What is your greatest musical passion?
“Fostering a deep sense of community through song. While classically trained, my chosen style of church music builds on traditional hymnody, but is also heavily influenced by world music, folk and blues idioms, and the compositional style of Bret Hesla, Ray Makeever, and Marty Haugen.”
Paul has a degree in Music Education from St. Olaf College and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Contact Paul Andress
What is your favorite book of the Bible?
“The Psalms remind me of the range of emotions that people have experienced throughout human history - rage, joy, doubt, fear, hope, grief, and love. Worship allows us to bring any (or all!) of those feelings and the wide range of hymnody we utilize - with the poets and composers from throughout the ages and around the world.”
Melissa serves as the organist and choir director at ECLC helping members make a joyful noise. She chairs the music department at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and enjoys a robust free-lance life as performer, composer, and writer. Mostly, though, Melissa is a wife to Sam and mother to three beautiful, wonderful, so good, very rad boys around whom her world revolves.
Contact Melissa Bergstrom
What do you like about the second Thursday of the month?
“Every second Thursday of the month, following ECLC's weekly bible study, we're all invited to the bible study lunch. Not only do I get to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal, but it's also an opportunity to sit down and talk with the members of the church. I often find myself learning about the history of the congregation and its founding members. And I get to take home leftovers!”
As ECLC's Custodian, Isaac keeps the church tidy and clean; sets up for regular functions and special events; and whenever he gets the chance, especially enjoys working alongside ECLC members doing indoor and outdoor projects. Isaac is an avid sports fan, originally from Niagara Falls, New York. He returns to New York regularly to visit family, friends, and the Maid of the Mist.
What is your favorite biblical image?
“One of my favorite biblical images is the great cloud of witnesses from Hebrews 12. For me, the great cloud represents the many witnesses in our lives who keep us afloat, who buoy our spirits in times of sorrow, who point us in the right direction, who cradle us and provide stability during the storms, who remind us to work together, and who equip us for each new adventure. I’m delighted to be among the great cloud here at ECLC!”
Anna Helgen received the Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 2016 and the Bachelor of Arts degree in math and religion from St. Olaf College in 2009. She served previously in youth ministry at Christ the King, White Bear Lake, and at St. Timothy, St. Paul, and most recently served as an associate pastor at Mount Olivet, Minneapolis. Anna’s love for people and for creation was shaped while working as a camp counselor at Christikon near Big Timber, Montana, and as a canoe guide at Wilderness Canoe Base near Grand Marais. She feels a profound sense of God’s call to serve others and seeks opportunities to form relationships and build community. She currently lives in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul with her husband, Kurt Aschenbeck, and son Berney. Anna loves canoeing in the Boundary Waters and spending time with her family at Lake Kabekona.
Contact: Pastor Anna Helgen
What do you love most about serving at ECLC?
“The people! Members are so genuine and generous and really make me feel a part of this community. I enjoy visiting with the members who meet during the week for bible study, quilting, or even those just gathering at ECLC for carpools to volunteer elsewhere. It is remarkable how much is going on at ECLC during the week. One of my favorite activities is the bible study lunches and listening to the members talk about "the good old days."
Lisa is the Office Manager in the ECLC office Monday through Friday, answering your phone calls, assembling the worship bulletins, sending e-mail announcements, and a host of other tasks that keep ECLC running smoothly.
Contact: Lisa Macklem
"What is your favorite way to renew your spirit?"
"Nature is the way that I renew my spirit. Nowhere will you be closer to God than immersing yourself in nature, where God is everywhere. The scripture is written in praise and song from a thousand avian voices. The rhythmic hum and buzz of the unseen follows a liturgy written before time was even time. Finally, go in peace!"
Kienan grew up in the Como Park neighborhood of St. Paul. After graduating with a degree in Economics in 2009 from the University of Minnesota he went on to obtain a M.S. in Applied Economics from the University of North Dakota. He has spent most of his career in the non-profit world with focus on food security and justice and mission. He most recently served at Westminster Presbyterian Church as the Accounting Manager.
Kienan resides in Golden Valley with his husband of 15 years, Justin and their two cats. From the spring to the fall, his weekends are filled with long hikes in the Lake Superior region hunting waterfalls.
Contact: Kienan Mick
What is your favorite Church holy day?
“They're all holy, but I get so excited for Reformation Sunday. We are always reforming as people of faith and it's inspiring to recognize that...plus, who doesn't love belting out the traditional Martin Luther hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God?”
Lauren is a Deacon called by ECLC to engage our congregation in ministry in the world through justice, service, and advocacy. Originally from suburban Detroit, and a graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary, Lauren's passion is transformational relationship through outreach. When she isn't engaging in advocacy with the congregation, she is at home with her wife advocating for their children to eat their vegetables.
Contact: Lauren Morse-Wendt
Jacob graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. Since graduating, he served as a Youth Director for two congregations and is now working with Youth Frontiers, leading character-building retreats for schools across the nation! The best part of his job is the opportunity to challenge youth to confidently live their best lives, and in return being inspired with their response.
Jacob lives happily with his wife, Megan, and puppy in South Minneapolis. Together, they love taking walks around the lake and finding outdoor patios to enjoy a meal. His favorite time of the day is the morning, before the day begins, when he can sit down with a good book and a great cup of coffee.
Contact: Jacob Niewinski
Why is it important for every generation to worship together?
“Worship is the heart of who we are, how we learn, and what we do as a community of faith. Being mindful of the priority of worship gives us permission to engage every generation to be the church in all its forms. Not only do we worship together, we learn and serve together as well.”
Kelly is the proud mom of three grown children, and lives in South Minneapolis with her partner, Katie, and their two rescue dogs, Romeo Oreo and Pastor Baxter. She is a creative thinker, teacher, curator, and designer of faith formation; called to walk alongside ECLC children, youth & families. Kelly is also passionate about the ministries of online engagement, and spiritual care, with a fondness for Mexican coffee, non-fiction, and community-building arts. She enjoys the energy of the city and quiet early mornings at the cabin; experiencing new people, cultures, and traditions; and new ways of learning. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, with additional studies at Texas Lutheran University, Golden Valley Lutheran College, and the University of Minnesota.
Contact: Kelly Rowley
What book, other than the Bible, has had an impact on your faith?
“Many years ago I read, “Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras,” by Diana Eck. It introduced me to a way of understanding God that transcends any one religious tradition.”
Growing up in the small Canadian border town of Littlefork, Minnesota Jeff learned the gift of story-telling, which he brings to his preaching. He loves learning about the ways God works in people’s lives. Jeff has served small churches in rural areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and he also served several years at a large inner city congregation in Minneapolis. Brief forays in professional fundraising and in social work round out his experience. A life-long learner, he continues to explore interests from learning to teach yoga and meditation to taking up the accordion, which is his latest project. Jeff and his husband, Mark, have two grown children, three-grandchildren, and a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin where they love taking their dogs for an overnight get-away.
Contact: Pastor Jeff Sartain
Faith Formation: Adults
Steph Rollag Yoon
Children & Youth
Worship, Art & Music