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Retired clergy consider forming new church on Olympic Peninsula

In visiting UCC Pension Board annuity recipients on the Olympic Peninsula, Ed Evans of Sequim found many feeling isolated from the wider UCC.  Six retired clergy and a chaplain are interested in starting a new UCC church.

Barb and Maureen
Barb Laski and Maureen McLain lead worship.

Dee and Bob Brauninger retired to Port Angeles after years when both serve churches in Nebraska.

Barb Laski, a retired hospital chaplain in Port Townsend; Donna Babb, who retired from churches in California, and Evans all live in Sequim.

Marge Terpstra, who retired from the Hawaii conference, and Bruce Van Blair, who had served Mercer Island UCC before retiring from 15 years serving churches in California, live in Port Townsend.

“Because many had retired from other conferences, they did not know each other, so last summer I invited them to a picnic at my house,” Evans said.  “I told them they had all expressed to me their lament that there is no UCC presence on the peninsula.”  The nearest churches are in Forks and Suquamish, which Evans and Laski attend.

“I asked how much energy they had to do something,” Evans said,  “and found energy to create a new church start.”

Peninsula church
Core group of retirees and persons interested in starting a UCC church on the Olympic Peninsula meet on second Saturdays each month for worship in the living room of Ed Evans in Sequim.

He offered to be part of a shared ministry and Dee Brauninger agreed to coordinate leadership. 

Evans talked with Tom Thresher, pastor at Suquamish UCC, about starting as a satellite congregation and has talked with the conference’s Church Development Committee and Conference Minister Mike Denton about the channels and steps to start a church.

Evans attended Magnolia UCC and United Churches of Olympia, before leaving broadcast journalism to ministry.  He served an interim at Blaine UCC and 10 years at Vancouver UCC before retiring.


For information, call 360-683-4704.


Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © February 2010


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