Introducing Pastor Kae
If you’d like to contact Kae: [email protected]
(Written by her Co-Pastor Mark)
Katherine Ann (Kae) Evensen is a published poet and columnist who writes for The Christian Century as well as for workingpreacher.org. She is also currently at work on her first book, which will be about Jesus.
Kae’s preaching is like no other. Unlike most of the popular voices in the realm of “Women and Spirituality” Kae is not sentimental. Her preaching is earthy, fleshly, daring, disturbing, hilarious, and hopeful. Kae’s preaching is schooled by great poetry and literature and by her wildly eclectic vocabulary as a student of disciplines as diverse as botany, geology, and engineering. Her preaching is also richly informed by her broad and vast resume of work: she’s been employed as a plumber’s apprentice, a bartender, an editor, a groundskeeper, a mental health worker, an adjunct professor, and a mortician’s assistant.
More importantly, Kae has an enormous heart. She believes that a promise means something. She is honest and loyal and fiercely advocates for those who feel like their voice has been taken away. Kae has this great vulnerability about her that invites us all in. Her sense of spontaneous play will always leave you laughing and make you feel loved. And, best of all, she truly believes that being your pastor is the best and most important work she will ever do.
A few of Kae’s favorite things are theology, drinking bargain white zinfandel with Benedictine nuns, literature, blowing stuff up, weightlifting, circus life, animal training, twigs, punk rock, and worm farming.
Kae is married to Martin Marty (who is as funny and charming as Jack Black, but without the celebrity baggage). Marty is the founder and co-director of COPE, the Hennepin County mental health crisis intervention program. Kae is the mother of two amazing and wonderful children, seventeen-year old Emily, a senior at Concordia Academy and twenty year old Jimmy, a junior at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Kae is also the legal guardian of three dogs, one cat and four fish.
Introducing Pastor Mark
If you’d like to contact Mark: [email protected]
(Written by his co-pastor, Kae)
My colleague Mark isn’t just any colleague; he’s a super colleague. Sure, he’s ridiculously smart, having earned his PhD at Northwestern University where he studied the post-modern turn with the likes of Jürgen Habermas. But he’s also worked on a farm, as an over-the-road truck driver, and in his father’s hardware store in Buffalo, MN. What this means is he can just as easily engage you in a conversation about plumbing or tractors as well as social theories or punk rock.
Although those things make him fascinating, that’s not why I’m so grateful to work with him. More than anything, he’s kind, an attribute not to be taken lightly. Kindness stands apart and recognizes others as human and vulnerable and real. Loving others, acting out of kindness, is perhaps the most radical way of being in the world as it leaves its signature not only in the present, but also works to redeem our human wounds left over from our past as well as marking a trail into the future. Kindness offers hope and more than anything you’ll notice the enfleshment of that hope in Mark’s children. Mark loves his kids, Angela and Mateo, and the humor and grace of their interactions sort of breaks your heart a little (in a good way). A loving, kind person will do that to you.
But more than anything, I am grateful for Mark as my colleague because he really loves Jesus. Not in that superficial, nominal, churchy way that can manifest as the latest trend in church development or organization, but in that awful and beautiful way when someone has been caught off guard by God’s grace made real among us in Christ. Because he’s so smart, he’ll tell you about the perichoretic love of the Trinity, but then he’ll talk about his wife, Natalie, who died in March of 2007, and the way Christ worked in her life. He’ll tell you that once you’ve been drawn into this Trinitarian love, you’ll never see the world the same way, and even in death – real, hard, emptying death – Christ is at work, transfiguring our lives into both humility and a fleshy kind of glory. He’ll tell you about Jesus, and how this Jesus is for you in all things and the way that Jesus’ love won’t ever let you go.
Mark is smart and hip and goofy and humble and kind. But Mark, more than anything, is a believer who has been caught by the amazing Trinitarian love of God, and who now, like John the Baptist, merely points. In fact, he isn’t just any pointer; he’s a super pointer.