Rev. Karen Bruins



I am married to Dave Bruins. He works for Wells Fargo as an Operations Manager. Together we raised four sons: Kevin who lives in St. Paul, Scott and his wife Stephanie (parents of our precious granddaughters Elouise and Carly) who live in Rosemount, Daniel also of Rosemount, and Michael who lives in Portland, Oregon. Our family enjoys being silly together, playing games and being together at UM Family Camp. 



  • Bachelor of Arts (Human Resources Management) from University of St. Thomas
  • Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
  • Certificate in Spiritual Direction from St. Catherine University


Appointment History

  • Lead Pastor at Lake Harriet UMC, 2019-Present
  • Lead Pastor at The Well/Rosemount UMC, 2006-2019
  • Associate Pastor at Rosemount UMC, 1996-2006
  • Associate Pastor at Asbury UMC, 1990-1994
  • Associate Pastor at Edgewater Emmanuel UMC, 1989-1994


Continuing Education and Training

·      Mini-MBA in Non-Profit Management from University of St. Thomas


Service and Community Involvement

·      I have served on the District Committee on Superintendency in two districts.

·      I served on the Congregational Development team for many years.

·      I have been a clergy mentor and a candidacy mentor.

·      I am currently serving on the Board of Ordained Ministry.

·      I have led United Methodist Family Camp at Koronis for over a decade.

·      I worked on the Reach, Renew, Rejoice campaign at the district level.


Call to Ministry

My call to ministry came as a young adult through three streams of involvement. I was formed as a young disciple and baptized into the faith at Judson Memorial Baptist Church, an American Baptist church in south Minneapolis. As a teenager, I was involved with Young Life, a para-church organization ministering to teens, and I discovered that faith doesn’t have to be boring. While a student at University of St. Thomas, I was involved in campus ministry and I had the opportunity to lead as a woman, at a Catholic university.


Passion for Ministry

My passion is helping people discover that they are holy children of God, who are loved by a God whose grace is big enough to come in the flesh in the person of Jesus to show us what love looks like.


Vision of the Church

I believe that the local church is the hope of the world. It is the opportunity to embody an Acts 2 community that does life together; worship, study, prayer, holding things in common. Every local church is meant to embody that same spirit so that communities will be transformed because of that church’s presence. For example, I tell the congregation I serve on a regular basis that if we are in this community, there should be no hungry children. Then we work to see how to make that happen through partnerships with the local elementary school, the neighborhood resource center, and community/civic groups.


Leadership Style

I am goal and process oriented.  How we do what we do, how we are shaped in covenant community, is as important as the goal we achieve.  My style is relational. 


Strengthsfinder: Positivity, Empathy, Input, Individualization, Developer

D.I.S.C. – Influence and Steadiness

Myers-Briggs – ENFJ

Enneagram – 6


Spiritual Disciplines and Study

I attend to the means of grace through regular reading of Scripture, participation in a small group for faith development and another small group for personal development and regular participation in worship.


Gifts for the Ministry

  • I enjoy gathering with a group of talented lay people and staff; praying and dreaming about what is calling a faith community to do. I recognize that I work best with a team of talented staff and lay people who have complementary gift sets to my own.
  • I love multi-generational ministry. I love that the church is a place where every age and stage belong. I am delighted by toddlers, touched by the wisdom of our elders, and rejuvenated by youth and young adults.
  • I believe in a shared model of leadership.
  • I am pretty calm and collected.
  • I am quick to apologize when I make a mistake.
  • I assume the best of others – and I think this is a gift in ministry.
  • I enjoy planning creative worship services that are multi-sensory.
  • I am dependable and faithful.


Theological Perspective

I would describe myself as an evangelical liberal. I have a high Christology and believe that Christ is both the Savior and the hope of the world. I believe that all people are created in the image of God and affirm that each person, whatever their age, economic status, ethnicity, gender, mental or physical ability, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identification, is a beloved child of God and worthy of God’s love and grace.


I believe that the church is one of the few places left in the world in which you live in covenant community with persons who may have different experiences, politics and backgrounds. Our common ground is Jesus. I believe that people of deep faith, who take the Bible very seriously, may come to a different conclusion about a theological or social issue. Learning to respect and be in dialog with persons from a variety of perspectives is important to me.


Just for Fun!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Invisibility

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Fresh peaches

Who inspires you? Children inspire me with their passion, energy and joy.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Learn to play the mandolin.

What mystery do you wish you knew the answer to? I like not knowing all the answers.  

What would people be surprised to learn about you? People would be surprised to learn that I cannot control myself around a hose.  I love to spray people!

What is your favorite movie? Our family likes to do bits from “Young Frankenstein”

What is your favorite book? Because of Winn Dixie

What irrational fear do you have? Mice….and I don’t think this is irrational!

Where’s Waldo?  Waldo is walking around Lake Harriet.