Clergy and Staff


BuffGraceClergy-imgThe Rev. Buff Grace † Rector

I love being a priest at Ascension because the people here are dynamic, fun, and passionate about their walk with Christ. They sing and make exquisite music. They worship reverently and light-heartedly. They honor and enjoy their children as fellow spiritual seekers. The best part of my work is hearing all kinds of great stories, delving into scripture, and tending our sacramental life. Before coming to Ascension, I served in the Diocese of Atlanta, having earned a M.Div. from Sewanee School of Theology. I enjoy canoeing, cross-country skiing, and reading with my wife, Amy, and our two children, Peter and Ella. Phone: 651-439-2609 x. 11

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The Rev. Marilyn Baldwin † Associate Priest for Pastoral Care

Marilyn is a second-career priest, ordained in 2006. Her earlier positions included working as a police dispatcher, where she met her husband Tom (a retired police officer) and twenty-five years working in transportation for a Minnesota manufacturing company. She attended United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago. She likes to walk, reads history and biographies, and occasionally makes home-brewed beer to share. Marilyn and Tom live in White Bear Lake along with Katya, their Russian Blue cat, and enjoy spending time at their cabin on Mille Lacs Lake. Phone: 651-439-2609 x. 12

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Nancy Whipkey † Director of Music

Sacred music is a space where I breathe. Ascension has allowed me to work, worship, and enjoy this space with youth and adults. Before teaching, I was an avid pianist, practicing long hours as a youth and later performing and accompanying singers and instrumentalists in many concerts. After that time in my life, I taught 35 years in public schools both as a general elementary teacher and as a music instructor but I have always been grounded in the music at Ascension. Flower gardening is a passion along with cabin fun. I love my very talented husband and my three children and their awesome families. Phone: 651-439-2609 x. 20


Ruth Meyer † Asst. Director of Music
Phone: 651-439-2609 x.15


Mindy Boynton † Director of Children & Youth Ministry

Mindy Boynton is our Christian Education director. She has a passion for helping children, youth and families grow in their relationship with God. Mindy began at Ascension in 1994 helping with Youth Groups and in 2003 left public education to begin her dream job of working full time at Ascension. She has worked on national and diocesan committees and is the director of the St. Paul T.E.C (Teen Encounter Christ) Program.

Mindy lives in Scandia in an old farm house with her husband Tom and three Old English Sheep Dogs. She has four grown children & two grand-children. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, reading and being with friends. Phone: 651-439-2609 x13

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Edmund Farnham † Custodian
Phone: 651-439-2609 x. 15