Meet Our Staff
Program Ministry Staff:
Norma Rae Hunt, Lead Minister
Clare Gromoll, Student Minister
Kay Welsch, Visitation Minister.
Rev. Kay Welsch has returned to St. Paul's UCC as Visitation Minister after first serving here over 20 years ago, as a student intern and later as interim associate minister. In between then and now Kay served as an interim minister in many different settings and in different denominations, and has also done conference staff work. She says: "Returning to St. Paul's as a visitation minister has been a lot like coming home." Kay loves this ministry, connecting with parishioners from years past and getting to know new ones. In her spare time, she writes poetry, enjoys old films, tries out new recipes (some successful, some not) and still loves to play old hymns on her accordion (which she understands is making a comeback).
Judith Melander, Director of Music
Geoff Olson, Organist
Geoff Olson has been the Organist at St. Paul's UCC since 1986 and previously served as organist to several other churches, Geoff has been a church organist since he was a teenager. After retiring from a career as a city planner several years ago, Geoff has gone back to school to complete a degree in organ performance at the University of Minnesota. He enjoys playing at St. Paul's church because of the UCC heritage, the friendly congregation, their appreciation for good music, a fine organ, and a beautiful worship space. Geoff noted that "I have been here long enough now that I am playing at the weddings of young people who I remember being baptized at the church." In addition to playing the organ, Geoff plays racquetball regularly and enjoys time with his wife, friends, and family.
Tija H. L. Rahoelikajina, Explorers Nursery Director
Administration and Support Staff:
Eric Nelson, Church Office Administrator
Eric joined the staff in March 2013. Outside his day job, he is a theatre artist and teacher, working with various theatre companies and arts groups in and around the Twin Cities. From 1989-2008, he served as a minister to UCC churches in Connecticut and Minnesota before moving to London for three years of preparation in physical theatre. His favorite pastimes include cycling, going to movies, and baseball. Eric and his partner live in Southeast Minneapolis with their friendly Golden Retriever.
Roger Brown, Custodian and Church Chef
Roger Brown joined the staff of St. Paul's UCC several years ago and has supported our ministry in several ways. He has been a chef for over 30 years. "We're lucky to have Roger's culinary talents in service of our ministry programs", writes Norma Rae Hunt. She goes on "Those of us who have enjoyed Roger's artisan bread, State Fair Award winning jam and regular great food on Wednesday evenings, know a good chef when we taste his food." Prior to St. Paul's UCC, Roger worked all over the Upper Midwest and Western USA. Roger likes: working here at St. Paul's UCC with the congregation as well as the St. Paul's Childhood Center staff. He also enjoys: reading, music, biking, skiing, and hiking
Antonio Mata, Building Engineer
Antonio Mata joined the staff of St. Paul's UCC in May of 2007. He works as a building engineer helping maintain a large sanctuary, meeting space and an educational wing where the St. Paul's Childhood Center resides. The other part of his work life involves teaching music. Antonio began studying music at the age of 15 at the Modern Academy of Music in Juarez, Mexico. Antonio teaches drum lessons and plays for dances, churches and special events. This past May Antonio accompanied a choral group for a music festival at Orchestra Hall. His favorite music is jazz and he enjoys the challenge of playing symphonic music.