Bio: Gilbert, Rev. Marlea (Installation - 2009)
Contact:: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Dix, Gilbert, Schultz
----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford,
Clark Co., WI), Wednesday, October 1, 2009, Online
Yoked parishes welcome new minister. By Ben
Rev. Marlea Gilbert will come in as an interim minister at First
United Church of Christ in Colby and Christ United Church in
is a native of Wisconsin and calls Baraboo home between interim
assignments. She also lived in Iowa and Minnesota growing
Gilbert went to college at UW-Stevens Point before earning a bachelors degree in architecture at the University of Minnesota. She worked as an architect for a number of years before joining the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in the 1990s.
Gilbert explained the uncommon transition of
careers as a matter of fascination with people. While she was
designing law offices she found she was actually more interested in
how everybody got along in those offices.
wasn’t quite doing what I had hoped I’d be doing," she
said. While she still worked as an architect in her first few years
in the seminary she eventually had to choose one over the other.
Gilbert was ordained as a minister in 1996.
headed to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois
before earning a Ph.D. in liturgical studies and congregational
Gilbert said serving as an interim minister means
helping churches through the transitions that come after a
long-time leader has left. Rev. Ken Dix, her predecessor, served
the two churches for 44 years. She said now congregations should
ask themselves some significant questions.
"What does it mean to be the church in Colby or
Athens or wherever we are?" she said. "It’s time for people
to think a lot more deeply and broadly about their
Gilbert will try a few new things with both
congregations. She said it’s typical for an interim minister
to try out new things like music and technology when they step into
a new pulpit.
"It can be a time to experiment, but that doesn’t mean we have to set a pattern," she said.
Gilbert will also be calling on the congregations
to think about what has been successful in both the church and the
broader community. She hopes events like potlucks and group
discussions will help them as they enter a new
"How do we remember what is good about the past, and how do we build on what we’ve done?" she asked.
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