Our Staff & Volunteers
Pastor Tom Pietz
I’m Pastor Tom Pietz serving as “Missionary-at-Large” to spread the gospel.
A little history- both my wife Kris and I grew up in Golden Valley, MinnesOta (MPLS) attending the same Jr. High, High School, church and college (Luther in Decorah, IA) but she’s three years younger. So, we started dating her freshman year in college. Kris is a teacher (public school at first, at home now) and I studied Social Work and Religion in order to become a Christian counselor only later discovering my call as a pastor in the Boundary Waters (that’s a story!).
God has sent me all over the world to share the gospel. First, to Ecuador for 3 weeks with our high school church youth group. While at Luther, I toured with the Nordic Choir in Russia, Poland, and Hungary. First semester my senior year I studied in Cuernavaca, Mexico, along with Nicaragua and Honduras. Following college I served on a Lutheran Youth Encounter Team that traveled throughout the North and South America (Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru) for one year sharing Jesus through song, drama, puppets, and speaking in churches, schools, universities, prisons, city parks, and marketplaces.
I studied Youth and Family Ministry while completing a Masters of Divinity degree at Luther Seminary in 1995. We have served parishes in Owatonna and Blooming Prairie, Minnesota; Loveland, Colorado; Cedar Rapids and Decorah, Iowa, and now here since April 2010. In 2005, I completed a Doctor of Ministry Program at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
Kris and I have 4 delightful children: Tim (20), Dan (18), Sam (14), and Sally (12). They love sports, music, camping, discussions about faith and life, playing games and cards and the Vikings!
I enjoy meeting with people face-to-face over coffee or lunch or side-by-side on a bike, playing golf, fishing, softball or whatever sport you prefer. Always enjoying the 19th hole conversation afterwards. And I really enjoy singing and playing guitar, especially with folks around the campfire.
Justine Cadena, Youth Minister
Justine joined our staff part time in June of 2000 and has been a member of our congregation with her family for over 23 years. Her primary focus is on our Confirmation program for 7th & 8th grade students, assisting Pastor with classes and coordinating hands-on experiential lessons and activities, in addition to planning the summer mission trip and other activities for our High School Youth. Justine has experience in various areas of youth ministry, in addition to participating in Badger TEC, the Teens Encounter Christ Ministry. She welcomes parent involvement and new ideas for working with our youth.
Justine is involved in other ministries of St. Olaf as well, being one of the Volunteer Coordinators for our partnership with Family Promise of Washington County, is actively involved with our Women of Grace group, and the primary organizer of our annual Ice Cream Social.
Justine and her husband have three grown sons and is very thankful to see how God is working in their lives. She is passionate about sharing her faith and living by the “Marks of Discipleship” through prayer, worship, daily scripture reading, giving, and serving others whenever she can.
Shannon Lutz, Church Secretary
Hello, my name is Shannon Lutz. I have been the secretary at St. Olaf since November of 2011, at which time I was looking for a very part time job that allowed me to still be actively involved in my two children’s many activities. Lucky for me I found St. Olaf!
When I’m not at work you would most likely find me with my kids, Zach and Mackenzie, and husband, Todd. We would be at a school or sporting event, at the movies or just hanging out at home.
My children currently attend Hartford Union High School. Zach will graduate in 2018 and Mackenzie in 2019. I don’t know how they got older, but I didn’t J
When not with them, you would find me working in my garden, sipping coffee on the deck while watching the wildlife, playing volleyball or watching a movie (I love movies!)
You can get a hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at 920-474-7042.
Kathy Johnston, Financial Secretary
Clara Birkel, Musician
My name is Clara Birkel and I have a pretty long history with St. Olaf’s. Most everyone knows me by the person that plays for the traditional Sunday worship services. My husband, George, and I built and moved into our home within 3 miles from St. Olaf’s in May, 1969. In October, 1969, we, along with our son, Todd, became members of St. Olaf’s. We have two children, Todd and Tiffany. Todd is married to Cindy, and they have three (3) children: Trent (age 15), Ariel (age 13) and Ethan (age 9). Todd was confirmed at St. Olaf’s and is a member. Our daughter, Tiffany, is married to Jeff Brewer and they have two (2) children; Austin (age 17) and Zachary (age 14). Tiffany was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. Olaf, Jeff became a member when they were married and both boys have been baptized and confirmed at St. Olaf. They remain members of St. Olaf.
I began playing as a substitute musician at St. Olaf in 1977 which led into becoming the only musician in 1980. From 1980-2000, I was the musician for all services which had grown to three services a week, worked with the choir or later handled special choirs, played for Sunday School, etc. In 2000, it was decided that St. Olaf was growing to the point where they wanted to have a Minister of Music to expand the music program which I did not have the credentials for. A Minister of Music was hired and my job was eliminated. In 2005, I again became a substitute musician for St. Olaf’s which, in turn, by 2008 led to becoming St. Olaf’s only musician. At the end of 2008, St. Olaf hired a musician to play for our Saturday worship services. When I retired as a paraprofessional from the Hartford Jt. 1 School District in 2010, I began working with Pastor Matt and we worked on developing worship services for special occasions, working on expanding our regular services, and adding blessings and different music to our worship. In April, 2015, several changes were made and again, play for Sunday worship (except for the Praise Sunday), supply music for the Sunday School rotation, am in charge of the VBS band for our week of Vacation Bible School in August, provide special music for our worship, and play for many of our special worship services, including weddings and funerals.
St. Olaf has been my home for many years and I have obtained many lasting friendships from the people of St. Olaf’s.