Joe Disch

Interview by Luke Sather, Confirmand

Where were you born?
New Glarus wi on a farm

Where were your parents from?
Dad-New Glarus

What did your parents do?
Mom- housewife

Where did you go to school?
One-room country schoolhouse

When were you confirmed?
June 7, 1953

How many were in your confirmation class

What were confirmation classes like/what did you do?
A sit-down session with the pastor

Which pastors do you remember?
Reverend Chudy

Do you have any children? 
Two boys; One girl

Where are they now,?
Oldest (Boy)- Alabama
Middle (Girl)- Marshfield
Youngest (Boy)- Sun Prairie

Six grandchildren, and four  great-grandchildren

What sports did you enjoy growing up and now?

Kit Thomsen

Interview by Makena Lisowe, Confirmand

Kit was born in Ann Arbor Michigan. Her parents were both from Michigan, her mom was a housewife, and her dad was an insurance salesman. She grew up and went to school in Ann Arbor. She was involved in her church’s youth group, and would sometimes attend church. Luckily, no one in her family had to serve in the military during a war, but she mentioned that her husband served in the navy during peacetime. Even though she remembers Sunday school, she unfortunately doesn’t have much memory of confirmation. She says that she doesn’t remember ever getting confirmed, and she might not have.

Kit went to Central Michigan University, and got a degree in teaching, where she later on became a teacher for a while. She also had owned a retail business, which sold quilting supplies. She also lived in Chicago, and she moved to Wisconsin because of her husband’s job. She started at a congregational church when she moved here, but eventually came to Windsor UCC. She says the pastors she remembers are Dave Moyer, Dan Randall, Marty Balmer and David McDonald.

She has three children, Mark, Julie, and Sarah. Mark is a consultant, Julie does nutritional work for dairy cattle in her dads business, and Sarah works at Eveco. She has eight grandchildren, most of them in college. Her husband, Tom, worked as an accountant, and helped with his dad’s business, which Julie now works in.

Joan Rice

Interview by Hailey Sutherland, Confirmand

Joan Rice was born November 5, 1949 near Green Bay. She lived there for the first few years of her life. She was one of eight children. Her dad owned a jewelry store and her mom stayed home with her and her siblings. Both of her parents died at a very young age. She went to a few Catholic schools. She went to Sacred Heart for elementary. For intermediate school she went to Xavier high. She attended UW Madison for college. She was confirmed in 7th grade, with all of the kids in her class which was about 30 to 40 . In her confirmation class she had to memorize a lot, also the bishops came to help with confirmation. The one pastor Joan remembered was Pastor Schmidt.

Joan has two children and they both live in California. Sara is the oldest, and has a talent agency. She also teaches workshops about the arts, and nature education. Sara also has a 16 year old son named Riker. Her other child Nick does background acting. Joan has lived in many different places in Wisconsin. Those include Green Bay, Appleton, Spooner (Which is up North), Madison and now Deforest.

Joan and I went to El Charro for dinner and conversation. Joan is very nice and easy going. This interview was great because I met someone new. I felt the interview could not have gone any better because we were similar people. I would love to do it again.

Kathy Boebel

Interview by Anabelle Stravinski, Confirmand

Kathy Boebel was born in Madison, Wisconsin, started school in a country school in Milwaukee, and then moved to downtown Windsor for her father’s work. She later moved to Sun Prairie. She was taught in one classroom with 8 other grades in her first country school. She was the only 1st grader in her school. When she moved to Sun prairie she was in 2nd grade, where she was amazed to see there was more than just her in her 2nd grade class. Everyday for school, she would walk a mile there and a mile home, however she was involved in multiple school activities so she wasn’t home very often. She lived in a multigenerational home.  This means she lived with her mother, father, grandma, grandpa, and older sister. Her father worked as a farmer salesman, but later got his license for selling homes and became a realtor. Her mother didn’t really leave the house and stayed at home taking care of her family. She has 2 children (one girl and one boy) and 5 grandchildren (plus a grand-dog).  

Kathy was confirmed in 1959, with four kids in her confirmation class. Kathy was able to remember so many pastors. She was able to remember the following: Pastor Dave MacDonald, Pastor Dave Moyer, Pastor Bob who married them, Pastor Dan Randle who she hired and fired, and Pastor Reverend Caseman. 

Kathy worked as a PE teacher for a few years before raising her kids. She was a synchronized swimming, track, tennis and gymnastics coach.  Later she worked for UW and retired from the School of Education where she had been assistant to the dean.

Once the pandemic hit, she realized how much the church really meant to her.  When we were all worshiping online, no one was 100% connected within the church. She realized what was amazing was the fact that she was able to have that family within the church when she needed it most.  For example, she needed support when her mother died and also when her husband had cancer.

One amazing story that she was able to tell was about her father and sister. As WW2 ended, and word made it back to Windsor, her dad was at home with her sister. When he heard the news, he grabbed her sister’s arm, ran to the church and rang our church bell until he couldn’t do it anymore. This meant that as WW2 ended, our church bells rang to celebrate it! 

Some advice she gave to me was to stick with the program. Even if I wasn’t enjoying it now and I still had questions, I should just stick it through and be able to find that the church family is the most important part of a church. Overall, I loved this interview and she was very nice.

Confirmation Interviews

The final assignment of our Confirmation class was for each confirmand to interview someone in our congregation they didn’t already know.  Here is how I explained the assignment to the class: 

There are a lot of wonderful people in the congregation who have long and faithfully supported the church.  It is easy to attend for years without meeting people  who are not friends or relatives or who sit on the other side of the church.  The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to meet some of these people.  I trust they will inspire you--they sure inspire me  (-:

I am proud to share these interviews with you over the next few days.

With Great Hope,
Pr. Craig

Bidding Prayer

On the first Sunday in July, we will begin practicing a new form of intercessory prayer called “Bidding Prayer.”  In this form of prayer, I will invite the congregation to pray about  something using a pattern that we all understand and can participate in.  

To get us started, we will follow a regular pattern each week, focusing our attention in four categories on our life together:

Prayers for the World
Prayers our our Nation
Prayers for our Church
Prayers for Ourselves

My role will be to offer prayers to introduce each of these categories, concluding with “Hear now our prayers for our world / nation / church/ ourselves. Individuals in the congregation will then offer petitions, and the congregation will respond as one.  

Here is an example of the Bidding Prayer form:

Lord in your mercy....
Hear our Prayer

And here are a few examples of bidding prayers:

For the people of Ukraine, 
Lord in your Mercy…Hear our prayer.  

For the people along the Yellowstone River as they recover from the raging flood.
Lord in your Mercy…Hear our prayer	

For our congregation and our leaders, and for our worship life.
Lord in your Mercy…Hear our prayer.  

For the birth of our 5th Grandchild, Leslie May, born on the
 4th of July, weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs, 
Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayer.

As we practice praying together, we will discover the power of prayer to focus our attention and shape our ways of living in the world, desires for our nation, hopes for our church, and longings for ourselves.  

Yours in Christ

Pr. Craig

Windsor Word, May 2021

Dear Congregation,

Two weeks into reopening our sanctuary for safe worship, we continue to learn and to adjust.  I will continue to send regular updates to you of ongoing changes as we celebrate the grace and love of God and seek to open our hearts to the challenging call of the Holy Spirit.  

Here is a summary of current and ongoing developments in the life of our congregation:

Worship Capacity: Our Medical Advisory Team has increased our capacity limit to 75 worshippers. This number does not include those who serve in worship–Ushers, Greeters, Hosts, Musicians. 

We will need to consider how to improve worship participation in our narthex.  Projection of prayers and songs is too small to be seen, and sound quality improvements are also needed.  These needed improvements are a “good problem” generated by increasing in-person worship attendance.  I pray this problem will increase in the fall, when our families return and guests join us for safe worship with our big-hearted, welcoming congregation.

Worship Time; 9:00 a.m.: Three weeks ahead of schedule, on May 2, we will move to our summer worship time of 9:00 a.m.  We make this change for three reasons:

  • Increased capacity limits allow us to combine services.
  • Combining services is good stewardship of our resources–those who serve in worship as our musicians, greeters, ushers, and hosts.
  • We expect our members to begin to travel to see family and friends from whom they have been long separated, catch up on life event celebrations, and take well-earned vacations. 

Holy Communion on May 2: We will celebrate Holy Communion together in-person for the first time together as pastor and congregation next Sunday, May 2, and the first time as a church since February 2, 2020–455 days!

Video and Audio System: Our new video and audio systems are in the first phase of installation. By the end of this week, both video cameras are scheduled to be installed. Our new digital sound board was on one of those ships blocked by the Evergreen cargo ship stuck in the Suez canal.  We hope it will arrive soon.

Luke 15 Ministry: Our Luke 15 Ministry has been a great success. Twenty-four members have signed up to help us give preferred seating to our guests. To join this ministry, visit

Thank you to all the people who have contributed to re-opening our building for in-person worship, musicians who have done “double-duty,” ushers and greeters and hosts who have taken on new responsibilities, and all of our members who have supported our safe worship ministry by using our on-line sign up process and by masking and social distancing in our building.

God bless all of you, and God bless Windsor UCC.

Pr. Craig

Windsor Word, April 2021

Dear Congregation,

In the past month, I have given my full attention to meeting the target Council set for reopening our sanctuary for in-person worship: April 18th. Thanks to the help of many, I gladly report that we will meet this target, though not as we had expected or planned.

This article summarizes plans and decisions for reopening. This summary served as an outline for my Zoom presentation on Sunday, March 28th. Further details will come as we progress toward reopening and then adjust as we go.  

We all know the approach we are taking won’t please everyone in our congregation, but I believe that working together to create a safe worship environment is how we as people of faith serve God in these challenging times.  

With God’s help, your cooperation, and mutual sacrifices, our congregation will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more united.


Pr Craig


Number of Worshippers: As more of our members are vaccinated, the number of members ready to join us for in-person worship has grown.  Thirty-five (pink) of the 84 members who planned to return to in-person worship after they had been vaccinated have been vaccinated, bringing the total number of members ready to attend in-person worship to 135.

Given our current capacity limit, two worship services are needed.

Capacity Limits: We are unsure how many worshippers can be seated in sanctuary with social distancing. One hundred chairs are set up.  The total number of worshippers in the sanctuary will depend on the size of family units, as three chairs between each family unit is required. Capacity also depends on ushers maximizing seating. 

Additional seating in the Narthex may be needed as capacity limits increase, as determined by our Medical Advisory Team.

Ten percent of capacity will be reserved for our guests.  

Worship Service Times: Worship service times will be 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  Questions about these times tend to rise from expectations that by default we would worship at the pre-pandemic times of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.  There are several reasons for these worship times: 

  1. Ushers and greeters will need extra time to prepare for worshippers to enter and be seated.  
  2. Extra time is needed between services for ushers and greeters to sanitize frequent-touch, hard-surface areas. 
  3. Extra time is needed for 9:00 a.m. worshippers to visit outside of the building and depart from the parking lot to open spaces for 11:00 a.m. worshippers.

Intermediate Technology and What to Expect:  The new sound and video system has been ordered. The expected installation date is the week of April 18th. We will devote our resources to setting up the new system rather than also setting up an intermediate system. As a result, as we begin in-person worship, we will continue to livestream worship using an iPad. This decision will affect the way we conduct worship in ways we will discover as we go. 

Also, as we launch our new system, there are sure to be glitches and problems to solve we cannot see in advance.  

Online Registration for In-person Worship: Worshippers will sign up for weekly in-person worship using an online system. 

  • Phone and email support will be provided for those for whom technology is a barrier to participation.  
  • The registration system will be open to the congregation for a trial run after Easter.
  • Online registration is required to attend in-person worship. 
  • A process is in place in case of cancellation.
  • A process is in place in case capacity limits are reached, enabling those who are unable to attend because of limits to be first in line to attend in-person worship the next week.  
  • Help and explanation documents will be available before registration begins.
  • There are sure to be adjustments needed as we go.  

Serving in Worship: In-person worship depends upon support of safe worship through active participation of our members. The following roles for serving in worship are needed, totaling 17-20 per service, 25-27 per week: 

  • Online Registration Support: 3 per week. (may not attend)
  • Ushers: 4 per service, 8 per week.
  • Greeters: 2 per service, 4 per week.
  • Tech Team: 3 (estimate) per service,  6 per week.
  • Musicians: 2-3 per service, 4-6 per week.

AV Thank you

Dear Windsor UCC Congregation,

Congratulations and Thank You! In a very short period of time you have contributed the funds necessary for the purchase of a new system for our audio-video ministry. Your rapid response helps us prepare to reopen our sanctuary in a manner that will allow all our church family to worship at the same service either in person or online.

The rapid response provided us the means to order the equipment that should be installed in about one month.  All this before we were able to get word to everyone that may have a desire to contribute to this program. Even though we have sufficient funds for the initial system additional funds could help us make additional improvements in our worship services. Should you wish to join the campaign to improve our worship experience at Windsor additional funds will help the Council to consider things such as an additional speaker to improve the sound in certain areas of the sanctuary, a component to aid the hearing impaired or additional microphones to enhance the broadcast amplification of choir and congregational participation during worship.

Our new audio-video ministry is exciting. Soon those unable to attend our services in person will be able to participate through our livestream broadcasts. Our ministry will truly live beyond the walls of our church building. People looking for a church home may visit us at any time. If you wish to join this campaign, please send your contribution to the church office with “AV” on the memo or contribute online at

Again, thanks for your support of this new worship dimension at Windsor United Church of Christ.

In Christ,
Terry Anderson, Church Moderator
Dwight Miller, Church Treasurer
Hope Schultz, Council Secretary
Pastor Craig Jan-McMahon

Prayer, Lent 2

Rev. Craig Jan-McMahon
Windsor UCC
Lent 2B, 2/28/2019
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-3
Download PDF

Let us Pray: O Lord our God, hear our prayers, and send us your Spirit, that we might learn how to pray. 

We are here, waiting on you, O Lord, opening our hearts, praying for courage, listening for you in the silence

But in the silence, there is a lot of noise, hurtful voices echoing inside from the past, fears deafening us to your voice, distractions demanding our attention and sending our minds racing, anxieties and worries as familiar as friends we are afraid to let go of. 

And so we wait; and so we listen; and so we pray.

We pray for ourselves in this Lenten season, for courage to examine our hearts to find the noise and distractions that limit our capacity to listen, to feel compassion, to act with love.  

And we pray for the very real suffering that goes on all around us and invades our lives, and so we harden our hearts to protect ourselves, and so we hide behind judgments of others, and so we hide behind our sense of what others need to do to fix their problems.  

And so we lift our hearts to you, confessing our own brokenness, our own mutual need for healing, for pain that we have to locked deep inside our hearts because we believe we can hide it away there as if it will have no effect on us, as if it will have no effect on those we love, and because, somehow, foolishly, we think we need to pretend as if we can bear it alone, as if anyone can bear it alone.  

But then we are here, examining our hearts, promising again, to make good on our covenant with you, to walk with you into challenges and difficulties, denying ourselves, and walking with you by faith ever forward, never stopping, transformed and renewed all along the way.  

For we trust you do not despise our afflictions, nor do you hide your face from us, though we often feel misbegotten, unloved, and abandoned.

For we trust you promise to feed the poor, whose suffering we see multiplied before our eyes, and we pray they will be satisfied, and we ask, dear lord our God, for the honor of contributing to your good provision for the poor, for those who suffer hardships we cannot fathom, but which is known to you.  

Clean our hearts O God, 
And renew a right spirit within us.  

And our great congregation will praise you, with freedom borne of humility, and with strength founded in repentance, our hearts broken open by love.  

Into your hands we commend all those for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.