Staffing Changes at Annunciation

Jun 8th, 2018

Parishioners of Annunciation,

I am excited to share with you some recent developments happening within our parish. This Spring, due to the retirements of Sr. Sue and Donna Ohme, the parish staff took the opportunity to rethink our overall structure.  To do this, we enlisted the help of a consultant who has a lot of experience working with Catholic parishes, and we underwent an organizational assessment.  As part of this assessment, each staff member had the opportunity to explore their gifts and talents and reflect on which parts of their jobs helped them to thrive. The consultant then made recommendations about some changes that could help our staff best use their gifts and talents, enable them to serve our parishioners better, and help us all accomplish our common mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ and building up the Kingdom of God here in South Minneapolis.  After much prayer and consultation, the following are changes we have made in response to those recommendations.

First, Jimmy Dunn will be transitioning to a new, expanded role as the Director of Outreach and Community Life.  He will use his vision, passion, and energy to help continue to serve our parish community, and he will expand that service in the areas of hospitality and ministry to young adults.  Jimmy will also take on Sr. Sue’s role with Peace and Justice, increase the parish’s outreach to those in need, and continue and strengthen our commitment to Haiti.  We will begin our search for a new youth minister to work with junior and senior high youth, and hope to have this person join our team this summer.  Jimmy will continue to provide advisory help in this area.  (Please see Jimmy’s note at the bottom.)

Second, we have created another new position: the Director of Evangelization.  This position will provide much-needed assistance to the pastor in overseeing Pastoral Care, Faith Formation, and Youth Ministry. Ashleigh Varley has accepted this position and will also continue to serve as our Director of Pastoral Care.  In this new role, she will provide spiritual leadership, help us continue to proclaim the Gospel to our community, and facilitate personal encounters with Jesus Christ.

Third, I am delighted to report that we have hired a new Director of Faith Formation.  Nicole Bettini will join our team on June 25, 2018. She comes to us with years of faith formation experience, most recently at St. John Neumann in Eagan and Maternity of Mary in St. Paul. (Please see Nicole’s introductory letter below.) 

Fourth, Mary Grace Westman will be serving in a new role as Administrative Assistant for Evangelization. Mary Grace has an amazing gift for making every visitor feel welcomed and loved. We look forward to her sharing this gift much more as she provides administrative assistance to the Department of Evangelization.

Fifth, Pam Peterson will continue to provide administrative support to the staff and parish community. She will also be the new VIRTUS contact.

Sixth, Tom Konz, our Director of Development these past few years, will continue with his fundraising duties, but will become our Director of Advancement. With the help of his assistant Jessica Knutson, TK will also oversee marketing and communications for our community.

Seventh, it was determined through the process that the Parish Administrative Coordinator position that Michael Compton held was no longer needed. He was much beloved by our staff, who said our goodbyes to Michael earlier this week during a wonderful lunch. Please keep Michael in your prayers as he discerns the next step in his work life.  

Finally, we will be hiring a new bookkeeper for the business office who will, in part, take on tasks previously accomplished by Donne Ohme at the school.

This may seem like a lot of change, but with prayerful, discerned change comes growth and opportunity. We have a wonderful, energetic and faith-filled staff, who are passionate for Jesus Christ and for this community. We believe that these changes will help our parish continue to grow and to be faithful in carrying out the mission Jesus entrusted to us.

God bless you!
Father Brian Park


Letter from Jimmy: 

Last fall, I approached Fr. Park with the idea to expand AYM.  Annunciation does a wonderful job of meeting the needs of our junior high and high school youth.  However, I felt that there was a need to minister to the young adult demographic. In order to make that happen, I needed more support.  Fr. Park was open to this and we have been in discussions to try and make this idea a reality.

As Fr. Park said, this Spring we went through an organizational assessment.  As part of the process, we were all invited to explore our gifts and our dreams for the future. The outcome will involve some shifting in roles and responsibility, but I believe the opportunity for this change is now. 

During this process, it was evident to me that Fr. Park believes I have many gifts that could be beneficial for the parish in a lot of areas.  I feel very fortunate to be offered an opportunity to help shape the vision and focus for the parish in a new role: Director of Outreach and Community Life.  This role will show Christ’s love through outreach to members outside the parish community, strengthen and expand our relationship with Haiti, and provide bold hospitality to those joining the parish.  In this role, I will also have an increased role in community-wide communication and advancement. Finally, I will be able to begin programming to serve our young adults. 

This change means that Annunciation will be hiring a new youth minister to run the junior high and senior high youth groups.  While I will no longer be the youth minister, I will serve in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition as well as the continued success and quality of the program. 

While this definitely is a change, there is a lot that will remain the same.  First, I’m still here; I’m not leaving. I will still be serving in my role as SeptemberFest liaison and Master of Ceremonies for just-about-everything. However, there are also new and exciting opportunities for growth both for me personally and for the parish; a parish that has been and will continue to be my home.


Letter from Nicole Bettini:

I am delighted to introduce myself to you as your newly hired Director of Faith Formation.  While I have called Minnesota home since 2000, I grew up in Nebraska.  I mention this because it was there that the early seeds of my own faith were planted. 

As my faith has grown, I have come to know that my goal is to populate heaven.  It is for this reason that I consider it a great privilege to walk with others in faith!  As together we continue to seek the face of Christ, I will draw from my 16+ years of experience of working in both the parish and Archdiocesan settings.  Most recently the last 14 years in parish faith formation, sacramental preparation, and youth ministry.

To know me is to also know how through God’s providence my love for the Church, her teachings, the Mass and the Eucharist have deepened.  As part of this deepening, I felt Jesus tug at my heart in a special way.  On November 17, 2007, at the hands of Archbishop Flynn, I was consecrated as a sacred person in the Church and entered a new and permanent state.  I became part of the ancient Order of Virgins, and while this vocation for women is ancient, it is also new as the restoration of the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity is a fruit of Vatican II.   

I know for myself, my life was saved when I discovered Jesus Christ and my vocation.  We have a God who loves us immensely!  And so, as our adventure together begins, onward in faith we go!