Meet the hope Team

We’d love to connect with you!

  • Rich Theilen

    Interim Pastor

    Pastor Rich Theilen grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, earned a degree in economics from St. Olaf College, and spent several years in the oil industry. After sensing God’s call to ministry, he went on to graduate from Bethel Seminary and has served churches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and British Columbia, Canada. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Sioux Falls Seminary. Besides being a pastor, Rich has served in many professional and community leadership roles and teaches theology at Solid Rock School of Discipleship. His wife, Cheryl, is a native of Wooster, Ohio, a graduate of North Park University, and serves as director of administration for the Northwest Conference of the Covenant Church. They have one daughter who teaches history in Illinois. In their “free time” they enjoy spending time at their farms in Southwest Minnesota, attending theater and other events, visiting family and friends, playing with their dog Katie, and traveling in North America and Europe.


  • RACHEL LASSEN

    Director of Worship /Director of Youth & Family Ministry

    Rachel started at Hope in the summer of 2016 after graduating from Bethel University with a degree in ministry. Rachel grew up in Slayton, MN and lives in St. Cloud now with her little dog named Minnesota... Mini for short! :) A few favorite things of hers include a warm cup of coffee, laughter, the piano, thunderstorms, and Goodwill. Rachel enjoys working with teenagers (they are THE best!) and loves creating spaces where people can meet God and experience His love!


  • KATHY ARMBRUST

    Director of Children & Family Ministry

    Kathy and her family began coming to Hope Covenant in 1995 and within a year, she was hired as the Christian Education Coordinator (January 1996). She was born in northern Indiana, but has lived the majority of her life in St. Cloud, MN. Kathy is married to her best friend Darrell, and they have 5 grown boys and 7 grandchildren. She prefers reading and can crochet just about anything. Kathy is known to the children of Hope Covenant as the "Jolly Rancher lady"!


  • JANELLE RUDNINGEN

    Office Administrator

    Janelle came to Hope Covenant in 2004 with 16 years of previous secretarial experience. She grew up attending a very small country church near Ruthton, MN. She is married to Lyle, and they live in rural Clearwater. They have two married children and three grandchildren. They are active members of Rejoice Lutheran in Clearwater where she participates in the Praise Band. Janelle enjoys spending time with family, flower gardening, singing, playing piano, swimming, and boating. Call her at the church office with questions or information to share with our church family. She would be happy to meet you. God's grace and peace be with you.


  • PAM SCHIRMERS

    Facilities Manager

    Pam and her family started attending Hope Covenant in 1987. She has been caring for the building since 1990, yes, you read that right, a long time. Pam is led by a passion for Christ and a servant's heart that compels her to interact with many ministries to serve God by serving His people. She likes to work on new ideas and projects around the property. She enjoys working with different community groups here at Hope. Pam and her husband, Steve, have 4 married children and are enjoying the crazy and exciting world that is entertained by 13 grandchildren. When time allows, you'll find her playing in the dirt around perennial gardens, attempting to learn a Chopin piano piece, creating new meals from Pinterest ideas, working on another quilt, or enjoying a book. Her favorite scripture verse is found in Philippians, chapter 4 and verse 13; "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


  • Jess Kerwin

    Facilities

    Jess serves the family of Hope by cleaning the building part time. Not always an exciting job, but hey she loves to vacuumm! She feels blessed to able to devote the majority of her time to her musical husband Eric and 5 kids ranging from presçhool to senior high and 2 Gordon Setters who have lots of energy. She has been married for 18 years She enjoys Quilting, bible studies, book club, chatting with neighbors, and being a friend to all.