The branches






About Us


Up Coming






For the Kids!



the vine


Meet the Staff

Abby, EditorAbby Matzke

     I have been editing and writing for The Branches since 2004, right back to the first “sample” issue. I graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with a B.A., majoring in English, minoring in Education. Since graduating and since the advent of The Branches, I have been blessed to be involved in various book projects, from editing to illustrating to writing and publishing.
     I married Philip in 2002—being his wife is the most enriching road I’ll travel. The family has been growing happily ever since. In the meantime, and despite near-constant roller-coaster-like conditions, The Branches has continued to grow also under God's continued grace.
     My hobbies and interests are odd and varied: hobby farming, soap making, herbs, gardening, homeschooling, writing, editing, and more. My list of “someday” hobbies must be twice as long.
     Thanks to Tina; without her the subscription list would be a mess. Thanks to all of the CLC pastors and laymen who helped to get and keep this going. Thanks to all of the talented women (and a few men!) who have contributed writing for us to share. And thank you to each and every subscriber...we hope we continue to serve you well.

Tina, Business ManagerTina Eichstadt
     As Business Manager, I have enjoyed supporting and promoting The Branches since its beginning in 2004. My roles are to “get the word out,” look for people we haven’t asked to sign up yet, manage subscriptions and take care of the finances—and that’s what I try to do! This is a fun and rewarding personal outlet for the publishing experience I’ve been blessed with in my “outside the home” work life since roughly 1997. While I’m a speech-language pathologist by training, I moved away from clinical work to the publishing and business side of the field and found a nice fit with the gifts I’ve been given.
     Wayne Eichstadt and I were married in 2003 and I am now a full-time mom, with some home-based work on the side. We are blessed with a wonderful son and a baby on the way. While I was born and raised in the Twin Cities, I have lived both in the Eau Claire , WI and now in Mankato , MN . Wayne and I both attended Immanuel Lutheran High School in Eau Claire and I attended UW-Eau Claire for undergraduate and graduate school.
     I enjoy many things and many people. I have found a new creative outlet in recent years in some amateur interior decorating and gardening. I also love to read and travel. Of course, I enjoy publishing and business development—it’s nice when hobbies and vocations can align!
     I pray that the Lord will continue to bless the efforts of The Branches. Bringing sisters in Christ together across the miles creates a closer family of believers and allows the sharing of joys and sorrows. It also provides a means for using the writing gifts God has given so many women. To God alone be the Glory!

Philip, Theological ReviewerPhilip Matzke
     True to his “reviewer” status, Philip is having me, Abby, write this for him to review. Philip was raised attending parochial schools, went on from Immanuel High School in Mankato to Bethany College , then to Conordia St. Paul, and on to Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire for pastoral training. He then was pastor of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iron River , Michigan , for nearly a decade. Philip has been guest-preaching across Minnesota and into South Dakota and Michigan in his “spare” time. He still whittles in some time every issue to thoroughly read and adjust my mistakes accordingly, something I appreciate very much!
     Now in Minnesota, Philip wishes he could do more hunting, fishing, and four-wheeling, but at least he gets in some time driving tractor—something he didn’t get much of in Michigan! Perhaps when the children are a bit older he will have more excuse to get out on the lake.









The Branches

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