Staff & Congregational Council

STAFF TEAM

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Team Member Name

Job Title

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Team Member Name

Job Title

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.

Image-empty-state.png

Team Member Name

Job Title

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.

Image-empty-state.png

Team Member Name

Job Title

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.

Image-empty-state.png

Team Member Name

Job Title

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.

Image-empty-state.png

Team Member Name

Job Title

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

STAFF TEAM

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Chris Smith

Interim Lead Pastor

After serving as a pastor since the early 1990’s, Pastor Chris Smith is delighted to be serving as interim lead pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church. Pastor Chris is married to Mary Lund, who is also an ELCA pastor; they have two adult children, Miles and Joy. Pilgrim is the fifth congregation that he has served as an intentional interim pastor. Prior to entering interim ministry, he served as senior pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, and before that as a solo pastor in rural Minnesota. When not engaged in pastoral ministry, Pastor Chris enjoys spending time with his family, completing projects around the house, learning world languages, cooking delicious meals, and traveling. He also founded an affiliate of the Bega Kwa Bega partnership of the Saint Paul Area Synod that supports a children’s home in Iringa, Tanzania.

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Alex Theship-Rosales

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.

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Mary Brodd

Office Coordinator

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.

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Mike Schulze

Custodian

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.

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Fei Ma

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.

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Jen Rome

Pastor of Next Generation Ministry

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.

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Cathy Salin

Business Manager

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.

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Denika Anderson

Communications Specialist

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.

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Dick Hensold

Composer-in-Residence

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

hensold@world.oberlin.edu
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Sam Fouts

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.

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Lynn Peterson

Pastor-in-Residence

bio coming soon

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Paul Stever

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.

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Chuck Regal

Custodian

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.

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Maggie Priola

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.

maggie.priola@gmail.com
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Yichen Liang

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)

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Karla Leitzman

At-Large Member

karla.leitzman@gmail.com

I found my way to Pilgrim by way of the evening community several years ago when a music group I’m part of, the American Swedish Institute Cloudberries Women’s Chorus, was invited to sing at one of Pilgrim’s Nordic evening services. I immediately fell in love with the quiet, contemplative service rooted in Lutheran theology and Nordic traditions I love so much. In 2017, I joined the Chancel Choir and became a member of Pilgrim. Since then, I have continued to sing with the choir and I have served on the Gratitude and Generosity stewardship team on and off. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on the vestry and become even more enriched by this community I love.

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Matt Spindler

At-Large Member

spindlerprime@gmail.com

My family and I started attending Pilgrim the Summer of 2018. Our first service was a Sunday morning service in the basement, set up to escape the heat, and our second service was the Blessing of the Animals outside on Prior. The love, joy, and playfulness we experienced at those two service convinced us that this was a church for us! My wife Kate and I have already made deep friendships here and it brings us immense joy to watch our children, Ivy and Magnus grow to see Pilgrim as a safe place where they can go to feel loved and have fun. Since joining I have enjoyed working with the Worship, Music and Evangelism committee and rediscovered my love for singing in a church choir on Sunday mornings. In my day job I work as a Product Manager as a standardized testing company. I am excited to bring my professional training and passion for problem solving to Pilgrim by serving on the Congregational Council. In my free time I enjoy running slowly, and finding ways to slow down and enjoy our beautiful world.

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Jason Hendrikson

Treasurer

jasonhendrikson@gmail.com

My family and I began attending Pilgrim in 2014. My wife Jaimee, two kids and I love how welcoming the community is and being involved in Pilgrim’s shared ministry. Pilgrim has become a wonderful home for us. Since joining Pilgrim, I have enjoyed being involved with the finance team, Sunday School and helping on project days. This is my third year serving on the Vestry in the role of Treasurer.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family at the lake and watching my kids in their various activities. I also have fun biking, reading about history and following hockey and soccer.

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Sandy Johnson

At-Large Member

sandjo_us@yahoo.com

My wife and I started attending Pilgrim around 2014 when we were expecting our second child. We were looking for a church that was theologically progressive, focused on social justice, followed a traditional liturgical style of worship, and where the kids of a two-mom family would feel safe and supported. Pilgrim checked all of those boxes, which had us coming back week after week. My educational background is in chemical engineering, and I have worked my entire career in the environmental protection/regulatory field. I spend my free time volunteering with my daughters’ Girl Scout troops, growing my yarn stash (and maybe knitting a project or two along the way), and spending time “up north” in Minnesota and Wisconsin with my family. At Pilgrim, you will find me wrangling my two kids in and out of the church service and Sunday school, attending the Celtic and Nordic evening worship services, and participating on the Worship, Music and Evangelism committee.

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Matthew Anderson

Vice President/ Executive Team

matthewsanderson99@gmail.com

coming soon!

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Tim Dykstal

Past President/ Executive Team

tdykstal@gmail.com

I live a block away from Pilgrim, and was drawn to this community through the Celtic and Nordic contemplative services, the intriguing sermon titles on the church marquee, and the smiling faces coming out of church Sunday morning. In attendance with me are my wife Carrie Burke and, occasionally, grown sons Henry and Charlie. Now retired, I spent half a career as a college teacher, and a second half as an auditor and program evaluator. Since joining the church in 2017, I have grown to love this community and my fellow Pilgrims, as we show each other in myriad and diverse ways what it means to live a life of faith.

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Jason Hendrikson

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Timothy Bell-Kemp

At-Large Member

tabell1112@gmail.com

My husband Stephen and I joined Pilgrim in 2019. We were drawn to Pilgrim by the evening contemplative worship, and I’ve been heavily involved in revisioning of celtic evening worship. Pilgrim is our home, and I'm glad to serve on the vestry and the finance committee to give back to the church that supported us, married us, and guides us every day. Professionally, I serve as Controller of PKA Architecture in Minneapolis. I can be found working on home renovations, challenging myself in the kitchen, and hosting friends and family at our country home in Inver Grove Heights.

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Lois Wintersteen

At-Large Member

lois.wintersteen@gmail.com

Lois Wintersteen, an at-large member of vestry with ties to the Tanzania Committee and Isaiah. My early years were in northern MN, high school in TX, and graduated from Luther College. I have an MSW and my career was as a psychiatric social worker. I am married to Richard, we have 3 adult children, and 6 young- adult grandchildren. I love nature, travel, reading, bridge, volunteering with adult ESL learners, a family cabin, theater, music and learning. I have lived a nomadic life, mostly in the US but also in 8 other countries, including 5 in Africa. I am a life-long Lutheran.

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Tim Moore

President/ Executive Team

tim.moore927@gmail.com

I have been attending Pilgrim with my family since 2012. My wife Britt and our three children live in the neighborhood and are as active as we can be with kids & family programming on Sundays and during the week - and there is always more we wish there was time for. Pilgrim, in its wealth of opportunities through shared ministry, has brought us into relationship with wonderful people and has been central to our growth in faith and life. I have been part of the church council in the past, various bible study programs and educational forums, worship music, and various ministries outside the walls of the church. In my free time I enjoy outdoor sports (mostly as coach/supporter with the kids these days) and getting in over my head with house projects.

 

COMMITTEES & SHARED MINISTRY INTEREST GROUPS

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Missions & Social Concerns

Chair:

Vestry Liaison:

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.

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Properties

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.

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Children, Youth, & Families

Chair:

Vestry Liaison: Matthew Anderson

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People

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

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Worship, Music, & Evangelism

Chair:

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.

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Finance

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.

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Gratitude & Generosity

Chairs: Jaimee Lucke Hendrikson & Louise Rogness

Vestry Liaison: Jason Hendrikson

This committee leads the annual stewardship campaign for Pilgrim Lutheran Church.

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Congregational Life & Care

Chair: Barbara McCauley

Vestry Liaison:

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.