So here we are - The Ministry Team @ Hope! Below is a little bit about each of us. If you have any questions about the ministries that we lead or about what we wrote in our bios, feel free to email us directly. SEE YOU AT CHURCH!

  • Rob Zahn, senior Pastor

    Pastorrob@hope-lutheran-church.com

    Hello! About me? Well, how about we do this in sound bites (feel free to ask questions later): born in California, raised in Minnesota/N. Dakota by my mom, B.A. in Music from Concordia College, MN, seminary both at Wartburg Theological in Iowa and Luther in Minnesota earning my M.Div., served as Youth Pastor in Las Vegas, NV, thanks to my buddy Mike I played a bit with The Second City Comedy Club, a professor at Waldorf College, a mission Pastor in Wisconsin and now here at Hope in Michigan, currently doctoral work at George Fox. I play a few instruments (started the violin in 1st grade) and played guitar in a band or two, been to 15 countries, husband to Brenda, father to my three AWESOME girls…questions?


    Most Embarrassing Moment: 1st job leading a staff activity, I’m in the middle of a circle of 20 church staff people…and fog horn went off (gas)….oh my


    Verse: Matthew 5:44 “…love your enemies…” - I believe the gospel really IS that radical!

  • greer cherney, pastor of congregational life

    PastorGreer@hope-lutheran-church.com

    Hello & Peace! A little about me...... I'm from California, lived in Minnesota for 6 years then made my way to Michigan! My family (including my dog) is the BEST and my favorite things include: family, food, film, fitness and fun! I've played soccer for years, ran 5 half marathons and 1 Ragnar Relay with Living Water Ministries (200-ish team miles)!


    I served as Children, Youth and Family Ministries Director at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. My Pastoral Internship was at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bloomington, MN. Graduated from Luther Seminary with my Master of Divinity, ordained in 2015 (at my home church in Visalia, CA, by my pastor of 30+ years) and I served as pastor at Amazing Grace (Warren, MI).


    I've been blessed to travel to Senegal (West Africa) for Muslim-Christian Interfaith Dialogue. I've traveled to Guatemala for service-learning mission work, Nicaragua with Food for the Poor and I feel deeply called to serve Christ in our neighbor throughout the world! I went on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2018 and 2019 and can't wait to go back!


    God has called me to care deeply for all people, and I truly love seeing our youngest theologians (kids & youth) discover God's AMAZING GRACE. I love when we are curious in faith, realizing we are on a life-long faith journey. For me, faith should be fun and challenge the status quo! We should never be afraid to explore, grow in faith and be excited to discover what God is up to. I think Jesus was the original radical rebel who led with love and acceptance and I pray we can all follow Christ's lead!


    Most Embarrassing Moment: Hard pass (to many to count)


    Favorite Bible Verse: Micah 6:8 "What does the Lord require of you? To do justice and to love kindness, and walk humbly with your God."

  • Hi!  I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, Long Island.  After graduating from college in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and seminary in St. Louis, I came to Oakland County, Michigan – and never left!  I’ve served churches in Farmington, Novi and Royal Oak, been a part-time hospital chaplain at Oakwood in Dearborn and a police chaplain in both Novi and Royal Oak.  I’ve also done some work with our Southeast Michigan Synod (group of congregations) over the years.  After 43 years of full-time ministry, I retired in 2015 and since then, I’ve been working part-time with the folks at the Way in South Lyon.  Serving at Hope has been a bit like coming full circle – I team-taught confirmation classes here with Pastor Vic back in the ‘70’s.  I’ve been married to Deana since 1973 – she’s from Iowa, and we met and married in Farmington, where we were both working in the same congregation.  We have two married sons and a granddaughter who keeps us young!  We’ve lived in Novi since 1977, and currently share our home with a dog and two cats who take turns making our lives interesting.  We love to travel – I’ve visited 48 of the 50 states, and look forward to seeing Alaska and Hawaii some day.


    Embarrassing Moment: When I was younger, my sermons were a bit longer than they are today.  After going on at some length one Sunday, a little voice from the rear of the church – my young son – called out, “Amen, Daddy, Amen!”  I have a feeling that the rest of the congregation was in agreement.


    Favorite Bible verse:  These days, it’s Romans 12:21 – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

  • Chris childers, worship, Media, music & the arts minister

    chris@hope-lutheran-church.com

    G'day Mate, I was born in Auckland, New Zealand at a terrifyingly young age to both my parents.  I grew up the 4th son of an evangelical minister/missionary, so life was really against me from the get-go.  I caught the performing arts bug at a very young age and all through my school career went on both national and international tours with various musical/performing arts groups.  I have been blessed with many opportunities to work in local church ministry and also para-church ministry groups since the age of 18.  In my early twenties, I moved back to New Zealand, studied contemporary music and started my first band.  We were very blessed for two of our singles to have success on national christian radio. After touring both nationally and internationally for the next four years, I felt called to a local church ministry in Las Vegas and remained in the Vegas area for the next 10 years.  That was until I felt called to the Metro Detroit Area to work at Hope ... considering this past winter, I'm really starting to question the whole "calling thing". That being said, I am completely excited to see what God is doing here at Hope. 


    Embarrassing Moment:  Performing an entire worship service with my zipper down.


    Favorite Bible Verse:  "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth..."

  • Donnie Lehmann, Children, Youth & family Minister

    Donnie@hope-lutheran-church.com

    I was born on an Air Force base in Alaska, and I then made my way to Kenosha, and could not think of any other place I would like to call home. There are four things that I love: God, Family, Youth Ministry, Sprint Car Racing and Food.  Most would say the order changes depending on how hungry I am. All kidding aside, serving is what drives me. Having been on multiple mission trips throughout the world and being involved in youth ministry, it is safe to say that I have found my true calling in serving the church. I am looking forward to helping the youth groups at Hope grow in their knowledge and understanding of the love that God has for them and how to share that love with all people. I also want to teach youth how to eat 26 tacos in one lunch sitting.


    Most embarrassing moment: I embarrass my wife on a daily basis, does that count…                                                                                    


    Favorite Bible Verse: Job 19:21-29… epic stuff……And Jesus in the boat sleeping…all of us need naps, even Jesus

  • allan Pfitzenmaier, Director of Operations

    office@Hope-Lutheran-church.com

    Hi, I am Allan Pfitzenmaier and I have been a member of Hope since its inception in 1977. During the majority of that time, I have owned and managed a consulting firm serving the regulated medical products industries.  Also, during that time, I have started and managed a number of other associated businesses, including a successful staffing firm and a software development organization. Most recently a partner and I started a Contract Manufacturing Organization to produce liquid injectable drugs, particularly new cancer therapies.  Once this operation was up and running, I decided that it was time to step back and enjoy my life and take things a little easier.


    God, however, had other ideas. When it became apparent that the former Director of Operations was looking to move on, a number of people, including my wife, suggested that I should consider taking on that position.  Absent a total conspiracy, it seemed odd to me that at least 3 people independently thought I should do this. I concluded that it must be a call from God, and I had no other choice but to accept it.


    I have been married to Francine for 42 years and we have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  I am a BIG fan of the University of Michigan.  


    Most embarrassing moment: I am too embarrassed to say.


    Favorite Bible Verse: My confirmation verse John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


  • sue audet, OFFICE MANAGER

    Office_admin@hope-lutheran-church.com

    Hi Everyone! Guess this is where I tell you my life story in 30 seconds or less. Here it goes ...


    My Family:  I am the extremely proud mom of Ali (ask anyone who has stopped into Hope's office). I have an amazing husband, Pat, who has been my partner in crime since the '80s (wow on that!) and we have a big, goofy goldendoodle named Leeloo (if you're into SciFi think The Fifth Element). Pat and I have lived in Farmington Hills since 1994 and before that we were both born and raised Downriver (if you don’t know where that is, stop by and we’ll chat). 


    My Qualifications:  My qualifications ... not sure anyone is ever really qualified for a job but I do have a B.S. in Computer Science and Information Systems from the University of Michigan, I’m really good at math (algebra is my favorite; calculus not so much), and I LOVE spreadsheets! I've worked for Lockheed Martin (as a programmer, a systems analyst, and an Engineer in Charge), Complete Business Solutions Inc. (as an Account Manager), Canine College (I WAS the 'Student Services Department'), and now at Hope.


    Call me at the office or better yet stop in to chat ... I’d love to see you!

     

    Most Embarrassing Moment:  I try NOT to have any of these ... they’re quite honestly ... embarrassing!


  • reji musso, worship admin

    worship_admin@hope-lutheran-church.com

    I was born in Columbia, SC, graduated from high school there and went to a small Lutheran liberal arts college, Newberry College in SC. I have 2 amazing daughters, Katie (in Denver, Colorado) who has two daughters, 14 and 9 and Nancy (New Hudson, MI) who has 1 son and another on the way. Being a mother was my very best job. Being a grandmother has been life’s greatest gift. I stopped working in 2014 and found myself retiring in MI, which was NOT part of the plan. However, my daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Chris, asked me to come to MI to take care of the new baby, Finley, who is now 3. This was not a hard decision. As a lifelong Lutheran with a few pit stops in Methodist, Celtic Catholic and Episcopalian churches (not all at the same time), I was looking at ELCA Lutheran churches within a 10 mile radius of our Novi home. Hope was the first church I visited and after many Sundays elsewhere, it is where I came back. I spent my professional life in some sort of customer service area with an emphasis on project management and process development and had a lot of wonderful experiences. I have not missed working at all. I love retirement. And yet, here I am. Working in the church office is not like work. It is so nice to be able to share some of my skills without all of the pressure. For me it’s a dream “job”. 


    Most Embarrassing Moment: Seriously only one? I could go on for days. Suffice it to say, that recently it would be that I seem to cry every time I “read” in church. From the betrayal of Jesus by Judas (how could he?) to the impending death of Isaac at the hands of his father, Abraham (what parent would ever concede to such a command?) brought tears. 


    Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,” is the way I greet each morning quickly followed by Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…”. These verses remind me to embrace the gift of a new day and be reminded that I need to be quiet and still if I am to hear God.

  • Kristin Dolce, Receptionist

    secretary@hope-lutheran-church.com

    I’m a newlywed! My wife, Ali and I were married this past September (Thanks, Pastor Rob) and we live the most amazing life! We have a fully functioning, “dysfunctional”, blended (in some ways most people would find strange) and immensely loving family. Stop by and I’ll tell you some stories.


    I think I’ve done a decent job of keeping the earth populated. I have 6 (including 2 steps) terrific kids and 2 pretty fab granddaughters. Lauren (30) and Trevor have Rylan (6-aka Ry or Bean). Savannah (23) and Hunter have Embry (2-aka Nuggz). Dawson (20) is in the USMC, stationed for the last 2 years in Iwakuni, Japan (but his next duty station is stateside!) Next up in the family fun are my favorite twins, two step-sons (it’s complicated), Carter and Keegan (also 20). They go to MCC with evolving majors. Last, but certainly not least is Josie (18). She’s goes to Oakland Early College where she’s finishing high school and getting her first couple years of OCC under her belt. A lot, right?! Yes…and yes, there will be a quiz.


    What did I do before I started answering Hope’s phones? My last favorite job was large-scale event production for The Breast Cancer 3-Day – immensely fulfilling and fun! Next was retail, where I met my wife. PSA: Be nice to retail workers. They don’t make the rules. I’ve also been blessed to be able to watch both my granddaughters regularly from when they were babies – about 2. I still get to watch them sometimes (where I try not to poison them or starve them). Again, stop by for a story. And now, in between wedding bliss, bus drop-offs and (coming soon) soccer games, I am here! What’s God thinking? I don’t know, but I couldn’t be happier to find out!


    Most Embarrassing Moment:  This is a tough one because I’m easy to laugh at. There was the time in high school when I walked into a glass door thinking it was an open door. Then there was the time I was dancing with Ry …too much Elsa…too much twirling. I fell flat on my rear in the middle of the preschool “ball”. That was fun. Another good one is anytime I sing “The Unicorn Song” at karaoke night. I’m embarrassed every time - but I do it anyway. Probably real embarrassment though is when my stomach growls in church. Is it bad to say that I can’t wait for Jesus’ table to be ready each week?


    Favorite Bible verse:  1 Corinthians 16:14: “Do everything in love."


  • Brenda Soderlund, bookkeeper

    Bio Coming Soon

  • Alicia Herrle, Sunday school coordinator

    Hello! I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area and recently lived in Tulsa Oklahoma for five years. My husband Sean and I were married at Hope in 2013 and we have really enjoyed attending again since we moved back. I’ve been lucky to be at home with our two rambunctious boys and two very fat cats for these past couple of years; before that I have a long history of working retail. I enjoy baking and decorating cakes and am big on DIY projects.  I’m excited to be a part of the Hope team!


    Most Embarrassing Moment: When first married, Sean went to the freezer for some ice cream. Upon opening the container of Neapolitan he was surprised to find no trace of chocolate.  I had very strategically carved out every bit from the strawberry and vanilla earlier… But hey, it was delicious. 

    Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 12:9 “Let love be genuine.”


  • marcy bard, nursery director

    My name is Marcia Karen Bard, Marcy for short.  I was born on November 2, 1942 in Detroit to Harry and Sarah Swarts. I have one sister named Joanne Gail Pevos. I have been married to my husband Harvey for 41 years and I proposed to him.  We have two adult children. Our son Aaron is married to Emily and they have two boys, Joshua Holden 7 1/2 and Issac Max 6 years old. Our daughter Debbie is married to Korey Bahash and they also have two sons, Zachary Hayden, 9 and Andrew Dylan, 6. I worked for the Farmington Schools for 23 years, the last six of which were for the Head Start Program.  I love working with kids!


    Most Embarrassing Moment: occurred several years ago when we attended a New Years Eve Party.  I was wearing a long skirt with a top and the elastic in the waistband broke while we were dancing.


    Favorite Bible Verse: Moses parting the Red Sea.

  • danny morris, custodian

    I was born in Pontiac, Michigan and raised in Keego Harbor. I attended West Bloomfield schools where I was a stinker. After high school, I joined the Marine Corp, active duty for four years. I am married to my wonderful wife, Jeanette, and have one daughter, Danielle. I was a journeyman carpenter for over 25 years but am now retired. I enjoy bowling and aeronautics. I have worked here at Hope for over eight years and enjoy my job and the people here at Hope very much.


    Most Embarrassing Moment: While working at Hope one day, I approached a group of people with their backs to me. As I got closer, I noticed their beautiful long hair and asked “Could I help you ladies with something”. They turned around and much to my chagrin they were all men, some with facial hair!  Very embarrassing!


    Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd....."