Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Laurie TenHave-Chapman. I am an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination. I have served three parishes in 33 years of ministry. Presently I pastor the First Congregational Church of Rockford, United Church of Christ in Rockford, Michigan. I am blessed to be part of this church family that expects the Spirit to show up in our worship and outreach! We call the rare fifth Sunday of the month Change It Up Sunday. During the announcements at the beginning of the service I urge folks who are sitting in their usual places ( you know, the unofficial but religiously observed seating chart!) to move to another area of the sanctuary. This is a bigger deal than you might think! It reminds us that no one owns any one corner of our worship space. We remember that we serve a God who calls us to never get too settled in any one place and to be ready to make hospitable space for the stranger among us. (Check out Father Abraham in Genesis 12:1ff.)

church from Fremont

In addition to my rich community life at the church, I am blessed to be married to Garrett TenHave-Chapman, whom I met and married at the Chicago Theological Seminary. His ministry path diverted into the legal profession soon after seminary. He now serves folks who are deserving of disability benefits through the law firm he established, Solomon Law Firm, PLLC. We have four grown children who have made the joys in our life deeper and who have taught us humility and grace. We have happily called Michigan home since 1988.

True Confessions: I love Jesus. I love the Church. I love vibrant worship. I begin each worship service with this prayer: Holy Spirit, come!

church doors

By preachinglife

My father was a military chaplain so I moved around quite a bit growing up. I have always gone to church! Even when we traveled we went somewhere to church. I met and married my husband, Garrett, at Chicago Theological Seminary where I earned a Masters of Divinity degree. He and I were ordained together at the First Church of Lombard, United Church of Christ in Lombard, Illinois on June 14, 1987. My first act as an ordained minister at the end of a tremendously hot ordination ceremony was to baptize my daughter, Lisa Marian! We added two sons and a daughter to the mix: James, Joseph and Maria. We have girls on either end and two boys one year apart in the middle. They range in age from 33 to almost 22. I love them!

I have been in the parish ministry for 35 years, serving at three different churches. I have joyfully served the people at the First Congregational Church of Rockford, United Church of Christ in Rockford, Michigan for 24 years.

We live on family land about 3 miles from the church. In random free moments I enjoy cooking good meals, reading, writing, gardening, traveling and spending time with my family. I am blessed!

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