Church Council

Church Council Description - The Church Council is accountable to the congregation through scheduled and special congregational meetings.

  • Present church vision and ministry goals to congregation.
  • Supervise church membership
  • Assist the Pastor in nurturing the spiritual life of this church and in the service of communion as planned by the Pastor
  • Establish and approve administrative and program policies in conformity with the spirit of the church constitution.
  • Evaluate the total church program on a continuing basis.
  • Plan and recommend the annual budget and stewardship opportunities for this church.
  • Review and approve the schedule of church activities and personnel.
  •  Appoint administrative committee members and church workers as defined by the bylaws for the administrative committees, as the council may deem appropriate.
  • Council members shall serve as chairs of the committees to which they are appointed and assume responsibility for directing all congregational activities which fall within that functional category, in cooperation with Pastor(s).

Membership: The council shall consist of the officers of the church (president, vice-president, secretary, and the treasurer) and other members as specified in the bylaws. Members are elected by the congregation.


Names                             Titles

Veronica Bruckhoff             Church President/Parish Education

Gary Denn                             Trustee

Eric Garbes                            Vice President/Deacon/Mutual Ministry Committee

Josh Hengel                           Tech Support/Worship Committee

Gabe Duncanson                  Parish Ed/Youth

Mike Sohre                            Trustee

Lori Schweer                         Deacon/Church Life

Jenny O'Rourke                    Parish Education/Secretary

Paul Osmundson                  Trustee

Cathy Pluym                          Church Life Committee
Patti Krengel                          Worship Committee/Deacon

Alan Albrecht                         Deacon/Trustee


*If you need to get in contact with a member of our council, please call the church office @ 507-524-3615.


Eric Garbes

My family moved to Mapleton in 1984, I graduated from MR in 1994, and joined the Navy out of high school. I then met my wife Tara in 1998 as a blind date, we were married in 1999 by Pastor Salge. We have two kids; (Jake born in 2001, baptized in 2002 & Maia who was born in 2006, baptized in 2007, both at St. John's Lutheran) We joined St. John's in 2002 as a family, We have lived in Minnesota Lake since 2005. I have been on the church council since 2017, I work at Nordaas American Homes, & have been a volunteer firefighter in MN Lake since 2012 (currently the MLFD Relief Association CEO and I'm a training officer).


Gary Denn


I was born on September 19, 1958 to Loren & Delores Denn. I graduated in 1977 from Mapleton High School. I married Laura Cooper on June 25, 1983. We have two sons, Nathan and Travis and one daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Denn. I have a very lovable grand-daughter, Annabelle Laura Denn who was born on June 25, 2018  (which happened to be our wedding anniversary)! My wife Laura, passed away on August 4, 2017 after battling cancer.


I am a Co-Owner of "Denn Well Service, INC." and have been in the Well Business all my life. My main hobby that brings me the most joy is spending time with my family!


Mike Sohre


I am a member of St. John's Lutheran Church. I reside in Mapleton with my wife Nancy and four kids. I am blessed with a job that I hold a lot of passion for, farming. Along with the crops I also have livestock. When I am not busy and have some free time, I enjoy spending time with family, hunting, fishing, and golfing.


I am serving my first year on the church council as a trustee. Our duties include maintenance of the church and the parsonage. If we can't do it ourselves, like fixing the boiler for example, it is our job to contact the right person for the particular job. We also share duties with the other council members such as ringing the bells for the service or serving communion.


I look forward to serving on the council.


Veronica Bruckhoff


Veronica Bruckhoff resides in Minnesota Lake with her husband, Jerry and three children Mckenzie, Ava & Izabella.  Bruckhoff has been a member of St. John's Lutheran Church since the 3rd Grade.  She joined the Church Council in 2018, she is the secretary of the Minnesota State FFA Foundation board, is a member of the Miss Bonnie Lass Queens Committee in Mapleton and ran the Mankato Half Marathon as a champion runner in 2016, her team raising more than $11,000 for the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota.


Bruckhoff has a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business and Minor in Agriculture Marketing from South Dakota State University.  She joined Profinium in 2016, she is the Business Development Director working out of Mankato and Owatonna after nine years working in various roles at Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.


Lori Schweer


I am currently serving my first year as a Deacon for St John's. My husband Scott and I have been members of St John's for 33 years. We live on a active farm east of Mapleton, raising hogs and crops. We have two sons along with two wonderful daughter-in-laws, Jason (Alicia) and Kevin (Laura). We have been blessed with two grandsons, Caleb and Lucas (I love being a grandma, the hugs are the best!). I currently work full-time for Mayo Hospital as a inpatient coder.


Josh Hengel


I grew up on a farm near Minnesota Lake where my parents currently reside. I have a sister who is a elementary special education teacher in Mankato.  I am currently in grain operations with Crystal Valley Co-op at the Janesville facility. 
I am part of the Tech Crew on the council and also serve on the Worship committee. I have been apart of the council since 2018.
Jenny O'Rourke

I joined Church Council in 2019 and sit on the Parish Ed Committee helping our youth. I am proud to say that I have had the privilege of being baptized, confirmed, and married all within St. John's.

I currently reside in Mapleton, with my husband Jordan and son Carter. I work as an accountant for Nordaas American Homes in Minnesota Lake, and love to spend my free time enjoying the outdoors.

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