The Reverend William Lawser
The Rev. Bill Lawser is serving as a Gap Minister during a time of transition for St. Peter’s. He is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A native of eastern Pennsylvania, he was ordained in 1979 and has served the church from coast to coast as an associate pastor, interim pastor, and presbytery staff. As a consultant his work focused on congregational transformation and leadership development. He has served as faculty at several sites for interim/transitional pastor education for the PC (USA), and for several years as an assessor and trainer for the denomination’s New Beginnings process.
The Reverend Mark Jacobs
Rev. Mark Jacobs is Associate Minister for Outreach. He graduated from the Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ in 2017, and installed on the staff at St. Peter’s UCC at the same time. Rev. Jacobs serves the worship and fellowship needs of persons at eight assisted living facilities in Champaign and Kankakee Counties. Committed to the idea of a revolutionary transition in “the way we do Church,” he hopes to expand and evolve this “outside” ministry in the future to include constituencies in other venues while continuing to serve the spiritual needs of parishioners at St. Peter’s UCC.
Mary was a teacher for 30 years and is a native Texan. As a teacher, Mary taught upper elementary and middle school students. She has lived and worked in other states in the U.S as well as Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia and Accra, Ghana and West Africa. Mary’s parents and sister live in Houston. She also has one brother in Ft. Worth and another in Chicago.
Pete Esquivel was born in California and grew up in Danville. He moved back to California in late 70s and started a painting career. He moved to Colorado in 1999 and worked for a foundation that helped with at risk kids, which took him to South Africa from 2005 to 2011, helping with building projects and putting soup kitchens in place in Soweto, SA . In between trips to SA he helped start one of the first organic farms in Zionsville IN. In SA he also met his wife Annemieke. They have two wonderful doggies at home Penelope and Shakazulu. They have four sons. They love to travel, are planning a trip to the Netherlands to meet my Annemieke’s family.
Sarah Carr is an Army veteran and a mother of five. Her oldest is 23 and serving in the US Army and her youngest is seven, a soon to be second grader! She also has a future Marine. Sarah is an active adult in Boy Scout Troop 13 and enjoys camping, fishing, canoeing, service projects, and other events the troop does.
Laurie Vial is the new Communications Specialist. Laurie and her husband, Mike Ball, are members of St. Luke Union Church in Bloomington IL which is Presbyterian USA and UCC. Laurie has a bachelor’s degree in Ag Communications from the U of I. She was previously the executive director of the Illinois Conference of Churches, the state’s ecumenical body and has held office and management positions at three churches and was formerly a green advisor to the Presbytery of Great Rivers. She recently retired from the Mennonite Church of Normal.
Linda Vaughn has enjoyed a long career as an organist, having served three other area churches before coming to St Peters in 2017. She holds B.Mus. and B.A. degrees from Hope College, Holland, Michigan and M.Mus. and M.A. degrees from the University of Illinois. She was also a choir teacher in Urbana School District for 27 years. Linda seeks to provide meaningful music to enhance the worship service. She is married to Charles and has three sons.
My education as a registered nurse began at Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa where I earned a BSN. Next, I went to Northern Illinois University where I earned my master’s degree. I have had many wonderful positions throughout my career in Illinois, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Mark and I moved to Champaign in 1988 so I could accept the Director of Nursing position at Burnham Hospital. We have two children, Benjamin and Maurine. Along my journey, I became interested in parish nursing and completed the parish nurse education sponsored by Marquette University. I started at St. Peter’s in the late 1990s.
Ali Jo Carr