Staff & Congregational Council
Team Member Name
I'm a paragraph. To update me, go to the Data Manager. The Data Manager is where you store and collect data for your site.
Staff & Congregational Council
Jen Rome has 17 years of experience in bringing people of all generations to deeply experience and creatively connect with God, the world, and each other. She studied English at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, attended Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, and received her Masters of Divinity Princeton Theological Seminary in 2000. She previously served as Pastor for Children, Youth, and Family with Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota for nearly 17 years. Nationally and locally, she presents and leads workshops on cross-generational, multi-sensory, interactive faith formation for church professionals and lay leaders. She and her husband, Zach, along with their two daughters, live inter-generationally with Zach’s parents in a duplex in the St. Paul. Their family shares the love of geeking out about things that express our passions and bring joy. Jen entertains herself by walking instead of driving as much as she can, making things beautiful, and reading children’s and adolescent literature.
Cathy joined the Pilgrim staff as Church Administrator in October 2010. As of January 2017, she holds the position of Business Manager. She was born in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business Administration. She has had 20 years experience as an administrator in business, and is a lay leader in her congregation, serving in numerous roles at Richfield Lutheran Church. Cathy also enjoys volunteering at a neighborhood elder care facility. In her free time, she enjoys working on home projects and spending time at the family cabin her father built.
Denika Anderson joined the Pilgrim staff in March 2019 as a Communications Specialist. She grew up in an ELCA church and, after completing her B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Bethel University, she attended Luther Seminary, and ultimately transferred to United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities to complete her M.A. in Women’s Studies in Religion. Denika has always had a passion for church work, and enjoys putting her skills to use at Pilgrim. In addition to her work at Pilgrim, Denika is also a birth and perinatal loss doula, and advocates for birthing families through the Childbirth Collective. She has three young children, Lola, Ellie, and Rory, with her spouse, Ned. As a family, they enjoy reading, playing board games, and working with their hands on just about any project.
Dick Hensold is the leading Northumbrian smallpiper in North America, and for the past 20 years has performed and taught in England, Scotland, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. For these services he will plays Northumbrian small-pipes, reel pipes, recorder, seljefløyte, and low whistle. Based in St Paul, MN, he is a full-time musician, presenting the traditional music of Scotland, Cape Breton Island, and Northumberland, as well as Nordic folk music, and early music. His solo Northumbrian smallpipes CD Big Music for Northumbrian Smallpipes was released in 2007. He has been composer-in-residence at Pilgrim Lutheran Church since 2002, and was awarded the Bush Artist Fellowship in 2007
Alto Choral Scholar
Fei Ma comes from China. Fei received her MM degree from SUNY Crane music school and GPD from Peabody conservatory. Currently, Fei is a DMA student at the University of Minnesota. Fei has performed in Carnegie Hall and Wiener Musikverein. Her Opera roles include: Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Mimi in la Boheme.
Soprano Choral Scholar
Carey Shunskis is a choral conductor and soprano originally from Philadelphia with extensive experience in children’s chorus directing and is the current Music Director of ComMUSICation. Carey earned a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Boston University and Bachelors degrees in Music Education and Voice Performance from the University of Rhode Island.
ComMUSICation is a music youth development non-profit and offers choral, ukulele, piano, and drumming programs for youth K-12 and youth leadership positions for high schoolers. Carey sings with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and MPLS (imPulse). Some of Carey's favorite teaching and performing highlights include Lead Teacher with the Vienna Boys Choir 2017 Summer Music Academy in Hong Kong, Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, and her work as a conference clinician, adjudicator and speaker.
bio coming soon
Music & Chancel Choir Director, Organist
Paul Stever comes from Scottsdale, Arizona, where he began piano study with his grandmother at the age of eight. As a junior in high school, he received a scholarship for organ study from the Central Arizona chapter of the American Guild of Organists. These intensive studies, combined with a love of church music and choral music, led him to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he completed BM degrees in Church Music-Organ and Vocal Music Education. He studied organ at St. Olaf with Catherine Rodland and John Ferguson. Since then, Paul has received an MM in Choral Music Education from Arizona State University, a Choir Master (ChM) certificate from the American Guild of Organists, and an MM degree in Organ Performance, with a Certificate in Liturgical Studies, from Colorado State University. He has been the Music Director, Chancel Choir Director, and Organist for Pilgrim Lutheran Church since July 2012. He also enjoys cooking, yoga, and playing with his daughter Emily.
Chuck works part time as the Pilgrim custodian. He was born, raised and educated in the Twin Cities area. As he grew up, he attended Como Park Grade School, Murray High School, U of M, Northwestern TV & Electronics Inst. and was confirmed at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church on Lexington Pkwy, south of Como Park. Started his working career at the old Northwestern Bell Telephone Company (in the Tioga oilfields). From there, he went to the old Honeywell for nine years, working exclusively on the Apollo Project. His career led him to the 3M Company where he worked for thirty-three years. He worked as a Quality Engineer and the last fifteen of those years as a Metrologist. He loves the outdoors, especially the summer when he can get his custom-built fishing boat into the water. Hobbies include photography and taking care of his house and yard. He loves cars and drives two hybrid autos. He also volunteers at Pilgrim at various activities and is a member of the Properties Committee.
Children's Choir Director & Soprano Choral Scholar
Maggie left her home in Rockford, IL to pursue her BA in Vocal Music from Luther College in Decorah, IA. She graduated in 2017, and after teaching music full-time for a few years, went on to study her other passion: Psychology! In 2020, she received her Masters Degree in Counseling from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis. Part of Maggie’s work in the world is using her musical skills to sing, direct children's choirs, teach voice and piano, and informally write music. Her musical background includes choral, liturgical, classical, and theatrical music. The other part of her work is using her expertise and compassion to be a mental health therapist. When she is off the clock, she loves connecting with loved ones, listening to podcasts, being totally goofy, taking walks, and singing her heart out.
Tenor Choral Scholar
Sam Fouts is an educator, singer, and choral musician from Eagan. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead and went on to earn master’s degrees with distinction from the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. Sam has been fortunate to sing with and lead such ensembles as The Concordia Choir, The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, King’s Voices of King’s College, Cambridge, and VocalEssence. Sam has been active as a church musician and pedagogue in the Twin Cities, previously holding positions at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan and the University of St. Thomas. As a soloist, Sam specializes in Scandinavian art song. He is the High School Program Coordinator for Reaching Up Homework Help, an after-school homework help program based at Easter Lutheran Church.
Bass Choral Scholar
Kristian is a high school senior at St. Paul Central. He plays trumpet in the band and sings in the Central Chamber Singers group. He also plays baseball for Central and enjoys golfing on the weekends. He has sung with the Minnesota Opera’s youth program Project Opera, and enjoyed many performances there for 9 years. He has also been a member of the ELCA since he was baptized at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church on the East Side. Kristian plans to attend Luther College in Decorah, IA to study Instrumental Music Education.
Director of Children, Youth, & Family Ministries
Alex joined the Pilgrim community in June 2020. He is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College where he studied Environmental Studies and Religion and is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Luther Seminary. Alex grew up in Chanhassen, Minnesota and in high school was a Peer Minister, Sunday School teacher, summer camp Counselor, and Mission Trip participant. These formative experiences as a young person were full of encouragement and Alex strives to invite Pilgrim children and youth into similar experiences of joy and ministry!
Alex is passionate about climate justice and enjoys any activity outdoors. He is a cross country runner and also loves to camp, hike, bike, and ski. Everyday environmental resilience is meaningful for him as well and he strives to live an increasingly plastic-free lifestyle. Alex also loves creativity and art and enjoys writing, reading, drawing, painting, practicing his euphonium and video editing.
Mary started at Pilgrim in March 2019. A native of Moline, IL, she moved to Woodbury, MN, with her husband Charles when he got a job offer he couldn't refuse. They have also lived in Arlington, VA, and Moscow, USSR (as it was then). Mary worked for fifteen years as an administrative assistant at an ELCA church in Rock Island, IL, and feels right at home at Pilgrim. In her spare time, Mary attends League of Women Voters meetings, thinks about what ink to put in her fountain pen next, and is working her way very slowly through Presidential biographies.
Mike works part time as one of Pilgrim’s custodians. He was born, raised, and educated in the St. Paul. He attended Groveland Elementary School, Ramsey Jr. High and Highland High School, DeVry Institute of Technology Chicago, and St. Paul TVI. Started his working career at Davis Electronics a mom-and-pop electronics shop for five years. Was a shop manager and Senior Computer Tech for Tandy Radio Shack and Computer City for nineteen years. Recently retired from St. Paul Public Schools after twenty-two years as a Field Service Tech. Mike loves the outdoors, hiking and camping. Hobbies include long walks, woodworking, carving, gardening. Mike has been a lifelong member of Pilgrim and has held many leadership and volunteer positions.
Director of Jubilee & Cherub Choirs
Anna Stolte is from North Saint Paul, and has degrees in music and Spanish from University of Wisconsin River Falls. She has spent the past few years as a Spanish Immersion Kindergarten teacher and music educator. When she's not teaching, you'll find her singing in various churches around the Twin Cities, rock climbing, or searching for the best tacos al pastor in Minnesota.
Bass Choral Scholar
Born in Suzhou, China, Yichen Liang is currently pursuing his DMA in collaborative piano at University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He graduated from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a master degree in piano performance and a performer diploma in collaborative piano. While studying at Indiana University, he sang in many performances with the University Chorale. As a soloist and collaborative pianist, he has been actively involved in collaborations with choirs, singers and instrumentalists in the Twin Cities.
CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL (VESTRY)
COMMITTEES & SHARED MINISTRY INTEREST GROUPS
Missions & Social Concerns
The Missions and Social Concerns ministry of Pilgrim is comprised of several subgroups, who work to forward Pilgrim's mission of compassion and care: for those near us and far, for peace in the world, for care for the earth, and for justice and equality for all.
Chair: Beth Nelson
Vestry Liaison: Tim Moore
The Properties Committee is named as a standing shared ministry team in the Pilgrim constitution and serves to advise the staff and congregation on matters related to the physical structure and material property of the church. The committee's broad influence includes matters of capital improvement, building repair and maintenance, decoration, and direction of memorial gifts.
Children, Youth, & Families
Vestry Liaison: Matthew Anderson
Chair: Marlys Aukee
Vestry Liaison: Tim Moore
The Pilgrim People Committee (PPC) is established to ensure that Pilgrim Lutheran Church is adequately staffed with committed, qualified, professional individuals to further its mission of being a Home for Hungry Minds and Souls. Its overarching purpose is to:
-Advocate for Lead Pastor, Staff Members and from time to time Lay Leaders working in close
association with them, attending to their perennial evolving needs
-Support Lead Pastor and other Supervisors in carrying out a broad range of human resource
duties and responsibilities as delineated below
-Motivate continually improving the staff's capacity to carry out its functions and relationships
Worship, Music, & Evangelism
Vestry Liaison: Sandy Johnson
The Worship, Music and Evangelism Committee is committed to supporting meaningful worship
experiences and robust music ministries, and to fostering an environment of welcome to all.
Chair: Pete Newburg
Vestry Liaison: Jason Hendrikson
The Finance Leadership Team of Pilgrim Lutheran Church supports the treasurer, Vestry, and staff of the church in all areas related to finance and accounting.
Gratitude & Generosity
Chairs: Jaimee Lucke Hendrikson & Louise Rogness
Vestry Liaison: Jason Hendrikson
This committee leads the annual stewardship campaign for Pilgrim Lutheran Church.
Congregational Life & Care
Chair: Barbara McCauley
The main function of the Congregational Life and Care Committee is to provide opportunities for
intergenerational community building in our congregation, usually centered around food! Because of
the generosity of so many, CLC serves as an umbrella for a variety of special events and activities.