Rev. Cindy Maddox
Rev. Lauren Baske Davis
It is my joy to get to serve alongside people of all ages at First UCC. My role encompasses congregational care ministry, faith formation for all ages, worship leadership and preaching, and all of the general ministries pastors do. My favorite thing about my job is developing relationships and building community. In my role, I work to support continued growth at every stage of life, and to encourage care for both the congregation and the wider community. I am interested in how perspectives shift, relationships develop, faith builds, and wisdom may be gained when people of many ages and varied experiences spend time together. I am also interested in justice work, specifically racial and environmental justice. I am a graduate of both St. Olaf College and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Prior to working at First UCC, I served a congregation in another town for 5 years as an Associate Pastor and before that, worked at a congregation in the Twin Cities for 3 years. Before I went to seminary, I was an Education Director and a Unit Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, Minnesota. I am married to a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor. We have two children, a dog and a wily cat.
Currently retired from a long career of teaching piano and organ at St. Olaf College, Theo started her career as a church musician during her high school years in Vermillion, South Dakota, playing organ at the early service of Trinity Lutheran Church, then dashing the few blocks to the downtown First Baptist church to play for its later service. Her music education continued at the University of South Dakota, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, with further study at Indiana University (Bloomington) and the Royal School of Church Music (London). Two daughters were born in Indiana while her husband, DeWayne, completed his doctoral degree in piano performance, following which the family moved to Northfield for their new positions at St. Olaf. Theo soon became the Minister of Music at the Congregational Church (1st U.C.C.) and has continued to nurture the music mission of this faith community throughout several decades, more recently serving as organist and coordinating the project to refurbish the church’s large historic organ.
Director of Music
Christopher Brunelle has served First UCC as the Director of Music since 2003. He grew up attending Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, where his father Philip has been the organist and choirmaster for over fifty years—like our own Theo, he started his current position in 1969. After earning a degree in Classics and Music from Carleton in 1989, Chris spent two years at Cambridge University, where he was the first American to sing with the King’s College Choir. From 2002 to 2018 he taught Classics at St. Olaf College; he is now part of the Alumni Relations team at Carleton, and his wife, Serena, is a professor in the History Department. They have three sons in middle and high school and a genial yellow Labrador.
Director of Communications & Operations
Spirit Voices Choir Director
Bob Gregory-Bjorklund serves as Arts Coordinator and Director of Spirit Voices at First United Church of Christ, Northfield, MN. He is a UCC workshop presenter at the state and national levels and was a member of the music worship teams for General Synods 24, 25 and 26. A graduate of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, Bob spent twenty-five years producing, directing and performing professionally. Bob is also a veteran theater educator and director, currently teaching and directing at Arcadia Charter School, Northfield High School and the Northfield Arts Guild. He has directed many productions at all levels from professional to elementary, some of the most memorable being The Crucible, The Laramie Project and West Side Story. Bob’s experience at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music fueled his passion to help progressive congregations integrate theater into their worship experiences.
Deb Gottfried, Moderator, [email protected]