Our Church Leadership
Our Church thrives because of the energy and style of the people who are a part of our leadership. Here are a few of the people that make our church community special:
Roger Grafenstein - Pastor
Pastor Roger and his wife Chele are entering the empty nest
phase with two grown children--a 25 year old daughter and an
20 year old son. They share a passion for seeing the beauty in life:
growing flowers, appreciating nature, and seeing God's image in
On Pastor Roger's office wall is a plaque: "The Pastor's Study - You are welcome here. Within these walls each word is safe, each burden gladly borne, and each blessing gladly shared." Such is the work of ministry and worship leadership--creating safe, sacred times and spaces that are sanctuaries where we are reunited with the God who made us. In these worshipful settings we are renewed to love and serve God's people and and creation. Telling the stories of God's loving, healing presence in our everyday lives is Pastor Roger's passion. Learning to live and love like Jesus and encouraging others to do the same is his daily goal. By following Jesus we are transformed on the inside and become part of transforming the world into a place where God's kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.
Del Larson - Certified Lay Minister
Del is assigned by the District Superintendent to assist where needed at Grace UMC. Del isn't a paid staff person, but he did work through a series of prayer and study modules designed for personal spiritual growth and leadership development. Del was a key person in completion of Grace's Picture Directory, in creating a new way of organizing Grace's Rollag Fundraiser, and this year was the Vacation Bible School storyteller. Del also arranged for Grace to be the HERO drop off site in Moorhead. If you have unused medical equipment you may drop it off at Grace UMC and HERO will then distribute the items to those in need. Del is focusing his ministry on visitation with the elderly and coordinating volunteers to serve meals at Churches United every 5th Wednesday. Outside church Del has been highly involved in Moorhead's Special Olympics. Del and his wife LuAnn are lifetime Moorhead residents, proud of their church and community.
Office Administrator - Sondra Vick
Sondra has her finger on the pulse of Grace's congregational life--as keeper of the calendar and organizer of seeminginly endless information. If you have a question regarding any administrative portion of Grace's Church life, Sondra will have or will find the answer to your question. Sondra also compiles Grace's newsletters, readies Sunday bulletins and PowerPoints, and is at the center of most of Grace's correspondence with members and the community. Most important, however, is that Sondra will always greet you with a smile and a gracious willingness to help you get the information you need or spread the word for a Grace project you're a part of. You'll find Sondra in the office M 9 AM - 2 PM and T- F 9 AM - 1:00 PM.
Choir Director - Jack Johnston
We are thrilled to welcome Jack Johnston to our Grace United Methodist Church community as our choir director! Originally from Mendota Heights MN, Jack’s passion for music brought him to Concordia College, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education (Class of 2020).
Jack is an active member of Concordia’s music department, where he serves as the tenor section leader of The Concordia Choir, and is a part of two of Concordia’s premier student-led ensembles, Vocal Jazz and Voce Hominum. Jack is also a lover of musical theatre, and has performed in many productions at Concordia. Some of his favorites include A Grand Night for Singing, Fiddler on the Roof, Chess, and Big Fish.
Jack’s passion for music began at his home Church, Augustana Lutheran in West St. Paul MN, when he joined the Cherub choir in 2nd grade. Ever since, he has wanted nothing else than to spend his time making music with others.
Choir Accompanist & Bell Choir Director - Sharon Fangsrud
Music is an integral part of my spiritual life – I would be lost without it. My church life began back in my home town in South Dakota in a Baptist congregation, where, as a young girl in junior high, I began playing for Sunday School and youth group, "moving up the ranks" to play for the Sunday morning church service and accompanying the choir as well as soloists and small groups. I inherited the love of music from my loving Grandfather (who I was blessed to be able to accompany often) and Mom (who was the first pianist when the Baptist church was organized in Milbank), and I will be forever grateful to them for the encouragement they gave to keep going. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many musically talented musicians. It has been their love and ministry that has inspired me to share my talent and carry on their ministry – through singing, playing piano, or directing the bells. I pray that my ministry will do the same for others.