Rev. Jen Collins serves Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley. She has helped leaders develop and journey in their faithwalk with God and one another, engaging with community organizing efforts through the Forest Lake Schools. Pastor Jen is originally from Albuquerque. Within the St. Paul Synod, Pastor Jen has co-led the Advocates for Racial Equity (ARE), a public witness group that seeks to embolden our public witness by empowering God’s beloved to confront privilege and racism in and through the Synod. Pastor Jen is a trained facilitator of Racial Equity tools, focusing on “Transforming White Privilege” curriculum since 2017.

Christine Belfrey is a 2020 M.Div. graduate of Luther Seminary, and most recently served as Intern Pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.  Prior to attending seminary, Christine had a career in education and holds a master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University. She is a musician/songwriter, singer, author and owner of Belfrey Books.

Rev. Mike Carlson has served the past four years as Lead Pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. He has been on staff at St. Andrew’s for 10 years, including as Executive Pastor for six years, and he has more than 30 years of ministry experience.  Rev. Carlson attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth, and is a Graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary. He served as associate pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, was a chaplain for the Grand Itasca Hospital and taught World Religions at Itasca Community College. In addition, he has been a speaker, trainer, and consultant for the Youth and Family Institute and has traveled the United States teaching and preaching on the wonders of God’s powerful and transforming love.

Joe Davis is a nationally-touring artist, educator, and speaker based in Minneapolis. He employs poetry, music, theater, and dance to shape culture. His work has been featured on BET, CNN, and VH1. He is the Founder and Director of multimedia production company, The New Renaissance, the frontman of emerging soul funk band, The Poetic Diaspora, and co-creator of JUSTmove, racial justice education through art. He has keynoted, facilitated conversation, and served as teaching artist at hundreds of high schools and universities including New York, Boston, and most recently as the Artist-in-Residence at Luther Seminary where he earned a Masters in Theology of the Arts.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Wheeler, raised in Jackson, Mississippi, has served Lutheran congregations and organizations for more than 45 years. He served as assistant to the Bishop in the Greater Milwaukee Synod and as an intentional interim pastor and consultant to congregations in southeastern Michigan and elsewhere. He is trained in conflict mediation through the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Dr. Wheeler has received distinguished alumni awards from Concordia College (Minn.), Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus), and received the honorary doctor of divinity degree from Wartburg Seminary.

 

Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen is a freelance theologian who operates The Spent Dandelion Theological Retreat Center in Two Harbors, MN. After graduating from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, she served a small South Dakota congregation before earning her Ph.D. in systematic theology in Regensburg, Germany. Her husband’s sudden death and young son’s severe injury in an accident shaped her theology and her life profoundly.  She created OMG: Center for Theological Conversation. Here individuals and groups, laity and clergy, come for questions, conversation and study. Through OMG, she also speaks, blogs, writes and consults.