Peace Church Staff

Pastor Budd

Rev. Gilbert “Budd” Friend-Jones
Bridge Pastor

Budd Friend-Jones retired to Sarasota, Florida, where he continues to write, preach and organize. Although he calls West Virginia his home, he has served congregations in Maine, Minnesota, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois and Florida. Budd and his wife, Gretchen, have taken groups into the BWCA in every season. He has led interfaith pilgrimages to Turkey, Spain and Morocco, and preached in Wales, Russia, India and Ghana.  Budd’s degrees are from Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. (doctorate), Princeton Theological Seminary (M. Div.) and Frostburg State University (B.S., political science). His two books, Faith in a Minor Key and When Easter Interrupts, are available on Kindle, Amazon, and the church office. 

Rev. Charlotte Frantz
Interim Pastoral Associate

Bio pending

Pastor Budd

Nathan Holst
Faith Formation Minister

Nathan Holst is a faith formation minister, activist/organizer, and musician. With a background in social work (both undergraduate and master’s program) and many years experience in church ministry, he is passionate about learning from and guiding beloved community in understanding the economic, social, and environmental crises of our time, focusing on the wisdom and life at the center of Christianity to engage fully in the world. Originally from Duluth, he has spent time building community in Washington DC and Portland, Oregon. After getting married to his partner Sarah in 2014, the two explored their own callings by seeking out mentors in the form of internships from California to New York, adventuring along the way. Nathan is excited to be back biking, teaching, and building community in the Lake Superior Watershed. He’s also thrilled to be the parent of a joy filled child named Sage.

Pastor Budd

Jim Pospisil
Music Director

Jim Pospisil has been music director at Peace United Church of Christ since 1997. He has been Principal Horn of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra since 1996. Jim also is a rock and jazz musician, a faculty member of the music department at UMD, and a member of A Band Called Truman. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Wichita State University, and his Master’s Degree from Indiana University. Jim has two children, Daniel and Neve.

Pastor Budd

Briana Dornbush
Office Coordination

A true born Duluthian, I grew up in this neighborhood going to Grant Elementary School, I would go to 8th St. Video almost every weekend for an ice cream cone. I have known of the Peace Church and what it stands for and what it does for its community, and am so excited to be part of the team. I appreciate everyone’s patience during this time and I can’t wait to be able to help where I can.

Pastor Budd

Rachel Obed
Business Manager

Hello! I am here as Business Manager and am ready to jump in and help create this role. Professionally, I’ve worked as an office manager and assistant for two local companies over the last five years. I’m adaptable, as I’ve learned a lot of my skills on the job and have taken on many roles as needed. I hope to put my organizational and professional skills to good use here. I’m excited to become a member of the staff and help the church continue to grow. I grew up in Duluth and think it’s a great place to call home. I spend my free time enjoying nature by skiing, hiking, biking, and camping. I’m also an avid puzzler and gardener. I look forward to meeting you all soon!

Pastor Budd

Mali Lorenz

I have known of Peace Church since I was involved in local peace and justice work 20+ years ago. Since then, I spent years living and working at a small Buddhist retreat center in the Southwest, where I became the bookkeeper. I went on to gain administrative and financial experience with several different nonprofits and small businesses. I met my spouse Katie in Tucson, where she was a steady part of border-justice work. We moved (back) to Duluth last summer to be closer to Midwestern family, and because she took a job with CHUM. We have enjoyed exploring the area, nature, and a multitude of festivals. This part-time role at Peace Church fits remarkably well with different pieces of my background and lifestyle. I look forward to learning about and supporting all the ways this community manifests!

Pastor Budd

Dan  Shepard

Dan has been a member of the Peace Church staff since 2006, taking great care of our building. He is also a drummer, and fills in when needed in our worship services. He lives in Lakeside with his lovely wife Lisa and two boys, Jack and Parker. When he’s not working he enjoys taking the boys on adventures to the zoo, ice skating, riding bikes on Munger trail, and going to the family cabin exploring the woods for creatures.

Pastor Budd

Gudrun Witrak
Pastoral Care Chaplain

I am a retired hospital chaplain, having served at St. Mary’s and Miller-Dwan Hospitals, with my final years working in the Pain Management Program. I love being a part of people’s journeys of healing and wellness, wholeness and hope. At Peace Church, in the past, Deb Cooper and I facilitated the Grief Support Group and then started the bereavement card ministry. You will see me in the choir loft during “normal” times, and in the Virtual Services for now. Because of COVID-19, my support for our Peace members is mainly through calls and emails and cards.

Pastor Budd

Mariah Kiefer
Youth Associate

Mariah is a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth, studying social work. She is excited to support children and youth in their faith and fight for justice that needs to be sought after in today’s society. On her off time she enjoys spending time with her cat Luca, and with her friends, family, and boyfriend.