Kerri Parker is a native of the East Coast who has lived in Wisconsin for nearly 20 years and has mostly shaken the Rhode Island accent (except when she comes back from vacation). She stays in Wisconsin because of the cheese, the state parks, and the great relationships she’s built through the Wisconsin Conference UCC. She’s ordained clergy and serves as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches. Her prior work includes parish pastoring and nonprofit management. She just finished a term as board chair of the Wisconsin Conference UCC. She’s a fan of our UCC camps, having volunteered in Single Parent Family Camp at Pilgrim Center and MADD Camp at Moon Beach. She enjoys contemplative hikes, cooking, storytelling, and Broadway musicals. Kerri lives in McFarland with her daughter Becca (a rising high school senior) and their cat Moonlight. The house, already filled with books from two avid readers, will be a little fuller in August when her new husband Shaun Drefahl moves in with rescue cat Gus. Kerri and Shaun will be married in July and Shaun will be serving Congregational UCC in Evansville as its pastor.
Anna Schryver (left): I’m Izzy and Noah’s mom and wife to Ryan. My family and I enjoy life in Madison, the best city in the world built on an isthmus. I’m a news junkie: my career has always been in public relations. I first got to know ORUCC through the amazing youth mission trips. My daughter recently completed her 4th service trip! We love the inclusivity of ORUCC and are proud to be members of this active congregation.
Isabel Schryver (right): I am 16 years old and I go to James Madison Memorial high school. I actively participate in many clubs at my school. My favorite club is the engineering club, I really enjoy messing around with machines and learning how they work. I am very interested in studying science and engineering in my future, I would eventually like to work with NASA or SpaceX on space travel and I’m currently taking ground training lessons. I am very glad to be a member of ORUCC and can’t wait to help the amazing community this church has!
The Miller family recently joined ORUCC after learning more about the church through the Martens, who live in the same neighborhood. Kellie is a Speech Language Pathologist and a teacher in the Madison school district. Dan is a realtor and owner of Mad City Dream Homes on the west side of Madison. Kellie and Dan are the proud parents of three children: Maddie (16) has been on 3 youth group mission trips and attends Memorial High Scool. Joey (12) attends Jefferson Middle School. Lydia (8) is a third grader at Muir Elementary. The Millers appreciate the inclusive nature of ORUCC, and the Church’s emphasis on community, service, and hope. They’re looking forward to getting to know more of the membership and becoming more actively involved with the Church.
Michelle Johnson is a journalist, writer and multimedia producer who lives in the Orchard Ridge neighborhood and loves being able to walk to church. A relative newcomer to Madison, she’s a native Midwesterner who returned to the midlands a few years ago after living nearly 20 years in North Carolina. Her passions include cooking and sharing her creations with others. She also enjoys swimming, paddling, hiking and reading (especially poetry). Raised a Methodist, Michelle has gravitated to UCC churches in every city where she’s lived, but until now, never joined one.
Diep (pronounced “Ziep”) Nguyen is a native of Vietnam. She came to the United States at the age of 15 as a refugee. Diep grew up in the Catholic Church and later joined the United Methodist Church where her late husband served as a pastor. Diep was active in ecumenical and interfaith groups when she lived in Illinois and she wishes to continue to make these connections here in Madison. Diep is an educator, specializing in bilingual/multicultural education. She is passionate about public education, language rights, refugee/immigration issues and social justice. She recently moved to Madison to work at UW-Madison. Diep has three adult children. Tim lives with his wife in DC, Dan lives with his partner in New York and Ian lives here in Madison. Diep loves to travel, and enjoys gardening and cooking when she has time. Even though she likes to sing, her children often gently remind her that she unfortunately has no sense of rhythm.
Joyce Dingman grew up in Detroit and moved to Madison 35 years ago to go to law school. I worked as a lawyer for the state for 25 years, most recently for 17 years at the Public Service Commission (the state agency that regulates utilities.) I retired 2 years ago and have been enjoying creating a new post-retirement life! I live in the Meadowood neighborhood with my husband/partner of 21 years, David, and our furbaby dog Peanut. David is a computer network administrator at UW-Extension. I do a wide variety of volunteer work as I love helping people and trying to help make the world a better place. I am a member of two bookclubs, including one solely dedicated to mysteries. David and I are both dedicated readers and I have begun relearning piano and guitar. I’m also enjoying having the time and energy to cook again. David and I love traveling, learning new things, and railroads (both model and real.) We are proud Packers fanatics who are owners that go to a couple of games each fall.
Dave Witte was born and raised in Monona, WI and attended Lake Edge UCC with his family until he started college at UW-Madison. Dave married the love of his life, Cristina Delgadillo, in 2007 and has been blessed with three energetic and loving daughters – Daniela (9), Gabriela (8), and Olivia (5)- who bring him joy and laughter every day. Larry, the family dog of almost three years, continues to fight for the attention of any and all family members and acts as a fourth child. Dave has been an educator for almost 20 years and has worked in education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director of student services in a variety of locations including Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Bronx, and McFarland, Wisconsin. Dave currently works as an Assistant Director of Special Education for the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Kurt Jaehnig: I was born and raised in Wisconsin and have spent most of my adult life in Madison. I’m married to Karen and we have two grown children, Emily and Gregory. I am an engineering physicist at UW-Madison since 1989 and enjoy working on scientific projects in deserted areas of New Mexico, Arizona, Chile and soon South Africa. I’m an avid bicycle commuter, enjoy hiking, communing with nature and spending quality time with our dog, Bernie.
Karen Jaehnig: My family includes my husband Kurt and our two grown children Emily and Greg. I have spent most of my life in Madison, graduating from Memorial HS and UW-Madison. I was a social worker at Dane Co Human Services, Badger Prairie HCC, and the Dane Co Sheriff’s Office. Retirement has given me the opportunity to volunteer at Memorial HS and more recently at Toki Middle School. I enjoy running, hiking, walking my dog, studying Spanish and traveling.
Jeanne Moberly: I have now lived in Madison for a year, having moved here from Gainesville, Florida, which was my home for over 40 years. I am a Badger, having received my undergraduate degree from UW. In Gainesville, I was a Licensed Psychologist in private practice for over 25 years. I have two adult children and two stepchildren. My daughter and her husband live here. My son and his family live in Lincoln, Nebraska. My two stepchildren and their families live in Nashville Tennessee.
Altogether, I have six grandchildren. My husband, who was a Law Professor, died four years ago. I belonged to a UCC Church in Gainesville (the United Church of Gainesville) for over 40 years. I was quite active, teaching Sunday School, doing adult seminars, chairing committees and being on the church board. I have so many things that I love to do! I started a group at UCG called Poetry and Potluck, where people brought their favorite poems and a potluck dish to share . We shared wine, food, and poems that enriched our lives. I love to read, especially mysteries. I walk, enjoy yoga, swim and work out. I am interested in spiritual growth, contemplative prayer, and learning more about how to age well. I would love to participate with a group of older adults who are interested in “growing younger as we age.”
Ellen Reuter and Phil Haslanger have been married for 35 years and live in Fitchburg. They have four children now scattered around the country with spouses and children and pets. Ellen, who grew up in Avoca, WI, worked for many years as a social worker/family therapist. More recently, she has worked as a spiritual director (now retired) and an artist. She is particularly interested in the practices of mindfulness.
Phil, who grew up in Marinette, WI, was a journalist for 34 years, working at The Capital Times. He was ordained a UCC minister in 2007 and served at Memorial UCC in Fitchburg until retiring in 2017. They are both looking forward to growing in to the life of the Orchard Ridge UCC community.