Pastor – Phil Haslanger
Phil is the full-time pastor at Memorial UCC. He spent most of his adult life working in journalism for The Capital Times. He covered politics, education and religion, then served as city editor, editorial page editor and managing editor. In 2002, he was president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers. He also served for 5-plus years on the managing board of the Religion News Service, including a time as president of that board.
Phil began his journey into the ministry in 2003 and served his pastoral internship at Memorial in 2004. After being authorized as a lay pastor in November 2004, he served a number of area congregations, including McFarland UCC, First Congregational UCC in Madison and Lake Edge UCC in Madison. He was ordained to the ministry in October of 2007. Phil began working as a half time associate at Memorial in May of 2007 and became full-time pastor on Jan. 5, 2009. He will be retiring on June 30 of 2017. He is chair of the Division on Church and Ministry for the Southwest Wisconsin Association of the Wisconsin Conference of the UCC.
Phil is married to Ellen Reuter, who works as a spiritual director and also has worked with liturgical art and polymer clay. Phil has two grown children from his first marriage, then two more grown children with Ellen.
He loves reading and music, photography and remains an avid consumer of news.
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 10 years and have two children – Indy and Kiran.
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 communications and membership coordinator for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.
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.