Church Council  

 

Church Council meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at 6pm. We are currently meeting on Zoom. If you have something you would like to bring to the council, please reach out to Council President. 

 

Bill Duggan, President

My St Peter Story: 

Bill and his wife, Debbie, have been members of St. Peter for 40 years.

 

What I bring to St Peter: 

Bill has been deeply involved in the life of St. Peter since arriving in 1982. He has served on the Church Council, serving as President during multiple terms.

He also chairs Stewardship and he and Debbie co-chaired Worship and Music for several years. He also serves on the Finance Committee. Bill has served as an Assistant Liturgical Minister for over 45 years at St. Peter and his previous congregation in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Bill has led/taught Sunday School and Adult Classes, led the Youth Group and has sung and played the guitar for church services. Bill is very involved in many of the Food Ministries that are offered at St. Peter.

He created and has led “Monday Meditation,” a time of prayer and meditation, each week in the Sanctuary for approximately 10 years and has been part of a St. Peter book discussion group that has meet weekly for over 30 years.

Bill has also served on the Synod Stewardship Table, as well as served as the Synod Mission Interpreter, which also allowed him to lead training to other Synodical Mission Interpreters through the ELCA, in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

He and Debbie have represented St. Peter at the Synod Assembly on multiple occasions and in 2004 was elected as the Synod Delegate for the ELCA Church Wide Assembly in Orlando Florida in August of 2005. He has described his attendance at the Assembly as a life changing experience.

 

Career: 

Bill retired from Kellogg Company in 2012 after 30 years of service.

 

Hobby/Interest: 

Bill is an avid photographer and loves biking, both mountain and road and is an avid reader. He and Debbie also love to play golf. They live in Battle Creek and have two daughters and five grandchildren. 

 

Barb Heffner, Vice President

 

My St Peter Story: 

I always joke that I was born a Lutheran! My mother was a Lutheran, and she raised me in her religion. Originally from Grand Forks, ND/East Grand Forks, MN, I made my way to Michigan in January 1985. Because I like to sing, the first thing I do when I move to a new city, is to find a church and join the choir.


What I bring to St Peter: 

I always joke that I was born a Lutheran! My mother was a Lutheran, and she raised me in her religion. Originally from Grand Forks, ND/East Grand Forks, MN, I made my way to Michigan in January 1985. Because I like to sing, the first thing I do when I move to a new city, is to find a church and join the choir.


Career: 
 

I started my federal career as a clerk/typist at Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks, ND. I found my career field, contracting/procurement, at Grand Forks AFB. From there I transferred to Defense Construction Supply Center, Columbus Ohio, and moving to Battle Creek to the Federal Center in January 1985. I retired from the contracting field in June 2008, with 34 years of service.


Hobby/Interest: 

I love to golf, travel, read (I belong to a book club), sing (I’m a member of the Battle Creek Community Chorus), go to plays, and garden (flowers and vegetables). I have a daughter, Melissa Heffner, who is also a member of St. Peter.


Fun fact:

1. I used to be a long-distance telephone operator (“May I take your call, please?”)

2.I used to curl at the Grand Forks Curling Rink. I started out as “lead” and moved up to “second”.

 

Melissa Raddatz, Council Secretary

 

My St Peter Story: 

Austin (my husband) and I came to St Peter in 2017. I was in search of an ELCA Lutheran congregation that had the essence of the congregation I grew up with in Cloquet, MN. A welcoming, warm group of people, who are excited to see you and connect with you. I was also looking to expand my knowledge of being a Lutheran as an adult. 

 

What I bring to St Peter: 

My life experiences, ideas and energy are some of what I bring to St Peter but mostly I just bring me. 

 

Career: 

My career thus far has been in aviation, specifically with business jets. I’m a regional sales manager covering the Great Lakes region for a company out of Manchester, New Hampshire. I love aviation and have a long family history with it and a deep passion for it.

 

Hobby/Interest: 

I love to read, travel, research my family tree, spend time with Austin/family/friends, do yard work, read/listen to history and love-on our fur-baby, Apollo. He’s a black-tri, Australia Shepherd. 

 

Fun fact:

I’m learning to speak Finnish (Suomalainen) and according to Encyclopedia Britannica 68.7% of Suomi (Finland) people belong to Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Quick fun facts on the country, 1) World’s happiest country, 2) Finns are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers, 3) There are around 2 million saunas in Finland with a population of 5.3 million, 4) There are 187,888 lakes and 5) The Finnish language is totally different from the Scandinavian languages (Denmark, Sweden and Norway). Finland is considered to be Nordic.

 

Susan Callahan, Council Member

 

My St Peter Story: 

When I lived in Battle Creek during the 1970s and 80s, I was a member of First United Methodist Church. Through ACCORD, I attended a study of Liberation Theology taught by Pastor Eric. I left Michigan for a number of years, living in Kentucky and Illinois. While in Kentucky, I began attending a small ELCA church and later transferred my membership to an ELCA church in Illinois. I returned to Michigan in 2013 to be close to family after I retired and started visiting St. Peter. I felt welcomed by the congregation and enriched by the worship services led by Pastor John. What “sealed the deal” for me, though, was joining the Outreach Committee and becoming involved in the wider community.

 

What I bring to St Peter: 

I bring an “outsider/insider” perspective and a familiarity with both small and large churches.

 

Career: 

I was an English teacher who kept going back to school. I spent the final eighteen years of my career teaching prospective middle and high school English teachers. 

 

Hobby/Interest: 

My favorite pastime, of course, is reading. I also support a flock of hungry birds.

 

Quirky fact:

I was born on Halloween.

 

 

Linn Kracht, Council Member

My St Peter Story: 

My wife Colleen and I with our three kids moved to Battle Creek in 1986.  We are lifelong Lutherans and more recently members of the ELCA so that is what we searched for.  It just so happened that St. Peter was just down the road, about 2 miles from our home.  After visiting a couple of times and enjoying our experience and especially connecting with Pastor Erick Johnson, we decided to join.  We have been very grateful for the St. Peter family.

 

What I bring to St Peter: 

What I can bring to St. Peter.  I have developed a passion for serving others in the community and trying to help combat the environmental crisis.  I will help members have the opportunity to be involved in both areas. 

 

Career: 

I graduated with a degree in Physical Education.  I have always been very active and love sports.  With my degree I have tried to create opportunities for people, adults, and kids to be active.  I am now retired from the Battle Creek Parks and Recreation Dept. 

 

Hobby/Interest: 

Involvement with my grandkids. Still participate in as many different sports as I am able, especially daily running. Focus more attention on helping solve the climate crisis.

 

Fun fact:

Love horses.

 

Sue Eifler, Council Member

 

My St Peter Story: 

 

I am a lifelong Lutheran with a bit of an early ecumenical history of attending Sunday school, VBS and church camp at a local Baptist church as a child.  When my family later moved to Barry County, we resumed attendance at the family church in Hastings where I had my first communion and confirmation.  This is also the church where Duane and I were married and our daughter, Katie, was baptized.  


What I bring to St Peter: 

Duane and I joined St. Peter in 1993 finding it to be a welcoming and loving church much like the one I grew up in.  Walking through its doors, St. Peter was teeming with energy and wonderful opportunities for worship, Bible study and community service.  

 

Our son, Alex, was baptized at St. Peter and both kids had their first communions and confirmations here.    My sister and her family joined shortly thereafter as well as Duane’s mom and husband and our family history has continued here ever since.  Our grandson, Brogan, was also baptized at St. Peter. 

 

This is my third time serving on Church Council where I welcome the opportunity for God to work through me.   I have been blessed to serve St. Peter in many other roles over the years, but serving our youth, supporting our members and helping those in need have been most fulfilling for me. 


Career: 

I currently work for a firm that helps people resolve their tax issues.  


Hobby/Interest: 

My hobbies include camping, spending time with family, and enjoying all things Michigan including visiting small retail shops and local craft brewpubs.  I am also part of a Bunco group that is like family to me.  


Fun fact:

I love St. Peter and our church family who has supported us in so many ways over the years including during my cancer treatment a few years ago.  I can’t wait to see the great plans God has in store for St. Peter!


Nancy Wozniak, Council Member

 

My St Peter Story: 

In 1986, living in Dearborn Height, Tom and I decided we wanted to live in Battle Creek.  But to do so, we learned we first had to transfer to Jackson, Mississippi and work at that Veterans Affairs Hospital for 7 years, before we could transfer here. Attending St Paul in Battle Creek, our Pastor told us to go out and visit other Lutheran Churches, but to come back.  We attended St Peter, the first day Pastor Jon preached.  We really enjoyed and understood the sermon points, and as of 2012 we became part of St Peter's Family.


What I bring to St Peter: 

I bring my beliefs and a strong need to give of my time and talents.  I have been on the Church Council twice, and am a member of the Outreach Committee, and help out in other ways around St Peter.


Career: 

I was about to start working at the VA Hospital in Detroit (where Tom worked) when he took the transfer to Jackson, Mississippi.  I was hired in Jackson, and after 7 years we were able to transfer to Battle Creek.  In 2012, we both retired from the VA, Tom had 42 years in and I had 25 years.  I had been a Statistical Clerk and then an Educational Technician where I created and assigned the computer training programs to all VA employees and employees at Lansing, Benton Harbor, and Grand Rapids Outpatient Clinics.


Hobby/Interest: 

I love spending time with my 28 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, which is also why we travel so much.  I have been involved in sweep staking since 1972, and winning prizes helped me learn about gathering prizes for giveaways at church and work.  My husband says I am a Sucker for anyone asking for a volunteer (but I love to volunteer).  Giving of my time to help others is so satisfying.

 

Barb Remaley, Council Member

 

My St Peter Story: 

A came to St. Peter Lutheran Church 20+ years ago. The first thing I saw was a friend of mine sitting in a pew. Wow. That was so cool. Then I listened to our pastor at the time, Pastor Erich, and was blown away. As I was leaving, I was greeted by what was to become a good friend, who was so friendly and authentic that I knew I was home. 

 

What I bring to St Peter: 

A deep love for Jesus and a joy to serve the Lord with my brothers and sisters at St. Peter. Love, laughter, and great appreciation for the extended family I now have.

 

Career: 

I am a retired teacher of special needs students and a lifelong learner. 

 

Hobby/Interest: 

Reading, reading, reading. Grandkids and time with friends. 

 

Fun fact:

I love to shoot pool.


Harold Burns, Council Member

 

My St Peter Story: 

What I bring to St Peter: 

Career: 

Hobby/Interest: 

Fun fact:

 

 

Gary Goodykoontz, Financial Treasurer

Jan Ludwig, Financial Secretary

June 28, 2022

 

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