Bio: Hanson, Teri (New Pastor - 2012)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt

Surnames: Dix, Gilbert, Hanson, Schultz, Wineke

----Source: The Abbotsford Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 07/04/2012

UCC Congregations welcome new minister. By Ben Schultz

Congregations at First United Church of Christ in Colby and Christ UCC in Athens welcomed a new pastor Sunday at Teri Hanson stepped into the pulpits.

Hanson, a native of Mora, MN, brings with her a long involvement with the church and extensive experience in Christian and preschool education.

The pastor is married to Kevin Hanson, a funeral director for the Hansen-Schilling & Maurina-Schilling funeral homes. They have one daughter, Tabitha, who will be a sophomore at Colby High School this fall.

Hanson and her family have moved around quite a bit and she didn’t think she’d end up in central Wisconsin. “I didn’t see working her,” she said.

Teri graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, in 1990, and is a 2002 graduate of the Wisconsin Lay School of Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Hanson has been involved in church since 1987, either as an employee or volunteer. After graduating from Concordia, Teri and Kevin worked at El Camino Pines Bible Camp in California. They worked with private schools around Los Angeles.

They then returned to Wisconsin to work at Luther Point Bible Camp in Grantsburg. She stayed on as full-time program director before marrying in Sept of 1993.

The couple moved to Eau Claire shortly after and Teri was employed at Color My World Childcare and preschool for four-and-a-half years.

She stepped up her involvement with the church by taking on the roll of preschool director at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eau Claire for a year. She worked with kids age’s three to five and developed curriculum for the classroom.

The family then moved to Milwaukee, where Kevin was going to mortuary school. Teri stuck with education, becoming the lead preschool teacher at Glendale Heights Childcare Centers.

The family made their way to Menomonie in 2000. Teri became the director of Christian education at Grace Lutheran Church while she finished her education.

At Grace Lutheran Teri worked with marriage preparation and counseling, baptismal orientation and ministry involvement for the congregation. She implemented curriculum for three-year-olds to sixth graders and oversaw the confirmation pram for seventh through ninth graders.

Shortly after the Hanson’s moved to Platteville in 2006, Teri was volunteered to help at Davies Memorial UCC in Potosi. Their pastor has left recently and Teri filled in for Mother’s and Father’s Day serviced. She initially only intended to stay through August that year but wound up staying there for four years as pastor.

The family moved to this area in 2010. “We’re still getting to know the community,” she said.

Around that time, the UCC churches saw the retirement of Rev. Ken Dix. The Rev. Marlea Gilbert and Rev. William Wineke have filled in as interim pastors.

“I miss working in the church,” she said. “I miss sharing the gospel with people.”

As a small town, Potosi has offered a sort of template for Hanson’s ministry in Colby and Athens. She said the churches are similar in that they are stable and on the older side. This changes the focus for Hanson. While some pastors focus on growing the congregation with more numbers, a smaller church can focus on personal growth.

“You’re hoping to grown within the confines of the congregation,” she said. “Your members are the ones you have to help grow spiritually.”

She said the small town’s means it’s critical for First United Church of Christ and Christ UCC to reach out to other faith communities. “We want to become more ecumenical and work with other churches in town,” she said.

Services for the church in Colby are at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. In Athens services are at 9 a.m. Those times will flip when the school year starts.



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