Meet the Staff
Pastor Rebecca Aardahl
As of September 15, 2020, Pastor Rebecca Aardahl concluded her one-year term call with Ascension Lutheran. The congregation is in the process of the next steps as it moves forward. In part of her farewell letter to the congregation, Pastor Rebecca wrote:
Dear Members and Friends of Ascension Lutheran,
In 2016, the Pastors [Wes and Rebecca] Aardahl came to Cheyenne to work alongside and lead the congregations of Ascension Lutheran and Christ Lutheran. These beginnings introduced us to the wealth of kindness and caring that you bear. Now, as I choose to part from the Call Process of Ascension and conclude my ministry with you on September 15, both Wes and I pray for your peace and well-being. Sadness and gratitude are all mixed together. As we name these endings, we hold you in our hearts.
Mandy Roth, who started as Ascension’s Church Office Secretary in March 2019, recently returned to Cheyenne with her husband, Heath, to be near family. She spent the last 15 years in Sheridan where she worked in the medical and dental fields. She also spent 5 years working with developmentally disabled adults at Easter Seals as well as a position as a Chiropractic Assistant. She has recently become a grandmother to Winter Rose, daughter of her oldest son Dalton. Her other son, Everett, lives at home and will be attending the Diesel Tech program at LCCC. In her spare time she enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and searching for waterfalls, she is also writing a mystery novel for Pendant Publishing.
Charlie Stevens is a guitarist and music instructor based in Fort Collins, Colorado. He leads Ascension’s 5 p.m. Service of Holy Communion worship service on Saturdays. Charlie graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, in May of 2019, earning a music performance degree, with a dual emphasis in classical, and bluegrass guitar.
Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Charlie has been playing live performances for almost a decade and has played with many bands, and musicians, at notable venues in both Connecticut, and Northern Colorado.
Charlie has been teaching private music lessons for 5 years and enjoys watching the successes of his students as they discover their love for music.
Jane Leland Iverson. A native of Minnesota, Jane completed her undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College, earned her M.M. from Minnesota State University at Mankato, and her D.A. from the University of Northern Colorado. She was the Coordinator of Music at Laramie County Community College for nine years. During that time, she received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Arts and Humanitites Division three times. In 2004, she received a Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award. In 2008, she was the recipient of the St. Olaf College Alumni Achievement Award. Jane has served Ascension Lutheran Church as Choir Director and Organist since 1978.
Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on August 23, 1946, Gaela was introduced to music early by her father’s guitar playing and singing and regular church attendance at the First Methodist Church downtown Cheyenne.
She began piano lessons at the Heinlein School of Music at age 8, began playing hymns for Sunday school soon afterward and later accompanying the junior choir at the church and teaching music theory to students at the Heinlein school after school. Then she continued playing and singing in the choirs at McCormick Junior High and Central High through graduation in 1964.
From there she became a music major at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY where she also attended services at Trinity Lutheran and joined the choir. After meeting Al Young there and joining the college youth group, she continued school at UW through her sophomore year, later accepting Al’s proposal to marry and continue her studies at Kansas State University. While at that university she directed junior choir at the Lutheran church nearby and taught piano lessons on the side. She graduated from KSU in 1968, and she and Al subsequently moved to the Florida gulf coast for Al’s first duty station at Eglin AFB, FL.
For the next 40 years she directed choirs and played the organ in Florida, Colorado Springs, Texas, and Ft. Washington, MD outside DC. Also, while living in DC, she sang with the Bolling AFB officer’s wives club sextet which occasionally joined the USAF Singing Sergeants at area performances, auditioned and sang with the Southern Maryland Choral Society, and assisted as rehearsal accompanist for their performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
Later, in 2002, she and Al moved to Cheyenne from Naperville, IL and became involved with the music life here at Ascension.