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Rev. Dr. Jill L. Sanders


The Rev. Dr. Jill Sanders became the pastor at First Congregational UCC on March 1, 2020. Jill received both her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Jill has also completed training in Spiritual Direction and feels privileged to accompany people on their spiritual journeys. Having grown up in Iowa, Jill served most of her ministry there. She served small, mid-sized and large congregations for 12 1/2 years and then for 17 1/2 years as a consultant and resource person on the Conference Staff of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church. Jill is also a trained spiritual director and feels privileged to accompany others on their spiritual journeys. Her heart has always been with the ministry of the local congregation which she sees as the heart, hands and feet of Jesus in the world today. Jill’s extended family remains in Iowa—dad and his wife, Janie, and two brothers and their families— all live in the Des Moines area. She loves to follow the activities of her two nieces and two nephews. Jill enjoys hearing people’s stories, working in coffee shops, and finding new purposes for old things! She also loves to read and zentangle. She has four Yorkies—Izzy, Emmy, Ruthie and Ellie—who are stellar at offering unconditional love to everyone they meet! Jill is passionate about facilitating “aha! moments, working for justice, and creating faith communities where everyone is welcome and included. She is excited to be in Alexandria and eager to become involved in the community.

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Barb Gralow

Office Administrator

Barb is a much loved member of our church staff who has been with us since 2008. She is the first one you will meet if you call or walk into the church office and she is always going out of her way to help out and to make everyone feel welcome. She is responsible for most of our church communication from the weekly preparation of worship materials to the monthly creation of a church newsletter as well as the frequent updates emailed to us all on the, “Holy Hotline.” If you ever have a question about, “Who’s Who,” Barb is the one to talk to!

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Margaret Kalina

Organist, Pianist

Margaret attended St Olaf College where she took organ lessons. She continued lessons at the University of MN where earned her nursing degree. Playing organ and piano on the weekends allows her to be involved with many different congregations and stay in touch with people throughout our community. She finds great peace and joy playing the organ and the piano for which she feels ‘very blessed.’

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Greg Kapphahn

Choir Director, Organist & Pianist

Greg earned a degree in Vocal Music Education from St. Cloud State University in 1976 and taught in public schools until 1984 when he answered a call to ministry and moved to Moundsview, MN to further his Education at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, earning his Master of Divinity Degree in 1987. As organist, Greg strives to bring out the wide variety of beautiful sounds and colorful voices possible with our vintage 1937 Kimball pipe organ while providing clear and inspiring accompaniment to congregational hymn singing.

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Linda Namur

Financial Secretary

Linda is a long time member of First Congregational Church and has been serving as Financial Secretary for a number of years. We are blessed to have someone as dedicated to the church and its ministry as Linda is. If you ever have a question about your giving, or would like to receive a giving statement, please feel free to contact Linda; 320.762.4310.