Reverend G. Travis Norvell, Pastor (email)
Travis and his wife, Lori and three children reside in south Minneapolis near Diamond Lake where they attempt to live out their commitment as “urban agrarians.” In January of 2014, he sold his car and chose to bike and use public transportation for his vocation as a pastor. His twitter handle is the pedalingpastor.
In addition to pastoring Judson, which he describes as the world’s greatest church, Travis is also a chaplain for the 5th Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department and an adjunct professor at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. His writings have appeared in The Christian Century, Sojourners, Star Tribune, Times-Picayune, West Virginia Gazette, Review and Expositor, and Interpretation. The writers who speak to him most include Marilynne Robinson, Thomas Merton, Walter Rauschenbusch, Howard Thurman, Wendell Berry, Dorothy Day & Denise Giardina.
Pastor Travis is a proud native West Virginian hailing from the town of St. Albans. He graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, and in 2000 from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (Martin Luther King, Jr’s alma mater). The pastoral life called him to serve churches WV, RI, and LA before arriving at Judson in July, 2012.
When he is not busy solving life’s persistent problems, you can find him enjoying time with his wife, Lori, a Minneapolis public school teacher, and his three kids. He is always open to having a cup of coffee with you, taking a walk around Lake Harriet, or passing a baseball. Feel free to mosey on over and peruse his blog: transitionpastor
Beth M. Rademacher, Children & Youth Coordinator (email)
Drawing on the experiences, observations and writings of others and on her own observations and experiences, Beth has come to believe that families are the “domestic church” in the world. She is excited to join with others at Judson in April of 2015, to continue creating all sorts of opportunities for children, youth, parents and community members as we explore and experiment with what this might mean for us. Beth graduated from the College of St. Benedict where she met her husband, Tony Aspholm. After working in a variety of faith-based settings, they settled here in the Kingfield neighborhood and raised four children. She likes walking through the neighborhood, baking and sharing treats, sitting quietly outside, and exchanging concerns and confusions and ideas and possibilities with others over coffee. One of her many favorite quotes is from Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who works with gangs in L.A. “There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love.” And from neighbor, Kathy – “Feeding the poor? That shouldn’t even be a problem!” And then there’s Larry Page, co-founder of Google, encouraging us to “Have a healthy disregard for the impossible.” Most succinct, perhaps, is this summary of Jesus’ teachings – “Care and share!”
John De Haan, Music Director (email)
John has been Music Director at Judson since 2006. He has a Master of Music Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Voice Performance. He is a tenured Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Minnesota where he teaches voice and diction to doctoral students. Prior to Judson, he was Director of Music at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Mounds View, MN.
In addition to extensive experience with both church and college choirs, John has a passion for opera. He sang opera full time from 1985 to 1995, primarily in Europe, where he met his wife, Jane. They live with their two daughters in Shorewood, MN. In addition to spending time with his family & two dogs, John enjoys boating and collaborating on fun projects with other musicians.
Jim Wentink, Organist (email)
Jim has been Organist at Judson since 2002. He grew up in Shoreview, MN and graduated from Bemidji State University with a B.S. in Music, majoring in vocal and minoring in organ. He started playing at age three when his parents bought him an Emenee chord organ. He has studied with Paul Manz and David Cherwien.
Both Jim and John De Haan share the common experience of having worked at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Mounds View, MN, but in different years. Jim was their organist for 12 years, leaving in 1994. Jim lives and works in downtown Minneapolis and enjoys traveling, walking, bowling and spending time with friends.
Eileen McLaughlin, Church Coordinator (email). Eileen is a long time member of Judson. Eileen started working in the office in April of 2012. She previously worked in the office as temporary administrator six years ago. Eileen has worked as an administrative assistant most of her working life in the corporate business world and the last couple of years has changed to working for non-profits. She welcomes the opportunity to work for a small non-profit church again. Eileen is married to Jim ten Bensel and has a step-son Adam. She enjoys singing with the Judson choir, reading books, sketching, her cat Cami, being with her nieces and nephews and gardening.
Shefali Vyas, Childcare provider
Shefali is originally from India and has lived in Minnesota since 2002. She joined the Judson staff in February of 2009. She has a bachelor’s degree from M.S. University in Baroda, India in Communication with a minor in Child Development. She is also certified in First Aid and CPR. She taught kindergarten in India for 4+ years and was awarded “Best Teacher of the Year” for 2002. In addition to her work at Judson, Shefali is currently a Lead Substitute Teacher at the YWCA. She enjoys working with kids and is proud to be part of the “friendly and cooperative” Judson family.
Shefali and Jaymik Vyas have one daughter and live in Eden Prairie, MN. Shefali enjoys spending time with her family, going to parks, watching movies, trying new recipes and exploring new places.
Julia Monson joined the Judson staff in August of 2016. She is almost finished with high school at Kennedy High School in Bloomington. She is CPR and First Aid Certified. Julia is a lacrosse coach for a Minnesota traveling team and the Bloomington Youth Lacrosse Association. She is a member of the National Honors Society as well as a mentor group at her school. Julia enjoys spending time playing lacrosse and soccer and being outside with her family.