Paid Staff Team

Appointed Clergy Team

Rev. Nate Melcher | email
Senior Pastor

Rev. Hope Hutchison | email
Dir. of Children & Family Ministries

Ministry Program Staff

Kay Bergeland | email
Parish Nurse

Garrett Johnson | email
Youth Director

Operations Staff

Kathy Gertsema | email
Business & Admin Coordinator

Pat Noonan | email
Facilities Coordinator 

Linda Schmidt | email
Programs & Comm. Coordinator

Worship Tech Assistance

Worship Tech | email 

Caring for Children ELC Staff

Kathy Newbauer | email
CFC Director

Music Staff

Paige Armstrong | email
Choir Director 

Nancy Dierauer | email
Music Director & Organist

Victor Zupanc | email
Living Waters Band Leader


Appointed Clergy Team

Bio - Rev. Nate Melcher preaching

Rev. Nate Melcher (Senior Pastor, he/him) is an ordained elder appointed as Senior Pastor of Richfield UMC in 2019. He was an Associate Pastor of Hennepin Avenue UMC (2014-2019) and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries of Excelsior UMC (2005-2014). He holds a BA in Film Studies (University of Minnesota, 2002), an MFA in Creative Writing (Minnesota State University – Mankato, 2008), and an M.Div (Luther Seminary, 2014). In the Minnesota Annual Conference, Pastor Nate currently serves on the Bishop’s Strategic Council, Fiduciary Team, Nominations Team, and is co-chair of the Camp and Retreat Council. He is also a volunteer dean of LYFE Camp and a member of the Minnesota Mosaics council advocating for greater cross-cultural competency in local congregations.

In the life of the church, Pastor Nate enjoys crafting thematically-driven worship, empowering leaders to build systems and procedures, and good talk over good coffee. He has recently led classes including Worship Leader Boot Camp, Drop-In Bible Study, Men’s Bible Study, and Six Weeks on Money. In this season of pandemic and distanced gathering, he has relied on his experience with technology and filmmaking to help the church generate online content, upgrade technology, and train people across the generations on using apps like Zoom to help the stay church connected. One of Pastor Nate’s absolute favorite things to do is officiate weddings!

Before entering ministry, Pastor Nate spent eight years in higher education in residential life, student life, and as English faculty. He has produced shows in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, appeared in two productions of Godspell with his kids, performed at a dozen improv comedy festivals and taught improv classes, and coached improv performance teams for seven years. He now teaches improv workshops for clergy and faith leaders. His Myers-Brigs is INFJ, his Insights Discovery profile is Creative Inspiring Helper / Accommodating, his Strengthsfinder top five is Individualization, Intellection, Strategic, Relator, and Communication, and he is an Enneagram 7. 

Pastor Nate is an avid reader, writer, and artist. He enjoys ukulele, biking, cooking, baking, movies, road trips, camping, and gaming (PlayStation 4, Oculus Quest, and the SNES Classic). Originally from greater Minnesota, Pastor Nate and his family live in Minneapolis.

Rev. Hope Hutchison (Director of Children & Family Ministries, she/her) is a provisional deacon and appointed to Richfield UMC since 2019. She was the Minister of Spiritual Formation & Community Justice at Northeast UMC (2018-2019), and a Seminary Hill Farm Crew Member at Methodist Theological School in Ohio (2013-2017).  She holds BAs in Environmental Studies and Religious Studies from Macalaster College (2013) and an M. Div with an emphasis in Ecology & Justice and an MTS in Theology & Ethics (Methodist Theological School in Ohio (2017).

In the life of the church, Rev. Hope seeks to connect people with the world by helping children see Jesus in the world around them – in the animals, the plants and the people! She likes recruiting, training, and organizing unpaid servant volunteers for various children and family ministry roles. Rev. Hope is the primary worship liturgist and preaches once every other month. She recently led a class in environmental theology and eco-justice and is a frequent presence with the youth group. In this season of pandemic, Rev. Hope has given longstanding traditions like Trunk-or-Treat a new twist to keep it safe and fun, as well as converted Vacation Bible School (VBS) and Sunday School to online ministries. One of Rev. Hope’s joys is delivering items to the children such as Bibles, art projects, and Bible story sticker sheets!

Rev. Hope is originally from California, has lived in Ohio and Wisconsin, and loves living in Minnesota the best. She is an outdoors enthusiast, trombonist, and baseball fan (go, Dodgers!). She enjoys travel, gardening, baking, hiking, camping, cooking with fresh produce, and her cat, Zinni. Rev. Hope and her spouse live in Minneapolis.


Richfield United Methodist Church is a local congregation of the Minnesota Annual Conference (MAC) of the United Methodist Church (UMC). The polity and structure of the UMC is outlined in the UM Book of Discipline and this document is curated by the General Conference which meets every quadrennium. 

The ministers of the church are all members of the congregation. Richfield UMC has a senior pastor appointed by the MAC Bishop to order the life of the church and cast vision for its future. The church also has an additional appointed clergyperson and paid staff in program and operations areas to help the members of the church carry out their mission. There are several Elected Leader Teams comprised of members in good standing who are active and engaged in the life of the church. 

The Appointed Clergy Team, Elected Leader Teams, and Paid Staff Teams work together to carry out the mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The vision to live in faith, justice, and joy is crucial to everything we do as a church, from missional outreach to Sunday School, from worship to neighborhood events.

Elected Leader Teams

Leaders are elected for three-year terms to a variety of teams that help the church function and carry out its mission today and tomorrow. Members receive a list of all elected leaders at the semi-annual meeting in June. Teams that fulfill the functions required by the UM Book of Discipline are the Board of Trustees, Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Finance Team, and Nominating Team. The chairs of these teams, as well as the chair of Children’s Council, the UMW president, and elected at-large members come together as the Administrative Board. The chair and the senior pastor work together and the Ad Board to carry out the mission of the church.

Additional Teams and Taskforces

Occasionally, additional teams and taskforces are created to curate specific areas of focus for the church. Some are based in a particular ministry, others are created for a specific purpose or intended for a limited season. These teams include Children’s Council, Church & Society Team, Funerals and Memorials Team, Hospitality Team, Memorials Committee, Outreach Team, Reconciling Team, Regathering Taskforce, Richfield UMC Foundation, Social Justice Team, United Methodist Women (UMW),  and others. 

Sign-Up as a Worship Leader

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

Tap or click the button to sign-up for a variety of unpaid servant leadership roles, including Online Worship Hospitality, Cafe-O-Rama host, and being a Liturgist in worship. Please note instructions and any prerequisites. Please contact Pastor Nate about participating in the next round of Worship Leader Boot Camp classes.