Our Staff Team
Pastor Ralph is excited to be a part of the Monticello Community. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Candy, for 38 years. They have three daughters and nine grandchildren. Pastor Ralph received a BA in Christian Ministry from Bethel University and a Master of Divinity from Bethel Seminary. What brings him great joy is when someone opens their heart to Christ and their life is transformed. His dream for the church is that it would one day unite in love, so more people see and believe. In his free time, he values time with family, motorcycle rides, and vacations. Some of his favorite places to visit include Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and any place there is lots of sunshine!
Director of Children's, Youth and Family Ministries
Jess grew up in Ellsworth, Wisconsin on a small dairy farm. She started playing the piano when she was six years old and discovered her passion for making and sharing music with all ages. She earned a B.S. in Music Education at UW LaCrosse then spent 8 years on Whidbey Island in Langley, Washington, where she began her career as a middle school band director. In 2010, Jess completed the Music Together® Teaching Workshop developed by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ. Jess has taught Music Together classes for eight years and continues to offer these fun and important early childhood music education classes here at Community. Most recently, Jess has been working as a music director at English Lutheran Church in Ellsworth, WI. Jess’ strong faith and search for the Holy Spirit in her midst have played a key role in her life. She and her husband, Dan, live in Otsego with their two children, Theo and Belle. As a family, they enjoy the outdoors and going on adventures to new places.
Office Administrator / Communications Specialist
Joanie grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota. She earned a B.A. in Christian Ministries from Bethel University, with a minor in Music. Joanie has served various churches in the metropolitan area for over thirty years as a Music Director and Worship Minister/Leader; as well as in the capacity of communications and program administration. Joanie and Dennis have six children and two grandchildren. They enjoy loud family parties, taking care of the grand-kids, and performing in the metro area (Dennis is also a musician). Joanie loves taking care of her yard and garden in summer, and staying warm and cozy in the winter!
As the son of itinerant Christian ministers, Lars grew up under revival tents along the Midwest. He graduated from The Salvation Army Training College in Chicago with a focus on Practical Ministries and worked within that organization for 15+ years. His passion for worship is only matched by his care for the disenfranchised. In addition to his work at Community United Methodist Church, he also serves as Executive Director of the Monticello Help Center and works as a professional musician. Lars has 2 sons, Mark and Ethan, whom he adores! In his free time, Lars enjoys RV-ing, puzzles, flea markets and musical instruments created from found objects.
Bell Choir Director
From Battle Lake, Minnesota, Monica describes herself as "a small town girl." She graduated from Augsburg College with a major in history and minors in English and Religion. She has been very active in music and children's ministries, beginning that adventure at Community United Methodist Church in Columbia Heights. (We're thankful she has found her way to the Monticello Community UMC!)
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children. Sitting at the table, sharing a meal together, and listening to the conversation fills her heart with joy.
Bruce has lived in Monticello most of his life. He started out in St. Louis Park and moved to Monticello at age 11. He has served as Community's custodian for 18 years and has worked for the Monticello School District since 1992. He has experience working in construction and farming as well. Bruce and his wife, Ellen, have been happily married for thirty years. They have three children: Andrea, Sadie and Mitch, all of whom they are very proud. In In his free time Bruce likes to camp, hunt and work around his house.
Bruce is proud of the fact that four generations of his family have held their membership at Community! One of his favorite Bible verses is Psalm 118:24: "This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it."