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Pastor Karri Anderson, Interim Pastor

Pastor Karri received an Associate of Arts degree in Nursing from Anoka-Ramsey Community College and later graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota with a Master of Divinity in 1994.  Her internship year at the seminary was spent as a resident chaplain at North Memorial Hospital in  Robbinsdale, and after graduation she worked as an LSS chaplain in a large senior long-term care facility in New Hope.  In 1997 she received her first call as Pastor of Congregational Care at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove and began serving as an intentional interim pastor in 2006.  Her ministry experience has been diverse, serving from solo to  senior pastorates, inner city to rural settings, and in congregations with less than 100 members to those with over 7000.  St. Stephen is Pastor Karri’s 11th interim and her fourth in the St. Paul Area Synod.
Pastor Karri grew up in Coon Rapids, but now makes her home with husband Ron and shih tzu  Cindy Lu on the second Lake of Forest Lake.  Ron is the executive director of their family owned dance studio, home of the Northern Force Dance Company, which is located in Blaine.
Her children include son Ryan and his wife Suzanne, who live in Forest Lake together with their 8 year-old son Cody and 6 year-old daughter Sydney.  Her daughter Kara works with her husband Ron at the dance studio and Kara and her husband Kyle live in Blaine with 13 year-old Kale, 12 year-old Kenley, 8 year-old Keaton and 4 year old Kaisen.  Youngest son Digger and his wife Lindsay reside in Grand Forks with 11 year-old daughter Finn, 9 year-old Olive, 6 year- old son Grey and 3 year old daughter Lennon.  When she’s not working or watching her grandkids she loves reading, puzzles, knitting, sewing, quilting, embroidery, photography, summer sports on the lake and she gets immense pleasure in strapping on a tool belt!

Pastor Juli Thompson, Visitation Pastor


Pastor Juli was born in Virginia and raised in Mississippi and Alabama.  Despite this, she has endured the Minnesota winters since 1992.  She has degrees from Beloit College, Luther Seminary, and the University of Virginia.  Since ordination in 2000, she has served as a parish pastor, as an interim ministry specialist, as a faith-based community organizer, and as a chaplain in hospitals, hospices, and senior living facilities.   She is the mother of two delightful children, a dedicated knitter, a passionate Tolkien fan, and believes that, while all dogs are good dogs, Dachshunds are the best.

Melissa Whitman, Director of Youth and Family Ministries


I have been active in church since I was 11 years old, spending my first 14 years of church life at a large Four Square Church in Washington State before finally stumbling across a Lutheran Church.  It was at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Marysville, WA, that I finally felt as though I truly “belonged” at church.  I was involved in children and youth programs and served on council. I have two children, Mira (16) and Ezra (7).  We live in WBL and we are active in the schools and community.

I have worked at St. Stephen since October of 2013.  My favorite youth program is our annual mission trip.

If you need me you can always send an email.

Paul Schultz, Director of Children and Family Ministries


My name is Paul Schultz the new (or old) Children’s Ministry Director at St. Stephen Lutheran Church.  My wife Karen and I have been members since 1981 with our two sons Jason and Stephen.  I served as Children’s Ministry Director once before from 1993 – 2000 and now I’m Back.  After that I was employed  by Independent School District #916 in their Special Education department for 20 years before retiring in 2019.  I’ve been a Boy Scout Leader for many years and was honored with the Silver Beaver award.  Also have served on Council and have been a Board member for Camp Wapo.  In my spare time I enjoy being a grandpa for my two grandchildren, Everett and Aubrey, walking and/or hiking (not so much of this anymore), reading Science Fiction and History, traveling to Hawaii (winter) and Europe.  My most recent travel experience was this summer (2023) in Colorado and a Fly-in fishing expedition in Canada (80 – 100 fish per boat, per day as advertised)!  Looking forward to more travel experiences!!