Rev. Grant Aaseng, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church, has retired and with his wife Ruth has moved to Northfield, Minn.
Taking over his role as interim pastor for the second time is Pastor Peter Muschinske, whose late father George is a former pastor of the church. (Local residents may also remember his mother Mae and siblings Andrea, Debbie, Kent and Keith.)
He and his wife Katie, also from Rice Lake, returned to their hometown in August. After job transitions in St. Louis, they are “amazed, delighted and grateful to be back to the homeland to stay!”
After graduation from Rice Lake High School in 1980, Muschinske earned degrees at UW-Barron County, UW-Eau Claire and Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
He was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1990 as a chaplain candidate and upon ordination in 1992 and further naval education in 1993, he was designated a chaplain.
Muschinske served pastorates in the southwest and central parts of Wisconsin and in southern California. He then was mobilized with the Seabees to Iraq in 2006. The following summer, he returned to active duty, recruiting chaplains of all faith traditions until 2012-2014, when he filled the role of interim pastor for the first time at Bethany.
Between his first and second interim roles at Bethany, Muschinske worked in admissions at Wartburg Seminary and filled a yearlong mobilization to New Orleans to supervise/mentor Navy chaplains serving Marines. Most recently, he completed interims at St. John’s United Church of Christ and Lutheran Campus Ministry St. Louis, serving students from Washington and St. Louis universities.
His current Navy Reserve assignment is as deputy fleet chaplain, U.S. Third Fleet.