Pastor Kris GareyHow grateful I am to God for the chance to be in Christ’s ministry!
When I entered seminary (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkely CA) at age 55, I felt a call to rural ministry. My vision for where that would be included waving fields of corn and wheat—but living in Duluth for 25 years, my husband Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed the North Shore. Imagine my surprise and joy when I was asked to serve my internship at Trinity in Hovland, and then was called by the congregation to be their ordained pastor.
The journey of faith that I had been on included almost 35 years of “no faith.” As the Holy Spirit and Jesus continued to nudge me, I continued to turn a blind eye. And then, without any reason other than that continued “nudging”, I turned and looked, and to my surprise, saw God everywhere. A few years later, I found myself surprised by another calling from the Holy Spirit to attend seminary, and then, to serve Trinity Lutheran in Hovland. .
God is God, bringing surprises, and making things new. God is God: forgiving, calling, sending, each of us, into the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. I join the Trinity community of faith in inviting you to worship, to visit, to stop by for a “look-see” or a moment of prayer.
William (Bill) Beckstrand, Director of Music Ministry and Pastoral AssistantMy first encounter with Trinity was nearly 20 years ago, when I attended worship as a new seasonal resident - having just acquired a tiny Island in Little Pigeon Bay (Lake Superior), just across the border in Canada. I knew immediately, that first summer, that I wanted to make this my home, and Trinity my faith community. I have been here in some form, on and off, ever since, as my ministry in the church has called me here and there, in all sorts of capacities.
Much of my ministry and background has been in worship and music, and for years I served University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis. I also attended Luther Seminary, graduating from there in 1993. During that time, I was deeply involved in the professional musical circles of the Twin Cities, primarily in choral music, and as a composer (a vocation that is still very much central in my life). An MA in Church Music (Concordia University, Chicago) was completed along the way, and in the years that followed I served parishes in Duluth, Thunder Bay, Minneapolis, and elsewhere, and for a brief time taught in the music department at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. In recent years I have enjoyed directing Cook County's BOREALIS CHORALE AND ORCHESTRA , an enthusiastic civic musical ensemble that draws 100 or so participants from our community.
Ordination has been chasing me around for some three decades now, and until recently God has had other plans for me. Trinity, Hovland, became finally the catalyst for my answering a call to Word and Sacrament ministry, and I look forward to an ordination this coming winter, and a future of pastoral leadership in this beautiful and faithful place.
Kristen Carlsgaard, Youth and Family CoordinatorI was blessed to grow up in the spiritual tradition of the Evangelical Covenant Church, attending First Covenant Church in Virginia, MN. During my high school and college years, I participated in several youth training programs at Adventurous Christians near Grand Marais, and worked at Covenant Park Bible Camp in Mahtowa, MN.
I attended North Park College in Chicago for my undergraduate degree in English and Spanish. During this time, I volunteered with a law firm which advocated for immigrants’ rights. For a two-year term after college, I served as a short-term missionary with the Evangelical Covenant Church in Mexico City.
Returning to Minnesota, I pursued a teaching degree at the University of MN, Duluth, taught Spanish at Denfeld High School, and attended First Covenant Church in Duluth. I served on the boards of First Covenant Church, Duluth, and Covenant Park Bible Camp.
After attending the Missions Orientation program at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, I served a four-year term as a missionary with the Covenant Church in Oaxaca, Mexico. Training and working alongside young people who served their churches and communities in the areas of Christian Formation, pastoral work, literacy, public health, and development was a vocational experience dear to my heart.
Hovland and Trinity have welcomed our family for the last 16 years. Although I taught Spanish for 11 years at Cook County High School, the most meaningful part of these years has been getting to know our Hovland and Trinity communities. Our family is grateful to have developed so many meaningful friendships over the years.