Pilgrim Staff

Our staff guides, directs and supports our congregation in ministry, but the ministry of the church belongs to all of us.

Minister

Reverend Judith Youngman serves as Intentional Interim Minister at Pilgrim Congregational Church. Rev. Youngman, whose specialty is interim ministry, is a retired UCC minister from Owatonna, MN. She began her ministry at Pilgrim on October 15, 2019.

Rev. Youngman has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intellectual History from the University of Washington with a minor in Art History. She also has a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University and Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Rev. Youngman was ordained in February of 1992 from the Mountain Valley Association of Northern California-Nevada Conference, UCC.

She has ministered to churches in Kansas and Oregon. Rev. Youngman has also served as UCC Interim Conference Minister in Pennsylvania and Michigan, and Interim Associate Conference Minister in Minnesota.

Rev. Youngman has a son, daughter and one grandchild. See is married to Rev. Coqui Conkey, the lead minister at Associated Church in Owatonna, MN.

Music Staff

Patrick Colvin (Music Director, Choir Director, and Administrative Assistant) is an active performer and educator in the Duluth area. He maintains a teaching studio, where he specializes in audition coaching. He regularly accompanies for soloists and ensembles, including the Concert Choir with Lake Superior Youth Chorus, and is a founding member of the Twin Ports Choral Project.

Chandler Swift is Pilgrim’s organist and pianist. Originally from Glencoe, MN, he is a Computer Science major at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he studies organ with Dr. Justin Rubin. In addition to playing at Pilgrim, Chandler accompanies several choirs at UMD, and sings with Concert Chorale and Vocal Jazz.

Kristi Beaver is Pilgrim’s Children’s Music Director.  She has studied Theater, Music and Psychology at UMD, where she was a member of Vocal Jazz, the University Singers, and Concert Chorale.  Kristi is currently studying music education at UWS.

Administrative Staff

Mary Sopoci is Pilgrim’s Business Manager. She is a graduate of the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth and has worked in church administration for more than 25 years. Mary is responsible for maintaining financial records for the church and works closely with the church treasurer and the trustees. Mary schedules use of the building.  She can be reached at marys@pilgrimduluth.org

Administrative assistant Patrick Colvin can be reached at office@pilgrimduluth.org

Child Care Attendant

Annika Nielsen and various parent volunteers staff the Children’s Place on Sunday mornings and when needed during the week.  Annika is a certified babysitter (“American Red Cross Babysitting Basics”), and has previous experience assisting with Pilgrim’s Joyful Noise and the Pilgrim Nursery. Her hobbies include singing, drawing, tennis, writing, animals and reading.

Children and Family Ministries Coordinator

We are pleased to announce that we have hired a new coordinator of Family, Children and Youth Ministries: Aine Miller.

Aine (pronounced Ahn-yah) has been in the Twin Ports area for the last 8 years. She graduated from UMD with her Bachelors in Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Adolescent Development. After graduating she served a year with the True North Americorps Program working at Lowell Elementary School. After her year of service she decided to go back to school to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in music with a Vocal/Choral Concentration. Aside from school, she also works with the Duluth Playhouse,  the UWS Music Department, and as a nanny for two Duluth Families. Aine also worked in our nursery a number of years ago, so she is not a stranger to the Pilgrim Community. Aine is excited to be a part of the Pilgrim’s staff and community and can’t wait to further the enrichment of the youth and families in our church.

Volunteers

Pilgrim is a volunteer organization and most of the work carried out by the congregation is done by members who give of their time and energy. Some members serve in leadership capacities and most members are involved in some phase of the congregation’s ministry. A Church Council, made up of members elected by the congregation, oversees and coordinates the work of the church. The staff offers resources, guidance and support in planning and implementing the work of the church.

Befrienders

In addition to our professional staff, Befrienders from our congregation are trained to offer a ministry of listening and encouragement for persons facing life transitions or crises. Their volunteer work is an important adjunct to the care extended by the rest of the staff. A new class of Befrienders is currently being recruited and will receive training in early summer. To contact a Befreinder, please contact the Pilgrim office.