Jeff Hansen, Pastor
As an old John Mellencamp song says, “I was born in a small town…learned to love Jesus in that same small town…”. I also need to say that, rooted in the rich farmland of Blue Earth County in southern Minnesota, nurtured by a strong family and a generous United Methodist church community, I was also afforded lots of opportunities to learn, grow, make mistakes, explore and ask questions, even about that Jesus I was taught to love and the God he gives expression to. In that environment I was free and encouraged to seek, wonder, discover and express who I was and was becoming. It is, I think, the very sort of environment fostered at Spirit of Hope UMC right here in “the big city.” (If you grew up in a town of 300 people, this is big!) I am grateful and fortunate to be here! I invite you to come, discover for yourself, and perhaps become part of what the Spirit of Hope is doing and becoming here in Golden Valley. Welcome!
Jerry Rubino, Minister of Music
Jerry Rubino is beginning his 26th year as Minister of Music at Spirit of Hope. Along with Spiritual conviction, Jerry brings a tone of musical excellence and great enthusiasm to the musical offerings at Spirit of Hope. He is a conductor, pianist, singer, and coach regarded for his diverse musical interests, engaging artistry, and passionate enthusiasm for performing arts. Jerry founded and directs Voice 360, a vocal and instrumental ensemble that prioritizes the collaborative process of the singer/actor and dancer to present multi-disciplined performances of repertoire including early music, classical music, gospel, pop and jazz. His groups appear in diverse venues from Macy’s to Orchestra Hall. He is a music editor with Oxford University Press and the Hal Leonard Corporation, is the assistant conductor of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Chorale and his workshops and music directing have taken him to Australia, Asia, Europe, Canada and throughout the United States. In Minneapolis, he has taught at Northwestern, Augsburg and Carleton Colleges and recently music-directed Swing at Chanhassen Dinner Theaters and the Nautilus Music Theater productions of Man of La Mancha and Carousel at the Southern Theater.
Penny Bonsell, Director of Children & Family Ministry & Music
Hi my name is Penny Bonsell and I’m excited to be here at Spirit of Hope and to get to meet you! So, I will begin by sharing a little bit about myself. First of all I love children, it’s why I am here, they just make my heart sing.And, I do enjoy being with children of all ages too. I love music and singing; especially with children and writing little songs. Also, I sing in the Minnesota Chorale and play the mandolin. I love the arts, including painting, ceramics, and theater. I enjoy camping and canoeing. All of these activities I enjoy doing with others. I love sharing God’s love through Jesus and learning about the bible in faith communities; which stirred me to go to school. I am a second year student at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. One of my most favorite things to do is giggle and sing with my one-year-old grandson.
I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I spent a great deal of my childhood in a special place called Hiram House Camp where my parents were directors.The mission of this camp was to bring underprivileged children from the inner city to experience nature and the family life of camp. It was a big influence in my life. Through my middle school and teenage years I could be found singing duets with my dad at the Methodist Church where my mom was the director of Christian education. At the same age I could be found picnicking and painting in the woods with my mom. I am grateful for my childhood and I find such joy to be a part of others’ childhoods. I have five adult children whose names all start with N, three girls and two boys, and a son–in-law. The center of every thing seems to be our first grandchild, Ryland. Church, children’s ministry and children’s music ministry have been a large part of my life. I’ve been a full-time children’s ministry director for four years in Minnetonka and recently created parent-child faith-art-music classes for a Lutheran Church in Maple Grove. I am grateful for this new opportunity here, and I look forward to meeting you and hearing your childhood and faith stories. Peace and blessings.
I was born and raised in the Philippines, moved to Minnesota in 2016 to pursue my graduate studies, and fell in love in this beautiful state. I am the eldest of three children, and a Pastor’s Kid, from a family of pastors and deaconesses (grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins). I am a 3rd year Master of Divinity student in United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton. I love the ocean and all kinds of body of water, all kinds of seafood, cooking and coloring with colored pencils. God called me to be in ministry at a Youth Camp in the Philippines when I was 14 years old, but I was like Jonah, who evaded that call for a long time. Like Jonah, I was swallowed by a huge fish, and inside the fish’s belly, I knew that there is no place that God will not reach me to remind me of that call. When I was a youth myself, I was developed in Youth Groups and Young Adult Groups. One of the most fulfilling jobs that I had was working as a High School Guidance Counselor, where I found joy in helping others find their own selves and their worth. This, too, made me realize how I love working with youth and young adults and help them become the best person that God wants them to be, the best, beautiful creation of God.
The Youth Ministry Team has a lot of exciting activities for all youth and young adult persons. Hope to see you there!