherings.

After volunteering with the youth at First Lutheran, Drew realized he wanted to make a career out of working with young people. He returned to college to pursue a teaching degree. When an opening for the Director of Youth Ministry became available he felt called to follow this path. He has found encouraging and teaching young people to be followers of Christ to be the greatest experience of his life.
Linda Branesky

Linda Branesky is the Group Coordinator for our retired members. They call themselves the "OWLS" which stands for "Older, Wiser, Lutherans.) She began work at First Lutheran in 2010 as Director of Small Groups, Women's Ministry, Christian Caregivers and the Retired Group. A few years ago, she began cutting back on her duties and for the last 3 years has spent her time working exclusively with the OWLS group.

Linda has a BS Degree in Elementary Education from Minot State University and taught at the preschool and elementary levels for many years. She has an extensive volunteer career as well, working with Habitat for Humanity, Memorial Hospital, One plus One Tutoring, Family Mentor Alliance, Stephen Ministry and Befriender Ministry.

Linda and husband Jerry have been members of First Lutheran since 1977, after moving to Colorado from their hometown of Minot, North Dakota. They have two daughters who have blessed them with five grandchildren.

Linda has a passion for her current position considering it to be more "play" than "work." She admires this particular generation of seniors who lived through a most difficult period in American history. It amazes her how in spite of the challenges that come with this phase of life; they still find reason and occasion to laugh. They are her inspiration.