Meet Our Staff

Pastor Mark Nelson

Pastor Mark Nelson

Senior Pastor

It’s terrific to be at Peace….and also to return to my hometown! I grew up in west Bloomington, went to Bloomington schools—Ridgeview, Penn, and Lincoln. I attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and, following graduation, entered Luther Northwestern Seminary.

Following graduation from seminary in 1984, I accepted a call to serve as Associate Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Long Lake and was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1984. Following eight years at Trinity, I served as an interim pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Woodlake in Richfield, and Nokomis Heights, south Minneapolis. In 1997, I was called to be the Senior Pastor of Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church. I also accepted responsibilities in churchwide leadership. I especially enjoyed serving on the Evangelism Task Force of the ELCA in 2001-2002.

Much to my surprise, I received a call in 2003 from the Division for Global Missions asking us to serve on behalf of the Church in Egypt. For the next two years, I served as Senior Pastor of St. Andrew’s United Church in downtown Cairo. The congregation is a Christian witness in a predominately Muslim country and provides congregational life and schooling for Sudanese refugees escaping civil war in their home country. This was followed by an invitation to assist with ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem.

Upon returning to the United States, I served as Interim Senior Pastor with at Peace, then Faith-Lilac Way, Robbinsdale, and Our Saviour’s in Minneapolis before returning to Peace. Throughout these varied places my convictions of the centrality of Jesus Christ, the unique life-giving ways of the Church, and the Church’s ministry in the world for the sake of the world that God loves has only increased.

When I am not engaged in the life of the church, I enjoy running, tennis, and reading. We like to travel to visit family and new places.

My chief joy in life, however, is in spending time with my wife, Marcie. We live in southeast Minneapolis in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. She underwrites long-term care insurance at Univita Corporation. We have four children. Brittany and her husband, Jeff, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and are raising six children; Julia, Sam, Jack, Aidan, Ryleigh and Holden. Melissa and her husband, Aaron, live in south Minneapolis with their children; Jens, Per, and Inga. Sons Tim is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science and John lives in Maple Grove and manages a warehouse there.

It is a privilege to serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this congregation!

Pastor Mark Nelson’s email is nelsonmark941@me.com.

Robbie Cape, Children, Youth and Family Ministries Director

Robbie Cape

Children, Youth and Family Ministries Director

I grew up on the outskirts of Atlanta, first in Stone Mountain and then near the Mall of Georgia, where I found a church that helped me grow in my faith. I attended Lee University (Cleveland, TN) for a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies and then Asbury Seminary (Wilmore, KY) for my Masters of Divinity. After working with YouthWorks for four summers, I then moved to Minneapolis to work as a youth minister in Columbia Heights and then with YouthWorks for eight years. Most recently, I served as the Youth Director at Waynesboro First United Methodist Church in Waynesboro, GA.

I have many hobbies and interests, many of them related to sports. I enjoy playing basketball, tennis and softball. I am a big Atlanta Braves, Falcons and Hawks fan as well as a crazy Georgia Bulldog football fan. (I am also a Vikings and Twins fan, so don’t worry about that!) I enjoy reading history and biographies as well as studying the Bible. I have always enjoyed working with young people and seeing God work in people.

My Minnesotan wife, Christy, our son William and our daughter Noelle and I feel blessed to be here!

Robbie’s email is robbie.cape@peacebloomington.org.

MaryLynn Mennicke, Director of Music

MaryLynn Mennicke

Director of Music

I joined Peace in 2009 and have served musically in several capacities ever since. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Theatre from Concordia University, St. Paul, but additionally, church music runs in my blood! I come from a long line of church choir directors, organists, pastors, and musicians. In my extended and immediate family, music has always been used to glorify God. I particularly enjoy singing trios with my two sisters.

As Director of Music at Peace, I coordinate all congregational music for worship, direct the Peace Choir and other ensembles, lead children’s music, sing, conduct and occasionally play cello and piano. It is a joy to serve at Peace where music is such a beloved form of worship and a precious gift to and from God.

In addition to serving at Peace, I work full time at The National Theatre for Children, and I am an avid world traveler.

MaryLynn’s email is marylynn.mennicke@gmail.com.

Bruce Hudson, Accompanist/Organist

Bruce Hudson

Accompanist/Organist

Bruce Hudson served in organist positions at congregations in the Los Angeles, California and Cleveland, Ohio areas. He is a full-time horn player with the Minnesota Orchestra, joining the orchestra in the 2011-2012 season. Previously, he was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2000-2011. A native of northeastern Ohio, he has performed and toured with the Cleveland Orchestra, and has been a member of several regional orchestras including the Toledo Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, and Erie Philharmonic. He earned both Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University and has been adjunct horn faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, and at La Sierra University in Riverside, California.

As our new organist, Bruce will play organ and piano for all worship services, accompany the Peace Choir and other congregational musicians, and serve on the church’s Worship and Music Committee.

We are thrilled to welcome him and have him join our music ministry at Peace!

Rhonda Hansen, Parish Visitation Staff

Rhonda Hansen

Parish Visitation Staff

I grew up in the farm country of southern Minnesota near Ellendale, a descendant of generations of German and Norwegian farmers—Lutherans, of course. I went to Mankato State University as an undergraduate and graduated from South Central College, North Mankato, with a Practical Nursing Degree. I have worked as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in homes and clinics in Mankato and the Minneapolis area, and am currently working in private homes as an LPN/Personal Caretaker/Companion.

My husband Evan and I were married in 2003 and have attended Peace Lutheran since 2005. At Peace, I serve on the Service & Mission Committee, and enjoy volunteering in various ministry projects (e.g., Loaves & Fishes, Kids Against Hunger), as well as attending Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening Bible studies, and adult education.

In my spare time, I enjoy exploring God’s beautiful creation in the great outdoors, walking, birdwatching, gardening, and photography. Since I was a little girl and to this very day, I have found visiting people in their homes or care centers to be fulfilling and a natural way for me to be the hands and feet of Christ. I feel blessed and grateful to be able to serve the congregation at Peace in the capacity of visitation staff.

Rhonda’s email is rhonda0705@aim.com.

 

Sue Larson, Administrator

Sue Larson

Administration

Sue Larson is the administrator at Peace. She grew up in Minneapolis, and graduated from the University of MN-Duluth with a BA in Accounting. She and her husband Steve have lived in Bloomington since 1981. They have three adult children, Andrea, Brad and Mandy.

Sue enjoys volunteering for the Bloomington Athletic Association in her spare time, as well as cooking, and reading. She is an AVID college football fan and enjoys following the U of M Gophers. “I am excited to work at Peace Lutheran and interact with all the great people here.”

Sue’s email is sue.larson@peacebloomington.org.

 

Daina Sivanich, Communications

Daina Sivanich

Communications

I attended Gustavus Adolphus College then embarked on 20+ years in the “Mad Men” world of Minneapolis advertising agencies.  In 2006, I changed gears and handled advertising sales for Midwest Home, a sister magazine to Minnesota Monthly.  A few years later, I  became an independent advertising professional with several small-business clients. In the summer of 2014, I joined Peace when God’s hand presented me with this perfect opportunity to apply my talents and serve Him and the members of Peace.

In my spare time, I enjoy book club reading, travel, walking and hiking, cooking, spending weekends at our family cabin, and being a mom.

Daina’s email is daina.sivanich@peacebloomington.org.