Covenant Groups Clergy Profiles


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!

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.  

Bethany Nelson - Rochester

Each season in life brings its own beautiful and unique gifts. This covenant group will be centered on the life and leadership of young clergywomen. Meeting monthly, this group will focus on the writings of Brene Brown. 




Eric Shin  

Ahn Young Ha Sae Yo?  That means, “how are you,” in Korean.  Hi, I am Eric and I am a Korean-American pastor currently serving in a cross-cultural appointment. I grew up caught between two cultures and had to “figure out” issues of identity and my place in the world. Growing up, I rarely invited my “American” friends over because it smelled too “Korean” at our home. These days, its hip to like “Kim Chee.” The hard part is not liking the food but rather getting to know people who look ,act, and seem different than us.

The hope for the cross-cultural covenant group is to build friendships, share ideas, and support one another. My other hope is to learn from each other, particularly how our cultures inform how we relate to one another as well as our faith. We can ask “dumb” questions in a grace filled place. Lastly, because we are United Methodists and have been deeply rooted in our “potluck” culture, I want to celebrate with food fellowship when we meet. Food is an important aspect of our cultures. If you feel called to eat, cook, explore, and share our unique cultures then please join the cross-cultural covenant group. We plan on kick starting our covenant group with an overnight retreat and setting our agenda and goals for the year during the retreat. 

Bill Eaves - East Metro

I am offering a clergy covenant group that will focus on resources for our own spiritual well-being, learning to make us more effective and fruitful in ministry, and some opportunities for having fun together. I envision this as a group where clergy relationships can deepen, and we can work together on the challenges of ministry. We will meet monthly at times that will work for group members.




Phil Schmidt - 







Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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