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MCC Staff

Jim Iliff, Pastor

Jim 2aJim Iliff has been pastor of Middleton Community UCC since 2001.  Prior to that, he had served nine years in a UCC congregation in South Bend, IN.  Jim grew up in Black River Falls, WI and attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he majored in music.  

Jim found his way into the UCC while serving as choir director of a UCC congregation in the Madison area.  Feeling a call to ministry, he attended Eden Theological Seminary in the St. Louis, MO area, receiving his Master of Divinity in 1992.

In addition to serving Middleton Community Church, he is active in the community and the wider church.  Jim 2bHe is a member of the Madison South Rotary Club, which runs a brat stand across from the Field House before all home UW football games.  Their efforts raise more than $50,000 annually to support local agencies and programs, as well as Rotary’s worldwide efforts to eradicate polio.  He has also served on the board of directors of Middleton Outreach Ministry, helping that agency serve the needs of people in the Middleton and west Madison area.  He is also a regular volunteer with The Road Home (homeless ministry), The Crossing Campus Ministry, and Habitat for Humanity.  And he has made two trips to Jamaica as part of MCC’s Jamaica mission team.

Jim has been married for over 30 years to Stephanie.  Together they have three grown children.  He enjoys walking, kayaking, reading, music, home improvement projects, and genealogy.

Laura Crow, Faith Formation Director/4:30 Worship Leader

Laura CrowLaura Crow has been a member of Middleton Community UCC since 1993 and on staff as Faith Formation Director since December 2007. She now adds an additional role as 4:30 Worship Leader as well.  Prior to these roles, she worked in plant biotechnology for Monsanto for 19 years.  Laura grew up in Aurora, IL and attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where she majored in microbiology.

Laura has also attended the WI Conference UCC Lay Academy Program, completing two years of study in Faith Foundations, plus one year each of Lay Leadership Skills, Lay Ministry Skills, and Youth Ministry Leadership. Laura served as a worship leader and volunteer leader of adult faith formation for several years before transitioning into her current role which includes oversight of all faith formation programs from nursery through adults.

In addition to serving Middleton Community Church, Laura has also served as Board President of Middleton Outreach Ministry, and as an elected member of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School Board.  She is a regular volunteer with The Road Home (homeless ministry), Middleton Outreach Ministry, and Feed My Starving Children.  In 2013, Laura participated in a week-long mission trip to Back Bay Mission, a UCC-sponsored mission providing housing rehabilitation and other support services for the people of Biloxi, MS.

Laura has been married to Randall for over 25 years, and together they have two teenage children.  She enjoys reading, movies, and family game nights.  Her favorite place to escape is Middleton Community Church’s Camp Balsam, a small cluster of cabins on Bass Lake just outside Eagle River, WI where she can unplug and be renewed by the beauty of Wisconsin’s north woods.


Joya Colon-Berezín, Director of Christian Education

Joya Colon-Berezin is delighted to serve the vibrant and growing ‘children and families’ ministry at MCC. Joya hails from New York City. She is a graduate of Oberlin College (2002) and New York Theological Seminary (2012) where she also served as a Teaching Assistant. Joya has a background in community organizing and ecumenical movement building. Prior to joining MCC as Director of Christian Education she served at Bethel-Bethany UCC in Milwaukee as a Ministry Associate, and before that she worked for Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program. She currently lives in Madison with her wife, Charisa Kiyo.






Janet Coughlin, Director of Children’s Music

Janet CoughlinJanet Ruszala-Coughlin has been a member of Middleton Community UCC since 1997 and joins staff as our new Interim Director of Children’s Music.

Janet grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and received her Undergraduate Degree in Music from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She completed her Master’s Degree in Music Education at UW-Madison. Janet has spent over 35 years teaching music from pre-school through university level (inner city, rural, & suburban). She just retired after 26 years as music specialist at Northside Elementary School in Middleton.

At MCC, Janet has been a member of the choir since 1997, has served a number of terms on the Boards of Deacons and Missions, and has helped lead four mission trips to Jamaica. Janet and Tim helped lead MCC’s process toward becoming an Open & Affirming church. Janet is also passionate about Fair Trade and helps to organize the fair trade sales at church.

Janet has been married to Tim for over 35 years, and together they have two children (Patrick and Kathleen), a grandchild (Danicka), a cockapoo (Murphy), and a cat (Carter). Janet’s favorite place is wherever family is. She also loves Sanibel Island for the ocean, Whistler in Canada for the Mountains, and Balsams for its peace and beauty.


Mindy Nelson-Bergman, Director of Music


Mindy Nelson-Bergman is our Director of Music. She also teaches music at Kromery Middle School in Middleton. Mindy earned her degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and was born in Manitowoc, WI.






Anne Tennies, Office Manager

We are pleased to announce that Anne Tennies has been hired as MCC’s office manager.  She began working August 22.

Anne moved to Waunakee in late 2015 from Platteville, WI, where she was very involved at First Congregational UCC., where she served on the Council as moderator, vice moderator, and secretary, and on a variety of boards and committees.

She has Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Spanish, and worked in several different areas before taking an extended break to stay home with her children. Anne grew up in Cottage Grove, and she’s happy to be closer to her family.

Anne has been married to Joe Tennies for 14 years.  They have two children. Chloe (8) and Adrian (6), who attend   Heritage Elementary School in Waunakee.  Joe is a software engineer and works for Esterline-AVISTA in Platteville. They joined the church in May and have been enjoying the music and fellowship opportunities at MCC.

In her free time, Anne is the lead organizer for Can’t Stop the Serenity – Platteville, a charity event that raises money and awareness for Equality Now and Family Connections. (http://csts.swwi.org). She also enjoys reading, cooking and baking, and had a cake decorating business for the past 10 years.

She’s very excited to share her skills and gifts with MCC, and to get to know more of the congregation.



Barbara Brown, Pianist

Barbara BrownBarbara Brown is thrilled to have been a church musician at Middleton Community Church since September of 1985.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from UW-Platteville and Master of Music degrees from UW-Madison in Piano Accompanying and Music Education.  Barbara also teaches orchestra and general music in the Mt. Horeb public schools and has a private piano studio.

When she’s not making music, Barbara enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with her daughters in lovely, bucolic Mount Horeb.




Irvin Dennis, Church Custodian

Dennis & Mary“Dennis,” as he is known by everyone at Middleton Community Church, and his wife, Mary, have three grown children: Tate, Tania and Kristin.  He was a tour bus owner/operator in Jamaica and also drove for a private bus company in Madison.  He loves taking their dogs Girly, Jack, and Tessa to the dog park everyday.  Growing vegetables and grilling out year round are two of his favorite activities.




Weekly Schedule

Sunday Worship 9:30am

Is Church Canceled?

Sunday School 9:45am

Sunday Coffee & Cookies Fellowship 10:30am

Church Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday 8:00am-Noon


Check our calendar or our newsletter .

See our 2016 Annual Report

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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856