The Rev. Edward G. Barnett has been pastor of St. Peter’s since July 1999. He enjoys the diversity of families and people in Baldwin. His love of God coming into the lives of people through worship and service are the highlight of his work here. In his own words, “I always try to be accessible to people for the deepest extraordinary spiritual needs that they have in the midst of our ordinary lives. It’s amazing to see the power of the Holy Spirit drawing people into great love with God and one another in this place called St. Peter’s.”
Prior to coming to Baldwin he was the Associate at Prince of Peace Church in Dublin, OH. A native of West Virginia, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in music with a minor in business at WVa Wesleyan. His theological formation occurred in a variety of seminaries, culminating in a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Church Music degrees from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. His pastoral internship was in inner-city urban ministry at Trinity Church on the North Side of Pittsburgh where he was mentored by the Rev. John Cochran. He is pursuing a Masters of Sacred Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has also done additional studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York.
Luana Schilling has been a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church since 1975. In the 1980s, she was instrumental in the expansion of the St. Peter’s basketball program and served as St. Peter’s Basketball Commissioner many years. She also served as a Board Member of the Long Island Lutheran Basketball League. She served on the Board of Directors for Camp Ma-He-Tu, Bear Mountain, NY, a Lutheran girls summer camp that is affiliated with the Metropolitan New York Synod of the ELCA, from 1994 to 2011 and on the Advisory Board from 2011-2013. She presently serves on the Metro New York Synod’s Assembly Planning Committee.
Luana was born and raised in Bellerose, Queens before moving to Baldwin to raise her family. She is a Certified Medical Assistant and for over thirty years managed a surgical practice in Hempstead and Garden City. From 1996 to 2000, she attended Nassau Community College in pursuit of a paralegal degree. In 2000, she founded LSS Medical Billing, a medical billing service, which she still owns and operates.
In 2000, she was called to enter the Diaconate and was set apart as a Synodical Deacon in April 2005.
She has two adult daughters and five grandchildren.
A Long Islander since 2006, Angela Rios is a city girl at heart. Born in Brooklyn, her family moved to Flushing, Queens when Angela was 11 years old. She now lives in Baldwin, Long Island and is a business professional in Manhattan. With a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Berkeley College in Manhattan, Angela has always had a head for administration, managing the Early Childhood Office at the Lutheran School of Flushing & Bayside for seven years before becoming an Executive Assistant in the world of finance in 1999. Angela was confirmed at The Lutheran Church of St. John in Flushing. Both of her (now grown) children were brought up in and confirmed at St. John's as well. She began serving as a deacon at St. John's in 1994 with focused ministries in Christian Outreach, Confirmation Bible Class and Family Bible study. Angela and her husband Edward moved from Queens to Baldwin in 2006 and became members of St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church soon after. It didn't take long for Angela to become involved in the activities of St. Peter's. She brought a vibrant Vacation Bible School program to the church in 2011 and began a Women's Discipleship Group the year before that. She serves as the chair for Christian Education on the church council and teaches Bible to the confirmation students. On March 3 of 2013, Angela was installed as deacon at St. Peter's. "St. Peter's is undoubtedly where God wants me to be, I have never felt more at home than I do here. I pray God continues to act in me so that I can always serve Him joyfully and to His glory."
Ken is a native of southern California, having grown up in and around Los Angeles. Adopted as an infant into a very musical family, with a father who sang in church choir and men's quartets, a mother who played piano, and other extended relatives who played organ and a variety of instruments, and a church where hymns, even the soft ones, were sung with gusto. The Dutch and Frisian cultural heritage appreciating the musical arts made a strong impression on the lad. When asked at the age of 7 or 8 what he wanted to be when he grew up, Ken had a simple single answer. "I'm going to be an organist."
In pursuit of this goal, Ken studied at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and received from Mount St Mary's College, Los Angeles, his Bachelor of Music degree in organ and sacred music. Graduate study was pursued at the University of Redlands, in California, where he was graduate assistant to the University organist and in demand as accompanist for both singers and instrumentalists. Additional graduate study in the performance and composition of plainsong (Gregorian chant) was taken at Catholic University of America. He has played solo concerts and with orchestra around the United States and in Mexico and Australia.
Ken plays an amazing array of musical instruments, most with keyboards and some with pedalboards like the pipe organ, but also the pedal harpsichord and the cast-bell carillon, an ancient instrument still in wide use throughout the Netherlands and other northern European as well as North American countries and around the world. This interest in historic instruments contrasts well with his fascination for technology and especially how it has improved exponentially in recent years. When demonstrating the often nearly-authentic sounds that can be reproduced from his computer, as he has been doing for nearly two decades now, he will often with a note of incredulity in his voice say, "Can you believe that's coming out of a laptop?" He recently acquired computer software that reproduces the sound of sung words, and has set aside much of the upcoming summer to see if he can possibly learn how it works. When not making the music himself he can often be found listening to either current-event talk radio or cutting-edge alternative rock.
Hobbies include travel, traveling and visiting foreign countries. In 2010, for example, he improvised a three week, 4500 mile road trip around Europe visiting 11 countries (8 of which were "new"), including the serendipitous realization that the somewhat randomly organized itinerary would have him traveling on or near his birthday from Lübeck to Leipzig, Germany (a trip made by the young Johann Sebastian Bach), to have him at the Thomaskirche (Bach's church) in Leipzig for both an organ recital and Sunday morning Gottesdienst. Not to be outdone, 2011 found him traveling nearly 25,000 flight miles in one month to visit Brazil and Argentina, then off to the Pacific northwest to the Yukon, British Columbia, and the US states of Washington and Alaska, which was the final, fiftieth state in Ken's "collection" in a goal to visit all 50 by the time he turned 50. He collects, not plates or spoons or other items (although his t-shirt collection is rather legendary), but rather "places" as his souvenirs. Six continents, 25+ countries, the fifty states of the United States, what's next? Ask him, he loves to talk travel.
But what Ken loves more than all of this is his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and almost nearly as much, he loves the sound of the singing voices of a congregation raising a hymn of praise, of joy, of mercy, of prayer. As long as there are hymns to be sung, whether they be centuries old, or even thousands of years old, as we sing at the Easter vigil and throughout the year; or whether they are the newest thing to come from the composer's pen, you'll find Ken Sybesma having no greater delight than finding ways to inspire God's creation, God's people, to sing that new song, even if it's just "new to you".
In the words of George Vetter, who lived in the 16th century, and translated by Martin Franzmann, who lived in the 20th century: