Good Shepherd Lutheran Church; Gaithersburg, MD; Traditional and Contemporary services

Meet the Frontline Devotions Authors

(Click on any Author's photo to view a short Bio)

Pastor Dave

Dave Sonnenberg

Pastor Fritz Foltz

Fritz Foltz

Pastor Kate Costa

Pastor Kate Costa

Don  Kress

Don Kress

Anne Crawford

Anne B. Crawford

Susan Hill

Susan Hill

Mary Jo Anderson

Mary Jo Anderson

Don Wernly

Don Wernly

Margie Goergen-Rood

Margie Goergen-Rood

Gary shaffer

Gary Shaffer

Dennis Luther

Dennis Luther

Elise Bowman

Elise Bowman

Alex Stall

Alexander Stall

Rhoda MacKenzie

Rhoda MacKenzie

Karen Hendricks

Karen Hendricks

Linda Benoit

Linda Benoit

Madeleine Bryant

Madeleine Bryant

Ed Riggs

Ed Riggs

Tom Vossler

Tom Vossler

Pastor Dave

Pastor Dave Sonnenberg

Dave Sonnenberg is the Senior Pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dave's idea for Daily Devotions began in 2003, springing from his wholehearted belief that each Christian is a minister on the "Frontlines of this World". He sees it as the job of the church to equip and encourage each person for their daily ministry.

His optimistic and hopeful leadership has enabled Good Shepherd to focus on reaching out in an ever changing world. Prior to serving in Gaithersburg, he was the Associate Pastor at Grace Lutheran in Camp Hill, PA and the Youth Director at St. James Lutheran, Gettysburg, PA.

Dave is a 1991 graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA where he was a 4 year starter on the Baseball team. He earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Gettysburg Seminary in 1996. Dave is married to Frances Foltz and they have 3 children - Rachel, Becca, and Drew. In his spare time, Dave enjoys golfing, walking, and reading.

Fritz Foltz

Fritz Foltz

Fritz Foltz is pastor emeritus of St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, Maryland. He was engaged there in an experimental co-pastorate for 35 years. He remains active in the Christian commmunity, leading class discussions on various topics related to faith in these times. Pastor Foltz also authors a blog called "Frontline Study" and he and his son write on Christianity and Technology.

Pastor Foltz has been writing for Frontline Devotions since its beginning in 2003 and is its lead editor and organizer.


Rhoda MacKenzie

Rhoda MacKenzie

Rhoda MacKenzie joined the Frontline Devotions team in 2017. She is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, MD. She lives in a retirement community where she plays in a musical ensemble, coordinates a group of residents who are learning about and sharing Nordic roots, takes photographs for the community newspaper, and babysits with grandchildren who live nearby.

Rhoda grew up in western North Dakota, graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and earned masters degrees at the University of Minnesota and Wesley Seminary. She worked as a school psychologist in Minneapolis and in Blue Island, Illinois, and has served on the staff of churches in Maryland and Washington, D.C. She was married for 50 years to James J. MacKenzie until his death in 2016, and traveled with him to environmental conferences in India, China, Japan and other countries. She traveled to Israel with church groups in 1988 and 2017. She has two sons, David and Matthew, and three granddaughters. She believes that God’s amazing grace leads us “through many dangers, toils and snares” and she hopes that in a world of uncertainty and trials, we can assure and inspire each other to trust in God’s grace to lead us home.

Karen Hendricks

Karen Hendricks

A life-long Lutheran, Karen is also a life-long writer/communicator. She grew up in suburban Philadelphia, earned a communications degree from Lock Haven University, and has worked for a variety of central PA media outlets for 30 years. Currently, she is a freelance writer whose articles appear in numerous magazines; Karen also manages marketing and public relations work for a handful of corporate and non-profit clients. She enjoys her work for three primary reasons: she feels blessed to be able to write and share positive, inspiring stories; no two days are the same; and she works from home which allows her the flexibility to work around her family's activities and also means the family dog is her "office assistant."

Karen and her husband Robert have lived in central PA since 1990; their family includes three mostly-grown children who are transitioning through the high school and college years. The Hendricks' have been members at St. James Lutheran Church, Gettysburg, for 25 years. In her spare time, Karen enjoys running, cooking, gardening, photography, and spending time with family. Her favorite Bible verses are Philippians 4:13 and Matthew 5:14, "Be the light."

Madeleine Bryant

Madeleine Bryant

Although born in Germany, Madeleine grew up in Washington D.C. A life-long Lutheran, she is committed to living her faith. She graduated from George Washington University and served as a Peace Corps teacher in Guyana, S.A.

Upon moving to the Baltimore area with her husband and son, she continued active involvement in her church and community. For many years, she directed a large volunteer program to assist home-bound seniors. To be closer to family, including her young grandson, she moved to Gaithersburg 3 years ago and joined Good Shepherd. Volunteering in various capacities there and in her retirement community keeps her busy.

She especially enjoys travel. Tracing her heritage and participation in a national WWII veterans group have prompted several enriching trips to Europe. Her recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land was extraordinary and deeply moved and inspired her.

Madeleine joins FRONTLINE with joy and anticipation.

Don  Kress

Don Kress

Don Kress is an original member of the Frontline Devotion writing team since its inception in June 2003.

Don grew up in a small industrial town in western PA, but has lived in Montgomery County, MD since graduating from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1969. Raised as a United Presbyterian in Western Pennsylvania, Don has been a Lutheran and member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, MD since October, 1969. Don has served as one of Good Shepherd's leaders over the years, including four terms as president of Church Council. He also serves as a Stephen Minister and is active in Good Shepherd's music ministry.

Don retired from full-time work in July 2007 after thirty-eight years with Montgomery County Public Schools, serving in many roles from classroom teacher to principal to central office administrator. For the last five years of his career he served as a deputy superintendent, overseeing the system's two-hundred schools. Post-retirement, he continues to work on some special projects with the school district, as well as doing executive coaching through his own consulting practice.

Don is married to Joanne, his wife since 1969, and a retired MCPS teacher. They have two married children and five grandchildren. In addition to Don's activities related to Good Shepherd, he enjoys acting, camping, hunting, Penn State football, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and any activity that involves their grandchildren!

Anne B. Crawford

Anne B. Crawford

Anne Bach Crawford is one of our original cadre of Frontline Devotion writers.

Anne was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is married to Carl Crawford and they live in Shippensburg, PA. She worked for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nearly 42 years and held numerous positions during that time. Her final position was as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Center Director in FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. She retired at the end of 2015.

Anne is a member of Messiah United Methodist Church in Shippensburg, PA (a new denomination for her after a lifetime as a Lutheran). She has sung in church choir and has served in many roles, including Altar Guild chair, Sunday School teacher, and writer/performer in church dramatic productions. She has participated in numerous home rebuilding mission trips in Mississippi, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

Anne is a life-long Lutheran who depends daily on God's grace and loves to praise God through music and ministering to others in need. Now that she is retired, Anne has time to pursue a number of hobbies, including reading, creative writing, knitting, Sudoku, and her latest passion - card making.

Linda Benoit

Linda Benoit

Linda Benoit likes to call herself a pre-natal Lutheran as her parents in Cloquet, MN were both Lutheran. She attended the University of MN, Duluth where she met her husband, Brian, a Lutheran with a French last name. They were married in 1969 before their senior year in college and moved to the D.C. area in 1971, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Linda has taught English, Reading, and Elementary Music in the public schools in Maryland and has been a private piano teacher for over 40 years. She was also Director of Music at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Gaithersburg, MD, a mission congregation that she and Brian helped get off the ground. A member of Good Shepherd since 1996, Linda sings in the choir, plays in the bell choir and occasionally accompanies on the piano.

Brian and Linda have two sons, three granddaughters and one grandson.

Mary Jo Anderson - photo coming soon

Mary Jo Anderson

Mary Jo is a life-long Lutheran, transplanted from Wisconsin to the metro-DC area in 1995 when she and her family joined Good Shepherd in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She draws writing inspiration from her varied professional background in Fashion Merchandising; Corporate and Health Care Human Resources; Hospice Services; and Administrative Support at a local preschool. She adds with a smile, "I've got career ADD."

One of her favorite sayings, God is in the details, informs her devotions as well as past service as Sunday School Superintendent and teacher, Adult Education Committee member, and Social Ministry Committee member. She also provides continuing education for the Stephen Ministers about grief and bereavement. She recognizes "little sermons" in everything from a traffic jam to the grocery store to the coffee shop. She describes her prayer life as an on-going conversation with God with help from the Holy Spirit's nudge.

Married to Kevin and proud mom to adult daughters, Elizabeth and Emily, Mary Jo has been writing for Frontline since 2006. She loves what words can do.

Susan Hill

Susan Hill

Susan Hill is a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA where she is active in the choir, Stephen Ministry, and various committees. She is a graduate of Gettysburg College (Bachelor of Arts in English) and of Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary (Master of Arts in Religion). Susan is the author of Heart Language: Elsie Singmaster and Her Pennsylvania German Writings (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999). She and her husband, Wayne, have three daughters and two grandchildren.

Susan finds writing for Frontline Devotions is a joy and a discipline. She looks forward to seriously considering texts she has read or heard all her life but now has the opportunity to address more completely. For Susan, it's a privilege to be part of this co-operative team.

Don Wernly - photo coming soon!

Don Wernly

Don Wernly joined the Frontline Devotions team in 2009.

Don is a retired Meteorologist from the National Weather Service. He served as a forecaster in Chicago, Topeka, and Fort Worth and as Assistant Chief of Meteorological Services in Southern Region Headquarters before coming to National Weather service Headquarters to run the nation's public warning and forecast programs. Don is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland where he is a Stephen Ministry Leader as well as playing bells in the church hand bell choir and clarinet in small church ensembles. Born in Chicago, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is married to Jeanne Wernly, our church's bell choir director. Don and Jeanne have three grown children plus five grandchildren and counting.

Margie Goergen-Rood

Margie Goergen-Rood

Margie Goergen-Rood grew up Lutheran in a small town in Wisconsin, where she also began her life in theatre with the local "Walther League Players." Margie later studied speech and theatre at the university level, and she has participated in a number of theatrical productions at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gaithersburg MD. Her theatrical training has found employment in the making of "Talking Books" for the blind at the Library of Congress.

Margie has been a member of Good Shepherd since 1986, when she moved here with her family. Both of her children, Joe and Julia, attended Sunday School and were confirmed at Good Shepherd. Margie has been very active in the church over the years in a number of areas, including: assisting in the Sunday services, singing in the choir, serving on the church council, and currently serving as chairperson of the Worship and Music committee.

Margie finds that writing for the Frontline Devotions has given her a discipline and challenge that has enriched her whole faith journey - a true blessing!

Elise Bowman

Elise Bowman

Elise and her husband Gary have been worshiping at Good Shepherd for over 20 years. They have two grown daughters. Over the years, she has served her Good Shepherd family as a Sunday school teacher, youth chaperone, facilitator for a women's Bible study, Altar Guild Chair and most recently is serving on council.

Elise has been at the NIH for 28 years providing support for cancer researchers in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis. In her free time, she is a cyclist, gardener and will use just about any excuse she can find to be outdoors in God's beautiful creation.

Alex Stall

Alexander Stall

Alex was born and raised in northeast Ohio. He graduated from the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and moved to Maryland in 1987. He is the CMMI Practice Leader at the CMMI Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He travels around the world consulting with and teaching organizations to better plan, execute, and manage the delivery of products and services. Alex is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. There, he serves as a member of the GSLC Church Council, is a Lay Assistant, and supports the adult education ministry at the church.

Alex and his wife Shelley live in Boyds, Maryland, and are parents to three grown children who also live in the area.

Gary Shaffer

Gary Shaffer

Gary resides in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where he practices architecture through his firm, Shaffer Design Associates. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, he graduated from the University of Maryland in 1974 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and additional studies in psychology and sociology. Following college graduation Gary worked as a counselor in the residential program at the For Love of Children Wilderness School in Strasburg, Virginia. He also served on the staff of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, Maryland before relocating in 1978 to serve as the Youth Coordinator at St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. During the six year period that he served at St. James, he also took continuing education courses at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.

Gary and his wife Jamie are the parents of six children and grandparents to three. Their son David, a Certified Personal Trainer, is also one of our Frontline Devotions authors. Gary has been part of our Frontline Devotions team since 2005.

Pastor Kate Costa

Pastor Kate Costa

Pastor Kate Costa has been the Associate Pastor at Good Shepherd, Gaithersburg since May, 2017. She was born in Abingdon, VA, where she grew up with her four siblings and two incredible parents. She attended the College of William and Mary and graduated in 2006 with a degree in Neuroscience. She spent a year in Germany working at the American Church in Berlin as a pastoral intern. Pastor Kate graduated with honors from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. She was ordained at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Culpeper, VA, where she served as pastor for 5 years.

Pastor Kate is married to Jon Costa, who works for the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. They were married in Williamsburg near their alma matter, and love hiking, kayaking and finding adventures together. They have one son, James, who is a clumsy toddler and the joy of their life.

Ed Riggs

Ed Riggs

Ed Riggs is a retired health and physical education teacher and coach, having taught every level from elementary school through college. Ed fills his time in retirement with volunteering and writing. He keeps busy working at the Appalachian Trail Museum, and serving on the board of the Gettysburg Community Theatre. He also reports on high school sports for the local newspaper, and assists with the youth program and sings in the choir at his church.

Ed is another of our writers, who with his wife, Janet (who is President of Gettysburg College), live in the Gettysburg, PA area. Ed and Janet are long-time members of St. James Lutheran Church and have three "amazing" children.

Tom Vossler

Tom Vossler

Colonel Tom Vossler, U.S. Army (Retired) served thirty years in the U.S. Army Infantry from 1968 to 1998. He commanded an infantry platoon in the Vietnam War and a mechanized infantry battalion in Germany prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall / Soviet regime. Tom holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Military College and a Master of Arts degree from Georgia State University.

Tom currently works as a licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg where he specializes in battlefield studies and leadership seminars for the U.S. military.

Tom and his wife Barbara (high school sweethearts) are members of Saint James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA. About his Chritian faith, Tom says, "There are no surviving atheists in battlefield foxholes, and, in observing the current world, there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Tom has been a member of the Frontline Devotions team since 2011.

Dennis Luther

Dennis Luther

Dennis Luther is retired from a 21-year public service career as an international trade analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He has traveled extensively in Europe, S. America, and throughout the U.S. to query government and industry officials, prepar analyses and reports on issues affecting trade competitiveness and conditions in energy, environmental, educational, and professional services markets.

Beginning in 1999, Dennis' passion is in service for "Disaster Recovery Missions" - leading and organizing crews helping those in need to rebuild and repair their homes devastated by floods and other natural disasters. His view is that he is to "passionately learn more and engage more fully to serve hurting families and individuals in communities enduring natural disasters".

Dennis and his wife, Peggy (who met in the 9th grade), are long-time members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, MD and have raised three outstanding boys. Dennis has been writing for Frontline Devotions since 2011.