Pastor Mary Erickson


(715) 832-1414 ext. 2103

Staff at Hope Lutheran


Pastor Mary grew up in multiple locations in Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado as her family moved to the parishes her father served as a pastor.

After graduating from St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary, Mary has served three other congregations before coming to Hope. "It's a privilege to proclaim the good news of God's love.
It's the basis of our hope, and hope does not disappoint us."

Parish Admin./
Worship Coordinator
Ann Miloszewicz

I grew up in Cameron WI.  My husband Jason and I  moved to Eau Claire in 1997,  I joined the staff at Hope in 2002 very part time.  Our youngest son Ashton was one of the first children at Rachel's Place while I worked.  I have held many titles over the past and now as the Parish Administrator.  


Jason and I have three children.  Austin (Brittany) and grandson Nathan live in Green Bay, Anthony (Veronica) live in Ham Lake, MN and Ashton is finishing college in Winona, MN.  We enjoy fishing, camping, hiking and spending time with family.  Many trips between all of the kids houses make life fun.  We truly treasure the time we can all be together in one place.  


Working at Hope is a joy.  The staff is like family.  


phone: (715) 832-1414 ext. 2101


Office Assistant
Alice Bates

Alice grew up in Northfield, MN and worked at St. John's Lutheran Church & St. Olaf College. After moving to Eau Claire in 2006 she worked for Chippewa County in the Mental Health & Financial divisions.  Alice & Larry have 3 children, Lara who lives in MN, Sara who is a member at Hope with her daughter Kailey. Son Kristoffer is stationed at Ft. Leavenworth KS, and is a major in the US Army.

After being retired for several years she decided to enter the work force again and enjoys helping part time at Hope.

She and Larry have five granddaughters and one grandson that keep them busy.


phone: (715) 832-1414 ext. 2100

Director of Praise & Worship Music
Jim Newman

Jim has been involved in music his whole life.  Whether singing, playing or directing he has always shared his gifts with his church family.  Over the years he has directed and/or been a part of numerous Praise groups, Senior and Children’s Choirs.  He has also served as Church pianist and Worship leader. 

After graduating from Superior Senior High School, he attended UW Superior majoring in Accounting with a minor in music.  After 2 years of college he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he studied computers and computer programming.  Upon completion of his Air Force duties he gained employment with Dahlberg Light and Power Company in northern Wisconsin.  After 30 years of employment with Dahlberg’s he retired early with the goal of spending more time in his musical field.

Jim also enjoys traveling and spending time with his 3 children.  Sherawn, who lives with her husband and daughter in Duluth, MN, Michael who lives with his wife and 3 children in Mentor, OH and Emma who lives in Eau Claire, WI. 

He also enjoys hiking, camping and grilling out.


Donna Benrud

Donna graduated from Luther College with a major degree in Music Education and a minor in organ performance.

She was in 7th grade when she started playing the organ at her home church in Westby, WI.

Donna has served as an Elementary Music teacher in the Wisconsin Rapids, WI and Cambridge, MN schools.

Donna has also played the organ in churches served by her husband Roger, from 1964 to 1998.

She also enjoyed leading youth choirs and accompanying adult choirs.


Donna has given piano lessons in her home to countless youth and many of them are music teachers with a couple of her students progressing to professional musicians. 

Donna has been blessed by everyone at Hope Lutheran as she shares her love of God through the songs of faith.

Grace Lenhart web.JPG
Director of Youth & Family Ministries 
Grace Lenhart
Council President
Mark Larson

Grace grew up in the Chippewa Valley, and studied Religion at Augsburg College. Before joining Hope, she was a High School teacher in Colorado, and operated her own art studio. 


In her free time you can find Grace swimming in the lakes and rivers nearby, exploring the world, working on her creative endeavors, or curled up with a good book.


phone: (715) 832-1414 ext. 2105

Rachel's Place Director
Leanne O'Bryan

Leanne oversees all aspects of the Childcare Center and is the director of Rachel’s Place. Leanne and her husband Shane, live in Menomonie, they have 3 children, Trent 25, Levi 22 and Ireland 15. As a family they enjoy bowling, swimming and just hanging out together.

If and when she gets spare time, you'll find her tending to her house plants and going to the greenhouse.

Rachel’s Place is a vibrant ministry of Hope Lutheran Church. Leanne has been blessed with the opportunity to share God’s love with the children of this community for the past 16 years.



phone: (715) 832-1414 ext. 2200




Director of
Les Munnik

Growing up in midwestern Wisconsin, I moved to the Chippewa Valley in 2002, and joined Hope! 

I was in telecommunications for 14 years, but then a career change to construction, led to my current job as a safety manager for a large construction company in the Chippewa Valley.

I now reside in Chippewa Falls, and enjoy hunting, fishing, and golfing. I volunteer my time with the Chippewa Valley Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, providing beds for kids who don't have one.

After serving on many different boards with Hope, I accepted the position of President of the Council.


Website &
Tech Support
Jody Christian

Living and working in Eau Claire since the mid-nineties, Jody found a love for all things electronic, and updates the website for Hope, while fielding tech questions at the office - welcome to the 21st century! =)

Jody and her now husband, Craig, met in Madison WI during the millennium New Years celebration, and were married in 2001. They enjoy all things Wisconsin and especially sports
(no matter how bad the Brewers are).


Les Munnik was born and raised in Sheboygan, WI. 
He has three daughters and sons-in-law and 8 grandchildren. 
He entered into ministry through a 2nd career path. After working as a meat cutter for 22 years he accepted the call to become a lay speaker.
That was followed by 8 years of college courses to become a Licensed Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church.  He has served as pastor, family & youth director in the Methodist, United Church of Christ and Evangelical Lutheran churches.  His interests include travel, meeting new people and vegetable gardening where he shares his bounty with others. Les loves working with people of all ages.



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Brian Petersen
Scott Olson

Scott and his wife Debra have been married for 40 years. They have raised 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter. One son lives in Florida and their other son and daughter live here in Eau Claire. Top priority is taking care of our pets, as they are avid pet lovers. Other interests include yard work, woodworking and enjoying a cruise in our 51 Chrysler.

Scott is also owner of Solid Gold Entertainment DJ Service. Entertaining for anniversaries, birthdays & special events since 1999 at the VFW on Starr ave.

Brian Petersen joined the Hope Lutheran Church staff in October of 2020 after completing 35 years of service at Bush Furniture in Eau Claire. Brian grew up as the oldest of five boys in Durand, Wisconsin. He attended UW-River Falls and UW-La Crosse majoring in Mass Communications.  When attending UWL he was a Peer Minister for UWL Campus Ministry where he met his wife of 37 years, Julie (Ness) Petersen. He is an active member of Hope Lutheran, sharing his musical and speaking talents. 


Brian and Julie live on the northside of Eau Claire with their dog Sophie.  They have three children, Jenny (Andy) in Bentonville AR, Brandon (Jill) in Fond Du Lac, WI and Jocelyn (Alex) in Burnsville, MN and two grandchildren, Charlie and Caroline.
Brian is excited to be able to share his “fix-it” talents with Hope Lutheran Church. When not working, he loves to travel to see family, explore outdoor places, listen to music, play guitar and enjoy Key West.