Before beginning his ministry at CPUC, Pastor Matthias served as Campus Pastor at United University Church at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. There he provided leadership in ministries dealing with hunger as well as racial, immigration, and economic justice. Matthias was ordained in 2015 while serving Immanuel Presbyterian Church in L.A for five years. Pastor Matthias is fluent in Spanish and uses his language skills in his work. He has a passion for exploring diverse approaches to ministry and mission.
Pastor Matthias graduated with honors from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He has a BA from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. His family includes his wife Valerie and their two sons, Gabriel (age 3) and Bjorn (age 1). Pastor Matthias loves spending time with his family, playing ultimate Frisbee, cooking and reading. He brings a strong commitment to community engagement to his new home in Minnesota.
The people of Cherokee Park United look forward to inspired and creative progressive ministry with Pastor Matthias. We are grateful to God for his joining us as we discover new ways to live out our mission on St. Paul’s West Side and beyond.
Rebecca Knott has been the Nursery Supervisor since 2010. She enjoys being in the nursery and experiencing God’s love with children 3 months old through Kindergarten age. Her first commitment is to the children’s safety. Her second commitment is to show God’s love – using positive affirmations, teaching respect by asking first, immediately forgiving, and following the progressive beliefs of CPUC. Prior to this Rebecca worked as an Assistant Preschool Teacher for 2 ½ years. Her previous church experience is as a preschool Sunday school teacher, junior church coordinator, Wednesday evening preschool-kindergarten child care, and Sunday school coordinator. She is married and has 2 daughters. She enjoys paper crafts, gardening, and taking care of her home and family.
Sandy Waterman brings a wide range of talents and experience to the role of Director of Music. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with piano as her major instrument. In recent years, Sandy has embraced playing the ukulele, Celtic harp, world drums, and Tibetan singing bowls. She has taught young children and served as a partnership artist at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis since 1995. She gives lessons in piano and ukulele at the St. Paul Conservancy of Music and in students’ homes. She also teaches a Broadway music class to young voices at the Conservancy. Every year, Sandy writes a children’s musical with her writing partner, Mary Blouin Auffert, for Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul.
Sandy has worked in many churches and for several years was an improvisational pianist at Dudley Rigg’s Brave New Workshop. Sandy shares an eclectic musical repertoire, framed in love and social justice, at Cherokee Park United Church.
The 12 member Council is the governing body for Cherokee Park United Church. Council members meet monthly, and annually join with other church leaders in a leadership retreat.
Lay Ministries Team
The Lay Ministry Team is sometimes called the Nominating Committee in other churches. It is led by lay-people with the pastor as an ex-officio member of the team. The Lay Ministry Team matches the opportunities for ministry and service at Cherokee with the gifts and interests of individuals. Most team members serve one -year terms. Team members and people doing special roles in the church can choose annually whether to continue or move on from their service positions. The Lay Ministry Team nominates people for the church Council and for their own team each year. The team helps plan Covenanting Sunday worship which celebrates people’s commitments made or completed each September.