On February 21 we welcomed 27 new members into the St. John’s family.

Kelly Utesch & Tanner Weifenbach
Kelly Utesch and Tanner Weifenbach recently relocated from La Crescent, MN, and are transferring from First Lutheran – Onalaska. Kelly grew up in St. John’s and is returning after twenty years in the La Crosse, WI and Lexington, SC areas. Kelly is a service advisor at Rochester Ford. Tanner (age 4) attends KM Nursery Group. Kelly and Tanner like to fish, be outdoors, and play with their Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Kelly also enjoys running, and Tanner is a LegoManiac.

Kelly & Tanner

Kyle, Jackie, Ryan, & Ayden Howell
Last June, Jackie and Kyle were married and started a life together in Kasson with their sons Ryan and Ayden.  As a family they enjoy gardening, traveling, fishing, golfing, and just simply spending time together. During the week, both Jackie and Kyle work at Mayo Clinic in Rochester while Ryan and Ayden attend Kasson Elementary.


Mike, Tracy, Madison & Cameron Lee
The Lee family lives in Mantorville and come to St. John’s from Bethel Lutheran in Rochester. Mike works as a systems administrator for Heartman Insurance. Tracy is a finance analyst at Mayo Clinic. Madison is 10 and enjoys dance. Cameron is 7 and plays hockey.


Jon, Melissa, Kaleb, Mya, & Eliana Klein
Jonathan (Jon) and Melissa (Mel) Klein and their three children, Kaleb (9), Mya, and Eliana (both 5), live just south of Kasson.  Jon is employed with Morton Buildings in Rochester, and Mel is a CRNA at Mayo Clinic.  Kaleb is in 3rd grade at KM Elementary School and Mya and Eliana are in pre-school. In the winter they like to snowmobile, sled, and play in the snow. In the summer they can be found camping as much as possible. They also enjoy attending sporting events and concerts, playing basketball, and spending time with friends and family.


Cindy Wiste
My name is Cindy Wiste. My husband, Duane and I have lived in Kasson for over 37 years. Our children, Tim and Jillaine graduated from KM High School. We have six grandchildren and one great grandson. At the end of March we will be moving to Sierra Vista, Arizona in hopes that my husband’s health improves with the more stable temperatures. Our daughter Jillaine is already there with her family. Her husband grew up in Sierra Vista and that is how we all are ending up in that community. Our son Tim and his family will stay in Rochester so we hope to get back to visit often! I was a previous member of St. John’s for about 20 years before taking a position at Trinity Lutheran in Hayfield for the past 15 years. I am excited to return to my “home” church in Kasson before we move and start our new adventure. While I am here I am enjoying helping out where I an and reconnecting with old friends.


Jeff, BJ, Colton, & Dalton Ostgaard
I’m Jeff Ostgaard, and my wife is BJ. We have two children. Colton is 14 years old, and Dalton is 12 years old. We have lived in Kasson for 11 years. BJ and I both work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I am an event support specialist in the Media Support Services department. BJ is an Assistant Supervisor in the DLMP department. Colton participates in band and choir, and loves playing video games. Dalton also is in band, and he plays soccer and baseball. He also loves to play video games. We have 2 cats, Odin and Zeus. During the summer, we spend most of our weekends at our camper trailer in Elysian, MN. We spend a lot of time boating, swimming, and fishing, and sitting around the campfire in the evening. We also like movies and music, and I like to watch and play sports when I can.


Mindy Ward (with husband Paul and daughter Maren)
I was born in Comfrey, small town of 400 people in Southwestern Minnesota, and raised on a farm (my father and brother still actively grow corn, soybeans, and sugar beets and raise beef cattle). I attended high school there and after graduation attended college at Augsburg College. In addition to obtaining degrees in Biology and Psychology, I enjoyed being a pitcher on the softball team. After college, I moved to New Jersey to attend graduate school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Rutgers). I graduated, moved to the “Philly Burbs” and started my career in Allentown, PA as a Trauma Physician Assistant. In early 2012,  I was blessed with the opportunity to grow in my career at Mayo as a Trauma and General Surgery PA. After accepting the position and making the decision to move back to MN,  I was also blessed to meet my now husband, Paul, at a friend’s wedding…and how great it was that he was from Kasson! We were married in April 2014. In November of 2015, our beautiful daughter, Maren, was born. In my free time, I’m a big college basketball fan! My team (from Philly), the Villanova Wildcats, are currently #1..whoo hoo! I also enjoy watching the Gophers, who also notched a big win this week, and enjoy going to games with Paul. I also like overall staying active and getting outside. “Playing” on Paul’s family’s small farm south of Kasson when the weather is nice is one of my favorite things to do.  I look forward to joining St. John’s and meeting many of you!


Jordan, Channing, Bennett, & Maclin Sorensen
From Northeast Iowa originally, we have lived in Kasson for 2-3 years. Channing is a pediatric nurse practitioner with Mayo Health Systems in Mankato, MN. Jordan is an assistant store leader at Scheels in Rochester. Bennett James Sorensen was born January 9, 2014 and is two years old. Maclin Ray Sorensen was born September 30, 2015 and is 5 months old. In our spare time we love spending time with our families, who live in New Hampton, Iowa. We are avid Iowa Hawkeye fans, whether it’s on the football field, wrestling mat of basketball court, it doesn’t matter; we love our Hawks. Bennett loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Pau Patrol, and Thomas the Train! Maclin has recently found his voice and his personality is starting to show through. He loves to smile!