Santa Fe is now home for Russ and Amy, as well as for their two dogs (Rosie and Kali), and their horse (Sigmund). Along with singing and acting, he enjoys playing many different instruments and making music with others. Russ believes that music connects people in profound ways, speaks to our souls, and moves us to understand our place in the universe more completely.
Jennifer Nevdahl is originally from Spokane, WA. She grew up going to Sunday School at Our Savior’s Lutheran church where her great grandparents were charter members. Her free-time in high school was spent attending youth group activities, playing in the youth hand bell choir, and attending as many weeks of summer camp as she could. She also served on the Lutheran Youth Organization as a representative for Eastern Washington/Idaho Synod. This gave her the opportunity to travel to several different conferences and youth gatherings all over the United States.
Jennifer attended Whitworth University in Spokane for her BA in English. During college she spent her summers working at Camp Lutherhaven where she washed dishes, led hikes, taught bible study, and sang a lot of camp songs around the fire. After college, she worked as a youth director in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Two years later, she went back to Whitworth to work on her Master’s degree in Education. While in graduate school, she worked part-time as a youth director at a local church
She has been teaching English and social studies for nearly 20 years. Her first teaching job took her to the Menaul School in Albuquerque. Five years later, she moved to Colorado Springs to teach middle school English. Most recently, Jennifer has been teaching middle school at Desert Academy. Her daughter, Abigail, is a freshman at Desert. Jennifer is excited to be part of St. John’s UMC and has loved getting to know the youth of the church and all of the church members.
Nixie Sanderson - Coordinator of Support Services
Nixie Sanderson is joining the team as the new coordinator of support services. She comes to St. John’s along with her husband of five years, Jeff, their four-year-old daughter, Madison, and Jeff’s nine-year-old son, Connor.
Nixie is joining us from Dalhart, Texas, where she was the managing editor of The Dalhart Texan newspaper. She had been working in the newspaper industry for approximately 10 years. In Dalhart, they were members of the First Baptist Church. Jeff and Nixie both served on the communications team for the church. Recently, they had started recording testimonials for baptisms, which allowed her the opportunity to learn some video editing. She had also started photographing activities in the church, such as baptisms and kids programs, for keepsakes, as well as to be used for outreach projects for the church.
In her professional newspaper experience, Nixie has created print products from concept to final publication. In addition to standard newspaper publications, she has also created high-gloss magazines for publication and other specialty projects. She has been responsible for writing, editing, photography, design and even sales. She is greatly looking forward to the opportunity to take the skills learned in the newspaper industry and apply them to a ministry that will allow her to serve others.
Nixie believes that God has prepared her for this area of ministry through each of the steps she has taken in her professional, personal, and faith journey. She believes there are so many opportunities to bring people into the family of Christ and is excited to develop those opportunities with the team at St. John’s. She is excited to continue her Christian walk with the congregation at St. John’s United Methodist Church.