Pastor Matt Cordes
Pastor Matt is a lover of Jesus, his family, spending time in God’s beautiful creation, and having faith-filled conversations. He grew up in small town Minnesota and have spent seasons of life as a youth minister, working construction, a basketball coach, a teacher, doing campus ministry, and as an Ordained Minister. He loves being a Pastor and doing ministry with the people of Hope.
"It is a privilege to get to proclaim the Good News and to be invited into the sacred spaces of people’s lives. I truly enjoy sharing the story of God’s love as well as hearing the stories of God’s people. The Church has a truly unique niche in the world to create something every human longs for, community. My sense is that Hope excels at creating community and I’m looking forward to being a part of it."
In his spare time, Pastor Matt loves the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and recently has become an obsessed Muskie fisherman. He also enjoys reading, movies and loves the game of basketball. He has three beautiful adult daughters, Madeline, Annie, and Lilly, and have one sweet little nugget of a granddaughter named Lola who has stolen his heart. He is excited to do life with you.
Wendy Hjelmberg, Director of Family Ministries
Wendy has been a part of the community at Hope all her life, and began working at Hope in 2000 as the youth director. In 2007, she completed her Associate of Ministry degree, specializing in youth and families, and accepted a call to Hope Lutheran as the Director of Family Ministries. Wendy has an infectious energy and is not afraid to tackle anything, including many things at one time! She has a great rapport with youth and parents, and is involved with the community, giving leadership to many programs addressing teen and family issues. She is active in grief support and nurturing every step of life's journey. From playing outside with preschoolers to leading worship to baking cinnamon rolls for fundraisers, Wendy shares her gifts and love of Christ in all she does.
Sara Nichols, Assistant Youth Minister
Sara began working in youth ministry in 2011, and joined the team at Hope in 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in Youth and Christian Ministries and a Certificate in Youth Ministry. Some of her favorite parts of ministry include anything involving music, being a part of life’s laughter, walking alongside others through the messy and broken parts of life, and just being able to listen to the stories of young people. In her free time Sara spends much of her time outdoors adventuring with her husband, sweet baby boy, and their golden retriever, Ole. From hiking and biking, to climbing to skiing, they are always up for an adventure together. Sara brings that adventurous spirit into all she does, and would love to chat with you about your adventures, too!
Stephanie Rhodes, Office Manager
Stephanie is the glue to the team at Hope Lutheran. She works in many areas helping things run smoothly, look beautiful, and adds color to all areas of her work. She has two energetic boys who love to help out whenever they can, and recently added a baby girl to their family. Steph has a welcoming soul and will be there to greet you with a smile and a helping hand should you stop by the office. Hope wouldn't be nearly as organized or color-filled without her!
Lee Mogen, Organist
Since 1981, Lee has provided wonderful organ and piano music for church services every Sunday, as well as for special services such as funerals and weddings. She also schedules special music for the church, enhancing the music ministry of Hope. Lee has incredible talent that she so graciously shares with us each week, including piano, organ, and leading the "Bells of Hope." When Lee isn't creating music, she is an avid gardener and enjoys her beautiful home on a lake.
Sylvia Ketchum, Building Manager
Sylvia has been on the staff of Hope since 1996. She takes care of all parts of our building from roof to basement. Her responsibilities also include scheduling and set-up for all building use, including weddings, events and use of the building by outside agencies in the community and surrounding area. Sylvia will tackle any care and maintenance job that comes her way. She is also a loving a mother, grandmother, and godmother, taking care of much more than that building of Hope, but the people inside. Hope is so lucky to have her caring for all she does!