Who Are We?

Mizpah UCC is a moderate to progressive congregation dedicated to spreading Christ's good news of God's extravagant welcome.

We can enthusiastically lift up Mizpah as a welcoming, justice-minded Christian community. At a time when religion is too often portrayed as narrow-minded and exclusive, we hope to raise our voices for an alternate vision:

  • Where God is all-loving and inclusive
  • Where the Church of Jesus Christ welcomes and accepts everyone as they are
  • Where your mind is nourished as much as your soul
  • Where Jesus heals and seeks social justice
  • Where together we grow a just and peaceful world
 

‘...and the pillar was called Mizpah, for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other.’”  Genesis 31:49

 

 

Staff

Rev. Zoe Kuester
Pastor and Teacher

Rev. Kuester received a BA in Psychology in 1982 and an MA in Family Social Science in 2009 from the University of Minnesota. In 2011 she received her Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in St. Paul. She has been a spiritual seeker all her life and found the Holy and Sacred through immersion in the arts, opera, dance, directing and writing. Because of this background she is dedicated to making the arts an integral part of worship and collaborates with others in creating vital, enlivening worship. 

Pastor Zoe became the settled Pastor and Teacher at Mizpah on October 1, 2015 and has brought may gifts to the church. She is a strong preacher with a compassionate spirit and keen sense of humor. Mizpah is happy to have her.

 

 

Nancy Johnsen
Administration, Education

Nancy has served Mizpah as Administrator, Sunday School Coordinator, and Youth Programs Director for 17 years.  In her Youth Program Director role, she co-leads YOUth events, collaborates with volunteers to design and teach class curricula, as well as plans, coordinates and manages Mission Trips. As Sunday School Coordinator, Nancy works closely with the minister to blend the Church School curriculum within the worship experience.  Before worship, Nancy sets up creative tasks which meld the day's scripture within the Children's Message itself!  In her administrative role, she acts as the central nervous system for the church, coordinating membership, facilities use, performing some accounting tasks, creating and disseminating the Mizpah Messenger newsletter, as well as administering the social media and website communications.  Nancy says that this is “the best of all possible jobs” and is passionate about her work with church members, and especially children and youth.  It Shows!

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Andy Pokel
Music Director

Andy Pokel grew up in Neenah, WI and attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he studied K-12 Vocal Music Education. After graduation, Andy toured for two years with Missoula Children's Theatre, bringing theater and music education to thousands of children in twelve states and two provinces. In 2011, Andy relocated to Houston, TX, where he taught middle school music, wrote and directed an original musical, and instructed students with special needs. Andy returned to the midwest in 2013, joining the staff at Mizpah United Church of Christ and continuing to teach vocal music. In his free time, Andy writes and records music, enjoys walks along Minnehaha Creek, and cooks up a storm. Andy is very grateful to work with such talented, dedicated musicians, and to be part of the Mizpah family.

Charles Scarborough
Organist and Pianist

Charles Scarborough grew up in Shakopee where his mother was also an organist and pianist.  He earned his bachelor’s in piano performance from Macalester College where he studied with Beatrice Giere.  Charlie went on to study and work with many other local musicians, including Edward Berryman, organist at Westminster Church.  Since then, Charlie has held positions at numerous churches, schools and colleges, including Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis and Calvin Presbyterian in Long Lake   He is currently accompanist at Benilde St. Margaret in St. Louis Park, and maintains a private teaching studio in addition to his position at Mizpah UCC as organist and pianist.  Charlie loves to play for church services and believes it to be the highest calling of a musician.  He currently lives in Hopkins and enjoys biking and everything else with his 14 year-old son. 

Church Leadership

T. David Williams
Moderator

Steven Nelson
Foundation of Mizpah

Cindy Clint
Clerk

 

Ross Brower
Moderator Elect

Mark Scully
Stewardship 

Sue Scully
At Large

 

Karen Huey
Treasurer

Shiela Hussing
Combined Boards

          Janet Blackstad            At large

 

Sarah Woodyard
At Large