SOP hires new director

Posted on March 13, 2017 | Announcements

The Solar Oven Partners (SOP) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Marjorie (Marj) Evans-de-Carpio has been hired as the new director of SOP. Marj will begin work in mid-March, with current director Rick Jost officially retiring on April 30.

Marj comes to the position with an extensive background in the skills needed to build cross-cultural relationships and a passion for the solar oven ministry. Fluent in Spanish, the Wisconsin native and current Minnesota resident holds a BS in Spanish and Ibero American Studies and a Masters of Divinity.

She has been working as a certified Spanish interpreter for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, and previously worked at the Welcome Center in the City of Northfield, MN, where she assisted immigrants as they transitioned into the community. She is a qualified trainer with the Kaleidoscope Institute, an ecumenical institute that trains clergy and church members in building knowledge and skills to effectively minister across cultural differences. She has served for several years on the Minnesota UMC Conference’s Commission of Religion and Race.

“Marj has a heart for mission,” says Karen Workman, who chaired the SOP New Director Task Force and serves on the ministry’s board of directors. “Her leadership style is collaborative, she speaks Spanish fluently and her training in cross-cultural relations is a real plus. She is also a great communicator and will be able to tell the SOP story.” Photo: Marj Evans-de-Carpio

The new director also brings a deep understanding of the Dominican Republic, where SOP is now working. Lalo, her husband of 29 years, hails from the Caribbean nation, and she started and operated an English-speaking school when the couple lived in the Domincan Republic for close to two years.

The couple, whose daughter plans to attend the University of Manitoba, will be looking for a home close to Brookings but, on the Minnesota side of the border in order to take advantage of a tuition reciprocity agreement between Canada and the State of Minnesota. Marj and Lalo also have a son who lives in Minnesota.

While Rick leads the SOP team to Sierra Leone (March 13-27) Marj will embark on a "tour of introductions" around the Dakotas Conference starting with the Conference office in Mitchell on March 17 and traveling to a sampling of SOP-supportive churches in South and North Dakota.

We welcome Marj to Solar Oven Partners! Watch for a more extensive interview in the spring edition of the Solar Oven Partners UMC newsletter and at