Get to know our staff

Pastor laura nordstrom

Hello, I'm Pastor Laura! I'm originally from Northfield, Minnesota.

About me:
Family: Husband Eric, sons Hans and Leif, daughter-in-law Beyza, and granddaughters Kysi and Clea
Pets: cats Sammy and Mikey
Hobbies: making music, walking, sewing, reading, baking bread, writing, bicycling, quilting, knitting, playing with my granddaughters, and watching mystery series and comedies with Eric on cable tv

  • The ‘first’ time I went to college, I attended Hamline Univ. for 2 years, and then Lewis and Clark College for 1 year. After three years pursuing a degree in Biology, I realized that it was not a good fit for my brain!
  • In 2007, at age 50, I returned to college, and earned a BA in Liberal Studies at Univ. of Wisc, Whitewater
  • 2012 MDiv from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • 2012-2014 pursued a Master of Theological Studies in Liturgical Studies at Garrett; just have my thesis to write!
  • 2019-2021 MBA certificate in Nonprofit Church Leadership at Dakota-Wesleyan Univ.

kristin gontea

I grew up in Shawano, Wisconsin and went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where I studied music education and violin performance and earned my bachelor’s degree in 2006.  I was able to teach violin, viola, cello and piano lessons in a number of studios throughout Wisconsin before my family and I moved to the Stewartville area in 2013.  Soon after moving, I opened my own private music studio, Chickadee Music Studio, and have taught dozens of students since.  This year, after more than twenty years of teaching music lessons in my private studio, I knew it was time for a new challenge.  I could not be more excited for my new role as Director of Children’s, Youth, Family & Outreach Ministries, both for myself and my family but also for our church.  My family (husband-Adrian, kiddos-Lucia, Natalie, Sebastian) and I live on a wonderful hobby farm just south of Stewartville, where we have lots of critters (goats, dogs, cats, bunnies, chickens, ducks), a big garden and tons of fun!


Contact me!

Laurie Helmers


Laurie Helmers moved to Stewartville in 1982 and has been associated with SUMC in a variety of ways over the years, primarily as an organist, pianist, choir director and vocalist.  She teaches private piano and voice lessons in her home studio.  Laurie is deeply involved in theatre throughout the region and across state lines as an actress, director and writer.  She enjoys traveling and horseback riding with her husband, John, and son, Myatt.  She loves to play scrabble, read historical fiction, put  together detailed jigsaw puzzles and do counted cross-stitch.