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Laura Crow to be interim pastor

A letter from Council President Jacy Boldebuck
Dear Memorial UCC –

Laura Crow

I am happy to tell you that last night your church Council approved hiring Laura Crow as our interim minister from the time that Phil retires at the end of June until a settled pastor arrives in the fall. We are very excited to have Laura take this position. Let me tell you and why and then I’ll tell you a bit about the process and give you a quick update on the search process for our settled pastor.

On Monday evening – the same night that the Division on Church and Ministry of the Southwest Association licensed Laura to serve Memorial – that body which guides people toward ordained ministry accepted Laura as a member in discernment for ordination. But she is no newcomer to the work of the church.
For the 10 years, she has been on the staff of Middleton Community UCC, most of that time as their director of faith formation (comparable to Rebecca’s position at Memorial). Last year, she was licensed to be a worship leader at Middleton as they developed a new late-afternoon Sunday service. And then when the pastor of the UCC congregation in Belleville died suddenly last October, Laura was licensed to be their interim supply pastor until they could hire a longer-term interim. She won high praise for her work in that very difficult situation.

Laura’s experience goes well beyond church work, however. She was elected to two terms on the Middleton-Cross Plains School Board from 2000 to 2006 and was on the board of directors of the Middleton Outreach Ministry from 1995 to 1999. Her degree is microbiology and she worked for 19 years at Agracetus in Middleton.

On top of all that, she was a leader for the Five Practices of Healthy Congregations program that Memorial participated in during 2012 and she was the leader assigned to work with Memorial as we used that program. So she already has a sense of our congregation.

We came to Laura through a hiring committee established by the Council. The committee consisted of Sarah Fritz, Gary Johnson (trustee) Rebecca and me.  We were provided 5 profiles and of those candidates, only Laura stood out as a possibility. We interviewed and all four of us were impressed and unanimous in favor of offering her the position. The Council approved unanimously that last night,

Laura will be with us three-quarters time starting June 12 and will be able to work with Phil for two weeks before his ministry with us ends on June 25.

The Search Committee for our settled pastor, meanwhile, continues to receive applications and has a good number of strong candidates to consider. It will provide an update to the congregation later this month.