3400 East 49th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | Phone: 605.371.2065
Church Leader Profiles
I have worked with the youth group since 2009. As one of our former pastors used to say, "Southern Hills UMC has the best kids in the world!" I feel so blessed to hang out with these young people and encourage them as they grow in their Faith. So often when we study Scripture together, I am amazed at our kids' ability to understand God's instruction and their desire to put into practice the things that we learn. Our group is a place where every young person is welcome and accepted for the person that God made them to be.In my free time, I love spending time with my wife and our two boys. Frequently, that involves coaching youth league sports teams!
I began working with the youth group in 2012 and have been attending SHUMCsince 2010. I'm currently employed as an outpatient physical therapist atAvera. I am passionate about working with the youth because the youth reallydo God's work for the church, each other, and the community. I love hearingabout their activities and their spiritual encounters with God. I'm blessedto be able to encourage them in their faith.
I’ve been coordinating Youth on Fire activities since 2009. Originally volunteering as a leader to offer a place for my own kids to grow closer to God, I quickly found that I wanted to make sure all of middle and high school students in our church had a place to belong and to grow. My favorite part of Wednesday nights is participating in service projects with the youth. I love the way our youth embrace serving others, and not just talking about it, but showing that we truly are the hands and feet of God.
I started working with the Southern Hills Youth Group in 2012. I have been attending SHUMC and Holy Spirit churches since 2010. I’m a teacher currently working in Harrisburg with the 8th graders, there. I am passionate about working with the youth because I enjoy having makeup put on me at variety shows. All kidding aside, I really care about each individual youth member and have fond memories of my own youth group growing up. I love to see kids grow in their faith and I’m excited about being able to foster that.
Laura Petersen joined the Southern Hills staff as Administrative Assistant in 2019. She and her family moved to Sioux Falls from Huron, SD in 2017. Even though Laura has had a 25-year career as a music educator in the state of South Dakota, she has also been on staff either part-time or full-time for a United Methodist church for over 20 years. At Huron First United Methodist Church, Laura was the Director of Music and Worship leading the choir, praise team, hand bell choir, and creating the graphics and images used as a part of the worship service as well as programming the worship software used in projecting images for the four weekend services.At Southern Hills, Laura is not only the communication hub of the church as the Administrative Assistant, but also leads the praise team and plays piano for the traditional worship service.Laura loves sharing her life with her husband, Larry, the Assistant Band Director at Augustana University, and their two children, Alex and Ainsley.
Don Vanderlip, as a young man growing up in Pennsylvania, felt the call to ministry. Don earned his BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Sioux Falls. During his time in college Don received a scholarship to play baseball at USF, was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was a Resident Director. After College, Don spent the next three years earning his Master’s in Divinity from Sioux Falls Seminary. He has served as Youth Pastor for 14 years in Sioux Falls churches, with eight of those years in the service of the United Methodist Church. One of Don’s greatest joys in life is helping people grow in their walk with Jesus. Don, his wife, Kristi, a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District, and his children Madisyn, Hudsen, and Cahlen look forward to getting to know you!