GET TO KNOW OUR CO-PASTORS AND STAFF:
Co-Pastors – Marty Raths and Donna Buell
Our co-pastors began their ministry here in Stillwater in the summer of 2015. Marty and Donna met while in seminary and were married in 1986. Since 1993 they have served together as co-pastors at United Methodist Churches in Redwood Falls (1993-2008) and Northfield (2008-2015). They have one son, Nathan, who lives and works in Beijing, China.
Marty Raths grew up in Eden Prairie, MN, though he has deep family roots in Woodbury. He earned his B.A. in Religious Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, MN and his M.Div at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1986. At the heart of his theology is Jesus’ call to “seek first the kingdom of God.” Marty believes that we are called to be attentive and responsive to the kingdom in our midst, growing in wisdom and compassion, and partnering with God in the work of justice and peace. In his ministry Marty especially loves to preach, teach, and listen to people’s stories. In his free time Marty enjoys reading, listening to music, riding bike, cooking, and traveling. Marty can be reached at email@example.com.
Donna Buell grew up near Albany, NY, though her family roots are in Western Pennsylvania. She earned a B.A. in religion at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio and an M.Div at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA in 1985. In addition to pastoral ministry, Donna has served as a campus minister and a hospice chaplain. At the heart of her theology is the promise that God loves us and is with us at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. Believing that our faith is something that we are meant to live out in our daily life in response to the saving grace of God, she places more emphasis on the practice of faith than on specific doctrines and beliefs. There are many things that are means of grace for her: music, yoga, reading, movies, beauty, creativity, exploring new places and new foods, nurturing friendships and family life, “being” in the presence of God. Donna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Manager & Membership Secretary – Monica Basaker
Monica Basaker started working for First United Methodist Church of Stillwater in November 2013. As office administrator she handles the day to day operations and correspondence. As Membership Secretary, she maintains the permanent records of membership, baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc. Monica graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and has a business management background. She lived in Southern California for over twenty years before moving to Stillwater 10 years ago. When Monica is not working she enjoys volunteering at many non-profits around the twin cities. She spends much of her free time outdoors kayaking, bicycling, golfing, and gardening. Monica can be reached at OfficeAdmin@fumcstillwater.com.
Youth Director – Abigail Ozanne
Abigail Ozanne serves as the Youth Director at FUMC. Having earned a B.A. in elementary education from Cornell College and an M.Div from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, she has worked with children and youth in a number of positions, including teaching, running a mission trip program, and working at a camp. She enjoys sharing about God’s love for everyone and has an unashamed enthusiasm for scripture. One of her favorite parts of her job is taking a group into the Boundary Waters on a canoe trip each year. When she is not working, Abigail enjoys reading, fencing, knitting and spending time with her extended family. Abigail can be reached at YouthDirector@fumcstillwater.com.
Music Director – Becca Bellman
Becca Bellman has been the Music Director at First United Methodist Church of Stillwater since 2015. She loves bringing music to life through worship. After earning her B.A. in Vocal Music Education from Concordia College, Becca began teaching elementary music in the Twin Cities, and still can be found in the classroom five days a week during the school year. She also enjoys camping, canoeing, playing board games, reading, and singing in community choirs. Becca is very happy to be working at FUMC, a church family she has called home for a lifetime. Becca can be reached at MusicDirector@fumcstillwater.com.
Organist- Kathy Hartman
Kathy Hartman has been the organist, handbell director, and accompanist at FUMC since 1983. After growing up near Minot, ND, and moving to Woodbury, MN at 16, she earned a Music Education degree from Mankato State University, and taught music in public schools for three years. She has been teaching Suzuki Piano in her home in Oak Park Heights since moving here in 1981. She met her husband Greg at FUMC, and they were married here in 1989. She enjoys spending time with stepsons Brett and Trevor, three sisters and a brother and their families, and with her church family. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing pickle ball with Greg, and camping in their 5th wheel trailer. Kathy can be reached at Organist@fumcstillwater.com.
Sunday School Superintendent – Patsy Bellman
Patsy Bellman graduated from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls with a degree in elementary education. Besides teaching and subbing in the public schools, she has spent much of her life working with young people in a Christian setting. Seeing the benefits of having an inter-generational program at FUMC, she makes connections in Sunday School with our members of a different generation. Patsy also has dedicated much of her life to United Methodist camping. Relaxation time activities include reading, gardening, and games. Patsy can be reached at SundaySchool@fumcstillwater.com.