Christ United Methodist Church


our clergy staff


Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay
Lead Pastor

Areas of responsibility:
Head of Staff;
Overall Mission/Vision tending;
Merriment and soul growth.

After stints teaching, singing, and community organizing, Elizabeth answered a call to ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. She serves as an Elder who has been blessed by serving as pastor in Duluth (Hillside and First) and Minneapolis (Richfield). In a world too often fractured by fear and despair, she finds endless hope in the teachings of Jesus. Being a part of a movement dedicated to “resisting evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves” (UM membership vows) makes for exciting, relevant and complacency-challenging ministry.

Elizabeth has been active at the state and national levels around issues of full inclusion for GLBT persons and has preached and taught extensively around issues of justice and soul.

…tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver

Rev. Nancy Wheeler Handlon
Minister for Congregational Care

Areas of responsibility:
providing and coordinating congregational care from laity and clergy;
developing the gifts of laity in congregational care;
Word, Sacrament and Order of the United Methodist Church.

Nancy coordinates three lay visitor teams, working in ministries that include visitation, prayer chain and senior fellowship. As part of her ministry, she visits hospitals, nursing care facilities, senior residence facilities, and homes regularly. Nancy and her husband, Chuck, have two sons. She is a graduate of Hamline University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and was appointed to Christ Church in 1998.

"I love to meet all the visitors who come to worship on Sunday mornings. We have people coming to Rochester for medical care. We also have people visit who are looking for a church home. Visitors come from a variety of backgrounds and we welcome diversity.

"In  my ministry with the sick and with the bereaved, I get to be with people who teach me so much. I get to learn about how to cherish the gifts of health and life, of family, of faith. I get to witness courage, persistence, strength. I also love to share ministry with colleagues and with laity. It is wonderful to have a teaching ministry and to help others to learn about caring ministries."

…and you, too, have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.
— Mary Oliver

our office staff


 Jenny Cordry                                                                                               Director of Operations

Jenny started as a temporary bookkeeper in January 2018, then transitioned into the full time Director of Operations position on March 9th, performing the bookkeeping and office management for CUMC. She loves working personally with the members of CUMC, it’s inspiring leaders, and the supportive staff. Jenny lives in St. Charles with her husband, Seth, and two black rescue cats, Chimichanga and Burrito.

Be curious, not judgmental
— Walt Whitman

 Oliver Books                                                                                         Director of Communications

Oliver joined the CUMC team in 2016 as a member of the 11 o’clock worship band. When the director of communications position became available Oliver signed on full time. He lives here in Rochester with his wife Jess, two cats Faye and Piper, Bumpy the goldfish , and Alexander Louise Armstrong III the tortoise.  When he’s not working, Oliver spends his time, hanging out with his wife, playing music, video games, and wandering around.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
— Frank Zappa

Grace Glover
Connections Coordinator

Grace comes to this work with generational credentials! She is the granddaughter of longtime members Mary and the late Everette Humke, and she and her mother Shelly have become very active disciples here at CUMC through the Arise service, the Thrift on Fifth resale shop and other outreach activities.

Grace has a degree in International Relations with an emphasis on health and society, and is a natural connector of people. She will continue to build relationships in the young adults here at CUMC and beyond.

Grace is thrilled to be serving CUMC and its vibrant members. She says, "Coffee and conversation are two of my favorite things, so let's make a date!".

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The universe is made of stories, not atoms
— Muriel Rukeyser

our children & family staff  

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Sam Evans
Next Generations Ministry Coordinator

Sam and her husband Clint have three daughters who are 8, 6, and four years of age. Clint served as a pastor in the MN Annual Conference, most recently serving in Sleepy Eye, MN. At the time of her interview, Clint was being treated for cancer. Since that time, Clint entered resurrection life.

Sam and her family are looking forward to being in ministry here. Sam looks forward to making Rochester her permanent home and engaging in the community. Professionally, she's excited to facilitate spiritual growth for congregation members at CUMC and guide members beyond the brick and mortar walls to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Personally, she looks forward to calling members of CUMC "friends." 

Please hold Sam and her girls in prayer during this time of transition.

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Jody Peterson
Sunday School Superintendent

I have been a member of the CUMC community since 2004. I grew up in Rochester Minnesota and moved to Madison Wisconsin to attend the University. I got my teaching degree and taught kindergarten in Madison for seven years. I moved back to Rochester in 1998, after the birth of my daughter, to be closer to family. I am currently a Reading/Math teacher and Family Event Planner at Riverside central Elementary. I have two wonderful children, Johanna (21) and Will (18). I have been involved with the children’s ministry at CUMC for over ten years. The families and children continue to inspire and bring me joy every week.

Behind every child who believes in themselves is an adult who believed in them first

Julie Plunkett
Nursery Coordinator

As a member of congregation and then staff, Julie has been with CUMC since she was born. She was born and raised in Rochester and received her Bachelor's of Science in Education from Minnesota Bible College. Julie is the Nursery Coordinator and very active in helping the other staff wherever necessary and also volunteers with CUMC's mission trips. In her downtime, she loves to do embroidary and rughook. Julie also enjoys watching a good movie or listening to music. She finds inspiration in the love of her family and in those she works with and learns from.

A narrow vision is divisive, a broad vision expansive. But a divine vision is all-inclusive.
— H.S Tejomayananda

our music & arts staff

Kalle Akkerman
Director of Music

Kalle is a graduate of Luther College and has experience as a choral conductor and organist. He is a full time director of the vocal music program in Austin, MN. Kalle lives in Rochester. Kalle will coordinate all music ministries at CUMC and grow our program numerically and spiritually.


Rev. Beth Joyner                                                                                          Adult Choir Director

I’m one of the night chaplains at the Mayo Clinic where I am privileged to minister to folks from all over the world. In my previous life in North Carolina, I served a church outside of Asheville as the Minister of Music, Youth and Senior Adults while enjoying the beautiful mountains and surrounding area full of wildlife and waterfalls. Life in Minnesota is enhanced by the close proximity of the Mississippi River with all its birds and ducks which I enjoy watching, especially while canoeing. I am delighted to be able to serve the congregation at CUMC and look forward to the many creative musical endeavors together.


Cole Ebertowski
Arise! Service (11 am) Music Leader


Cole joined the CUMC team in May of 2016 as a musician at the 11 am service and has since become Music Leader of the worship band. He teaches guitar lessons and is a member of a local band, The Shift. Cole graduated from Rochester Community and Technical College in 2014 with an Associate of Fine Arts- Music Industry. In his free time he enjoys exercising, reading and going camping with his dog.

Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.
— E.Y. Harburg

Paul Kingsbury
Adult Handbell Director

Paul is the director of the Rochester Area Handbells group, an auditioned group of area ringers. He is a self-described bell nerd and excited to be in ministry at CUMC.

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Kari Hanson
Children & Youth Handbell Director

Kari is a graduate of St Olaf with extensive experience as a ringer and director. Kari rings in the Rochester Area Handbells group.




Tanya Goretzki                                                                                  Executive Director of THRIVE! Childcare Facility

As a member of the CUMC congregation and someone who grew up in this church, I can feel the excitement growing as we build this program from the ground up. My grandfather (Ray Hanson) and my father (Dick Hanson) both worked at CUMC. For just over 40 years combined, they oversaw this beautiful building. I remember each of them sharing many stories of renovations, building projects and the excitement of something new. I’m certain if they were both here today, they would have great advice for me as I embark on this new adventure!

Early childhood education has always been a part of my professional career. From teaching preschool, serving as a center director, managing an AmeriCorps program to teaching early childhood providers, I have been blessed with many years in the early childhood field. I feel as though my career has come full circle and brought me back to a hands-on role serving children and families. I am excited to support those who need us the most by providing a solid early childhood experience.



our building staff


Kent Nymann
Building Manager

After years of school and church maintenance, Kent joins us here at CUMC to take care of our big beautiful space.

Work hard and be nice to people.
— anonymous