Our staff is dedicated to serving the Lord and His congregation at Long Lake Lutheran Church.
Pastor: Mary Strom


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    One thing I have learned over the years is that every life has a story. My story began on a small farm about 30 miles west of Fargo, N.D. Three children and four dogs later I received my Bachelor of Social Work degree. It was while working in Child Protection that I first began having thoughts of ministry. I kept dismissing them, but friends began asking, “Have you ever thought of going into ministry?” I left it in God’s hands and heart, and here I am.

   Serving here at Long Lake Lutheran, living in Rice Lake, I look outside each day and marvel at what God has done. My life has had many curves and pot holes along the way, but the beauty surrounding me here and the love of this church soothes my soul, and I thank God each day. Sometimes--make that all the time--we just need to look up. Psalm 121 says, I will lift my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heaven and the earth.




Administrative Assistant: Bonnie Hurley


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   I was born in central Illinois and spent a wonderful childhood on Lake Decatur, swimming, water skiing and generally getting way too much sun. A rebellious '60s flower child (since somewhat reformed), I graduated from Illinois State with a degree in Comprehensive Business Education. That led to lots of different jobs, from corn de-tasseling to grain elevator manager to elementary and middle school teacher, with a stint as a farm wife along the way. In 2007 I became the administrative assistant at Long Lake Lutheran upon the retirement of Sharon Butterfield. I’ve also bred, raised and shown dogs for many years, working with many breeds, although Westies are my love. I’ve lived in a number of states and countries, but don’t want to leave the Wisconsin that I have fallen in love with. God guided me with life experiences for my place here at Long Lake Lutheran, and I will be forever thankful for His hand in my life.


Director of Music Ministry: Kris Knutson




  After graduating from UW-La Crosse with a degree in Music Education-Choral and General Music (and only a French horn recital away from Instrumental), I taught three years in Arcadia, Wis., as a middle and high school choral music director. I've served churches in Arcadia and Ft. Wayne, Ind., in music and youth ministry. My work for ELCA includes leading congregations in global music worship in the La Crosse Synod and introducing the new ELW hymnal. I've been blessed to perform with many great musicians and singers, including Dakota Road, Marty Haugen, Mary Prius, Tom Witt and Anthony Machado. Currently, I teach Pre-K through Grade 12 vocal and general music at the Birchwood Schools. In the summer of 2017 I performed with a choir at Carnegie Hall in New York. I live in Rice Lake with my goldendoodle Koda, whose full name is D.S. Koda al Fine.