Rev. Laura Crow – Interim Senior Pastor
Laura served two stints as Interim Pastor at First United Church of Christ in Belleville. In addition, she served as Interim Pastor for Memorial UCC in Fitchburg in 2017 and Zwingli UCC in Paoli in 2018.
Prior to that, for 10 years, she was on the staff of Middleton Community UCC, most of that time as their Director of Faith Formation. In 2016, she was licensed to be a worship leader at Middleton as they developed a new late-afternoon Sunday service. And then when the pastor in Belleville died suddenly that October, Laura was licensed to be their Interim Pastor until they could hire a longer-term interim. She won high praise for her work in that very difficult situation. She returned to Belleville this past June to complete their interim period.
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 in microbiology and she worked for 19 years at Agracetus in Middleton.
Rev. Tammy Martens -Associate Pastor for Children, Youth and Families
Tammy and her husband Rob have two young children, Lily and Gabriel. Tammy spent a couple of years at home with her children before starting at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ in January, 2007.
Tammy is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse. She received her Master of Divinity from Palmer Seminary in Philadelphia. She worked in campus ministry for 8 years and was an associate pastor for 6 years before taking a break to raise children. She enjoys working with children and youth and helping them to discover and experience the love of Christ. She also enjoys finding creative and meaningful opportunities for children/youth and families to deepen their inner faith journeys and exploring how their faith connects them to outward acts of service, the ethics of living, and vocation decisions. In her spare time, Tammy loves swimming, biking, walking, cooking, reading, and being with friends.
Rev. Ken Pennings – Associate Pastor for Congregational Life
Ken joined the staff of ORUCC in August 2009. He was born and raised in Scotia, New York, graduated from Columbia Bible College, Columbia, SC in 1979, and received a Masters of Divinity from Columbia Biblical Seminary, Columbia, SC in 1985. He is ordained with the American Baptist Churches USA and received “privilege of call” with the United Church of Christ in June 2005.
Ken has served three Baptist churches as youth pastor, minister of evangelism & discipleship, and founding pastor.
In his early forties, Ken wakened to a new way of being in the world and transitioned out of Baptist fundamentalism. Now his highest ambition is to work with others to bring about a new economy of abundance in the world and a public life reorganized toward neighborliness.
Ken’s life partner is John Kenneth Leonard, Professor of Religious Studies, Edgewood College, Madison. John is an accomplished gardener, chef and musician. The couple lives on the south side of Madison in a home they call “Emmaus House.”
Ken’s three children from a previous marriage are Matthew, Audrey, and Kathryn.
Ms. Julie Wombacher – Office Manager
Born and raised on a small dairy farm in Richland County, Julie joined the staff in December 2018. Previously she was with USDA as an Executive Assistant to the State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, and with the Natural Resource Conservation Service as State Conservationist. Prior to that she was self-employed.
Dr. Bruce Gladstone – Senior Choir Director
Bruce became choir director in May, 2008. Bruce is Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he conducts the 85-member Chorale and the 34-member Madrigal Singers, as well as teaching the graduate Choral Literature and Performance Practice course and undergraduate Conducting.
A Maryland native, Dr. Gladstone holds degrees from West Virginia Wesleyan College (Dramatic Arts) and Southern Methodist University (Sacred Music and Choral Conducting), and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Illinois. He has served as Director of Choral Activities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia and taught at Eastern Illinois University and West Virginia Wesleyan College. He has also been a church musician and director in Illinois (for 6-7 years). He also teaches individual voice and conducting.
Ms. Vicki Nonn – Service Musician and Choir Accompanist
Vicki has served our church since 1972. Until the summer of 2007, she was our music director, when she changed her status to be the service musician and choral accompanist. She recently retired as the Music Director and afternoon classical music host for a program sent to all nine of the NPR News & Classical Music station of WPR. She and her husband Marv have two grown children, and 4 grandchildren.
Julie Mazer – Children’s Music Director
Julie has lived and worked in Madison as a music teacher for the past decade. She holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Her background includes work with early childhood, children with learning disabilities, adults/children with developmental disabilities, and the elderly. Julie has been trained in the Orff Schulwerk philosophy of music education which encourages children to be the creators of their own music through the assistance of movement and speech. Outside of Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, Julie is teaches music classes at Walbridge School and and offers private piano lessons and group music classes to homeschooled children through her business, The Music Lab. She is an avid reader, knitter, cross-country skier, and runner. She is married to Mark.
Bethany Schultz – Handbell Director
Bethany Schultz joined the ORUCC staff as Handbell Choir Director in 2016. Bethany is a freelance clarinetist currently on faculty at Madison Country Day School and formerly at Maranatha Baptist University. Bethany is a founding member of the woodwind quintet, Black Marigold, which performs regularly throughout southern Wisconsin. In addition to Black Marigold performances Bethany has also performed with numerous orchestras and theater companies including the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Symphony. As a teacher, she maintains a large studio of private clarinet and saxophone students of all ages and levels. Bethany holds degrees from UW-Madison and Arizona State University. She and her husband, Brock and young daughter, Fiona, are active members of ORUCC.
Rob Martens – Director of Tru Function and Tru Gumption
Rob Martens has been the Tru Function and Tru Gumption director for a number of years. He’s a lover of music, a software developer and the father of Gabriel and Lilly. He’s also married to Associate Pastor Tammy Martens.
Mr. Tim Rotar – Custodian
Tim joined the staff in May 2008 as our part time custodian. He is also a custodian at Heritage Congregational Church in Madison. He is generally at the church on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Angie Schoeneck – Moderator for 2019
Kathy Borkowski – Moderator Elect
Susan Jane Watson – Past Moderator
John Day – Treasurer
Page Danley – Clerk