From 10,000 Lakes to a Skyline of Mountains

Trinity City Church will soon be missing out on a few familiar faces.

Daniel Parks and Annika Parks, who have both volunteered in various positions throughout their time at the church, are moving to Boulder, Colorado soon for Daniel to pursue a doctorate in conducting at the University of Colorado.

“I’m looking forward to living in the mountains or having mountains in the skyline,” Annika said. “And the climate is a bit more stable — not as midwestern crazy.”

Daniel has been the music director for the music team and deacon of music for two years. Annika served as the kitchen coordinator last year and also serves on the music team.

“I have been involved with music ministry since I was about 12 or 13 years old, Daniel said. “I started volunteering with the music team almost immediately. I think the second Sunday we were attending, I introduced myself to the music leader at the time. Annika started helping out in the kitchen not long after and did that for a few years.”

The couple — who have been married for almost eight years — met in high school. Though they attended different high schools, their families attended the same church in Appleton, Wisconsin. Daniel and Annika started dating a few years later, when they were in college.

Daniel and Annika both said they grew up looking to their families as an example of volunteerism, especially in the church.

“I think that’s something that’s modeled in our families and that’s a normal part of our experience was volunteering,” Daniel said.

In 2013, Daniel got a job teaching in River Falls, Wisconsin, so they moved to St. Paul. They found Trinity in its early years after an online search.

“It felt normal to be in a smaller church plant,” Annika said.

Annika is a professional photographer, specializing in wedding, engagement and family photographer. Daniel is a music educator and musician who recently finished up a Master’s program at the University of Minnesota.

While Annika said she’s looking forward to the new topography, Daniel said he’s looking forward to starting his doctoral program in Colorado.

“I love learning and I really enjoy being a student,” Daniel said. “I’m excited to begin my last run of schooling in my life.”

Neither of them work for solely a paycheck, and are passionate about their jobs, Annika said.

“It’s nice to love what you do,” Annika said.

But, the couple will miss the relationships they’ve cultivated through Trinity. Annika said she will miss the family she used to nanny for and Daniel said he will miss the people he’s gotten to know through volunteering at the church.

Both of them also said they’ll miss the tacos at a few of their favorite restaurants, Maya Cuisine and El Taco Riendo, and will have to find a new taco place in Boulder.

By Maggie Stanwood. Stanwood is a multimedia reporter for the Prior Lake American newspaper in Prior Lake, Minnesota.