STAFF

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Pastor Grant Vanderford
Grant is called as Pastor and Mission Developer in partnership with Bethesda and a newly-forming ministry with our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Before going to seminary, he served the church for 12 years in youth ministry. He is a 2009 Concordia graduate (Roll Cobbs!), and is a community-loving Moorhead resident. He and his partner Petra (Pee-truh) have two daughters, Selah (Say-luh) and Ingrid, and one dog, Boston. Pr. Grant cherishes good conversations, strong coffee, and hearty laughter. He also finds great joy in cooking for family and friends, being outdoors, singing, and reading nerdy theology books.

Roxanne West- Office Manager/Administrator

Roxanne is one of six children, born in Fargo and raised on a 2000 acre farm west of West Fargo ND.  She had a great childhood, with hard-working parents. Their commitment to core values brought them into town every Sunday for worship. Roxanne was active hosting international students during the summer and school-year, which gave her insight into many different cultures and lifestyles.

Roxanne and her husband, Terry, moved into their home in south Moorhead a month after marrying.  They have enjoyed their friendly neighborhood for 36 years. They have two children, Tony and Sharell, a son-in-law Jeffrey and four grandchildren: Mason, Jasiah, Jordan and Journey.  They have been members of Bethesda since 1982. Over the years, Roxanne brought her children through the Christian Education program, taught classes, joined circle and bible studies, participated in many group events, and currently sings in both traditional choir and the informal ensemble. She began her employment at Bethesda in July 2001 as a part-time Volunteer Coordinator, working alongside Marlys Ellefson.  As Marlys neared retirement, Roxanne's position changed to Office Assistant and eventually Office Manager, in 2006.  Roxanne finds her staff position to be very rewarding.   It is a privilege and honor to work by, with and for the family of Bethesda Lutheran Church. She looks forward to many more years of sharing her gifts, prayers, and enthusiasm for her church

EMAIL ROXANNE

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Dillon Swanson- Cantor  

Dillon J. Swanson is a 4th year organ performance major at Concordia College where he has studied with Dr. Peggy Johnson and Andrew Steinberg. While at Concordia he has also studied vocal performance and pedagogy with Dr. Holly Janz and Peter Halverson and conducting with Dr. Kevin Sütterlin, Dr. Michael Culloton, and Dr. Kira Winter.

 

He holds the offices of Dean of the Red River Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (RRVAGO) and President of the Red River Theatre Organ Society (RRTOS). Other recent appointments include Sub-Dean of the RRVAGO and Chairman of the RRVAGO Diamond Anniversary Committee. Dillon currently leads the production of the RRTOS Silent Movie Night and Holiday Pipes Concert Series.

 

Dillon has worked in music ministry in a variety of roles and congregations in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. His current appointments include Concordia College Campus Ministry and Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church, both in Moorhead, Minnesota. He currently serves as Organ Fellow for the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival hosted by the Lutheran Music Program at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana under the mentorship of Chad Fothergill.

 

He has contributed—as both writer and composer—to the Association of Lutheran Church Musician (ALCM) journal CrossAccent. Other recent commissions include choral and orchestral hymn settings for the Red River Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (2020) and Concordia College (2021).

 

He is also an avid musicological researcher with current interests in the history of the role of cantor and the music of J. S. Bach. He completed an historical survey of the liturgical use of the organ with Dr. Annett Richter in the summer of 2020. His current research writing project explores the theological statements made within Bach’s musical rhetoric found in the Clavier-Übung III. In the paper, Swanson argues that the Clavier-Übung III was Bach’s translation of Luther’s Catechisms into the musical vernacular. It as a much a catechism for the organist as Luther’s catechisms are for the Lutheran, then and now.

 

If you are interested in participating in one of the church’s musical ensembles, or you play an instrument or sing and would like to provide music for the church’s liturgies, please email Dillon.

Jessica Berndt - Youth Coordinator

Jessica grew up in Dysart, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where she graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Child, Adult, Family Services. She worked at a Bible camp, Upper Missouri Ministries (Williston ND), the four summers of her college career as a camp counselor, VBS assistant program director, and Assistant Program Director. Upon graduation from ISU, Jessica moved to the Fargo/Moorhead area.  God used camp to change all the direction and plans she thought she had for her life, including her major. Working at camp opened her eyes to the passion she has for youth and the joy it brings to share the Gospel and walk alongside them in Christ. It was fun to see the ways God works in and through us as a group as we run towards Him. It was beautiful to see Him move in so many ways and help youth experience and understand that. Jessica works with the middle school and high school youth, and the confirmation group. It has been a joy to continue to grow in the life of Bethesda. Jessica says her heart fills with joy as she witness 'a-ha' moments in the faith lives of our youth and is thankful for how God is moving in this place and community.

EMAIL JESSICA

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COORDINATOR OF CHILDREN'S MINISTRY
-OPEN-
SEE JOB DESCRIPTION
 

Tammy Costin - Parish Nurse

I have been volunteering as Parish Nurse since 2011 after completing the curriculum through the Parish Nurse Center at Concordia College in Moorhead.  This has been a new and interesting journey – understanding that Parish Nursing is the integration of faith and health.  Nursing has always been an important part of my life with experience in Emergency Care, Post-Anesthesia Recovery and more recently Scheduling/Pre-Procedural Care at Essentia Health in Fargo where I am currently working.

My husband, Kent, and I have been members at Bethesda Lutheran in Moorhead since 1983.  Our 3 daughters, Kaley, Krista and Karin were baptized and confirmed at Bethesda.  Our family also includes 2 sons-in-law, Matt and Ben and 3 grandchildren, Lillian, Abraham and Samuel who are all currently residing in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

It is a privilege to serve Bethesda Lutheran Church by emphasizing health, caring and healing through faith.  I am so thankful for the people of Bethesda and the love and support so freely shared among each other.

EMAIL TAMMY