The Rev. Peter J.L. Perella, 35, died on February 24, 2014 at home after a long battle with sinus cancer. He was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1978 and was raised in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Pequea Valley High School class of 1996 and graduated from Millersville University with the Bachelor of Science degree in music education. An honors graduate of Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia, he was a candidate for the Master of Sacred Theology degree in liturgy, focusing on the formation of the community of faith through the worship of the church.
Pastor Perella was an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and most recently served as its Director for Worship Formation and Liturgical Resources at its national headquarters in Chicago. As the Director for Worship, Pastor Perella oversaw the ministry of word and sacrament on behalf of the Presiding Bishop, and directed the work of the churchwide worship staff. This work included the development of worship resources and leading the continuing conversation about worship renewal in the life of the ELCA.
Pastor Perella also served as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Baltimore, Michigan and as vicar of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He presented workshops, seminars and taught classes on worship planning, leadership, and practice – great passions of his. He served on the Advisory Council of the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University, and was a member of the Consultation on Common Texts and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Although he recently moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to be closer to his extended family, he last lived in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights.
Peter married Kathryn Deveney on December 27, 2003 and was a devoted and loving husband and father to his three young children. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn (Katie) Perella, Carlisle, PA; his children, Elizabeth (8), Cecilia (6), and Peter Isaac (2); his parents, Thomas and Margaret Perella of Intercourse, PA; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Thomas and Michele Perella of Leola, PA, and L. Joseph and Anne Perella of Morgantown, WV; and 3 nieces and 2 nephews.
Services for Pastor Perella are on March 2, 2014 at 3PM at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 750 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, PA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Peter J.L. Perella Student Scholarship Support Fund, which provides seminarians and other students seeking church vocations with complimentary registration to the Institute of Liturgical Studies gatherings at Valparaiso University. Gifts can be made out to Valparaiso University and mailed to
The Peter J. L. Perella Student Scholarship Support Fund, Institute of Liturgical Studies, Valparaiso University, 902 Linwood Ave., Valparaiso, IN 46383