2020 Observances

In 2019-2020, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America celebrates three significant anniversaries:

  • 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States
  • 40 years of women of color being ordained
  • and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely


Click here for some statistics related to the 50/40/10 commemoration. The Saint Paul Area Synod recognized all of these during its 2020 Synod Assembly, especially celebrating the contributions of the many women pastors here in our synod. It was a pleasure to lift up the ministry of our ordained women with song, photos and panel discussions. We invite you to watch the recordings:

A tribute to the ordained women of the Saint Paul Area Synod in music and photographs.


Congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod have permission to use the music "One With All in Christ" from this video in their worship services and events. This includes the printing of the lyrics and music for use in these settings. Please email communications@spas-elca.org to request these files.

Featuring the Rev. Marilyn Breckenridge (retired) and her daughter, the Rev. Sarah Breckenridge (St. Andrew's, Mahtomedi).

50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women:

"Where Have We Come From?"

50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women:

"Where Are We Now?"

50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women:

"On the Way Together - Supporting Female Pastors"

50 Years of Women in Ministry:

Full Recording


Other Observances

We continued our annual tradition of recognizing milestone anniversaries of rostered ministers and congregations, honoring those those who have retired, and remembering those who have passed away, and welcoming rostered ministers who are new to the synod. Watch the video here and/or check out the list below:

Roster Anniversaries
25 years
The Rev. Laurel Bernard
The Rev. Anita Beste
The Rev. Sarah Breckenridge
The Rev. Nancy Lee Gauche
The Rev. Brian Gutzmann
The Rev. Barbara Lund
The Rev. Jeffrey Ronning
The Rev. Beth Stassen
The Rev. Rebecca Thurman
The Rev. Charles Trittin
The Rev. Vicki VanderVegt
The Rev. Scott Westphal

40 years
Deacon Gloria Bengston
The Rev. Nancy Connor
The Rev. Thomas Jolivette
The Rev. Richard Larson
The Rev. Dennis Sepper
The Rev. Jerry Storm
The Rev. Stephen Sveom
The Rev. Nancy Wigdahl

50 years
The Rev. Michael Dobbins
The Rev. William Larson
The Rev. Richard Mork
The Rev. Obed Nelson
The Rev. Donald Oldenburg
The Rev. Delbert Sailer
The Rev. Lee Sather
The Rev. William Straka
The Rev. James Tonneson
55 years
The Rev. Kieran Darcy
The Rev. Don Fultz
The Rev. Robert Kriesel
The Rev. Lawrence Lystig

60 years
The Rev. Gordon Grimm
The Rev. Glen Hanggi
The Rev. Delmar Jacobson
The Rev. David Nelson
The Rev. Dean Swenson

65 years
The Rev. Harvey Johnson
The Rev. Roald Kindem
The Rev. David Rokke
The Rev. Harold Tollefson
The Rev. Carl Vaagenes

75 years
The Rev. Richard Nelson


Congregation Anniversaries
75 Years
Calvary, Stanchfield
St. Mark, Randolph
150 years
St. Paul, Stillwater


The Rev. Vernal Anderson
The Rev. Doug Duin
The Rev. Ronald Gerl
The Rev. Brian Gutzmann
The Rev. Thomas Hansen
The Rev. John Henrich
The Rev. Lon Larson
The Rev. Joe Lees
The Rev. John Matthews
The Rev. Bonnie Nash
The Rev. Lynne Nelson
The Rev. Timothy Nelson
The Rev. Duane Paetznick
Deacon Kimberly Rehfeldt
The Rev. Peter Rogness
The Rev. Richard White


In Remembrance
The Rev. Charles Aase, September 11, 2019
The Rev. Rhuben Aga, August 20, 2019
The Rev. Marbury Anderson, April 14, 2020 
The Rev. Charles Evavold, October 3, 2019
The Rev. Gordon Grimm, January 5, 2020
The Rev. Veryle Henriksen, December 21, 2019
The Rev. Robert Grant Jamieson, January 12,
The Rev. Theodore Kalkwarf, May 19, 2020 
The Rev. Herbert Kaste, July 4, 2019
The Rev. Chris Kinney, December 28, 2019
The Rev. Lloyd Mart, August 19, 2020
The Rev. Earl F. Nelson, September 10, 2019
The Rev. Paul Ofstedal, October 13, 2019
Deacon Ruth Pallmeyer, January 22, 2020
The Rev. Arthur Rimmereid, June 24, 2019
The Rev. Duane Salness, August 20, 2020
The Rev. R. Ray Singleton, March 5, 2020
The Rev. Carol Stumme, July 10, 2020


Welcome to the Synod
Deacon Stephanie Anderson, St. Andrew’s, Mahtomedi
Deacon Mary Kay Duchene, LeaderWise, New Brighton
The Rev. Janice FitzGibbon, retired
The Rev. Kirsten Fryer, Bethlehem, St. Paul
The Rev. James Gustafson, retired
The Rev. Sonja Hagander, St. Anthony Park, St. Paul
The Rev. Fred Hanson, St. Paul, Stillwater
The Rev. Thomas Hanson, retired
The Rev. Philip Holtan, retired
The Rev. Dirk Lange, Luther Seminary, St. Paul
The Rev. Kristine Linner, Presbyterian Homes, Oak Park Heights
The Rev. Emily Meyer, United Theological Seminary, St. Paul
The Rev. Karna Moskalik, Our Savior’s, Stillwater
The Rev. Kai Nilsen, Incarnation, Shoreview
The Rev. Lee Ann Pomrenke, All Saints, Eagan
The Rev. Emily Rova-Hegener, St. Luke/St. Mark, St. Paul
The Rev. Nestor Joel Rova-Hegener, Our Saviour’s, Hastings
The Rev. Liesl Spitz, St. Timothy, St. Paul
The Rev. Deborah Stehlin, Grace, Apple Valley
The Rev. Grace Swensen, retired
The Rev. Nouk Vagh, Hmong Central, St. Paul