Reverend Luke Stevens-Royer

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer. Rev. Luke leads Sunday morning worship services, works closely with church leadership and staff, facilitates opportunities for adult religious growth and learning, provides pastoral care, and represents our congregation in the community and denominational activities.

Prior to joining us, Rev. Luke served as Assistant Minister at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, Minn. He has also served as Coordinator of Youth and Campus Ministries at Unity Church – Unitarian in St. Paul and as Intern Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. He is a native of southern Minnesota, and a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

In addition to his ministerial duties, Luke is a husband and father to two small daughters. He is also an active board member of Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA).

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Joyce Rood, Director of Religious Education

In collaboration with the Religious Education Council for Children and Youth, Joyce oversees the curriculum and programming for children and youth, trains the adult volunteers who are the heart of our programs and creates an environment in which our children and youth are encouraged to question and explore.

Joyce has 14 years of experience as a 7th and 8th grade English & Social Studies teacher and team leader in the Rochester schools. This experience includes teaching units on World Religions. She holds a BA degree (marketing major) from Winona State University, and an MA degree in Instruction from St. Mary’s University in Winona, with licensure for teaching grades K-8. As a periodic visitor to our church, she brings an appreciation for our approach to religious life and an excitement to collaborate with us in fostering spiritual growth for all ages.

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Connie Schuelka, Congregational Co-Administrator & Co-Director of Music

As a Congregational Administrator, Connie manages our member records and our accounting functions for the business of the church.

As Co-Director of Music, Connie arranges guest musicians for church services, serves as an accompanist, and plays the piano, organ, and harpsichord for many of our services.

Connie has a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and music education from Iowa State University.

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Jody Tharp, Congregational Co-Administrator

Jody manages the day-to-day office operations of the church, manages the church’s internal and external communications, and coordinates building use.

Jody has served both nonprofit organizations and businesses with her skills in administration, human resources, project management, communications, and program development. Jody has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch University.

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Joe Mish, Co-Director of Music

Joe directs both the adult and children’s choirs and is responsible for the selection of music.

Joe graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in 1986 and earned a Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas in 2006. Currently, Joe teaches music in Pine Island, leads several orchestras and jazz groups at the middle and high school levels, and coaches the Music Listening teams. He also plays double bass in the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and is active as a composer and arranger of music.


Melissa Eggler, Coordinator of Congregational Life

Melissa assists the minister, staff, and committees in providing care for members and assists in the engagement of visitors, friends, and members in the programs and activities of the church.

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Tom Rud, Custodian

Tom ensures that our building is in tip-top shape for our programs and activities. He not only keeps our building clean but also fixes nearly everything that doesn’t require a professional license.

Tom worked in road construction for Rochester Sand and Gravel for many years and then as a custodian at Mayo for about 10 years before his retirement in 2009. When he’s not fishing, he’s helping his many friends with odd jobs. He can’t say exactly where he learned all his skills but seems to have an amazing knack for putting things back together.

If you notice something that needs fixing around the building, let one of our Congregational Administrators know.