In Memory: Peter Steinke (1938-2020)

Photograph by Ginny Foster

Pete Steinke, co-founder of the Voyagers, Lutheran pastor, congregational consultant, and author died on July 13, 2020. His death was a shock, just days after the Voyagers leadership team had talked with him about rescheduling our Racine, Wisconsin gathering, at which he was to be our presenter.

Pete always had something going on. When asked about retirement, his response in recent months was: “I am planning on coinciding my retirement with my burial.” In light of that plan, until his death, Pete was writing, consulting, presenting, and planning – always thinking, creative, curious and applying faith and Bowen Theory to whatever situations he encountered.

Several days after his death, the Voyagers sponsored a “Remembering Pete” (click to see recording) virtual gathering. Members of the Voyagers, as well as others who have worked with Pete over the years in Bridgebuilder and Healthy Congregations attended.

A toast to Pete, offered at the end of the meeting, was from his book, How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems (Alban Institute, 1993). These seven mature responses pull us back to basics:

-self, not others -strength, not weakness -process, not content -challenge, not content -integrity, not unity -system, not symptom -direction, not condition

We are grateful to Pete for his thinking, his writing, his passion and his friendship. Rest in God’s peace, friend.

Click here to read Pete’s obituary.