Team Members

Our transition toward welcoming Shepherd of the Valley’s next senior pastor will be a team effort.

The Church Council has retained professional search firm NL Moore & Associates to direct the process. Under the consultant’s advisement, the council has commissioned a Transition Team and a Search Team.

The Transition Team holds responsibility for overseeing all phases of the transition process. The Search Team will structure and conduct candidate interviews with the consultant to identify a candidate to recommend to the Church Council. Both teams include two Church Council representatives as well as additional members from the congregation.

Read the bios below to get to know each team member. Because we’re all on the praying team, please join us in praying over The Search process.

We’re excited about the future God has for us.

Church Council

Nancy Bode

Nancy Bode

Nancy found Shepherd of the Valley when it welcomed her Girl Scout Troop to the old church. She became a member in 1999. Currently a Church Council member, she also serves as an usher, leads a small group and coordinates the readers for the worship services. The fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 remains her guide. Since retiring as an attorney from the State of Minnesota, Nancy has become passionate about the quilting ministry. She lives in Afton with her husband Mark, surrounded by lots of donated quilting fabric. Their two adult children were both wed last year.

Alli Hanson

Alli Hanson

Alli works as a Civil Engineer for Rani Engineering in Minneapolis. She enjoys playing the piano and traveling. Her goal is to visit a country on every continent before her passport expires, and she visited her fifth continent in August 2018! Serving as a Circuit leader, she finds encouragement seeing the students actively pursuing their faith. She committed her life to Christ while on a college retreat and the pastor was teaching the book of Mark, a gospel that continually inspires her with insights into the character of Jesus and what it means to follow him. She resides in Hudson.

John Lochner

John Lochner

Though John and his wife, Dana, were drawn to Shepherd of the Valley primarily by Bible-based teaching, they also found it to be a fantastic fit for their daughters. He appreciates the church’s commitment to benevolence and considers Philippians 4:6-7 a favorite passage: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer…with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” After retiring from Land O’Lakes, John is enjoying his second career teaching at Hamline in the School of Business. He and Dana live in Lake Elmo.

Andrew Nippert

Andrew Nippert

Andrew has been attending Shepherd since 1991 and grows deeper in his relationship with Jesus because of the church’s gospel-centered teaching and mission outreach. He participates in a men’s small group and has served in Sunday School, Alpha, Junior Circuit, and Union Gospel Mission. His life verse, Matthew 11:28-30, reminds him to find daily rest for his soul in Jesus. Andrew resides in Woodbury with his wife Angie and their three children. As a managing director at Deloitte, he advises clients on cyber strategy. He enjoys running, reading, traveling, and the Minnesota Twins.

Dave Pletscher

Dave Pletscher

Dave and his wife, Mary, knew from their first visit to Shepherd of the Valley (shortly after the new building was constructed) that it would become their church home. Over the years, he’s been involved with small groups, taught Sunday School and, most recently, has helped facilitate Alpha and Financial Peace University classes. Dave’s favorite Bible character is Paul, because of how “Paul was all in!” Now retired from Coca-Cola, where he worked in human resources, Dave enjoys gardening, fishing and his nine grandchildren. He and Mary have lived for 20 years in Lake Elmo.

John Robinson

John Robinson

At the invitation of his then-neighbors, John found Shepherd of the Valley seven years ago and immediately felt at home. He has served in music ministry and Circuit ministry and is currently contributing on the Church Council. Psalm 23 provides great comfort and encouragement to him. Professionally, John has worked in the financial services industry for the past decade and is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Paul. Recreationally, he coaches youth hockey, rides his motorcycle, and goes camping with his family. John lives in River Falls with his wife, Renee, and their 3 young children.

Jay Roettger

Jay Roettger

Passionate about spreading his faith in the construction world, Jay shares his extensive building knowledge by reaching out to others and mentoring young men. For 25 years, he and his wife Lisa have owned Bluff City Builders. They were drawn to Shepherd of the Valley through the children’s ministry when their daughter was in 4th grade, and they have been members for 8 years. Jay has participated in the ministries of Circuit, small groups, and Godtown. The family lives on a hobby farm near Afton where Jay has been mayor for 4 terms. When Jay isn’t working, he enjoys skiing, traveling, golfing, and boating.

Paula Weinzettel

Paula Weinzettel

Invited by their sister-in-law to experience Biblical, applicable preaching, Weinzettels have attended Shepherd of the Valley for 15 years. Paula’s prayer is to live a life serving Christ and that His glory would shine through her. Psalm 143:8 gives Paula the right direction and perspective for each new day as she puts her trust in him. She has participated in small groups, couples’ groups, and the Tuesday morning women’s group. A life coach at a local Christian pregnancy resource center, Paula points people toward Jesus. She and her husband, Jim, live in Hastings. They have five children and three grandchildren.

Transition Team

Jack Arland

Jack Arland

Jack and his wife, Mary, visited Shepherd of the Valley 10 years ago and stayed when their kids liked Sunday School. He serves in the Circuit ministry and enjoys a men’s small group. His favorite Bible verses include “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4) and, of course, “A man who has lost his hair and is bald is clean” (Lev 13:40). Jack has worked in human resources at 3M for 28 years. He and Mary have three children in college and one in high school. They live in West Lakeland.

Jim Bartholomew

Jim Bartholomew

Jim and his wife, Julie, joined Shepherd of the Valley when they returned to Stillwater in 2000. Committed to discipleship ministries, he leads a men’s group and a mixed group, and also volunteers as the Coordinator for Adult Education. Jim likes Matthew 11:28-30 and his favorite Bible character is David, who, in spite of his flaws, was called “a man after God’s own heart” due to his passion for the Lord. Jim owns a consulting firm serving companies in financial trouble, and he enjoys travel, reading, skiing, golfing and Biblical education. He and Julie have four adult children and four grandchildren.

Nancy Bode

Nancy Bode

Nancy found Shepherd of the Valley when it welcomed her Girl Scout Troop to the old church. She became a member in 1999. Currently a Church Council member, she also serves as an usher, leads a small group and coordinates the readers for the worship services. The fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 remains her guide. Since retiring as an attorney from the State of Minnesota, Nancy has become passionate about the quilting ministry. She lives in Afton with her husband Mark, surrounded by lots of donated quilting fabric. Their two adult children were both wed last year.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Ten years ago Sarah and her husband Dan felt the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit at Shepherd of the Valley and it became their church home. As an elementary educator, Sarah initially served in the Children’s Ministry and later in Junior and Senior Circuit. She enjoys fellowship and growth in a variety of church small groups. Her favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” She resides in Woodbury with her two sons.

Jamie Kromer

Jamie Kromer

Jamie and her family found Shepherd of the Valley while seeking a Bible-based church in 2002. She couldn’t resist joining the Tuesday morning women’s group to study “Jesus, the One and Only” and was blessed by the wonderful women she came to know. Gifted with organizational skills, she serves behind the scenes with the Circuit ministry. The Bible story of Zacchaeus gives her hope and joy because of how Jesus called to and visited Zacchaeus, a sinner. She and John, her husband, run a family business and live in Hudson. They have three sons and two grandchildren, with a third on the way!

Kristin Lagus

Kristin Lagus

When Kristin was a 6th-grader, her family began attending newly founded Shepherd of the Valley, as Lakeland City Hall was walking distance from their house. She has been a member since then and was confirmed and married at Shepherd.. Kristin admires the Biblical character Hannah for her faith, persistence in prayer, and gratitude. She’s volunteered in a variety of ministries, and her involvement in small group Bible studies led to her position as Small Group Ministry Director. Kristin is also a travel specialist, guiding summer trips to Germany and Switzerland. She lives in Lake Elmo, is married to John, and has three sons.

Kris Olson

Kris Olson

Kris found Shepherd of the Valley 26 years ago at the invitation of her then-boyfriend Derek and immediately loved its Bible-centered, Spirit-filled nature. She has served on Church Council, participates in small group Bible study and volunteers with communion and Circuit teams. Esther is a favorite Bible character due to her “for such a time as this” willingness to take a stand in tough times. Kris spent years working in marketing and corporate communications at PR/advertising agencies, but currently is writing a kids’ novel. She and Derek have three kids (two are in college) and live in Stillwater.

Brent Paulson

Brent Paulson

Twelve years ago Brent was introduced to Shepherd of the Valley by his then girlfriend, now wife, Maria. He enjoys participating in small groups and finds that the friendships he has formed over the years in his men’s and couples’ groups are irreplaceable. Paul is Brent’s favorite apostle because of his unrelenting and steadfast determination to spread the gospel in the face of every imaginable obstacle. He works as a project manager for an engineering consulting firm in St. Paul. Brent and Maria reside in Hudson with their two elementary aged sons.

Rob Stevenson

Rob Stevenson

Moved by the worship experience, Rob and his wife, Heidi, quickly became members of Shepherd of the Valley. Rob’s favorite ministry is Haiti Teen Challenge. He also initiates and participates in small groups, assists with staff development, and serves communion. The verses in 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 are meaningful to him with their focus on being ambassadors for Jesus and bringing a ministry of reconciliation to the world. Now retired from a career in human resources, Rob’s current hobby and ministry is coaching and career development. Rob and Heidi live in Stillwater. They have two adult children and six grandchildren.

Brenda Van Vossen

Brenda Van Vossen

Brenda has been attending Shepherd of the Valley for 11 years.  She has participated in small groups and Tuesday morning Bible study, as well as served on the Church Council, communion team and Circuit ministry. As a faculty member at Inver Hills Community College, she teaches business classes and advises non-traditional adult students.  Hastings is home for Brenda, her husband, Steve, and their 3 daughters, with the exception of during the school year when their eldest two daughters are in Waco, Texas, attending Baylor University. Brenda and Steve lead a local prayer group with other parents of Baylor students.

Jill Whisler

Jill Whisler

The children’s programming drew Whislers to Shepherd of the Valley eight years ago. Jill quickly became involved and serves in the children’s, women’s and Circuit ministries. One of her favorite verses is “In the same way, let your light so shine that others may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16). Jill currently chairs the Woodbury Area Young Life program and works part-time for her husband’s dental practice; previously, she taught for 18 years in Woodbury. Jill and Brian live in Woodbury with their 4 children (their oldest is in college) and a Swedish exchange student.

Search Team

Emma Cotner

Emma Cotner

Having grown up at Shepherd of the Valley, Emma has been a member of our congregation her whole life. She has volunteered in Sunday School, Circuit and Young Adult Ministry, and she currently serves on Church Council. For the past six summers, she has led English and Bible camps in China and Hong Kong. This is her sixth year as a secondary math teacher at New Heights School in Stillwater, where she also resides. Acts 1:8 is a verse that has tremendously impacted her faith, her view on missions, and her prayer life.

Fred Entwistle

Fred Entwistle

Forty years ago the friendly and welcoming character of Shepherd of the Valley was irresistible to Fred and his wife, Carol. Fred leads a men’s group on Saturday mornings, is part of the prayer ministry, serves as an usher, and is a reader during the services. He is inspired by God’s love for all of us as in the parable of the prodigal son. A retiree from 3M Company, Fred is an avid reader, outdoorsman, and photographer. He and Carol divide their time between Afton, Mackinac Island, and Washington, D.C. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Nancy Fesler

Nancy Fesler

Nancy was drawn to Shepherd of the Valley when she entered the sanctuary in 1987 and heard God-centered preaching by Pastor Steve. She has served on the Church Council and in other leadership positions over the years. Fueled by her strong connection to the small group ministry, she has maintained an ongoing commitment to being involved in small group leadership. A favorite verse of hers is Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” Nancy works as a high school counselor and has been employed at Woodbury High School for 20 years. She lives in Afton.

Ingrid Gangestad

Ingrid Gangestad

Drawn to the spirit-filled worship, Ingrid and her husband, Nick, found Shepherd of the Valley shortly after they were married. She’s been involved in small groups for years and serves on the Sunday School drama team. Ingrid marvels at the Apostle Paul and how God prepared him for the tasks he faced, and she finds reassurance of God’s power and love in the “more than conquerors” promise of Romans 8:37-39. She works as a culinary consultant developing content, like recipes and lifestyle ideas, for consumer product companies. She and Nick have two adult children and live in Woodbury.

Gwen Gierke

Gwen Gierke

A charter member of Shepherd of the Valley, Gwen has been blessed to see God at work in our church for over 40 years. She’s served on Church Council and the human resources committee, participated in small-group Bible studies and currently serves with the Circuit ministry. Paul is one of her favorite Bible characters due to his perseverance, courage and faithfulness — and his spirit-inspired writings that have brought many to follow Christ. Gwen has spent her career in human resources and currently operates an HR consulting practice. She lives in Hudson with her husband, Charlie, and their three children.

Amy Jaynes

Amy Jaynes

Amy knew Shepherd of the Valley would become her “home” church after visiting in 2004. The weekend messages and community, along with getting involved as a confirmation leader and joining a women’s small group, were transformative. She left her corporate career to join the youth ministry staff and, as her passion for serving and discipleship grew, accepted her current position coordinating Missions and Outreach. As she and her husband, Tim, expand their family from two to four children this year, she finds encouragement and peace in Psalm 119:114: “You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.”

Dave Kell

Dave Kell

Dave Kell considers Shepherd of the Valley a Christ-centered family that provides opportunities to grow, serve and connect people to Christ. Over the course of 26 years, he has served on Church Council, led many small groups and participated in outreach to Stillwater Prison, Honduras Children’s Home and Haiti Teen Challenge. He and his wife, Claudia, served together in Alpha, various serving teams and Circuit. After retiring from a water softener manufacturing company, Dave worked on staff in men’s ministry. He continues to serve in the Godtown initiative. He and Claudia live in Hudson and enjoy their six grandchildren.

Dave Pletscher

Dave Pletscher

Dave and his wife, Mary, knew from their first visit to Shepherd of the Valley (shortly after the new building was constructed) that it would become their church home. Over the years, he’s been involved with small groups, taught Sunday School and, most recently, has helped facilitate Alpha and Financial Peace University classes. Dave’s favorite Bible character is Paul, because of how “Paul was all in!” Now retired from Coca-Cola, where he worked in human resources, Dave enjoys gardening, fishing and his nine grandchildren. He and Mary have lived for 20 years in Lake Elmo.

John Robinson

John Robinson

At the invitation of his then-neighbors, John found Shepherd of the Valley seven years ago and immediately felt at home. He has served in music ministry and Circuit ministry and is currently contributing on the Church Council. Psalm 23 provides great comfort and encouragement to him. Professionally, John has worked in the financial services industry for the past decade and is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Paul. Recreationally, he coaches youth hockey, rides his motorcycle, and goes camping with his family. John lives in River Falls with his wife, Renee, and their 3 young children.