Rev. Mary Gustafson
Mary Gustafson is currently serving as the Interim Rector at Messiah after the retirement of the Rev. John Newton in July of 2015. Mary previously filled in for John during his heart surgery in 2014 and has preached occasionally at Messiah. Before coming to Messiah, Mary served as a priest and deacon at churches in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Prior to earning her doctor of ministry degree, Mary and her husband Ray served as parish musicians in three Episcopal churches in Iowa and Minnesota. After the death of her parents and the birth of her grandchild Ava, Mary and Ray returned to Minnesota to retire in 2012. They have two adult children here in the Twin Cities and two more on the West coast.
Jeff is grateful to have come from a family with gifts and experiences in both music and Christian worship, which provided roots for his own faith renewal, rekindled some 20 years ago when he began attending Messiah. Jeff’s work at Messiah revolves around coordinating music and worship activities. His main weekly task is to plan and prepare music for our Sunday worship (and other special) services. Jeff works closely with Paul Johnson (our part-time Music Assistant, who handles organ and keyboard playing), especially in the worship band as well as in general through prayerful planning and leading of the music ministry.
Paul came to Messiah in 2002 after graduating from St. Olaf College with a BA in music theory and composition. After working with Messiah’s Youth as an intern and volunteer he became the Music Assistant in 2004. He plays keyboard instruments, occasionally lead vocals, and assists Jeff Kidder in the leadership of Messiah’s Music Ministry. Paul became a Christian as a senior in high school. His wife Libby grew up attending Messiah. They have three boys, Gibbie, Ezra, and William. He can play an espresso machine just as well as a keyboard instrument and works at a local independent coffee shop as well as at Messiah. His family lives in the Crossroads Community in Frogtown with the Kidders and others. He loves studying the Bible, biking to work year-round, and tinkering with things that run on diesel or vegetable oil.
Bobbie started attending Messiah in January of 2002 by volunteering with the Youth Group. Throughout her ministry at Messiah, she has been a Youth Intern (more than once) and Youth Coordinator. She graduated from North Central University with a degree in Youth Ministry and is originally from Hopkins, Minnesota. After college she spent a year as a missionary teacher on Saipan, an island in the north Pacific. She is married to Dan Booth whom she met while both were living and working in Northern Wisconsin. Bobbie knows her way around a kitchen and enjoys sharing a kitchen with Dan who also loves to cook. Bobbie likes curling up with a good book and loves to travel.
Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Lori and her family started attending Messiah in 1988 and she began serving as Messiah’s coordinator for children’s ministry in 2012. Her past ministry commitments include campus pastoral care with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Illinois and Carleton College. Her theological interests include bible exegesis and family faith formation. Lori has a master’s degree in English from Texas A & M University and a biology degree from Harvard. Lori and her husband Doug have four children. Their oldest daughter teaches in Chicago, their second daughter is a senior in college studying music and comparative literature, their son is a freshman in college studying history, and their youngest daughter is a sophomore in high school. Lori relishes the joys of parenting, reading Tolstoy and Austen, baking bread, and running.
Ann and her family first started attending Messiah in 1988 and she has served as administrator since 1990. Her responsibilities include finances, budgeting, resource and building management, special projects, and liaison to vestry. She has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota and an art history degree from Carleton College in Northfield. Ann lives in south Minneapolis and grew up Lutheran on a farm near Waseca, Minnesota. Her ministry involvement includes house group, healing team, hospitality, and prayer. She has three children: Josiah who teaches high school math north of Boston, Hannah lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Mike and is a policy analyst for the Wounded Warrior Project, and James teaches law in Calgary, Alberta. Ann is a swimmer, skiier, and skater.
Janice Dames is the parish coordinator. She started attending Messiah in 1986 and has had all three of her sons baptized at Messiah. She started working part-time in the office in 2006 and helps with many day-to-day activities such as the announcements, ministry schedules, record keeping and the newsletter. Over the years Janice has been active in children’s ministries at Messiah and more recently in Karen Ministries and English Conversation Class. She has a BA from University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MA in International Relations from Yale. Janice enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening and teaching English as a Second Language as a volunteer. Her oldest son is in graduate school, her middle son is working and her youngest is in college.