As Executive Director of Protect Minnesota, Rev. Bence leads the only independent, state-based advocacy organization dedicated to preventing gun violence through legislation, education, and policy reform. Having presided over six funerals for gun violence victims as a parish pastor, she is passionate about the need to protect the rights of every American to life, liberty from the threat of gun violence, and the pursuit of happiness in safe communities.
Other Professional Experience:
32 years' experience as a fund development professional for a variety of non-profit organizations, including Gettysburg College, the Fairview Hospital Foundation, Lutheran Social Services and the YWCA.
Trained and experienced in Community Organizing through the Gamaliel Foundation in Chicago.
Ordained as a minister of word and sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1998. Served as pastor of two suburban congregations for two decades, and as Chair of Deans for the Minneapolis Area Synod for 6 years. Was among the top 5 candidates for Bishop in 2012. Skilled in creating rich, meaningful and cohesive worship that connects to the on-going missions and ministries of the church. Theologically liberal and inclusive.
Prior to ordination, served as the Executive Director of the MN Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, a statewide interfaith coalition of 35 faith groups and organizations dedicated to religious freedom and reproductive rights.