Covenant Groups Clergy Profiles

Nate Melcher - Twin Cities






Dorie Hall - Southern Prairie, LLP Group

I am inspired to be a leader in this ministry as it targets a very specific group of people with unique gifts and abilities, needs and training in the area of licensed ministry.  Our Clergy Peer Group will focus on those who are involved in licensed ministry in the Southern Prairie District.  We will meet monthly, on the first Thursday of each month.  In addition to those things proposed by the Clergy Peer Group focus, we will also spend time in discussion about our educational process and other such things deemed necessary to continue our license.  Our group is characterized by trust, accountability, confidentiality and full of the love and guidance of God.  We are open to any licensed pastor or lay leader who fits in this area and criteria.

Tony Fink - Mankato

I am leader who too easily falls into the temptation of trying to please people in congregations who is also a husband, dad, grandpa, as well as someone who loves and longs for God. A significant focus of this group will be around the theme of having a healthy balance of church, family and faith. The formed group will further define our time together. It will include Holy Conferencing and conversation, the sharing of insights and best practices, a time of worship with Holy Communion, with the possibility of some form of accountable discipleship. The plan is for our group to meet on the first Thursday of each month in Mankato. Among my interests and trainings, I am a member of the Two-Year Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation Forum, trained as a GBOD Jurisdictional Trainer for Accountable Discipleship, and a member of the former Council for Accountable Discipleship.  And, O yeah, before my call to full-time ministry, I was planning on being a professional tuba player, and I still have a tuba player personality!

Beth Perez - Rochester

I am just so aware of the struggles and challenges that we all face in ministry and it is my hope that we can develop a group who will come together in a safe environment to be in conversation - conversations which will bring peace and rest to our stressed minds and hearts, and in doing so, we can encourage one another in love to be healthy spiritually so that we can go out and make disciples for the transformation of the world. I'm just like you; I just happen to have a spirit of leadership and organization and would love to share that with some. I invite you, if you are in the Rochester or surrounding area and need such a group to be with, consider joining with us. You will be so welcomed! 

I am a licensed local pastor and consider myself so blessed that God has called me to this ministry in the UMC, but more! God has called me to be in ministry with so many of you who have such a strong love for God and God's people and we need to be sharing that with one another so that we are not isolated, so that our ministries will thrive and so that God's people will hear a consistent message. Would love to talk with you, learn from you, pray with you and go forth with your blessings!  

Russ Jacobsen - New Ulm

I'm preparing for the "4th quarter of ministry". In an external ministry sense, things are going well (even the DS is happy).  But inside, I am tired and wondering if their is enough gas in the tank to make it to the end of the game. I've played the first three quarters of ministry mostly on my own. I just can't do that any more. Paul Baker and I are committed to creating a space where clergy friendships can grow, our souls can be nurtured, and we can wrestle in very practical ways with how to make disciples in our unique local contexts. We don't have the answers, but I am confident we are asking the right questions. I want to finish strong. If you are interested in joining us on the journey, please let me know. Our plan is to have an exploratory meeting (hopefully before Labor Day), an overnight retreat in early fall to forge our covenant, and then to meet monthly probably in New Ulm.  

Barb Hegfors - Iron Range

Co Leading with Mickey Olson 





Mickey Olson - Iron Range

I am offering a clergy peer learning group on congregational conflict. I would love to do the Conflict Dynamics Profile together either the self-report or 360 version and then go into a case consultation format using a variety of experiential case consultation methods.  I will also provide individual feedback sessions for each person about their results. You do not need to be currently dealing with congregational conflict in order to participate. One common format includes some centering/scripture study, personal and professional check-ins, learning content about conflict, recovery and revitalization and learning how to use innovative and experiential case consultation methods.

Phil Schmidt - 








Amanda Larsen - Red Wing/Rochester

In four years of ministry at a large (but outstate) church, I felt isolated from my peers in the Metro. After six years as a solo pastor for two rural Fillmore county churches, I realized I was isolated from even my rural ministry peers. Last year I sought out a covenant group and it made a huge impact in my life and ministry. I found what I'd spent ten years looking for- clergy community. It required me to be intentional. I'm excited to start a covenant group, for one year, for clergy who know they need community but also need an accountable commitment to be in community. After discernment, I'm called to facilitate a group for clergy who are currently raising preschool/elementary/middle school children. This will be a new group of up to 8 people, committed to meet for one year, and learn and grow in a safe and supportive atmosphere. I currently serve the Red Wing area but live in Rochester. We will begin with a 24 hour retreat in September and covenant to meet monthly through June. I anticipate the group will meet south of the metro.

Tyler Sit - Twin Cities

As the church planter of New City Church, I am talking all day, every day with people who do not identify as Christian. I have found again and again that the Enneagram is a useful on-ramp to conversations about spirituality, especially with millennials. The Enneagram is an incredible tool because it gives language and structure to our internal life. I am yet to encounter a framework as accurate or thorough for spiritual growth, and it has become an essential part of my walk with Christ (and that of my congregation). I was recently certified by Anne Murree of the MN chapter of the International Enneagram Association, and my co-leader (Jody Thone) has taught Enneagram professionally for years. 


Jody Thone - Twin Cities

I love the Enneagram! I have found the Enneagram to be the most transformational tool in my life and in the lives of those who I have coached or taught, this includes clergy, corporate leaders, community leaders and young adults. I also believe in, and personally love to journey with a small group of people who want to grow, who want to live intentionally through deep connection to God, each other, and all of creation. I have studied the Enneagram extensively through The Enneagram Institute with Russ Hudson & Don Riso. I have also studied with; Richard Rohr, Michael Goldberg, Jerome Wagner, and many others. In my role as Director of Leadership Development, I am excited to partner with Tyler Sit to lead a covenant group focused on the Enneagram.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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(612) 870-0058