Ministerial Search Committee


The First Church Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the proposed slate of members for the Ministerial Search Committee (MSC), which will represent us in our search for a new Senior Minister.  Twenty-one members of the congregation, representing the Board of Trustees, the Interim Transition Team (ITT) and the Nomination Committee, joined by our ministers Elaine Peresluha and Dena McPhetres, met during the month of April to review nearly thirty nominations.  After careful consideration, the combined team recommended to the Board of Trustees the following nominees to serve on the MSC. In the Board meeting of April 21, 2015 the Trustees unanimously approved this slate, which will be presented for approval by congregational vote at the annual meeting on May 17, 2015:



SMSC-Elizabeth Lentini(resized for web)Elizabeth Lentini: Elizabeth joined First Church in 1999 and has served in a variety of roles, including President of the congregation, chair of the Nominating Committee and as a Worship Associate. She also served on the Senior Minister’s Committee on Ministry, worked on Vision 2010 and has assisted in RE and the nursery. She has also attended the week-long Midwest Leadership School. In her work life Elizabeth has been a lawyer for 30 years and currently works at Northwestern Mutual. She is married to Kevin Gibson, who is also a member, and who is a professor of philosophy at Marquette. They have two children, both of whom were raised within the warm embrace of First Church.



SMSC-Nancy Pajewski(resized for web)Nancy Pajewski: Nancy has served on numerous committees at First Church over her sixteen years of membership, including Economic and Social Justice, Book Sales, Vision 2010 and Leadership Enhancement. She was a trustee and President of the congregation, has a deep understanding of our church and is committed to upholding our UU principles.




Committee Members:

SMSC-Mark Bender(resized for web)Mark Bender: With two young children, ages six and nine, Mark is deeply committed to our congregation’s future. In his four years as a UU he has served on the Marketing Committee and provided communication design services to stewardship activities. He has extensive professional experience in helping large groups discern and clearly picture common goals, bringing a humanist’s perspective to the creative problem-solving process.




SMSC-Lianna Bishop(resized for web)Lianna Bishop: Lianna has been a member of First Church for four years, hosted a Feast for Funds event, and participated in the Harvest the Power leadership series. As a communications and development professional, she currently works in the role of Corporate Relations Manager at the Urban Ecology Center where she builds and maintains high quality relationships to attract and sustain financial resources for the Center. She strives to contribute to a compassionate community and congregation that nurtures spiritual growth.




SMSC-Michelle Boehm(resized for web)Michelle Boehm: During her ten years as a member of First Church, Michelle has been a Pastoral Care Associate and Coordinator, she served on the Marketing Committee, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, and on the Board of Trustees. She believes the church’s mission is to first provide a welcoming spiritual home for its members and to then inspire us to lives of integrity and service.




SMSC-Jessie Moffat(resized for web)Jessie Moffat: In her five years at First Church, Jessie has been an RE assistant and teacher, and a member of the Children’s RE Committee. She has been active in the YANKS group, served on the Leadership Enhancement Committee and as Chair of the Pulpit Guest Committee. Jessie completed the Harvest the Power workshop, and attended Midwest Leadership School. She wants to live the principles she helps teach in RE and is honored to take on this responsibility.




SMSC-Charlie Persch(resized for web)Charlie Persch: Over his five years of membership, Charlie has been active on Feast for Funds since its inception and served on the Pulpit Guest Committee, finding the best speakers to fill our pulpit. At his former church, he served on the Stewardship committee for nine years. That experience helped him understand that people want to feel part of a community. In this community, Charlie believes our diversity pulls us closer to work for the common good.


The Board of Trustees offers our sincere thanks to each of the nearly thirty members who agreed to be nominated for this challenging work.  The generosity of spirit demonstrated in your willingness to serve is admired and much appreciated; you have our deepest gratitude for an unquestionable commitment to our congregation’s future and for your many contributions in the past.