Cross of Life Staff Members

We'd like to introduce you to our church staff!

In addition to their e-mail addresses, all staff members can be reached at Cross of Life at 262-785-9420.

 


Pastor John Horner-Ibler can be reached at john@crossoflife.org othe main church phone number. In case of pastoral need outside normal hours, contact him at 414-313-9380. John has previously served as Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in New Holstein, WI, as Youth Director at Hopewell Reformed Church in Hopewell Junction, NY, and on the staff of the National Council of Churches/Interfaith Conciliation Center in New York, NY. He has served as one of the pastors at Cross of Life since 1996. Besides John, the only other known "Horner-Iblers" in the world include his wife Barbara, their sons David and Michael, and their dog Taz. Barbara is a physician in private practice in Brookfield as well as the Medical Director of the Bread of Healing Free Clinic in Milwaukee. David is currently serving in the Peace Corps as a public health worker in Alibi, Togo (West Africa). Michael is a freshman at UW-Madison. Now empty-nesters, John and Barb fight over the sports section in the morning and then make up by gardening together or trying to teach Taz (a very old dog) some new tricks. 

 


Pastor Sherrie Lorbeck can be reached at sherrie@crossoflife.org or at home at 414-477-7762. Sherrie has been at Cross of Life since 2006. It was when she was in 7th grade that she began to feel a call to ordained ministry. She is the 7th person (and the 4th woman) ordained from her home congregation of Grace Lutheran in Tomahawk, Wis. Sherrie majored in Religion at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and received her Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Through seminary, she served at Capitol Drive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and at Bethany Lutheran in Escanaba, Mich. Her husband Matthew is a Master Electrician and owns his own electrical business. Matt and Sherrie have two sons, George and James.

 

 

Our Director of Christian Education is Jo Ann Tomm at joann@crossoflife.orgJo Ann began her career here as the volunteer Sunday School Director in 1989 when the job description was little more than recruiting teachers and ordering supplies! Over the years it has evolved into a full-time staff position overseeing programming for young learners through Confirmation. Jo Ann recruits the Sunday School staff and works closely with them throughout the school year. She also works with the Education Committee to organize special learning and young youth fellowship events, including Winter Lock-in’s, Vacation Bible School, Summer Sunday School and Lent School. A teacher at heart, Jo Ann is a part of the Confirmation teaching team and enjoys leading a Sunday School class every chance she gets. She has discovered that she loves to write and enjoys rewriting and fine-tuning curriculum for all of our various programs. Jo Ann loves the exciting challenge of integrating technology into the education program while keeping the core of Sunday School about building a faith community. As much as she loves the classroom, Jo Ann is totally energized by the adventures with our kids that bring her outdoors, especially camping with the Confirmation class. 


Our Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries is Matt Griepentrog (“GREE-pen-trog”) at matt@crossoflife.org. He joined us in 2014 and divides his time between Cross of Life (3/4) and Christ the King (1/4). Prior to coming here, Matt worked for seven years at South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake, Minn., responsible for overseeing the Youth Program, Sunday School, Confirmation and Vacation Bible School. Matt was raised in Milwaukee and graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School. He moved to St. Paul, Minn., to attend Concordia University, where he took courses in the Director of Christian Education Program and majored in Parish Administration. He graduated from Concordia in May 2007 and joined South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church that fall. In 2010 Matt married Joy, who teaches at Lake Country Lutheran School. They are expecting a baby boy in May 2016. Click here to read Matt’s full bio.


 

Our Director of Adult Ministries is Muriel Otto at muriel@crossoflife.org. Muriel began her position with Cross of Life in 2013. She leads our Adult Education, Small Group, and Servanthood ministries. Muriel received her Master of Divinity degree from Vancouver School of Theology in May 2013, was married in July (to Andrew) and moved to the Milwaukee area in late August as Andrew began his studies at the Marquette University Law School. Muriel and Andrew have a Welsch Corgi, Manny, whose heart can easily be won through treats. Muriel's faith, personable ways, and theological training are of great benefit to our work together here at Cross of Life. Click here to read Muriel's full bio.


 

 
Our Director of Music Ministry is Christine Standley at chris@crossoflife.orgBefore coming to Cross of Life in 1999, Chris served congregations in the Pewaukee area and in California. She enjoys working with people of all ages and strives to engage as many people as possible in the musical life of the congregation. Chris also serves as accompanist for the choirs at Wisconsin Hills Middle School and has taught pre-school, working primarily with 3-year-olds. She is married and has two grown daughters, as well as one grandchild. She enjoys working in the yard, doing crossword puzzles and counted cross-stitch, and taking walks with friends and family.
 



 


Our Director of Adult Vocal Ensembles is Molly Pufall-Brown, who joined us in 2015. She can be reached at mpufall@gmail.com. Molly holds a BA in Music from Millikin University and a Master of Music from Northern Illinois University. She served as an Assistant Professor of Music and the Performance and Audition Coordinator at Alverno College since 2008. Molly is married to Ian, who works as a Technical Services Manager and Urban Forester for the City of Milwaukee. They have two daughters: Greta, who is 3 years old, and Britta, who was born in June 2015. They also have a Golden Retriever named Hazel. Molly and Ian are residents of Bay View and take advantage of all the activities the area has to offer, especially biking, walking along Lake Michigan, and playing Ultimate Frisbee. To read Molly's full Bio, click HERE.

 

 


Our Director of the Gloria Dei Adult Handbell Choir is Christine Bjorklund at tbjork33@gmail.com. She has been a member of our staff since 2009 and has worked closely with COL for the past 15 years. Christine has played for weddings, funerals, and church services here – accompanied by her husband Terry and their son Ted (both violinists) and by colleague or student ensembles. Christine selects and prepares music, organizes performers, and directs rehearsals and services. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education (Vocal Music Ed/Piano Major) from UW-Milwaukee. She worked in Muskego schools for 15 years as an Elementary Music Specialist teaching grades K-5 until
 Ted was born. She then "retired" from public schools, increasing the number of private piano lessons at her Wauwatosa studio where she continues teaching lessons after Terry passed away in 2009. Christine also accompanies students for school contests or private teacher recitals. She likes to garden, crochet, read, and walk, often combining several of these activities at once with her iPhone.

 


Our Accompanist at Cross of Life is Lynn Key at lynn@crossoflife.org. One who lived (and still does) just minutes from our church, she joined COL in the early 1990's when her young daughter remarked “I want to go to the blue church!” Lynn was in Pastor Sue Sheffer-Meyer’s very first New Member class and joined the Gloria Dei Handbell Choir immediately. She eventually sang in Senior Choir and began playing the piano for our Youth Choirs. Over time she learned to play the organ and officially joined our staff as Organist in 1998. That same year Lynn graduated from Mount Mary College with a degree in Business Administration, which she has applied to her jobs outside of COL. Since 2006 she has worked full-time as an Accounting Assistant at Innovative Construction Solutions, Inc. Lynn and her husband, Jeff, were married at COL in 1992They enjoy spending time together reading or fishing at their family lake home in Conover, Wis.

 




Our Worship Band Director is Ben Leon at bjamin9@gmail.com. When Ben joined us part-time in 2014, he enjoyed a connection with several of our members, as he had many COL kids in his orchestras throughout the years. Ben retired after 26 years as Orchestra Director in the Elmbrook School District and retired from Wisconsin Hills Middle School at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. He earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from UW-Whitewater and his master’s degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Following that he worked as a substitute music teacher in West Allis until he joined the Elmbrook School District in 1989. In Ben’s spare time he plays in two 20-piece big bands – Waukesha Jazz Express out of Carroll University and Pete Sorce and the Jazz Explosion – as well as in a Disco band called Montage. Click here to read Ben's full bio.


 

Debbie Riederer devotes her time to two important areas at COL: Volunteer Coordinator and Member Care. She can be reached at debbie@crossoflife.org A member of COL since December 1999, she most recently provided Administrative Support. In 2014 she completed a vigorous, graduate-level program called Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Thanks to her training, as of early 2015 Debbie is responsible for two areas of ministry. As Volunteer Coordinator, Debbie will work to get the right person in the right role at a church. If you are motivated to serve through COL, Debbie will be one of your touchstone people. This includes what we currently don't do. Debbie’s goal is to understand your passion for serving and find ways for you to use that energy! In the area of Member Care, Debbie works with the pastors to visit members who are hospitalized, faced with losses or celebrating life blessings. She helps us to grow our limited number of support groups for death, divorce, or child/parent issues. In Debbie's free time she likes to walk, bike, read, and visit with friends.





Ann Hill joined our staff in 2015 after helping to perform administrative duties for Debbie Riederer during staff transitions. Our primary Administrator, Ann serves as our Bookkeeper, produces weekly bulletins and provides program support, in addition to other administrative duties. Ann can be reached at ann@crossoflife.org. As a member of the Cross of Life-Christ the King Communication & Technology Committee, she is also integral in the development of a shared COL-CTK website. Ann is a sub for our Gloria Dei Handbell Choir, plays clarinet in worship and has travelled on trips with our youth. A native Minnesotan, Ann holds a Master of Engineering in Electric Power Engineering from RPI in New York, worked in the field for close to 25 years and holds two patents for work related to power transmission control systems. Ann, her husband Jay, and their twin high school freshman Abby and Nick, moved to Brookfield in November 2013. Ann enjoys performing with the summer Concord Chamber Orchestra, playing women’s hockey & tennis, and working on 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles.


 

Pastors John Horner-Ibler and Sherrie Lorbeck lead hope-filled and joy-full worship services preaching the good news and helping people to reflect on the Bible's message for the life of faith. The staff members at Cross of Life work together as a team, eager to share in the mission of the congregation alongside members to Worship, Learn, Serve, and Invite. Please feel free to contact any one of them if you have questions or have news or information you would like us to know.