Pastor & Staff
Grace Lutheran Church Staff
Rev. John Odegard
Phone: 507-345-4248 x 207
John Odegard grew up in St. James, MN. He was a carpenter for 10 years before changing careers to join Grace Lutheran Church as Minister for Discipleship and Faith Formation in June of 2014. In 2016 John entered the TEEM program, Theological Education for Emerging Ministries and attended Wartburg Seminary, graduating in 2019. Rev. Odegard was called to serve as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church on August 11, 2019.
John’s work as a carpenter has taught him the importance of Christian values in the workplace. He also learned that when you love something, you will always have more time for it, which is what led him to a career in ministry.
John lives Mankato, MN with his wife, Jenna and their two daughters. He can often be found helping out at Bumbelou, the children's boutique created and owned by his wife. He also enjoys camping, canoeing, woodworking, and riding his bobbed out motocycle among other hobbies. One of his greatest passions is building community in and with the neighborhood around the church itself. He especially enjoys the time he spends reading to children in the community and volunteering with schools. Getting to know new people and learning about their lives brings a lot of joy to Rev. John’s work at Grace.
Phone: 507-345-4248 x 203
Rich grew up on a farm northeast of Mountain Lake, MN. He graduated from Mankato State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. For over 34 years he and his wife owned and operated ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca, a professional cleaning company. Prior to coming to Grace in July, 2014, Rich worked at another church in the Mankato area as their Financial Administrator.
Rich and Fay have been married for over 47 years and have two children. Stan, his wife, Handan, son, Tanner and daughter, Sema live in Woodbury, MN. Stan is a lab technologist at Regions Hospital in St Paul and Handan recently received her nursing degree and works at a nursing home. Lana and her husband, Dave, currently live in Greenwood, ME, after living the past 18 years in Alaska. Dave manages a ski area and Lana is in charge of the food and beverage service for the ski area.
With a daughter living in Alaska Rich and Fay have made numerous trips to Alaska and have been involved in missions work with the native Alaskan people in some of the bush villages. A trip to Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and Greece in 2013 was a highlight in their travels. That trip included a tour of the Travels of the Apostle Paul in Turkey and Greece. Rich also enjoys alpine skiing and has served on the Mount Kato Ski Patrol for 25 years and has worked with the Mankato Area Adaptive Ski Program since it started in 2000.
Phone: 507-345-4248 x 201
Born in Albert Lea, MN, Joan grew up in Albert Lea and St. Louis Park, MN. As a teen her family relocated to Long Island, NY where she graduated from Hicksville High School. She Returned to Minnesota to attend St. Cloud State University for two years and then married. She is now divorced, but enjoys spending time with family.
Joan loves animals! She has an Italian Greyhound and her friends often ask her to look after their cats while they are away. In 2005, Joan earned a B.S. in English with a focus in Technical Communications and a B.S. in Psychology with a focus in Organizational Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato. When she has alone time, you will usually find her glued to a book, TV, or computer game. When she gathers with friends, her current game favorite is Quiddler.
Although Joan was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, she is currently a member of the local Episcopalian Church. She sings in the church choir, is a Lector and a Lay Eucharistic Minister, assists with the local Pride Fest, and promotes Fair Trade. In July of 2015, Joan began working at Grace Lutheran Church as an Office Specialist.
Born here in Mankato, Jordin graduated from our local West High School. He worked at the U.S. Postal Service’s Bulk Mail Acceptance Center while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. He graduated with a degree in European History and a minor in Anthropology.
Jordin worked for School District #77 as a substitute janitor but upon returning to the Episcopal Church, became the church Sexton and the Altar Guild Secretary. In his spare time, Jordin details cars as a business and is a member of the North Star Region of the Cadillac LaSalle Club. He has also been in the Oldsmobile and Buick Club and the Minnesota Street Rod Association.
Finally, Jordin has a smooth coat Chihuahua named Jackson (“he is my trusted travel companion and guard dog”) and recently took in a Pomeranian named Oreo.
Interim Organist and Music Director
Born in Hollandale, MN, Chuck attended St. Olaf College, George Washington University and the University of Iowa. He is also a Vietnam veteran of the Marine Corps. Chuck serves as an organist, pianist and director of Children’s musicals at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN. At present he serves as interim organist and music director at Grace Lutheran Church while Robyn Menk is on personal leave. He has been an organist for a total of 55 years. Chuck is married and is the father of two daughters and one son and the grandfather of 7 girls and 1 boy.
Worship Coordinator, Organist, Choir Director - Voices of Grace, and Children's Music Leader
Currently on leave.
Worship Technology Coordinator
Jason is a graduate of Augustana College (now Augustana University) in Sioux Falls, SD and of Minnesota State University, Mankato. He's been the guy who "knows computers" for decades and has been overseeing Grace's worship technology and presentation since 2007. He is a former president of the Grace church council, is the current chair of the Worship and Music committee, and enjoys assisting with children's education and VBS on a regular basis. He lives in Mankato with his wife and three daughters.