Want to know more? Click on each name to find out more about the staff at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Photo of Pastor Peter Hellstedt
Pastor Peter Hellstedt

Pastor Hellstedt joined Prince of Peace in 2009 after serving at Grace Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect and, before that, at congregations in Park Ridge and Decatur. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA and has a masters in biblical studies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Pastor Hellstedt has been active in interfaith work and has served on the Council of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA. His passions in ministry are preaching and teaching from the Bible, and talking with people to help them connect faith to daily life. He enjoys baseball (particularly the Cubs), anything connected with airplanes, and a good cup of coffee. He is married to Cheryl Hellstedt and they have 2 adult children.

Photo of Pastor Intern Christina Johnson
Pastor Intern Christina Johnson

Christina M. Johnson was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago in the Forest Glen neighborhood. After college, she worked for Lutheran Special Education Ministries at Concordia College, Illinois, as a Development Coordinator who raised funds for Special Ed children to be able to stay in the Lutheran School system. Having worked several years there, she became the Program Associate, DEM Relationships/Behavioral Interview process in the ELCA’s Domestic Mission Unit, including congregation-based community organizing.

Christina is currently enrolled at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago pursuing her Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree. She has four grown boys and is enjoying seeing them grow in their spirituality, work and life. In her free time she enjoys swimming, riding her bike and playing tennis.

Photo of Sonia DeLuca
Sonia DeLuca
Church Secretary

Sonia works full time as Parish Secretary. She has worked for the congregation of Prince of Peace, initially part time and now full time, since June of 1989. Sonia greets visitors and members, in person and on the phone, with a smile. She maintains and schedules the church calendar, prepares the weekly bulletins, coordinates mailings, orders office supplies, & monitors office equipment. She also provides information and assistance to other staff members, boards and committees.

Photo of Lisa Isaacs
Lisa Isaacs
Director Preschool and Kindergarten

Lisa earned her undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Health and her master’s degree in Health Sciences.  Lisa taught preschool at Prince of Peace for nine years and was also assistant director for seven years.  Lisa believes that every child is a unique individual and that as teachers we need to help them develop in their own unique way.  Lisa also believes that children learn best from exploring the environment around them and through their own natural curiosity as well as modeling the adults in their lives.  Lisa’s goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children can learn and grow through the patient and loving hands of the teachers who guide and teach them.

Photo of Scott Uddenberg
Scott Uddenberg
Director of Music

Scott has served as Director of Music for Prince of Peace since 2003. Scott directs the Adult Choir, Handbell Choir, Children’s Choirs, and instrumental ensembles, and coordinates the Community Concert Series. He has held similar posts with prior congregations at Lyonsville Congregational Church, Gary United Methodist, and Living Lord Lutheran Church. Scott holds a Masters in Music from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University.

In addition to his church responsibilities, Scott has an active performance schedule and regularly appears with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Grant Park Chorus. He has additional professional credits with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, Florentine Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Ravinia Festival, and as national anthem soloist for the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. Further, he serves on the voice faculty and is the music director for the theater department at Elmhurst College. He, his wife Kristina and their four children, Emily, Benton, Jennifer and Carrie, reside in Elmhurst, IL.

Photo of Karen Wagner
Karen Wagner
Director of Discipleship

Under Karen’s leadership, Prince of Peace has developed a vibrant youth ministry centered on a series of “stepping stones” of faith. She helps plan and implement the Junior and Senior High Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) Programs; coordinates the Sunday School, confirmation and Vacation Bible School programming; and facilitates a variety of retreat experiences for the youth, including mission trips and involvement with youth programming sponsored by the Metro Chicago Synod and ELCA. Karen is a certified Youth Minister through the Center for Youth Ministries at Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Photo of Riane McConnell
Riane McConnell
Crossroads Worship Director and Youth Minister

Riane McConnell joined Prince of Peace Lutheran Church at the end of 2014 as the Crossroads Worship Director and Youth Minister. Right before joining the Prince of Peace team, she graduated from North Park University with her BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, and Nonprofit Management. Riane engaged in many ministries on campus, and served on North Park Worship Teams, Leading in Urban Outreach and pursuing her love of music and social justice.

Riane is currently the Co-Chair of an organization in Chicago known as OneNorside, specifically leading in the Violence Prevention Coalition working in policy reform and activism. Riane has seven years of experience in leading worship, and played various leadership roles in her youth group growing up in Grand Rapids Michigan. Riane has traveled around the world to India, Jerusalem, Mexico and Greece, gaining a deeper understanding of culture and how Christians practice their faith. Riane loves learning about people, culture, religion and traditions, and has a slight obsession with coffee.