Sabbatical Info

Pastor Luther and Pastor Lori will be on Sabbatical during the months of May, June, & July of 2019.  The funding for the sabbatical was made possible by a grant from the Lilly Foundation’s Clergy Renewal Program – “a program designed to strengthen Christian congregations by providing opportunities for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period of renewal and reflection.” 

We are happy to announce that the council’s plan for pastoral coverage during the sabbatical is largely provided by our own Ascension member retired-pastors and with the added excitement of visits to our congregation by our Bishop and Bishop’s Associate.  Rev. John Kepler (Ascension member) will provide pastoral care and worship preparation coverage throughout the whole sabbatical and will be the pastor leading worship for most Sundays.  In addition, two of the Sundays each month will be led by other clergy, including pastors Rev. Denny Schatt (Ascension member) and Rev. Chris Brekke (Ascension member Erik Brekke’s father), as well as Bishop Gerald Mansholt (Bishop of our local synod) and Rev. Amy Engebose (Bishop’s Associate). 

You won’t want to miss a single Sunday! 

Sabbatical Pastors

We invite you to meet the pastors who will be leading us in worship in May, June and July.

Rev. John Kepler

null"I was born and raised in southern California, worshiped at a Congregational Church (Mom was the organist), graduated from a Presbyterian College (Whitworth, Spokane, WA) with a degree in English Literature, graduated from Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN. I met my wife, Carol, while we were both students at Bethel (an interesting courtship arena!).  I served churches in Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania,  New York, and Michigan with the Evangelical Covenant Church, which emerged from Lutheran Swedish immigrants in the late 19th Century.  

Carol and I have two children:  our son, Marc, lives in southern California with his wife (Gloria) and three children; our daughter, Julie, lives in Green Bay with her husband (Ed Lamm) and their five children.   We became members at Ascension almost seven years ago and  it is now my joy and privilege to serve as Ascension's Sabbatical Pastor."


Rev. Denny Schatt

null“I was born in 1943 and raised in Fremont, Ohio, and was baptized at four years of age in St. John Lutheran Church where I was until I received my first call into the parish ministry in 1969.

After graduating from high school, I attended and graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio in 1965. Since I had no burning desire to travel any long distance at that time, I went across the street to enter the Seminary, which at that time was called Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary. If you don't recognize the name of the Seminary, do not be alarmed, they changed its name twice after I graduated and is now known as Trinity.  Some say ,... READ MORE


Rev. Chris Brekke

nullRev. Chris Brekke served 38 years as a Lutheran pastor, in NE, CO and MN.   He is mostly retired, and enjoys supply preaching, writing, volunteering, sports and his 5 above-average grandchildren.

Following retirement he and wife Jo moved from their farmette to De Pere in 2016; and also to Roseville MN in 2016.  ?   They live every-other month in each place, for those 5 grands.  Really.




Bishop Gerald L Mansholt

The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt, Bishop 
East-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

nullIn May 2014, the Synod Assembly of East Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Gerald L. Mansholt to serve as bishop. 

Before being elected bishop in Wisconsin, he had served as bishop for 12 years in the Central States Synod (ELCA) which covers the two states of Missouri and Kansas. He briefly served as interim bishop of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin immediately prior to being elected to a six-year term. 

Earlier in his ministry... READ MORE



Rev. Amy Engebose - Associate Bishop Amy Engebose serves as Bishop’s Associate for Rostered Leadership and Congregations in Transition for the East Central Synod of Wisconsin. Pastor Amy works with congregations in the call process, pastors and deacons seeking new calls, the candidacy process in the ELCA, and is the point person for the synod initiative, “Reimagining Church”.

Previously, Pastor Amy served as the pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Green Bay. She now lives in Appleton with her dog, Peaches, and is the proud aunt of six nieces and one nephew who bring her great joy. 



Sabbatical Guest Pastor Schedule

April 28
Sabbatical Blessing & Sending
Pastor Luther & Pastor Lori together with Pastor John Kepler

May 5
Rev. Dennis Schatt

May 12
Rev. John Kepler

May 19
Rev. Dennis Schatt

May 26
Rev.  John Kepler

June 2
Rev. Chris Brekke

June 9
Rev. John Kepler

June 16
Bishop Gerald L Mansholt

June 23
Rev. John Kepler

June 30
Rev. John Kepler

July 7
Rev. Amy Engebose
Bishop’s Associate

July 14
Rev. John Kepler 

July 21
Rev. Dennis Schatt 

July 28
Rev. John Kepler 

August 4
Rev. John Kepler preaching
Sabbatical Welcome Back Celebration
for Pastors Luther & Lori