Pastor Joanna joined the staff at Shepherd in January of 2013. As associate pastor, she is involved in all areas of the church life. She serves on the learning and service teams, and she enjoys teaching people of all ages about God and how their faith matters in their daily life. One of her passions is preaching and making the scripture come alive in people’s imaginations. She believes that the role of a sermon is to help people see God working in the world today.
Pastor Joanna works closely with the children, youth, and family ministry at Shepherd. She has directed the Christmas program for the last few years. She also organizes and runs our Vacation Bible School. One of Pastor Joanna’s passions is camping ministry because of the profound affect it had on her own faith when she was growing up.
Pastor Joanna grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, and graduated from Wayzata High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in business and administration from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and continued on to seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She’s married to Jeff Mitchell, and they have two daughters, Helena and Lily. She enjoys reading and swimming and loves musicals.
Pastor Joanna is excited to be a board member for Teens Alone, a nonprofit organization in Hopkins that serves at-risk teens in the western suburbs. She also has been a member of the Edina Challenge, an organization that is seeking to provide equal opportunities for all youth in Edina. She believes an important part of the church is to look beyond the walls and see what difference our faith can make in the communities in which we live.