Meet Our Staff

Program Ministry Staff

Norma Rae Hunt, Lead Minister

Rev. Norma Rae Hunt began ministry with St. Paul's UCC in December 2007. Previously she served several UCC congregations as well as briefly in campus ministry at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. Norma Rae also served in conference staff work as well as administration at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. At St. Paul's UCC, Norma Rae loves the intergenerational mix of the congregation (newborns to 102!) and appreciates the supportive energy of members as we offer greater variety in worship, faith formation, and outreach. She was recently awarded the Leysath Award for excellence in ministry given to a woman minister by the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ. Beyond work and family, Norma Rae enjoys working with clay (wheel and hand-building), guitar-playing, and meditative drumming. She also favors dogs! To contact Norma Rae, please either call the church at 651-224-5809 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Clare Gromoll, Associate Minister 

Rev. Clare Gromoll became Associate Minister at St. Paul’s UCC in August 2014 after serving the congregation for several years as seminary intern and Student Pastor. She is a graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Before discerning a call to ordained ministry, Clare worked in year-round outdoor ministry and as a bilingual elementary school teacher. At St. Paul’s UCC, Clare partners with the Ministry of Faith Formation to support faith vitality for people of all ages and with the Ministry of Belonging & Community to extend radical hospitality and foster deepening relationships. She collaborates with the Lead Minister to lead worship, develop lay leadership, and support overall congregational life. Beyond church, Clare enjoys playing and laughing with her children, daily walks, yoga, reading fiction, and taking in live music. To contact Clare, please either call the church at 651-224-5809 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Judith Melander, Director of Music

Judith Melander has worked at St. Paul's UCC since 1997, first as the alto soloist for the Sanctuary Choir and later taking the position of Director of Music in 2001. Judith directs the Sanctuary Choir, sings solos, plays the hammered dulcimer and djembe drum, and generally directs all things musical at St. Paul's UCC. She also leads the Evensong Ensemble, a group consisting of folk harp, hammered dulcimer, cello, viola, and violin. An active teacher and performer in the Twin Cities, Judith has appeared on stage with the Minnesota Opera and as a featured soloist with both the Oratorio Society of Minnesota and the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra. Judith holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. When she isn't pursuing musical interests, Judith enjoys spending time outdoors, reading mysteries, and experimenting in the kitchen. You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Geoff Olson, OrganistGeoff Olson picture

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.

Emma Horner, Explorers Team Leader

Emma joined our staff in the fall of 2018. As an Explorers Team Leader, she manages interactive childcare for infants and toddlers on Sunday mornings. Emma graduated from Mankato State University with a degree in special education/academic behavioral specialist. She then taught at Families Together, a therapeutic preschool designed for children who come from poverty and trauma. Recently completing a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Emma is in her second year as an ECSE teacher for Roseville public schools. When not teaching or taking care of children, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Kylie Ficker, Explorers Team Leader

Kylie also joined our staff in fall 2018. As one of two Explorers Team Leaders, she manages interactive childcare for infants and toddlers on Sunday mornings. Currently a student through U of M Duluth, Kylie student-taught in Ireland in the summer and fall of 2018. She is finishing her student teaching in Saint Paul. In May 2019 she'll graduate with a degree in elementary and special education and plans to find a job teaching in the Saint Paul area. Kylie enjoys cooking, hiking, running, biking and exploring. 

Administration and Support Staff

Eric Nelson, Church Office Administrator

Eric joined the staff in 2013. Outside his day job, he is an actor, working with various theatre companies in and around the Twin Cities. From 1989 to 2009, he served as a minister in UCC churches in Connecticut and Minnesota before moving to London for three years of preparation in physical theatre. His pastimes include cycling, going to movies and plays, and baseball. Eric and his partner live in Southeast Minneapolis. Their kids have flown the nest--one to Frogtown and the other to Maryland. Eric can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 651-224-5809.

Lorin Velikonja, Administrative Assistant

Lorin joined us as Administrative Assistant in April 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. You can reach Lorin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 651-224-5809.

Jeff Palmer, Business Manager

Jeff Palmer joined the staff in 2014. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Jeff’s career has ranged from working for the United States Secret Service during the Carter administration, to teaching in a public school setting, to serving United Church of Christ congregations in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Jeff enjoys tinkering on the family homestead near Buffalo and raising Golden Retriever pups. He and his partner have two grown children, the older of whom is a student at William Mitchell College of Law across Summit Avenue from St. Paul’s UCC. Jeff can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 651-224-5809.

Jennie Kratzer, Accountant

Jennie joined the staff in 2012. She's been an accountant for a varietry of organizations, including several nonprofits. She lives with her little black cat Dora in Northeast Minneapolis. Her daughters and two of her grandchildren still live in the Twin Cities area. Jennie can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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. "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.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Worship Times

Sunday Morning

10:30 am
Nursery and toddler care provided
Sunday School for children
11:30 Fair Trade Coffee Hour

Evensong Service 
with Folk Ensemble

3rd Sundays @ 5:15 pm,
September through May.
Light refreshments follow

900 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul 55105
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JEvents Calendar

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Upcoming JEvents

Tue Nov 13 @12:00AM
The full calendar
Wed Nov 14 @12:00AM
The full calendar
Wed Nov 14 @ 6:30PM - 07:30PM
Journey of Faith | The Laborers in the Vineyard
Thu Nov 15 @12:00AM
The full calendar

St. Paul's UCC | Journeying together toward deeper faith, justice, and love for all   

900 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105  |  651-224-5809  |  Our Facebook Page

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