John Nelson – Senior Pastor
As senior pastor here at Gethsemane I am passionate about helping people grow in their walk of faith. Having been raised on the east coast and serving in ministry out west as well as in Minnesota, I have found a wide variety of ways people are engaged by God in their faith life. I love to help unique individuals find how their own story is intertwined with God’s story, and that together we make up God’s church for the sake of the world. I work with the leadership of this church and our staff to make sure we are united in that goal. In addition I teach young and old, am involved in our community as a Police chaplain, and respond to the pastoral care needs of our congregation.
I have been blessed to be married to my wonderful and talented wife Stephanie, whom I met in college at St. Olaf, and we have two amazing kids in high school, Sarah and Tyler. When not at church you can find me coaching or cheering them on in their various sport activities.
I have found Gethsemane to be a place for all to belong who want to be engaged in what God is doing in our neighborhoods as well as in our homes.
Sarah Moat – Associate Pastor
Although I have vivid memories of “preaching” to a congregation of stuffed animals and dolls when I was just six years old, it was a long and winding road to ordination. I started as a youth director after college, before spending a decade in seminary while simultaneously spending as much time as possible at home with young children. During that time I also attended Christos Center and became a certified spiritual director. I came to Gethsemane in 2010 after my first call as Teaching Pastor at St. Andrew Lutheran in Eden Prairie. As the Associate Pastor I have the privilege of focusing on social ministry, education, caring ministry and global mission, in addition to shared preaching and teaching. I am proud of the many partnerships that we have locally and globally. My husband and I live in Chanhassen with our three daughters. I love to watch the Minnesota Twins, spend time in nature, enjoy lazy mornings with a cup of coffee on my deck, hike, and learn. We are on a family quest to visit all 30 major league baseball stadiums – we have a long way to go!
Click here to e-mail Associate Pastor Sarah Moat.
Paul McKenzie – Director of Music and Fine Arts
I am Paul McKenzie, Director of Music and Fine Arts. I work with adult and youth choirs, handbells, and with the Art Committee. I am a Minnesota native and attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where I received my BA in Music education – vocal and instrumental. I have played in the US Army Band in Berlin, and taught high school in Mahtomedi. I received my Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and have served Presbyterian and Lutheran churches Pennsylvania, Illinois and Minnesota. I am also a free-lance percussionist and enjoy good theater and good wine.
My work at Gethsemane has
deepened my understanding of the value of the arts to help change lives and
Tiphanie Dirnberger – Director of Children's Ministry
I have been a member of Gethsemane and a Hopkins resident since 1993. After nine years of volunteering with the Children’s and Family Ministry programs I became the Director of Children’s ministry in 2002. I am blessed to not only work with Gethsemane’s children but with incredible volunteers of all ages. When not at work I enjoy spending time with my husband and four children; especially time spent outside with them in God’s great creation.
Jean Olson – Interim Youth Director
I am excited to be part of the Gethsemane community. I'll be working side by side with staff and volunteers to sustain the youth and confirmation programs, giving your congregation the space and time to intentionally focus on the future goals and exciting opportunities for your youth program.
I’ve spent many years working as part of the Children, Youth and Family Ministry staff at my home congregation, Wooddale Lutheran Church. I’ve developed, managed and implemented preschool through senior high educational and community programs and loved building relationships and partnerships with the kids and their families and being part of all of our evolving faith journeys.
My husband I have lived and raised three daughters in St. Louis Park for over 29 years. We are excited to welcome our first grandchild in November.
Click here to e-mail Jean.
Mark Fideldy – Membership & Data Systems Manager and Organist
I began working at Gethsemane in 2011 as Organist. In 2014 I joined the office staff as Membership & Data Systems Manager. Being passionate about music and administration, these roles seem like a natural fit – and my work is fun! I’m an avid runner, need my morning coffee, and have a terrible weakness for quiche. One of the greatest joys of my work is being able to get others excited about the work we do here. Ministry is a living, breathing thing, and a strong, positive energy is vital to its success.
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