The Rev. Frank H. Maxwell has accepted a call to serve as Interim Pastor of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. Pastor Frank is a retired Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and licensed by Bishop Matthew Gunter for Extended Service in the Episcopal Church. His tenure follows the retirement of the Rev. Barb Sajna.
Born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Pastor Frank attended Carthage College. "The best thing about college," according to Maxwell "is that is where I met my wife, Mary!" After attending Northwestern Lutheran Seminary in St. Paul, he was ordained in the Lutheran church. He has served Lutheran congregations in Bayfield County, Menomonee Falls, Fort Atkinson, and Verona. After Mary took an early retirement from teaching, they moved to Door County and Pastor Frank served Trinity Lutheran on Washington Island, retiring in 2013. As many retired clergy will attest, retirement doesn't end your ministry. Pastor Frank has served interims in Ellison Bay, West Allis and , Milwaukee.
Pastor Frank has a long connection to the Anglican tradition and the Episcopal Church. He worked closely with an Anglican priest in Halifax, Nova Scotia. and Episcopal clergy while serving in various congregations. He has assisted, preached and served as a supply at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Key West, Florida (yes, a favorite vacation spot) over the years.
The people of St. Luke's are excited and grateful to receive this experience minister of the Gospel who will serve with them for the next 12-18 months. The congregation will work with the Rev. Meredyth Albright, diocesan Transition Ministries Officer, towards calling its next Rector. Pastor Frank's began his work on January 25, 2021.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church is a parish church of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. Starting with services in 1994 held at Scandia Village senior living campus, St. Luke's became a mission in 1999 and then parish in 2008. It is a worship community of 100 baptized members with an average Sunday attendance of 63. As a congregation in a tourism community, there are 50 persons who are active, though not technically be members. Located near the intersection of Highways 57 and 42 in Sister Bay, St. Luke’s has a commitment that all people, regardless of circumstance, are welcomed and accepted as the love of Christ gives unity in diversity while seeking to share that love with others.
The Rev. Barb Sajna has announced retirement from active ministry as a Priest of the church effective the end of January 2021. She has served as Rector of St. Luke's, Sister Bay since 2004. Technically already retired according to Church Pension Fund rules, she has continued to serve a congregation with permission of the Bishop which Bishop Matt gladly gave each year.
Sajna was born in Rhinelander and earned a law degree from the University of Madison. She practiced as a lawyer for a number of years before entering Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, where she earned a Masters of Divinity. Ordained a priest in 1999, she served Episcopal congregations in Dallas prior to coming to the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
Leaders of St. Luke's have noted her exceptional gifts as preacher, teacher, pastor and priest and that "due in large measure to her leadership, St. Luke's is strong and healthy." She is active and well known in the community. She served the diocese in a number of ways including as Dean of the Green Bay Deanery, Deacons School instructor, and Summer Camp Chaplain.
Mthr. Barb plans to continue to live in northern Door County.
Over $20,000 raised as part of the diocesan Annual Bishop's Appeal has been entrusted to a companion diocese. The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in northeast Wisconsin and the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe started a companion diocese relationship in 2016. This relationship expands understanding of one another, nurtures friendships, and proclaims the Good News of the Gospel in local communities and cultural contexts. Each diocese prays regularly for the other since the relationship began. In June this year, three members of Masvingo visited the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
The Annual Bishop’s Appeal offers opportunity to support the work the diocese by providing resources for leadership, vitality, and through initiatives that transform lives. The 2019 missionary church portion of the appeal was designated for the Diocese of Masvingo. To date $20,334.12 has been raised, more than doubling a $10,000 goal.
"Let me make special mention of two of our congregations," Bishop Matthew Gunter shared. "St. John the Baptist in Wausau, sent a gift collected from members of the congregation of over $10,000. The women of St. John's sent an additional donation for the work of the Mother's Union in Zimbabwe."
"St. Luke's in Sister Bay," Bishop Gunter continued, "sent a donation for the Mother's Union as well. Nearly 100 individual gifts have been received toward this goal of the appeal. What a blessing it is to share what God has provided."
The funds will support Masvingo's Transfiguration Skills Training Center and aid Cyclone Idai recovery efforts. The center is a diocesan project that impacts the community. It imparts skills to youth to start projects and improve their livelihoods through chicken rearing, piggery, market gardening and maize production.
The Annual Bishop's Appeal continues to receive contributions. To give, visit diofdl.org/appeal.
St. Luke Episcopal Church, Sister Bay is collecting food and other items in February to donate to the Door of Life Church’s 24/7 Free Pantry. Each week items collected are delivered and the shelves stocked. The pantry is open to everyone and while many may not see it, northern Door County has a significant number of people and families struggling to make ends meet. The pantry helps to stretch food aid and allows the dignity of remaining anonymous to those who use it. There is also a need for paper goods and personal care items along with a freezer for frozen items and meats.