The staff of Central Lutheran Church dedicate their time to helping the members of our church along with the people of their communities.
Jeremy Fuerst, Pastor
Pastor Jeremy Fuerst was ordained a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2011. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska until starting his call at Central in December 2015.
Pastor Jeremy graduated from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska in 2000. Prior to seminary, he served as a youth minister in Ogden, Utah and in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, graduating in 2010. (Because he is from Nebraska, it should be noted that Pastor Jeremy bleeds Husker red. For this reason he may require extra compassion some Sunday mornings.)
Pastor Jeremy lives in Seattle with his wife, Shannyn (who is pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Seattle) and two very friendly and very spoiled wolfhounds, Lucy and Millie. When he takes off his pastor cape, Pastor Jeremy can be found hiking, riding his bike, attempting to climb Mt. Rainier (though never quite summiting), or hoisting a pint of craft beer. Pastor Jeremy is a Certified Beer Judge, and it is very serious business.
Peggy Kurtz grew up in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where she began singing solos at First Lutheran Church at the age of 3. That experience eventually led her to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a bachelor of music degree and met her husband, Dave (they sang in a show choir and were partners in the “Love Medley”).
Peggy & Dave moved to Seattle in 1975, and Peggy became the choir director at Bethany Lutheran Church. After moving to Everett and completing her Master’s degree in voice from PLU, she was hired as Central’s choir director in 1990.
People have commented that our choir is very high quality for its size, and Peggy takes great pride in challenging them to perform meaningful sacred choral literature.
Peggy & Dave’s daughter, Julie, is in graduate school in Boston, and son A.J. and his wife Elise live in Kansas City with their two children.
Peggy Kurtz, Music Director
Miwa Lockeman, Office Manager
Miwa was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. After finishing school and three years of employment as a department secretary, she came to the US and has been a resident of the Pacific Northwest ever since.
Miwa is an NBA fanatic and lives in hope for SuperSonics' return someday. She lives in Maple Leaf neighborhood in Seattle with her very old and very sweet German Shorthaired Pointer, Ella and two cats, Dinah and Oscar.
Joan Dirska, Organist
Joan grew up outside of Washington, D.C. She attended Salisbury State University of Maryland, earning a B.A. with a major in music and a minor in French. Additionally, Joan has received training as a Montessori teacher (Princeton Center for Teacher Education), a crisis counselor, and a CASA worker.
While attending SSU she started playing the organ and went on to study organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. She earned her Church Music Certificate through Westminster Conservatory.
Joan has sung in the SSU Concert Choir and Collegium Choir, Seattle Chamber Singers, and other church choirs. She has served as the Music Director at Episcopal churches from as far away as Trenton, New Jersey and as close as Marysville.
Presently she teaches General Music and Choir to Preschool through 6th grade at St. Luke School, Shoreline and also gives private lessons to nearly 30 students weekly.
Her three children are in their late teens and early twenties.
Duane Blair, Custodian
Central’s trusty custodian, Duane was born in Freeport, Illinoi as the youngest of four children. When the US economy, especially in Midwest, clashed and started tumbling in the 80’s, Duane decided to leave the land of Lincoln and to move toward the Pacific Northwest.
Duane is an avid collector of antique clocks and cameras. He is very much fascinated with their fine and intricate mechanism. He might take classes to learn how to fix watches and clocks in near future. Naturally, he is an experienced photographer as well.