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. Katy Lee
Minister for Families, Young Adults & Mission/Justice

Katy is responsible for overseeing our youth and young adult program areas as well as to work on mission, social justice and outreach to the Rochester community at large. Katy has always been passionate about working with young people: their insights about life, the universe and God are so raw, real, fascinating, something that she thinks adults can learn a lot from. While Katy is passionate about service and social justice as the way we enter into a covenantal relationship with each other and God, she has followed her call to serve in church ministry instead of to non-profit or social work. She believes through Christ the church is a powerful place to find healing in every area of our lives and she loves to find ways for the church to be the church outside the sanctuary walls. Katy loves service trips and wilderness retreats, working with job or housing insecure populations and urban gardens.

"I have been so excited to witness already how much energy and willingness to work and serve there is at Christ UMC. My core value in serving a church is to help instill a deep spirit of service and engagement in Christ-like community. I think more importantly than trying to teach certain principles or change anyone’s mind on certain beliefs is to help people understand and engage with the important questions about their beliefs and lifestyle and to practice caring for one another in committed love. This church has a great foundation for these practices and I hope that God will continue to work through all of us as a community to engage in many more areas of justice in the city of Rochester and in the lives of the many young people who do not feel comfortable or welcome yet in the church. To them I hope we can extend arms wide open and hearts which love in both affection and action."

It is not you that shapes God, it is God that shapes you. If you are the work of God, await the hand of the artist who does all things in due season. Offer him your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in which the artist has fashioned you. Let your clay be moist, lest you grow hard and lose the imprint of his fingers.
— St. Irenaeus

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 two years ago 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 fiancé, two cats Faye and Piper, Simon the Beta fish , and Alexander Louise Armstrong III the tortoise.  When he’s not working, Oliver spends his time, hanging out with his fiancé, playing music, video games, and wandering around.

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

our children & family staff  

Jody Peterson.png

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


Rev. Beth Joyner                                                                                          Music 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

Anna Lytle
Handbell Director

Anna Lytle joined the music staff of CUMC in August of 2016. Anna learned to ring handbells under Deedee Odell, just after graduating college.She has since rung in both community and church groups and especially loves ringing bass bells. She also directed a community youth group for several years in Rochester and led them in a variety of performances collaborating with other musicians, choirs and orchestras. Anna  Lytle grew up with a love for music, learning to play both the piano and flute and has enjoyed accompanying choirs and instrumentalists over the years. In her free time Anna enjoys exploring the beautiful Minnesota landscape and taking trips to the Rocky Mountains to visit family. She is inspired by the saints of the church particularly, St. Anna the Prophetess, after which she was named. Anna loves that bells are an excellent teamwork example for how the body of Christ is supposed to love one another and work together. She would enjoy having you as a member of the handbell ministry!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
— James 1:17



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