Vicar James Peterson, wife Michela and 13-month-old daughter Charissa arrived July 15. He will be serving at Imperial’s Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church for the next year (Johnson Publications photo).

New vicar serving Zion Lutheran Church

Some new faces at Zion Lutheran Church are Vicar James Peterson, his wife Michela and 13 month old daughter, Charissa. They are expecting a second child in December.
    Peterson arrived with his family on July 15 and will be serving here until next July. He is originally from Carterville, Ill., but attended college at Concordia University in Seward, receiving his BA in U.S. history and world history. Peterson said he chose Concordia University because it is one of the few schools that teach Greek and Hebrew languages.
    After completing his degree at Concordia University, Peterson enrolled at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He will be completing his third year here at Zion Lutheran Church before returning to the seminary to complete his fourth year next summer. Then, he will be ordained and ready to find his own church home in 2019.
    When asked what made him decide to go into ministry, Peterson answered that he had attended Christian school growing up. Then, while in high school, he joined a bible scripture memorization program which further clarified the direction his career would take. He knew that the ministry was what he wanted to do.
    “It was just in my heart,” he said.
    Peterson is hoping to eventually pastor a church in rural Nebraska because he has many relatives living in the state. His wife, Michela, is a native of Grand Island, and would like to stay in Nebraska as well if that is the direction they are led.
    His duties as a vicar include teaching bible school, adult Sunday school, leading pre-school chapel and alternate preaching on Sundays. Vicar James and Pastor David Kahle will also alternate filling the pulpit and teaching Sunday school at Peace Lutheran Church in McCook while they are seeking to fill that vacancy.
    Peterson’s interests and hobbies include reading history books and being a huge Cornhusker fan. In fact, his parents met at the university in Lincoln. He also hopes to find books on the history of this area while he’s here.
    He also enjoys playing basketball and spending time with his wife playing board games, “which she usually wins,” he said.
    Michela commented that her husband is a very outgoing person and enjoys getting involved with people.

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