Ministers and Staff

Hello, everyone — thanks for reading our staff page!

Rev. Barbara Martinpastor photo joined Union’s staff as Pastor in January 2015.  Barbara came to Minnesota in 2008 from Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Paul, 2 dogs, and a cat. She was well-prepared for Minnesota winters having been raised in Billings, Montana. In fact, Leah Springer, Union’s Director of Faith Formation, is the daughter of Barbara’s pastor who taught her confirmation class! (There truly are no coincidences) Paul, a British transplant, has adapted well to Minnesota and is enjoying an early retirement after selling his Allstate Insurance agency in Portland. Her son, Alex, is a professional timpanist with New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami Beach, Florida.

Barb loves the UCC and feels blessed to serve in the Minnesota Conference. She embraces it as one of the most forward-thinking conferences in the whole UCC. We can be proud! She is excited to do ministry with everyone at Union and plans to take us into the future as a revitalized community of faith. She believes God needs us to be Christ’s hands and feet to deliver God’s compassion to the world.

Leah Springer serves as Director of Faith Formation and joined Union’s staff in February 2014. She is a graduate of United Theological Seminary with a Masters in Religious Leadership, and is certified in progressive youth ministry by the MN Conference of the UCC and Vibrant Faith Ministries. She has over 20 years experience with children, youth and family ministry both as a volunteer and professional. Before coming to Union she was the Minister for Children and Youth at Linden Hills Congregational UCC in Minneapolis for six years. Leah thoroughly enjoys working with all ages and has an established commitment to Faith Formation. It is her dedication to exploring new ways to grow a stronger faith community, her commitment to youth, and her nurturing personality that are most welcome here at Union.

Art Clyde serves as Senior Choir Director. During his 15-year tenure on the UCC’s denominational staff  as minister for worship, music and liturgical arts, Art created numerous resources and workshops and edited The New Century Hymnal. Since coming to Union, Art has served as adjunct faculty at United Theological Seminary and holds workshops in worship, music, arts and worship renewal. He lives with his wife, Carol Birkland, a magazine editor in the transportation industry. When Art has time, he loves to write music and travel. Originally from Pennsylvania, Art still considers himself an immigrant to Minnesota, and is enjoying it.

Peggy Johnson serves as Director of Music, organist, Children’s Choir Director and Handbell Choir Director. A graduate of St. Olaf College with a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Peggy has spent her entire career in music education and church music. She taught elementary school music and choir in Apple Valley for 35 years, was a member of the board for the Minnesota Music Educators Association and edited its quarterly journal. In 2007, she was inducted into the MMEA Hall of Fame. When Peggy is not busy making music, there’s a better than 50 percent chance she’s working on a cross-stitch project.

Heather Cummings is our Nursery Director. Heather is a graduate from Saint Mary’s University with a BA in Human Services. She brings over 15 years of experience in early childhood and school age childcare. She worked as a School Age Childcare Program Coordinator at the YMA and most recently was Lead Infant Teacher at an early childhood learning center before starting at Union in the Fall of 2014. Heather grew up at Union; she was baptized, confirmed and married here. She currently lives in the metro area with her husband and their two young children. She is very excited to be back at Union doing what she loves – teaching and caring for young children with creativity and expertise!

Katrina Holthus, serves as Financial Secretary and handles all aspects of the Church’s finances from paying bills, recording income and creating financial reports. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota. She worked in the telecommunications industry for over 30 years in various roles and is now enjoying semi-retirement and loves serving her church as Financial Secretary, singing in the choir and playing hand bells. In her spare time she loves to travel, read books and play video games.

Maria Mastro, Administrative Assistant, has been serving Union in myriad ways since 2010. Among her many responsibilities are creating the weekly bulletin, the weekly online E-Pistle newsletter and the monthly Uniter newsletter, plus keeping the church’s busy calendar up-to-date. But she says the people are the best thing about her position. While she has lived in Denver and Dallas, Maria grew up in Minnesota. She is from a large family, with two older sisters and two brothers — including her twin. When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling, reading, playing backgammon and cribbage, walking the lakes and hanging out with her cats.

Wes Bue has served as Custodian since 1998. He earned a degree in photography and filmmaking at the University of Minnesota, where he served as senior video producer for 23 years and as project coordinator for its Telemedicine project. In addition to working at Union, Wes owns a small video production company, directs live children’s television programs at Amplatz Children’s Hospital twice a week and does maintenance work at a women’s shelter. Wes lives with his wife, Denise, their son, Beck, and two cats. He enjoys movies, dining out, travel, amateur radio, biking, still photography and afternoon naps — when there’s time.

All members, Ministers