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Listen to Matthew’s Passion Narrative

On this blessed Good Friday, while we are unable to gather in person, we hope you will find meaning and promise in this reading of the Passion of Jesus, as told in the Gospel of Matthew. The cast are ELCA pastors from around the Northern Conference of the Central/Southern Illinois Synod:

  • Narrator: Pastor Mary Beenken (Grace and Peace, Peoria)
  • Jesus: Pastor Nathan Johnson (St. John’s, Toluca)
  • Peter: Pastor John Rothfusz (Faith, Washington)
  • Pilate: Pastor Micah Garnett (Trinity, Canton)
  • Servant Girls: Mrs. Andrea Garnett (Trinity, Canton) 
  • Judas, High Priests, Soldiers, & Crowd Parts: Pastor Michael Jones (St. John, Bartonville)


Seven Peoria-area pastors from various faith traditions worked together to create a Holy Week podcast series of reflections on the seven last words of Christ. We hope you use these to live more fully into the passion of Jesus and be reminded that Christ walks with us through all trials and dark days of our lives. A short bio of each speaker is included with each episode. A special thanks to Dr. Jon Giblin of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for the organ setting of “Were You There” that accompanies the podcast, and to Rev. Jenny Replogle for reading the scripture at the start of each episode.

The First Word
Pastor Seth Major, Reachway Church

The Second Word
Rev. Debra Avery, United Presbyterian Church

The Third Word
Rev. Josh Lee, Imago Dei

The Fourth Word
Rev. Mary Beenken, Grace and Peace Lutheran Church

The Fifth Word
Pastor Rob Collins, First Baptist Church

The Sixth Word
Pastor Heather Robertson, St. Paul United Church of Christ

The Seventh Word
Rev. Jonathan Thomas, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church