Pastor – Kristin Gorton
Rev. Kris has multiple connections to the United Church of Christ. She grew up in and was confirmed at Plymouth UCC in Dodgeville, and was a member of the McFarland UCC for over 20 years. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, obtaining a BA in Communication Arts and a MS in Communicative Disorders. She worked at the Waisman Center as a speech and language pathologist. Participating in the Wisconsin Conference UCC’s Lay Academy program, Kris began to delve into the ways in which God was leading her to serve the church. In May of 2017, Kris completed her Masters of Divinity studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS).
Her ministry interests include exploring the intersections between spirituality and social advocacy, cross-generational faith formation, and providing sacred spaces that are accessible to all. Kris is involved with the Multi-faith Coalition of South Central Wisconsin and Dane County’s Restorative Justice program.
Kris and her husband Steve are from Dodgeville and have been married for over 35 years. They have two adult children, Nicole (and Josh) Woodstock and Joshua Gorton, and 3 granddaughters. Together, Kris and Steve enjoy biking, hiking, and traveling.
Director of Faith Development – Rebecca Malke
Rebecca was director of religious education at the Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society for eight years before joining Memorial in July of 2014. She grew up in northeastern Wisconsin, then attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she earned a BA in comparative studies in world religion with a secondary focus on journalism. After graduation, she went to India to teach English, art and journalism at the People’s Action for Rural Awakening program at the Don Bosco School. While in India, Rebecca got to know a young man named Verra Raju Eliganti, who was helping former child laborers get registered at the school. They’ve now been married for about 15 years and have two children – Indy and Kiran. Rebecca is a trained Our Whole Lives facilitator for grades K-12. She’s also founder of Supportive Partners in Interfaith Faith Formation for Youth (SPIFFY) a group of religious educators from various faith traditions in the Madison area who network and share ideas on their ministries.
Director of Music – Jonathan Schroerlucke
Jonathan brings to Memorial a broad musical background. He has experience directing choirs. He has familiarity with a wide range of instruments and is proficient with piano, guitar, bass and other instruments. He teaches voice and guitar and he sings in the chorus with the Milwaukee Florentine Opera. He also composes and arranges music. His primary job is as the Marketing Manager for Madison Opera.
He graduated from Verona High, then went to North Central College, a Methodist college in Naperville, Ill., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 2009 and received the Outstanding Music Student Award there. While in college, he was the student director of the choir and he spent a semester abroad studying music in Tunisia and Turkey. During the summers, he worked at a summer camp program through the college, teaching music to children. And he was involved in the music program at a local church in Naperville as an assistant to the music director.
He is married to Solveig (Smithback) and they have a daughter.
Church Administrator – Jamie Gaffke
Jamie Gaffke joined the staff at Memorial in June, 2020. Prior to that, she worked as in Religious Education, as an administrator, and Director of Congregational Life at Unitarian Universalist churches in Arlington, VA and Rockford, IL. Jamie grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and earned her BA at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and her MSE at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She and her family live in Madison and enjoy outdoor adventures, baking, and reading.
Nursery staff – Frances Mozer and Brenda Boutelle