Voting Council Members

Position Name Term Ending
Director Jill Norell 2022
Director Elect LoRi Morrissey 2022
Secretary Deb Alt 2023
Finance Chair *OPEN* 2023
Spiritual Director Scot McCluskey 2022
Spiritual Director Dennis & Jane Timmerman 2023
Communications Chair Tana Helleksen 2023
Leadership & Development Chair Melissa Wagner 2023
Operations Chair Joe Wagner 2022
Outreach Chair *OPEN* 2022
Site Selection Chair Shawn Corder 2022

* Feel free to join meetings any time! Double check the calendar at the bottom of the events page for this month’s meeting info, as time and place may vary.

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Director – Jill Norell:

66446747_10157722905460809_4136387036028338176_oI am forever indebted to God and this ministry for some incredible steps in my faith journey. Seeing how God does the same for others, has given me a deep passion for what Via de Cristo is and will continue to be… a source where God meets us where we are and guides us to become all that He created us to be.

I attended my first weekend (#70) as a very meek, quiet, private person. Through many challenges and transformations, I stand with you at this crossroads of new beginnings. Following very familiar steps, yet very new and very anointed steps forward. I didn’t select this role for myself, but in response to God’s clear direction. This ministry is His plan, and so I follow His leading and am listening for His plan … to become ours. With open arms, and intent to listen, I embrace where God is leading us.

I have served on all the teams several times and was Rectora in 2001. Then again, for our first Co-Ed weekend. I have served on the State Council, our Southern MN Committee, our Ignite Kindling Committee and now commit to moving forward with Ignite, if it be God’s will. I count it all joy! Each person that has touched my life. 

Equally important in my life is my family. Wife of Byron, parent of 4 adult children, 3 spouses and “Ama” to two more. I count that all joy, too. I am a member of Scandian Grove Lutheran Church in Norseland and am attending Bible Study Fellowship for spiritual growth. I am so thankful for all their support in my commitment to pursue God’s path and His calling.

Director Elect – LoRi Morrissey:

Profile PictureMy Via de Cristo weekend was #575 in 2012, and I worship at People of Hope Lutheran Church in Rochester. I have served on 15 weekends since, rectoring the most recent weekend. I have served on the Southern Minnesota VdC Site-Selection subcommittee for the past few years, attended two National Lutheran Secretariat conventions, and have been a part of IGNITE’s Kindling Committee. The Kindling Committee has accomplished a lot in the last 9 months and there is a lot more to do that I am excited to assist with. 

I have experience serving other non-profits as I was on the board of directors for Rainbow School, a Christian Preschool. I also served as the board president.  Besides Via de Cristo, I enjoy spending time with my family, including helping coach Kasey & Cooper’s softball and basketball teams and cheering at my daughter’s hockey games. Regardless of being elected to the IGNITE Council, I would enjoy serving on an IGNITE subcommittee, if needed. GLY&SDI

Secretary – Deb Alt:

_DSC5824 (1)God works in mysterious ways.  I have always instinctively known since I was a very young child that God was there protecting me.  He has never left my side even during the lowest and most painful times in my life. He is alive.  He will always love us.  He will give us peace and He will provide for us.  AND… He will always answer!  Those are some pretty amazing promises from our Lord and Savior!
My first adventure into the world of Via de Cristo happened on weekend #571 in New Ulm.  I walked into that weekend wondering what was going to happen.  Especially after I saw my husband come home after his weekend – a changed man.  I left that Sunday night flying high in the sky and in His love!   I didn’t wait a second, and I was ready to serve.  I served on the kitchen team that very next weekend.  I loved watching the weekenders faces when they walked into Agape.   Since then I have served as a team member on the kitchen team and the palanca team, been the printer on 4th day, have served as table leader in the rollo room, been an assistant rectora in the rollo room, and have been blessed with being called to give 2 rollos.  Currently, I am the Rector for the next fall Ignite weekend at Bethlehem Lutheran in Mankato in 2021.  
By trade I am an Early Childhood Special Education Birth-3 teacher and have been serving in this capacity at the Redwood Area School district for the last 22 years.   I love “the littles”!  Not too many people get to play with infants and toddlers and call it their job!
I call Evan, Minnesota and St. Matthew’s Lutheran church in Evan my home.  My husband, Dan and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in 2020.  We have an 18 year old son, Tim.  Tim is on the autism spectrum so he makes our life interesting, challenging and hilarious!!    
Peace and blessings to all!     God Loves You and So Do I!!

Finance Chair – *OPEN*


Spiritual Director – Pastor Scot McCluskey:

I made my first weekend in 1998 at Inspiration Hills Camp, Inwood, IA just outside of Canton, SD. I was invited by friends and wanted to go for a few years, but was unable to convince my spouse to also attend. Finally, in a moment of weakness she agreed. I loved the weekend, it fed my spirit and refreshed me for ministry, renewing my sense of call.

I still use a quote from one of the SD’s in the Sacraments talk. One of the men at my table asked me during a break, “How can I be sure that I have Christ in me?” My mind went blank, I was there as a candidate and not prepared to address theological questions. The next Rollo was on Holy Communion and the SD shared that the bread and wine of communion works as any food does. Food enters through our mouths and is digested by our stomach and the life giving nutrients (the vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.) are fed to our hungry cells to bring healing and growth. So too, with the body and blood of Christ when we partake of the sacrament the spiritual food is spread throughout our entire body, into every cell as our blood stream delivers Christ to feed our hungry souls. At which point the man at my table turned to me and whispered, “Why didn’t you think of that?” I couldn’t think of an answer then but if he asked me now I would say, “Because God gave that message to Pastor Steve to share with all of us.”

Since then I have served in every SD capacity on various teams in South Dakota, Nebraska, Northwest Minnesota, and now in Southern Minnesota. I work for the joy of seeing the Holy Spirit transform the hearts of God’s children and advance the cause of the Kingdom of God. Via de Cristo is life changing and world changing.

I have also worked numerous TEC weekends and love the fire in the very bones of teens when the Spirit grabs hold of their hearts. Our world desperately needs disciples for Jesus Christ to bring hope in the midst of despair, which is so rampant in our nation today. People are grasping hold of anyone and anything that will offer them a claim of salvation. But only Jesus can fulfill that promise.

I also am fully convinced that the Kingdom of God is not something we enter when we die. The Gospels tell us that the message John the Baptist brought in pointing to Christ was, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That means it is here now, and is a present reality whenever and wherever Christ is alive in the hearts of God’s people.

I love being used by the Holy Spirit, and would work every weekend if I was allowed to. And if I am
accepted as part of the Ignite VDC council I would be humbled and grateful to serve.

Spiritual Director – Pastor Dennis & Jane Timmerman:


Communications Chair – Tana Helleksen:

11966I’m the mom of three adult children and one Kitchen Aid mixer. I enjoy cooking and baking when it’s time to be indoors and kayaking and fishing when I’m outside. I come from a very large family with 4 brothers, 4 sisters-in-law and 19 nieces and nephews! I have been involved with Via De Cristo since 2007 and have served on every team at least once… I even have experience in wearing the chicken suit! It’s very hard to choose a favorite team (as you all know) so having had the opportunity to serve on each of them has been a giant blessing! It is my desire to see Ignite Via De Cristo flourish and I believe that the way to accomplish this is through a variety of forms of communication that will keep the Ignite community alive and excited!

Leadership and Development Chair – Melissa Wagner:


Operations Chair – Joe Wagner:

82962494_2544369175843475_5160440542294704128_nMy wife Melissa and I live on a farm outside Lake Crystal where we raised our three children who are now grown and off on their own. I work as the Building and Grounds Supervisor for the Lake Crystal WellcomeMemorial School District. God met me where I was at when I came to weekend #429 in March 2004. The weekend changed the direction of my life. Since then, I have served on more than 25 VdC weekends in whatever capacity needed, primarily music, as I was inspired to learn to play the guitar after my weekend. I have also served on the State Council in Operations when the trailer was still being shared with the North and Metro. I will continue to serve in any area needed to promote this ministry.

Outreach Chair – *OPEN*:


Site Selection Chair – Shawn Corder:

13403101_1333920989969786_1100866600314358630_oI have been a member of the 1st Presbyterian Church of Redwood Falls since 1995 and also a member of the church choir since then. I do volunteer work at Ruby’s Pantry for the past 5+ years, and I’m an Assistant Scout Master for the past 3+ years here in Redwood. We recently acquired 2 teenage brothers that are now living with us, so I’m getting acquainted with my 2 new Goliath’s, so the tally is up to 8 children. I am self-employed for 18 years doing I.T. stuff that most folks don’t understand, and really enjoy campfires with grilling dinner outside. My weekend was in 2013 and I’ve served on 8 teams, including Assistant Rector in the kitchen and Assistant Rector in the rollo room.


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