Meet Our Staff
Program Ministry Staff
Sarah Brouwer, Lead Minister
Rev. Sarah Brouwer serves as the Lead Minister and began her ministry with us in January 2021. Sarah is an ordained Presbyterian PC(USA) minister with dual standing in the United Church of Christ. Previous to St. Paul’s UCC, Sarah was the Associate Pastor for Congregational Life at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Sarah has also served as Associate Pastor for Member Care at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO, and as a Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN (a validated ministry through the Lilly Endowment). A graduate of Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Sarah is the recipient of the A.E. Hanson Prize in Preaching.
During Sarah’s five and a half years at Westminster, she led the communications team, developed a new worshiping community that grew with creativity and an emphasis on the arts, and served on the team that started a spinoff of the popular Westminster Town Hall Forum, called TownTalks. Sarah is passionate about racial and environmental justice, worship and the arts, inclusivity for all, and discerning God’s future for the Church.
Judith Melander, Director of Music
Geoff Olson, Organist
Geoff Olson has been the Organist at St. Paul's UCC since 1986. He has been a church organist since he was a teenager and has served several churches in that capacity. 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 because of the UCC heritage, the friendly congregation, their appreciation for good music, a fine organ, and a beautiful worship space. Geoff notes that "I have been here long enough now that I'm 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.
Administration and Support Staff
Eric Nelson, Church Office Administrator
Sandy Pursley, Business Manager
Lorin Velikonja, Administrative Assistant (on furlough during the pandemic)
Lorin joined us as Administrative Assistant in 2018. Her previous positions include parish administration at an Episcopal church; office management for television producers, architects, and engineers, the banking industry, a university library, and an entertainment venue; proofreading and layout for a large map publisher; and selling books. Originally from the Chicago area, Lorin lives in Saint Paul with her partner and two cats. Their two sons, now 25 and 27, also live in the Twin Cities. Lorin has frequently been a “host mom” to high-school-age international exchange students. She also enjoys traveling. Lorin is a voracious reader, a dilettante artist, a devoted coffee drinker, and a night owl. She lives on a block that is famous for their Halloween celebration.
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," a longtime member has written. "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 states. 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.
Todd Armstrong, Building Technician
Todd joined the staff at St. Paul's UCC in 2015. He has years of experience handling custodial responsibilities and working with building mechanical systems. Todd counts woodworking and playing cello among his hobbies. He is single and lives in Saint Paul with his cats Milo, Philo, Jacob, and Henry.