Clear Opens

January 19, 2018

As the Dakotas and Minnesota Appointive Cabinets continue their work to match clergy and congregations to fulfill our Gospel Imperatives -To Grow in Love of God and Neighbor, Reach New People and Heal a Broken World – we announce the following additional clear-open churches. This addendum, consisting of churches in three districts in the Minnesota Conference, has been added to the list that was sent in early December and will be included in our appointment-making consultation process. The clear-open churches profiled in the first notification letter, dated December 3, are still in the process of being considered by the respective appointive cabinets.

If you are interested in being considered for one of these additional clear-open churches, we invite you to drop an email to the superintendent of the open church, with a copy to your own DS, stating why you are interested and what gifts you think you bring. If you want to know more about a church, please check out the website and/or ask the DS.

Thank you, and we ask that you keep us in your prayers as we add these clear-open churches to the discernment of our appointment-making process!

Bruce R. Ough
Resident Bishop of Dakotas-Minnesota Area


NORTH STAR DISTRICT (Minnesota Conference)
If interested in this district, please contact the superintendent

Hawley United Methodist/Glydon UCC

Hawley is a town of 2,100, 24 miles from Detroit Lakes and 23 miles from Fargo on Hwy 10. Many folks commute to work one way or the other. Hawley has a 21-year old building, no debt and a large endowment. It has recently completedChoosing the Faithful Path and would like to re-innovate to reach their growing community. This is a ½-time appointment and would need someone who could be bi-vocational or work for a part-time salary. If a person with a desire to plant was available, this could be a great place to do a restart. AWA 26. Glyndon is a town of 1,300, 10 miles from Fargo. Many young families in town. The church is a small UCC congregation AWA 9.


TWIN CITIES DISTRICT (Minnesota Conference)
If interested in this district, please contact the superintendent


Excelsior UMC is located on the western edge of the Twin Cities District, 20 minutes from Minneapolis on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. The church averages about 160 in a single Sunday worship service and 30 in Sunday School, with 410 members. Their vision is “to be an intergenerational Christian family that nurtures the journey of faith and service to transform the world.” Leaders describe their congregation as “positive, progressive and exploring.” Their current pastor is retiring. Lay leadership is strong and committed. They seek a pastor who is open and welcoming, empowers lay leadership and supports children and family ministry. They are poised for intentional congregational transformation work. Reconciling congregation. Fulltime. Housing allowance.

Korean of Minnesota

Korean of Minnesota UMC is a congregation in the midst of geographic transition. After selling their building last fall, they are temporarily meeting at Faith United Methodist Church in St. Anthony Village, on the northeast edge of Minneapolis. They are actively seeking to relocate to the northeast periphery of St. Paul. The church averages about 80 in two Sunday worship services and 20 in Sunday School, with 120 members. They primarily serve the first generation Korean immigrant population, but are expanding their outreach to embrace second and third generation Koreans and multi-racial households. An English ministry is a growing priority. Leaders describe their congregation as “a loving, Christ-centered family.” Their pastor transitioned to personal leave and they are currently served by a retired supply pastor. The church is ready for a new phase of their life cycle. They seek a leader who can help manage the change process for a facility move and mission field outreach. A pastor also needs to be culturally competent, fluent in Korean with some English language skills. ¾ time. Housing allowance.

La Puerta Abierta

La Puerta Abierta UMC is located on the southwest side of St. Paul. The church averages about 75 in a single Sunday worship service and 25 in Sunday School, with 60 members. They are a bi-lingual and multi-cultural congregation with a predominantly Hispanic/Latino constituency. Building spiritual community, supporting youth development and working for racial and economic justice are priorities for this congregation. Lay leadership is effective and engaged. They seek a leader who is pastoral, culturally competent and bi-lingual (Spanish and English). They welcome a bi-vocational pastor. ½ time. Housing allowance.


Richfield UMC is located on the southern border of Minneapolis. The church averages about 190 in two different weekly worship services and 40 in Sunday School, with 410 members. Core values include:  worshipping God, cherishing creation, cultivating wisdom, living gratefully, seeking justice…in the way of Jesus. Leaders describe their congregation as “inclusive, progressive and committed to social justice.” Their current pastor went on personal leave and an interim began serving January 15. Leaders previously committed to entering the Missional Church Consultation Initiative process and seek a pastor who will lead them through these transformational experiences and initiatives. Reconciling congregation. Fulltime. Housing allowance.


If interested in this district, please contact the superintendent

Cornerstone UMC (Marshall, MN)

Cornerstone is located in the strong South West Regional hub of Marshall, Minnesota. With a population of 13,500, the town swells to 23,000 during the workday. The community hosts some large employers such as Schwan’s, Southwest Minnesota State University, US Bank, and ADM. The area is increasing in diversity and the school is projecting a 20% enrollment increase in the coming years. In 2015, the two churches of Albright and Wesley UMCs merged together to form Cornerstone. Recent average worship attendance is approximately 125. The church puts great emphasis on children’s and youth ministry, mission giving locally and globally, and active ministry teams. Current goals include: Break the 200 AWA barrier, Identify and focus on 2 to 3 missions, Redesign hospitality area. The congregation is open to considering new approaches that will allow them to meet their outreach goals. They range theologically from moderate to conservative. Desire a pastor to give leadership to staff development (currently in the midst of staffing transitions, but have staff for children, youth, and music), engaging family centered worship, and congregational growth. Full Time with parsonage.

Open Doors UMC (Wells, MN and Kiester, MN)

Open Doors UMC formed in 2016 as a rural multi-site experiment. Rather than a typical two-point charge, the two congregations made the missional decision to come together to form one church with two campuses in Wells and Kiester to reach the area together. The service area population is approximately 9,500, with 2,225 living in Wells proper and 470 in Kiester. With one service at each campus, average worship attendance is 110. Open Doors has a robust Wednesday children and youth ministries. Staff includes an office manager and youth and family director. The best missional fit would be an enthusiastic, forward-thinking, skilled preacher with an approachable personality, who can continue to capitalize on this rural multi-site experiment. Theologically moderate to conservative. Full time with parsonage in Wells.


December 3, 2017

Bishop Bruce R. Ough and the Dakotas and Minnesota Appointive Cabinets seek to match clergy and congregations in order to fulfill our Gospel Imperatives - To Grow in Love of God and Neighbor, Reach New People and Heal a Broken World. As part of our consultation process in appointment-making, we are inviting clergy to indicate their interest in those churches which we presently know to be open as of December 3, 2017.

Presently there are clear opens in all four districts of the Dakotas Annual Conference and four districts of the Minnesota Annual Conference. The clear-open churches in both conferences are listed below. The appointive cabinets will use the information from your interest as part of our process of appointment-making.

If you are interested in being considered for one of these churches, we invite you to drop an email to the superintendent of the open church, with a copy to your own DS, stating why you are interested and what gifts you think you bring. If you want to know more about a church, please check out the website and/or ask the DS.

Thank you, and we ask that you keep us in your prayers as we begin the discernment in appointment-making very soon!

Bruce R. Ough
Resident Bishop of Dakotas-Minnesota Area


NORTHEAST DISTRICT (Dakotas Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Grand Forks Wesley  

Grand Forks is the third largest city in North Dakota, with a 2016 population of over 57,000 (98,000 in the region). The city is home to the premiere university in the state, and the church is situated ten blocks east of the campus. In the past, and to a certain extent today, the church has considered itself to be the “university church.” In recent years, the congregation has seen a decline in membership and attendance but has taken steps to turn those statistics around (new contemporary worship service, participant in MCCI process). The congregation experienced the need for the former pastor to take medical leave, and so is served with an interim this year. The lay leadership is strong and vitally committed, and the church plant is the former Catholic high school (bought in the early 70s.) Parsonage is included.


Park River/Fordville

This federated charge (Fordville is completely Presbyterian; Park River is UMC/Presbyterian) is located in the northeast part of the district, 60 miles northwest of Grand Forks. The community of Park River, where the parsonage is located, is approximately 1,400 in population and includes medical facilities and good commerce. The appointment is a ¾-time appointment. The charge has been without a pastor since August 2017, when the former pastor, AOG (appointed by the Presbyterian church), retired after 18 years in ministry there. The charge is strongly conservative, biblically knowledgeable, and the laity of the churches are very committed to remaining open and vital in their communities. Parsonage is included.


NORTHWEST DISTRICT (Dakotas Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Minot Vincent

Minot’s population is 45,000 with 75,000 in the metro area. Vincent is located on a strategic and beautiful hill in the center of the city. With a strong music ministry, strong youth program, and committed, active lay persons, this church of 500 members who currently worship 175, is positioning itself for significance in the future as a reflection of its past and in response to the great needs of long-time residents and many new citizens. The church is currently being served by an intentional interim pastor and is working to lay new foundations and implement new systems as they prepare for new pastoral leadership. The church facility has undergone significant updates and additions and also recently purchased a new parsonage.  

Jamestown Regional Parish

The four churches that make up this unique and creative alignment have faithfully maintained their witness in each of their communities. Ashley, Edgeley, Wimbledon, and Kensal United Methodist Churches; for the past two years have been led by one Licensed Local Pastor and a team of committed lay people from Jamestown St. Paul's UMC, Jamestown First UMC and others from the area. Plans are underway to realign some of these churches, and the person(s) who serve as their pastors must embrace this “out of the box” way of doing ministry and be energized by leading in these new models of ministry. Edgeley and Wimbledon both have parsonages. Kensal has one of the newest community children’s Sunday school programs

featured in the Dakotas Conference.  The people from these churches are passionate about not just keeping their churches open, but fulfilling their mission to make Jesus Disciples.  


These three churches have been served by a fulltime Elder. The parsonage is in Streeter, a lovely community in South Central North Dakota of about 200 people. Medina’s population is about 300, and Tappen 200. The parish is located about equal distance from Bismarck and Jamestown. The three churches are known for their Mission/Harvest festivals held each fall, and for their strong Bible studies. Two of these three rural churches are located on Interstate 94, and Streeter is surrounded by many prairie lakes.


SOUTHEAST DISTRICT (Dakotas Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Hitchcock is a rural single- point charge 30 miles north of Huron with a population of 90. The community has a K – 6th grade school one block from the church and has a very healthy children’s and youth ministry. The church is averaging around 70 on Sunday morning with good musicians, technology, and a desire to grow and reach out to the community and area around them. The church is blessed with a newer church facility and a parsonage that was built in 2008. The hope of the congregation is for a pastor willing to invest for the long term in the church and community. Salary package is presently ¾-time but potentially ready to go full-time.

Kimball United Parish

Kimball United is a Federated one-point charge consisting of ELCA Lutheran, Presbyterian USA, and United Methodist. It is the only protestant church in the town of 700 along I-90 with a worshipping congregation of around 65. The church building was constructed in 2003.This is a full-time position with a four-bedroom parsonage. The church is seeking a pastor who can help them continue to reach into the community and expand their youth and children’s ministries. 


This three-point charge is located along I-29 in the Brookings area. Presently this is a ¾-time position with the parsonage located in White. Each of the three congregations has a unique story and style, from communities of 500 to a rural country church. The White congregation averages 70 - Aurora 25 - Sterling 20. This charge has potential to grow with each congregation being bedroom communities of Brookings.


The Montrose Church is a single-charge church, ¾-time appointment, averaging around 70 in attendance. The church is a newer and very functional ministry center in in a community of 475. It is located 34 miles from Sioux Falls on I-90, with its own K-12 school. Montrose is a very mission-minded church, has moved to a Wednesday evening SS program and averages 25 kids in its children’s ministry. They are desiring a pastor who can work well with youth. Worship presently is traditional but has recently upgraded video technology and they are interested in moving toward an Ancient/Modern style or worship. At the present time, there is no parsonage in Montrose.


SOUTHWEST DISTRICT (Dakotas Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent at

Cresbard/Tolstoy UMC

Cresbard/Tolstoy is a full-time, two-point charge on the beautiful prairie of north central South Dakota. It’s a quiet place known for hunting. The night sky is absolutely amazing!  Tolstoy UMC averages 20 in worship and Cresbard UMC averages 28. During the school year, Cresbard often sees 40 or more in worship. While they are not large in attendance Cresbard UMC is experiencing a revitalization with younger families now attending. They have recently added updated technology to their sanctuary. The pace is slower in Cresbard/Tolstoy and is a great place for a pastor and/or family who likes a more relaxing schedule. The people are awesome! They want a pastor who will love them, visit them, and lead them as they seek to reach new people for Jesus. Cresbard UMC recentlyreceived six new members, performed four baptisms (one adult whose life has been radically changed because of his commitment to Christ), and now has seven new children attending under the age of three. This church is moving out into the community to meet needs and fix up city property, and they are seeing people join them in this movement. It's a small town with not a lot of people moving into it, if any, but this church is changing lives! While it’s a small rural community, Aberdeen, South Dakota (population 28,425), the third largest town in South Dakota, is only a 45-minute drive away. The newly remodeled parsonage is in Cresbard, South Dakota.

White River/Mission UMC

This is a full-time appointment with a large parsonage in White River, South Dakota. White River/Mission is a rural appointment near the Rosebud Reservation in south central South Dakota. Mission is on the reservation and home of the Tree of Life ministry. Tree of Life was started as a United Methodist relief agency on the Rosebud Reservation. White River averages around 50 in worship. Mission averages 12. White River UMC has an after-school ministry and is the more active of the two churches. They would love to grow in worship attendance! It draws from ranch families as well as in town residents. It has an active youth group. Worship at both places is traditional. Lay leadership is very strong at both churches. White River has excellent musicians and a small band that occasionally plays in worship. Both churches, while on or near the reservation, are primarily white. White River has a nice school with employment opportunities. If you like to hunt, the deer and turkey hunting is amazing! Pheasant country isn’t far way either. The pastor also serves on the Tree of Life board, guiding the direction of this ministry with Native Americans.

Canyon Lake UMC

This is a full-time appointment, with a parsonage, in beautiful Rapid City, South Dakota. Rapid City, located in the Black Hills, is the second largest city in South Dakota, with a population of 74,058. Canyon Lake UMC is located on the west side of Rapid City. While the congregation has some economic diversity, the church could be characterized as affluent. This is the second largest congregation in the Southwest District, worshipping around 320 in attendance. It has a strong children and youth ministry. There are three worship services; a Saturday night alternative service, a Sunday morning Traditional service and a Sunday morning Contemporary service. This church has musical talent as deep as the ocean. They have multiple people on staff, including an Elder serving part-time. Canyon Lake has a strong mission ministry and is deeply tied to supporting Storm Mountain Camp. Canyon Lake UMC is looking for a dynamic, visionary leader who can help them position the church for a new day of ministry. Attendance has declined. This congregation is moderate to left of center theologically. They need a pastor who can lead staff, preach very well, read the context, and then develop intentional strategies for discipleship, outreach, and growth. An understanding of larger systems and staff development is a must to lead this congregation. 

Eureka UMC

This is a full-time appointment, with a parsonage, in Eureka, South Dakota. Eureka is located in north central South Dakota and has a population of 868. Eureka has a beautiful lake and park area which are used for recreation, fishing, swimming, camping, and boating. Eureka has numerous sporting opportunities, including a nine-hole golf course, softball and baseball fields, a tennis court, a basketball court, a football field, and an all-weather track complex that is open to the public for exercising purposes. Eureka has many hunting opportunities and has a shooting range just outside of town. Eureka is the birthplace of Al Neuharth, the founder of U.S.A. Today. Eureka's population consists mostly of German-Russian descent. This church has strong lay leadership, a youth ministry, and paid office staff. It has a beautiful building! The sanctuary is warm and complete with technology. They average nearly 80 in worship. The people are very politically and theologically conservative. There is a strong emphasis on Biblical preaching. The nearest larger town is Aberdeen, South Dakota, approximately an hour drive away.  They are looking for someone who is conservative, biblical, works well with youth, and is pretty well organized. Understanding German heritage is a plus. They have been without a United Methodist pastor since July 2017. They are being served by a retired Nazarene pastor. They need a strong leader who can match the strong will of its leaders. They are eager for a pastor who can both love them and lead them into a new day of ministry. They have declined in worship attendance, but, with the right pastoral leadership, they can move into a brighter future.


BIG WATERS DISTRICT (Minnesota Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Annandale UMC

Annandale UMC is located about 50 miles west of Minneapolis on Highway 55. It is located in “The Heart of the Lakes” between the Twin Cities and St. Cloud. It is a lovely community with an excellent school system. The church has a parsonage within walking distance to the church, downtown, the city park and the lake. This congregation has experienced many years of declining membership and attendance. The current average worship attendance is approximately 45-50; however, it has recently received new members. The congregation is mostly newly retired and aging members with a lack of young families. There is a core group of strong lay leaders with a desire to grow and revitalize. This group is committed to renewal and they want to continue their outreach efforts in the community. The congregation worked with a consultant in 2016 who provided training and helped them think through their options for the future. This church is currently being served by an interim pastor.

United Methodist Church of Anoka

Anoka, MN is a historic river town and suburb of Minneapolis. It is famously known as the Halloween Capital of the World. The United Methodist Church of Anoka averaged 237 in worship attendance in 2016 and is currently being served by an interim senior pastor. This is a congregation that has recently gone through the Missional Church Consultation Initiative and is eager to continue living into their prescriptions. Worship is traditional but they will be adding a contemporary service in the future. The church is best known in the community for its mission outreach hosting a huge back-to-school event calledUnited for the Community. In addition, four times a year the church hosts five families experiencing homelessness by providing food, housing and volunteer support. The family ministry area is led by a talented staff person and has gained momentum in the past year. The rest of the creative staff are providing excellence in all areas of programming. The congregation has a strong history of vibrant music with a full choir, men’s choir, adult/kids handbell ensemble and contemporary band. The facilities are well-maintained and have been newly redecorated. They are in the midst of a three-year capital campaign to install an elevator and over half the money is already pledged. This church is ready for a lead pastor who is an excellent preacher and who can effectively lead in implementing the MCCI prescriptions. Their new lead pastor will need to support and develop the staff and assist this congregation to live more fully into its disciple-making mission.

Cascade UMC – Deerwood

Cascade UMC is a church that embraces the values of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” First-time visitors often find the congregation exceeding their expectations in making them feel welcomed. The Deerwood area is located in the premiere “Brainerd Lakes Area” and is home to some of the best tourism and performing arts in the state. The church itself is set on a beautiful lot overlooking a small lake. Brainerd, MN is 30 minutes away and provides shopping, dining, and endless entertainment. Cascade UMC is primarily an older congregation and averages about 75 worshipers on Sunday. This church has strong lay leadership and some who are going through lay ministry training. They are eager to work with the pastor and are open to creative ways to reach out to unchurched young families in the area. Cascade has great local mission projects: “The Cuyuna Range Recovery Ministry” that creates a safe haven for people going through recovery from all forms of addictions, the “Come and Eat” ministry - serving a free meal one night a month for those in need, and most recently, they developed the “Partnering with Schools” ministry giving Cascade a presence within the school system. Every year Cascade hosts a community Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day - serving 150 meals last month. Cascade UMC owns a nice parsonage set on a wooded lot. The parsonage is located 5-7 minutes from the church.

Cedar UMC – Ham Lake

Cedar UMC is a​ ​congregation​ ​that​ ​worships​ ​about​ ​70​ ​people​ ​each​ ​week​ ​with ​a membership of ​140. The​ ​church is ​located 25 miles north of downtown Minneapolis​ ​in​ ​a​ ​neighborhood​ ​where ​family​​ homes​ ​and​ ​farm​ fields​ ​intersect​.​ ​It ​​is a fully accessible​ ​building which was​ ​built​ ​in​ ​the​ ​1980’s.​ ​This congregation is a very warm and loving bunch of disciples with a healthy DNA. They have​ ​a​ ​heart​ ​for​ ​mission, are ​growing​ a​ ​youth​​ ​group and reaching new people. The retiring pastor recently wrote, “I was aware yesterday of the goodly number of people in attendance who have been at Cedar two years or less - and we had two first-timers again yesterday. The spirit of the church is good.” ​Worship tends to be traditional ​ in music​, ​but​ folks are ​open​ ​to​ ​ ​more ​contemporary​​ sounds.​ ​​There ​is​ ​a​ ​very​ active​ women’s​ ​ministry​ ​and​ ​a​ ​men’s​ ​group​​ that​ ​is​ ​ developing​ ​more​ spiritual ​ roots.​ ​The​ ​men’s​ ​group​ ​​loves to do ​skits​​ at​ ​least​ once​ ​​a ​month in worship.​ This​ ​quite​ ​casual​ ​congregation​ ​has​ ​pride​ ​in​ ​its​ ​building and​ grounds.​ Outside​ ​groups ​ such ​as the​ ​Boy​ ​Scouts​ ​and​ ​a ​​quilter’s​ ​group​ use the facility, ​and all are welcomed. A​ ​new​ ​pastor​ ​would​ ​be​ ​expected​ to​ ​be ​​a​ ​strong​ ​preacher,​ ​a​ spiritual​ ​ leader​ for ​the​ ​congregation,​ ​a​ ​supporter​ ​ of​ ​children​ ​and​ ​youth​​ ministries​ ​​and someone​ ​who ​​would​ ​listen​ ​to​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​lead​ ​the Administrative​ ​Board.

Coon Rapids UMC

The Coon Rapids United Methodist Church (membership 465) is one of the larger churches in the Big Waters District. Coon Rapids is a northern suburb approximately 18 miles from the center of downtown Minneapolis and has a population of 62,000. It is a historic community with convenient access to sporting events, theatre and nature, along with all of the other amenities of the Twin Cities metro area. This vibrant, multi-generational congregation values family, diversity, acceptance of all in a community of faith and love, excellence in ministry, outreach to the world, powerful worship and music with yearly and ongoing programs nurturing children through adults. The mission of Coon Rapids UMC is to introduce unbelievers to Jesus and to lead believers in becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. With an average weekly attendance of approximately 240, this church is seeking a dynamic, relational and visionary pastor to lead them into a new life-cycle of growth in their faith in God, in each other, in their community and in bringing Christ to the unchurched. Coon Rapids UMC is currently served by an interim pastor who has been working with the lay leadership to establish a posture of positive change and excitement. This church is looking for a committed, gifted communicator of the gospel and a pastor who embraces both traditional and contemporary styles of worship to serve an evolving congregation with a heart that loves all.

Hillside UMC – Duluth

Hillside UMC (AWA 60) is in an older neighborhood in western Duluth and on the border of newer developments in the Hermantown area. Hillside was established in 1923 with a Sunday School that met in a (cleaned out!) chicken coop. In August 1951, the cornerstone to their very beautiful sanctuary was laid. This smaller congregation knows its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ and expresses this as: “Hillside UMC is a LAMP on the Hillside . . . Lifting up others in love, Assisting each other in God’s Mission,Making disciples for Jesus Christ,Praising God with all that we are.” While primarily an older congregation, this church has attracted some newer, younger folks and a few years back experienced some growth. The leaders at Hillside would like a pastor to help them right-size their governing structure and to help them better understand and connect with their neighborhood. 

Gethsemane UMC – Lino Lakes

Gethsemane is a lively, small congregation located in the suburban/ex-urban city of Lino Lakes. This is an area of steady growth, expecting a 6.5% increase in the next 5 years. The average age within a 4-mile radius of the church is 38 years. The average age of the congregation is 60. In recent years, members have worked hard and now live out the ‘Rule of Christ.’ They are a very welcoming congregation, having completed a ‘connector’ hospitality training with most of their members. They are known in their community for their annual BOOYA fundraiser/celebration and their commitment to the Centennial food shelf. Several members serve on the board, and the church staffs the food shelf one day per month. They are passionate about mission outreach and also regularly serve at ‘Feed My Starving Children’ and Wesley Meals. In 2015 they completed the Missional Journey Process and developed a new mission. Every fifth Sunday, as a part of worship, they adopt some kind of mission project - pack Health Kits for UMCOR, tie blankets for Emma’s House, etc. Worship is blended three Sundays a month, with a Praise Service on the second Sunday with guitars and Praise Singers. They have a trained Stephen’s minister who takes communion and visits homebound members in addition to the pastor’s visits. The building is located on a beautiful plot of land with a picnic pavilion in a prime location. There is a local day care which uses the building during the week. The parsonage is well-maintained and currently rented but could be available to a pastor at the time of an appointment change.

Northwood UMC – Esko (Duluth Area)

Northwood is a small town church serving Esko, Cloquet, and Carlton, MN with an average Sunday worship attendance of 42 open and inviting disciples. The population within a five-mile radius of Esko is 14,183, which reflects a 2% growth in the last 7 years, and is projected to grow by 3.2% in the next 5 years. The community is primarily white with a significant Native American population. Current average annual household income is $66,000. Northwood UMC hosts a Boy Scout troop and a community dance class. There are several young families with about a dozen children in worship. They have a talented musician, are open to changes in worship and are strong in adult formation. They enjoy interacting with the other UMC churches in the area. Downtown Duluth is a 20-minute drive on the expressway and has numerous cultural opportunities, excellent outdoor recreation such as parks, golf courses, Spirit Mountain Ski Resort, beautiful Lake Superior, hiking and biking trails, a mall and healthy downtown businesses and restaurants. The area also has two universities, two colleges, and several community colleges. Esko’s school is rated highly in Minnesota. Northwood is hoping for a pastor who recognizes and respects the committed lay leadership while also being open to new ideas, and who preaches inspiring sermons that make the scriptures relevant to life today. 

Norton Park UMC – Duluth

Norton Park is a small church serving the Norton Park community in Duluth, MN, with an average Sunday worship attendance of 45 caring, welcoming people. The population within a five-mile radius of Norton Park is 34,506, which has remained stable in the last 7 years, and projected to grow slowly in the next 5 years. Norton Park UMC boasts a strong connection with the Norton Park Community Center and Spirit Mountain Ski Resort and sponsors events like the Garden Tour, a Wassail Bowl, and Neighborhood Night Out which attracts members of the community. Duluth has numerous cultural opportunities, excellent outdoor recreation such as parks, golf courses, Spirit Mountain, beautiful Lake Superior, hiking and biking trails, a mall and healthy downtown businesses and restaurants. The area also has two universities, two colleges, and several community colleges. Norton Park has a strong Sunday School program which is attracting children and is also hoping for a pastor who recognizes and respects the committed lay leadership and who preaches inspiring sermons that make the scriptures relevant to life today. 



NORTH STAR DISTRICT (Minnesota Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Alexandria UMC

Alexandria is a growing regional hub of 13,000 off I-94 between St. Cloud and Fargo in the Alexandria lakes area. An expanded hospital, new high school and thriving arts and business community draw people from a distance, as do the many lakes in the area. Average worship is 147 and the church has a fairly strong children’s and youth ministry. The two Sunday services are both currently identical and traditional in style. The present pastor is a two-year interim pastor brought in due to previous conflict within the congregation. The church now needs a pastor to help them navigate change and grow. Has a parsonage.


Ely is located on the Minnesota/Canadian border and is the major western entry point to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Population is approximately 3,500 with an additional 2,500 in the surrounding area. Primary businesses are tourism, logging and mining. The current pastor is retiring after serving 31 years in Ely. We are looking for the right interim or long-term pastor to help the church envision and step into its future. AWA has been in the 60’s for the past five years, and the church has a Wednesday kids’ ministry and numerous outreach/mission opportunities. Traditional in worship style, the church knows it needs to adopt some changes and reach new people. Has made wonderful pasties for the past 80 years. Has a parsonage.


RIVER VALLEY DISTRICT (Minnesota Conference)
If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Brownsdale/Sargeant: Zion

Brownsdale and Sargeant: Zion is currently a two-point charge. Brownsdale (pop. 676) is located in Red Rock Township in Mower County.  Sargeant is a village of 61 and is located  9 miles from Brownsdale and 33 miles from Rochester. Farming and agriculture-related business is central to the area. Together the congregation averages 50-plus in worship, with approximately 25 in each. The worship style is traditional with a strong appreciation for the preached word. The appointment is currently ½-time with parsonage in Sargeant.

Inver Grove Heights: Mt. Bethel

Mt. Bethel is in the south suburb of Inver Grove Heights (pop. 33,400), located in a highly residential area close to retail shopping, a strong school system, parks and trails with easy

access to major freeways. Mt. Bethel averages around 55 in worship each Sunday with a more blended worship style. As of 1/2018, the congregation will be served by a six-month interim pastoral assignment to help them and their new pastor be better positioned to move toward a more vital missional focus and commitment. The appointment is listed at ½-time, with a possibility of ¾ time.

Pleasant Corners/Kasson

As a two-point charge, Pleasant Corners is in a rural corner located between Dodge Center and Kasson (pop. 6,000). Kasson, with a median age of 35, is located 13 miles west of Rochester. Kasson averages 57 in Sunday worship and Pleasant Corners 16. There is an opportunity for growth based on the close proximity to Rochester and a steady increase of new home construction in the area. The appointment is currently full-time with a parsonage. 


Preston and Harmony is a two-point charge. Preston (pop. 1,325)is located along the Root River in scenic, historic Bluff Country.  Harmony (pop. 1,025), a 9-mile drive from Preston, averages 21 in worship. Preston averages 34, with a more blended worship style. The appointment is presently full-time with a parsonage.

If interested in a church in this district please contact the superintendent

Slayton/Lake Wilson

Slayton and Lake Wilson UMC is currently a two-point charge. Slayton is a town just under 2,000 in population and the county seat of Murray County. Lake Wilson, a village of 250, is located just 10 miles to the west on Hwy 30. Farming and agriculture-related business is central to the area. Together the congregations average between 60 and 65 in worship, with Slayton being the larger of the two. Traditional style worship in each setting weekly. The two congregations work well together and often share ministries. The appointment is currently ½-time, with parsonage in Slayton. 

Pipestone Peace

Pipestone Peace UMC is located in Pipestone, MN (pop. 4,317), the county seat of Pipestone County and located near the South Dakota border. Pipestone Peace UMC worships around 65 each Sunday.The worship has been blended and traditional in style. As the SPRC discerns for 2018, the appointment will likely be less than full time. Parsonage located directly next to the church. 

Arlington/Church in the Maples

Arlington UMC is located in Arlington, MN (pop. 2,200) in Sibley County; the church shares a two-point charge. Church In the Maples located in Norwood Young America (pop. 3,600).  Arlington UMC worships just over 50 and Church in the Maples about 12. Both contexts have opportunity for growth as Arlington UMC is near the Sibley County East High School, and Norwood Young America is located in the booming Carver County. The appointment is currently full-time at minimum level salary only that can be adjusted with growth. Parsonage.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058