Back row: Lea Ann Burau, Mike Christopherson, Shelly Hilgers, Mary Toufar, Myron Crawford, Carl Bredberg.
Front row: Pastor Dale Peterson, Pastor Christine Ruth,
Jean Krukowski, Susie Watts.
||Pastor Dale Peterson, Senior Pastor
I am originally from south Minneapolis where I graduated from Washburn High School and learned to love diversity. I have served as Senior Pastor at Faith since November of 2005. Prior to Faith I served congregations in Circle Pines, Minnesota, New Brighton, Minnesota, Jewell, Iowa and most recently Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. I live in Chanhassen with my wife Sarah. We have two adult children; our son Sam lives and works in San Francisco and our daughter Grace attends graduate school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota in 1987 and my Masters of Divinity Degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota in 1991.
My personal mission statement is, “To decrease suffering and increase joy in all that I meet.” I love being a pastor and feel privileged to be invited in to share with individuals and families life’s most significant experiences. My history as a recovering alcoholic and a former chemical dependency counselor continually opens up opportunities for me to share my experience, strength and hope. My life verse has been Matthew 6:31 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” (King James Version). I strive to create an atmosphere in worship services where people feel free to come “as they are” and leave knowing that Jesus loves them, accepts them, understands them, forgives them and promises to walk with them every step of the
way-no matter what-forever.
I love to travel, especially to visit our children. I also enjoy staying physically fit by bicycling, practicing yoga, lifting weights, doing the elliptical machine and taking long walks. We have a family cabin up by Grand Rapids, Minnesota that was a favorite place for my parents and we now share with my siblings. I am “at the lake” whenever possible.
Dale R Peterson
||Pastor Christine Ruth, Associate Pastor:
I am originally from Marshfield, Wisconsin, where I was ordained there at another Faith Lutheran Church in 2000. I served congregations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Menomonie, Wisconsin, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota before accepting my recent call to Faith Lutheran in 2015. My husband, Greg, my son, Kellen, and my daughter, Adeline, all live with me in Chanhassen.
I received my BS in Social Work in Luther College in 1995, my M.Div. from Luther Seminary in 2000, and my MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2012.
My passion in ministry is helping ordinary people discover their spiritual gifts and their unique spiritual-DNA – how God has uniquely wired them to love and serve their community. I believe that the world is desperately in need of people who have “come alive” and are living the “abundant life” Jesus talks about in John 10:10. I believe that we find our deepest sense of joy and meaning when loving and serving our neighbor in the way that fits best for us. I am committed to community outreach, healing marriages and families, and to preaching relevant sermons that are challenging and easily applicable to your life.
When I’m not at church, you can find me drinking cappuccinos at the Mocha Monkey, singing in community musical theater, reading Tolkien, doing Zumba, or canoeing in the Boundary Waters.
Pastor Christine Ruth
|Mary Toufar, Director of Children, Youth and Family,
God has formed me and my ministry by a long and patient molding of my life and my experiences. I am the daughter of a preacher. My dad was the first to plant the seed in me –“someday you will be a leader in the church.” I am the mother of five, the mother-in-law of four and the “NANA” of six. Family is very important to all of us.
Prior to moving to Waconia, my husband and I were camp directors at Luther Park Bible Camp in Chetek, WI for 23 years. Before that we were teachers in Prescott, WI and went to camp in the summer months. Before that we were both students and graduates of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with degrees in Education.
My favorite calling in life is that of a “disciple-maker”. This is a calling I can live out in my family, my community and my church. When working with young people I feel that it is very important for them to know that God’s calling in their lives begins NOW.
There are three verses from the Bible that help form my purpose statement.
Ms. Mary Toufar
- “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” [Jesus] Matthew 19:14
- “Go . . . make disciples. Baptize them and teach them to obey me. . . Remember, I will be with you always.” [Jesus] Matthew 28:19-20
- Advice given to Timothy when he was feeling to young and unworthy – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in live, in love in faith and in purity.” [Paul] 1 Timothy 4:12
Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry
952-442-2101 X. 105
Myron Crawford, Youth and Family Minister
I am originally from Woodstock, IL which is where the movie Groundhog's Day was filmed and Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould lived. I have served congregations in Oconto, WI and Buffalo, MN. My wife, Jane, my sons, Quinn and Josiah and daughter, Kacy all live with me in Buffalo.
My favorite verse currently is Romans 8:38-39: 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This reminds me, that no matter what, God loves me and you! There is nothing that I can say or do that will ever change that!
When I'm not at Faith, I am either DJing a wedding ( I have been for about 20 years and have done over 1000 weddings), chilling in my recliner watching movies or hanging with my family.
Youth and Family Minister
952-442-2101 X. 111
Ms. Shelly Hilgers is the primary worship accompanist at Faith Lutheran Church. She plays the piano for all of the Sunday services and accompanies the youth and adult choirs. She also plays for the Christmas and Easter festival worship as well as other Faith special events.
Lea Ann Burau is the director of the Kid's Club Choir at Faith. This choir includes children that are in kindergarten through 4th grade. Lea Ann and her husband, Gary have been members of Faith Lutheran Church for over 40 years. In the past Lea Ann directed the Cherub Choir when her children were young and now returns to direct the Kid's Club Choir where she enjoys having her grandchildren involved in singing. Lea Ann's interests include quilting, travel and entertaining.Ms. Kay Young is the Director of Joyful Noise Singers the 5th & 6th Grade Choir.
Mr. Aaron Olson is our Director of Faith Choir (adult). He received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and his Masters degree from the University of Minnesota. Previous to moving to Waconia, Aaron directed the Pilgrim Lutheran Church adult choir in Superior Wisconsin for six years. Aaron is also currently the director of choral activities at Waconia High School where he directs four curricular choirs in addition to directing Power Company, Waconia High School’s Award winning show Choir. Aaron, his wife Liz and their two children Emma and Ethan have been members at Faith since 1998.
Ms. Jeanine Kruschke is our Director for the Prime Time Band, Faith's Praise Band. She received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and her Masters degree from Capella University. Jeanine is the Director of Bands at Belle Plaine High School. At Belle Plaine she conducts the 7th and 8th Grade Bands, the High School Concert Band and many other small ensembles including Jazz Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. Jeanine, her husband Peter and daughter Sophia live in Belle Plaine. They have been members at Faith since 2009.
Our Support Staff:
Mike Christopherson is Faith’s Church Administrator, Mike
began this position in March 2006, in addition to his administrative duties
Mike is also the financial coordinator. Contact Mike at, MikeC@waconiafaithlutheran.com
Jean Krukowski is Faith's Church Administrator/Communications. Jean began this position in 2002, in addition to her administrative duties
Jean also serves as
Faith's Comunication editor. she designs and publishes Faith In Action newsletter, facebook page, announcements/bulletins and worship powerpoints. Website coordinator with Melonie Elvebak. Contact Jean at, Jean@waconiafaithlutheran.com
Susie Watts is Faith's Volunteer
Coordinatior. Susie began in April 2007, she organizies our volunteer
data base, and supports the administrators. Contact Susie at, Susie@waconiafaithlutheran.com
Carl Bredberg joins us as Faith's custodian August 2010. Mr. Dean Culver joins us as Faith's Sunday custodian.
staff is proud to serve Jesus Christ through our ministry together at
Faith Lutheran Church!