Get to know your church leaders and staff.
Rev. Kathleen Remund has been the ordained minister for First Congregational UCC of Menomonie since September of 2016. Prior to taking this call, she served United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities for ten years in the area of church relations. While at United, she helped support the development of the Kaleo Center for Social Justice and Transformation and served as the Center’s assistant director.
Kathleen’s path to ordained ministry was more of a meandering stream, filled with detours and surprises. Over the years, she worked in feminist and peace-oriented nonprofits, participated in the leadership of a lay-led Christian community, was employed doing quality assurance research for a healthcare company, married and began raising two children—all before returning to seminary in the fall of 2001. Her relationship with the church and Christianity has been full of ups and downs, but her love for Jesus and her mystical experiences of God kept tugging her towards theological reflection and eventually, ordained ministry. (If you want to know about her theology, ask her about fractals and chaos theory!)
She and her wife Diane moved to Menomonie from Minneapolis in 2016 when Kathleen was called to First Congregational UCC and have been delighted to root themselves here in the Red Cedar Watershed. Their blended family includes a dog, two cats, five children and three grandchildren.
After four years leading educational programs for our congregation as a volunteer and lay leader, Karen is now officially our Director of Faith Formation. She is responsible for shaping educational programming for people of all ages, supervising our Youth Program Coordinator, and maintaining our Safe Church policies and practices. Until her first “retirement,” Karen worked as a planning analyst and an advocate for at-risk youth. A member of the Stockbridge Munsee nation, Karen brings her Native American traditions and understanding into powerful conversations with Christian faith and practice.
Mary Burkett often says that she “grew up in the choir loft” of the Methodist church where her mother worked for many years. With a background in both theater and music, Mary brings a lively eye and presence to the shaping of our worship services, engaging musicians, choir members and youth in a variety of creative ways. She is an actively involved mom and grandma as well as a gifted visual artist.
Evelyn joined our staff in January 2021 as an astonishingly gifted sixteen-year-old. Her musicianship and skill on both piano and organ are extraordinary—and not just for her age. Evelyn stands out well among any group of church musicians. When she is not wowing us with her virtuosity, Evelyn is home-schooled. She raises sheep, spins wool, and makes beautiful clothing from the wool—and when she’s not doing that, she’s training her sheepdogs.
Dave came to us in response to a desperate appeal for help in March 2020, as we contemplated transitioning to remote worship and couldn’t imagine how we would do so. He helped us record and edit our services for over a year, while helping us develop a plan for installing a set of cameras appropriate for livestreaming. He now trains and oversees volunteers in our “tech nest” even as he continues doing much of our camera work. He maintains equipment and communicates with technology providers. He does all of this while working full-time as a cheese-maker and raising two young children.
A longtime member of First Congregational UCC, Gail recently stepped in as our interim custodian and did such a good job, we made her permanent. Gail has an infectious sense of humor and a detailed eye for needed cleaning and repairs. She is a retired golf course manager and a wonderful woodworker.
Moderator: Nita Fitzgerald
Vice Moderator: Andrew Mercil
Past Moderator: Amy Riddle-Swanson
Treasurer: Tom Schmelzle
Clerk: Jill Schwebs
Mission for Peace and Justice: Naomi Cummings
Christian Education: Mary Burkett
Care Ministries: Margi Stauss
Music: Curt McNamara
Worship: Kathy Colvin
Property: Jon Blomquist
Stewardship: Jeanne Rothaupt
Membership/Fellowship: Carol Ropella
The Youth Program Assistant will support the Faith Formation efforts of this congregation by assisting with regular weekly after school programs and occasional special activities.