Church: Chritie - St. John’s/Globe Immanuel (New Pastor - 2017)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Wilke

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 2/07/2018

St. John’s-Christie/Immanuel-Globe (New Pastor – December 2017)

Pastor Shortens Sunday Drives by Takin g Area Churches’ Calls

The Rev. Nathan Wilke worked in his office at St. John’s Church at Christie. Wilke started working in December as pastor at St. John’s and Immanuel Lutheran of Globe. (Scott Schultz/Clark County Press)

By Scott Schultz

Music was on the mind of the Rev. Nathan Wilke as he prepared in his office for an upcoming Sunday service in his office at St. John’s Lutheran Church at Christie. It was a Wednesday, and he needed to let the church organist know about the music and its order in the service.

That work might not seem like a big deal to many people where church services are concerned. But it’s work that brings a special smile to Pastor Wilke’s smile.

“We didn’t have an organist at the last churches I served,” Wilke said. “I’m happy to have an organist.”

Wilke took the call just before Christmas at St. John’s and Immanuel Lutheran Church at Globe, returning to his home state after serving six years in rural western Nebraska.

Rural is an apt description where those three churches are concerned, Wilke easily could reiterate. Each Sunday, he would travel from the base church to another about 70 miles to the south; he’d return to his home and then go to his third church, about 75 miles to the north.

Several hours of each Sunday were spent on the road and those days that started early then ended late.

And, there were no organists in those small churches. Wilke and parishioners were creative instead of using computerized music programs during services.

The 37-year-old pastor said he loved the experience, but it also helped increase his appreciation for what’s offered in the Wisconsin countryside.

When Wilke got the chance to accept a call at the two Clark County parishes, he also saw the chance to move back to a place nearer to where he and his wife were raised – his family’s roots being in Mequon and Cindy’s in Zumbrota, Minn.

“There were a lot of reasons to come back to Wisconsin.”

They arrived with their children: Noah, 6; Lila, 4; and Lexa, 2; in time for the pastor to take the two Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod churches’ altar for Christmas.

He said he immediately made note of having only to drive a couple of miles between his two new churches; he also noted the convenience of having to drive only 30 miles to Marshfield for meetings of area WELS pastors instead of the approximately 200 miles he’s been driving for area meetings while in Nebraska.

Though he said there might be differences in his style or small twists in the music or service compared with what the Christie and Globe parishioners have known, Wilke said he does not have plans for major changes. Instead, he said he’ll turn to the basics of the scripture to serve the approximately 200 members at St. John’s and the approximately 100 members at Immanuel.

“The services can change, but the scripture never changes,” he said.

He’ll also continue, at least for a while to have extra reason to appreciate having an organist during services.

“I really appreciate having the live music,” he said.



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