Melissa Peterson grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland and moved to Macon, Georgia where she completed high school and college. She graduated from Mercer University with a double-major in Psychology and Music (organ performance) and received her Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary). She has served as Pastor in three congregations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. In addition to general parish ministry, she has served as Youth and Children’s Minister, Chaplain of Home Care and Hospice (Lutheran Social Services-South Region in Pennsylvania), and Activity Therapist in retirement homes and nursing homes.
Her husband Tom is the founder of Center for Climate Strategies in D.C. and teaches graduate courses at Johns Hopkins University. His work is devoted to climate change and clean energy efforts. Their daughter Claire is a Psychology major at James Madison University. Melissa has a deep place in her heart for our older population and their needs for connection and community and is happy to devote her work to their needs and concerns. She also enjoys working with children and teaches piano lessons in her home. She loves all pets, cats and dogs, and is interested in animal well-being and environmental issues. She loves anything to do with sea turtles!