2018 Lutheran Summer Gathering Faculty and

Planning Committee





The Rev. Lee Miller II, Chaplain and Faculty 

Buffalo, NY

Born in Jamestown, NY, Lee lived in Lockport, outside of Buffalo, long enough as a child to fall in love with the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, before his family moved to East Syracuse.  A graduate of the State University of New York in Albany with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Lee earned his Masters of Divinity degree in 1998 from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with a concentration in Urban Ministry.


Lee served his first call in Camden, New Jersey with Christus Lutheran Church and followed as Senior Pastor to St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, PA in 2004. Pastor Miller currently serves as the seventh Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo since the fall of 2012. Holy Trinity’s ministry is driven by three missional focuses: Worship, Grow, Go. Centered in a dynamic, liturgical form of worship with a world-class music program, we grow in discipleship and leadership, and are sent into the world sharing God’s love in word and action. He is particularly interested in the theme he is presenting at Silver Bay, “Proclamation through Privilege” and exploring themes around racial equity.


Lee has been married to Heather for twenty years and their greatest joy is life together with their son, Griffin. Together they enjoy all things Buffalo and Western New York, family trips to Florida, and time together with their Labrador Retriever, Kirby.

The Rev. Gladys Moore, Faculty

Summit, NJ

Gladys is the Senior Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summit, New Jersey where she has been since 2013.  Prior to her tenure at St. John’s she was the Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Mount Holyoke College. She has been pastor of three urban congregations, an assistant to the bishop of the New Jersey Synod, and has served as a chaplain, preacher, and retreat leader at many regional, national and international events.  



The Rev. Dr. Arden Strasser, Faculty

Manhattan, NY

Pastor Arden Strasser will be one of our teaching pastors. He speaks widely about God’s mission in the world and the place of faith in our daily lives. Pastor Arden brings gifts in retreat direction, worship music and teaching. Formerly an engineer, he also brings strengths in planning and management.

Previously, he served as pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in northern California, from 2000 to 2006, and then was appointed ELCA missionary to Zambia for church leadership development in southern Africa, until 2014. Most recently, he served as interim pastor for congregations in Long Island and Westchester County. Pastor Arden has earned degrees from the University of Rochester, the University of Colorado, and the University of Natal, South Africa. He has also completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at Drew University. Pastor Strasser has also served on the boards of the Volunteer Missionary Movement and the American International School of Lusaka.

Pastor Arden lives in Manhattan with his wife Susan, a professor in public health at Columbia University. They have two daughters, Chloe and Alea. His hobbies are piano, singing, soccer and volunteering with kids. He loves meeting new people and sharing stories.  He got a drone for Christmas.



Chris Schaefer, Youth and Family Worship Leader

Washington, DC

Chris Schaefer is a seminarian of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary) and previously served as vicar at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Washington, DC. Before entering seminary, Chris graduated with a degree in Religious Studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, served in Americorps in northern CA, taught Pre-K for 10 years, and became certified in Youth & Family Ministry. Chris currently lives in Rockville, MD with his husband, Andy, and a very vocal, needy cat. He enjoys pretending to be really outdoorsy, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends



Joe Krupa, Director of Music

Joseph Krupa is our music director once again for the Lutheran Summer Gathering. In the other 51 weeks of the year when he is not directing the choir for the daily chapel and Sunday worship for the week, Joe makes his living as a pianist, teacher, accompanist, choir director, organist and recitalist in his home area of southern New Jersey.  A sampling of some of the opera/musical theatre productions he has overseen musically in the past three months are Die Fledermaus (U. of Pa.), I Pagliacci (Delphi Opera), Little Mermaid and, most recently, Merry Wives of Windsor (Del. Valley Opera).


Joe has faithfully served his home church congregation, First Presbyterian (Salem, NJ) for eighteen years yet finds himself ministering to a variety of the Lord’s churches during the calendar year.  He enjoys spending his free moments with his (very large) family of eleven brothers and sisters!



Lutheran Summer Gathering Planning Committee

The Rev. Marie Jerge, Dean and Director of Ministry

Chad Volkert, Director

Karen Hoffman, Registrar

Katie Bang, Activities Director  

Lynn Bettencourt, Director of Social Media

The Rev. Jim Bresnahan

Patti Garrison

Sue Hollar

Beth Smayda