Sarah Tittle: Parish Administrator; 612-331-3816, ext 301

Sarah’s office hours are Tuesdays-Fridays from 9:30am-3:30pm. Stop by and say hello!

Sarah has served as First Church’s Parish Administrator since September 2005. In that capacity, she answers phones and doors, creates bulletins, manages the calendar and mailing lists, sends out the weekly email news, records financial transactions, and pays the bills. In addition she will chat with you, connect you to a church member or event, remind you of when a meeting is scheduled–and then chat some more! A longtime resident of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, Sarah loves working within walking distance to her home. She is passionate about reading, writing, cooking, and conversation. She is mother to two beautiful young women, wife to a wonderful husband, and guardian to a sweet but naughty black lab.

Brad Schumann: Custodian

Brad is a life-long resident of Southeast Minneapolis and has attended First Church since 1970. He was confirmed here in 1977. Brad’s mother was parish administrator from 1972 to 1979, and at her insistence he applied and was hired for the position of church custodian in July, 1981. Brad’s responsibilities are, in a nutshell: to maintain the building and grounds; set up for and clean up after events; and  report building and/or equipment issues to the Principal Minister and Trustees.
Brad works 25 hours a week; his hours are roughly 10:30am-3:00 Monday – Friday and a couple of hours in the morning, and 3 or 4 more in the afternoon on Saturday. He also works part-time weekday evenings for United Parcel Service, and does odd jobs and lawn care for people in and around the ‘hood. When Brad’s not working he’s a devout homebody who likes to garden, play video games, shop at his co-op, and drink a beer on his front porch, while admiring his tomato plants and barbecuing. He also has a casual interest in history and sports.

Jane McBride: Principal Minister; 612-331-3816, ext 304

Jane’s work week is Sunday-Thursday, with occasional Saturdays. She is in and out of the office frequently; please feel free to call or email to set up an appointment.

Jane has served First Church as Principal Minister since February 2010. Her role is to empower the ministry of the whole congregation and the staff. She enjoys the rich variety of her days. At any given moment, you might find her designing a worship service, writing a sermon, visiting with one of our elders, leading a staff meeting, consulting about a needed repair to the building, talking with a member about a life issue, taking some quiet time to pray and study, having coffee with someone who is new to the church, teaching confirmation, working on getting our message out through Facebook, email and our monthly newsletter, or attending a meeting of a church committees or community group.

Jane is a PK (preacher’s kid) who has been part of the United Church of Christ all her life. She received her B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in 1997 and her Masters of Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2000. She began her work at Falcon Heights UCC in September 2000 as half-time Director of Children’s Ministry, became a full-time staff member there in 2001, and was ordained as Associate Minister early in 2002 where she continued to serve, working with three successive Senior Ministers, until March of 2009.

In her preaching, Jane seeks to interweave Biblical texts with the issues and questions of daily life.  She is committed to prayer and spiritual practices, and passionate about social justice.  She is especially compelled by issues related to poverty, food, environmental sustainability, and racism. She is a trained facilitator for the Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality curriculum and the Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circles (ASDIC). She has worked extensively with children and youth and has led several service learning trips.  Jane embraces in mystery and believes that we must see God in many ways, hear God in many languages, and call God by many names.

Jane enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, bicycling, walking, canoeing and camping, playing the violin and singing, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. Jane’s spouse, the Rev. Jennifer Nagel, is the pastor of University Lutheran Church of Hope. Jane and Jen are proud parents of Eliza and Alice.

Byron Almen, Minister of Music

Byron has spent more than thirty years as a professional organist and church musician. A graduate of St. Olaf college, he holds a PhD in music theory from Indiana University. For twenty years Byron was a professor of music theory at the University of Texas at Austin as well as the organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church, also in Austin. As a professional
musician, Byron values
 diversity, versatility, 
and responsiveness to the culture and traditions of individual churches. As a music academic, he has long been interested in why and how music can be meaningful to communities and individuals, and has attempted to integrate these studies into his training as a musician. Byron, his wife, Sarah, their son Theodore and daughter Antonia live in Minnetonka. He hopes that you will always feel free to reach out to him if you have questions, concerns, or comments, or wish to share your musical gifts with the congregation.


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