Worship Leaders

Clergy

Rev. Sarah Campbell, Team Lead Minister

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A graduate of Macalester College and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Rev. Campbell served churches in Grand Rapids, MI, and Bemidji, MN, and worked as a campus minister and a community organizer before coming to Mayflower in 2005. Sarah is a fellow of the Fund for Theological Education, a Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Grant recipient, a National Council of Churches Circle of Names Campaign Honoree (2011), a Leyseth award recipient (2010), and a recipient of the Louisville Institute’s Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders (2010, 2016). She was awarded the Avery D. Post Ecumenical and Interfaith Achievement award at the 28th General Synod of the UCC in 2011. Sarah was chosen by the United Church of Christ to serve as a delegate to the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, Korea, in 2013. Her publications include “Are you a Theologian?” Prism, (volume 10, spring 2004); “Non Creedal in the Cradle of Creedalism: Six Months In Istanbul,” Prism, (volume 25, spring 2011); “Pilgrimage to Varanasi, the Holy City of Death,” Common Lot (winter 2016) p 12; and “Ars Moriendi et Ars Maerendi: A Guide for Progressive Christians” (self-published 2016). Under Campbell’s leadership, Mayflower has embraced a clear mission for “God’s dream of justice,” partnering in the building of Creekside Commons workforce housing; transforming the church’s pre-school to an all-day early childhood center for mixed-income families; forging a powerful community organizing relationship with ISAIAH; refusing to sign civil wedding licenses until the state’s definition of marriage provided equal marriage rights for all; committing to becoming carbon neutral by 2030; changing the governance model to make the church more nimble and responsive; and building the staff, including a full time associate minister to empower the church’s justice work. She has lived in Avignon, Rome, Istanbul, and London. Sarah’s husband, Gus, is a writer and classics professor. They have two grown daughters, Hope and Hannah.

Rev. Emily Goldthwaite Fries, Associate Minister

emilyheadEmily’s work at Mayflower focuses on social justice ministries and the array of small group and adult education opportunities, as well as worship and pastoral care. Emily joined Mayflower Church in August 2013 having previously served as the interim pastor of Brookings UCC in Brookings, SD. She provided leadership in reconciliation work with the Lakota and non-Native churches of the South Dakota Conference’s Sacred Conversation on Race. She is an advocate for the environment and a champion for LGBT outreach and justice issues. Emily’s past work includes ministry in local church and nonprofit agency settings, including a year spent in Palestine with a UCC/DOC Global Ministries partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. There, she developed library resources and coached English teachers in K-12 schools. Emily has a B.A. in French from the University of Oregon and a M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion, and has recently participated in the Plymouth Center’s Emerging Leaders Institute. She and her husband Tim Fries are the proud parents of a daughter.

Eli’jah Carroll, Director of Faith Formation

As a recent graduate from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, Eli’jah’s focus was on liturgical studies and queer theology.  While at seminary, he worked in various capacities as a youth minister, Bible Day Camp director, and youth retreat facilitator, bringing with him in each of those experiences a spirit of helping people of all ages find reason to make ritual and spiritual meaning outside the church walls. Before answering God’s call to return to school, and earn a master’s degree in divinity, he worked as a stage manager, and assistant stage manager in regional theaters around the country. He brings with him a deep passion for helping children and youth grow their faith through creative rituals, and building intergenerational relationships.

Music Leaders

Nancy Grundahl

Nancy Grundahl has been the conductor of the Mayflower Adult Choir for more than 20 years. She has worked with Mayflower organist Dorothy Williams and Dana Blanck, violinist and director of Mayflower’s youth and children’s choirs, for 30 years! Nancy holds vocal performance degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota. As a soprano soloist, she has appeared in recitals and concerts throughout the area, and has taught voice at St. Olaf College. In addition to her work at Mayflower, she is the conductor of the Angelica Cantanti Concert Choir (youth choir) and the Riverside Singers of Augsburg College. More than 60 of her arrangements and compositions for choirs have been published by Santa Barbara, Alliance, Augsburg Fortress and Hal Leonard. She is active as a clinician and guest conductor. Her work with choirs draws upon her experience as a solo singer and voice teacher. Her exploration of vocal techniques for beautiful singing is a focus of her teaching and conducting. She enjoys finding repertoire for the Mayflower Choir that challenges the singers and enhances and deepens the worship experience. Family time at the cabin, taking care of her grandchildren, walking the dog and gardening keep her balanced and full.

Dorothy Williams

Dorothy Williams’ musical experiences began early and continued through a piano major at Texas Wesleyan College, a Masters degree at Colorado State University, and doctoral studies at North Texas State University. She served as staff and recital accompanist in vocal studios at Eastman School of Music, and on the music faculty at North Texas State University, Chicago City College, University of Calgary, University of Western Kentucky, and Texas Woman’s University. In the Twin Cities she has collaborated with various groups, including Harmonia Mundi, Calliope Women’s Chorus, One Voice Mixed Chorus, TransVoices, Vocalpoint, and Mayflower Church to compose and arrange works for performance. She has two children and eight grandchildren.

Remembering Dana Blanck: 1948-2017

In the spring of 2017, our beloved Dana Blanck died. Our prayers continue to be with her family and all those who were touched by her decades of ministry among us. Dana served Mayflower as Director of Children’s and Youth Choirs since 1979; Youth Group Director for many years; Founder and Director of our Bell Choir; and taught music at three preschools including Mayflower Early Childhood Center.