Plymouth Church Welcomes Our

New Members

December 10, 2023

This week, meet

Samantha Waibel

Hi there! I’m a proud mother of two and an elementary school teacher, specializing in English Learners and Immersion education. My partner’s from Mexico, and we’re navigating a bilingual journey as we raise our kids. Beyond teaching, I find joy in being with family, growing native perennials and diving into various DIY projects, with sewing as a particular hobby. Plymouth is our chosen community because its welcoming environment aligns with our family’s values. I’m drawn to its progressive values and inclusive atmosphere. Blending family, teaching, and hobbies in this warm and progressive setting is an adventure I’m looking forward to.

Sana DelCorazón

I am a trained therapist in my final year at United Theological Seminary, and I am pursuing a call to parish ministry in the UCC. I am the child of Puerto Rican working-class parents and grew up Pentecostal in Philadelphia. I continue to be guided by the Holy Spirit, where I find Christ in the present moment. I moved to the Twin Cities two years ago with my spouse of 11 years, Gina, and our 9-year-old son, Toño, where I have discovered my love of cold dips followed by a warm sauna!

Cheryl Hanson

I am retired after teaching Early Childhood Special Education for 20+ years. Steve and I have three daughters, two in Minneapolis and one in California, and three grandchildren, ages 20, 14, and 8. I grew up Lutheran, entered the Evangelical world in college, but I began to feel closed in and anxious that I wasn’t believing the right things and wasn’t a good enough Christian. Then I was introduced to grace. I fell into the arms of grace exhausted but grateful. I had what I would call a faith crisis and wanted to chuck the whole thing until I was introduced to Richard Rohr and I felt like the world and God expanded and opened up for me. This was a place I could land and feel loved and held.

I became more aware of the disparities and racism in our world when I began doing home visits and being in proximity with families who were struggling to survive. I began to pursue a more social justice mindset, but that is not where my church was, causing me much cognitive dissonance. So we began to look for another church and finally landed here at Plymouth. Plymouth provides us the space to explore different ways of thinking theologically and gives us a place to pursue social justice issues within a community of like minded people.

Steve Hanson

I was born and raised in a Baptist Church, and I know evangelicalism well. I have three adult female children that I am very proud of and three grandchildren that make me smile, and I married way over my head!

I have been employed all my life, from delivering papers to partnering with wonderful ministry leaders in Belize, Haiti, Uganda and Kenya. These relationships all formed while I was Pastor of Missions at The Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove. Then to better serve these ministries Open Door helped me form a Non-Profit called Beyond Our Door Global. In 2020 I retired and passed these ministries off to a friend who continues the work . . . and does it better than me! I am so grateful, but it’s been a hard transition; l loved my ministry calling. I look forward to this next season of my life, part of which includes a new church community.

Kathy Hunter

Kathy Hunter grew up in Minneapolis. After college she taught music for a while before she changed to a career in computer technology. She is now retired and enjoying more time for quilting and needle and wet wool felting. She supports Kurt’s puppetry as a costumer and painter. She also enjoys being in the outdoors, especially around water.

Kurtis Hunter

Kurt Hunter grew up in Nebraska and moved to the Twin Cities after studying electrical engineering in college. He has worked for over 35 years as a software engineer. He is also a puppeteer specializing in marionettes (string puppets). Between the engineering and the puppetry he has enjoyed quite a few opportunities to travel internationally.

Maryellen Lewis

I was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, with 2 brothers and 3 sisters, 2 of whom live in Minneapolis. I grew up in Chicago, then in the San Francisco Bay Area. I went to college at Stanford University, then to graduate school at Columbia University in NYC and Michigan State University. My work has been in areas of social & economic justice, including fair housing, fair banking & community development. I was never able to have children, but I have 15 nieces & nephews and am a grand aunt 24 times.

Kelly Mark

My husband, his parents, and his grandparents were members of Plymouth. My children were baptized and confirmed at Plymouth, making them the 4th generation to join. After attending Plymouth with them for 25 years, I decided it was time that I join! I love the music and the welcoming feeling at Plymouth. I look forward to becoming more involved.

Allan Meisner

Born and raised in Grand Forks, ND. Relocated to Minnesota in 1976. Eldest of five siblings. Put to work at an early age in my family’s restaurant, catering, bakery business. Baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. Married to JoAnn for 36 years. Two (now adult) children and three granddaughters. 40-year career as an interior designer (University of Minnesota design program), now happily retired. Cared for JoAnn until her death in 2010. Married Christopher in 2020. I enjoy “puttering,” cooking, baking, gardening, entertaining, playing the piano, reading, traveling, and simply enjoying a good life with my family, husband, and our long-haired dachshund, Schatzi.

Laura Nisi

Originally from Ohio, where I was raised in and married at the UCC Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights, I have been in Minnesota 30 years. I am a retired graphic designer, have been married to Kurt for 37 years, and treasure the company of our three adult children. I am grateful to have the chance to join this community to grow in my spirituality and try to contribute to making our world a more just and loving place.

Christopher Watson

I was born in St. Paul, was graduated from high school in Rochester, MN, and have lived in a number of cities across the country. I have retired from my position as an educational psychologist at the University of Minnesota, but continue to do some consulting work in reflective practice. In addition, I direct the Christopher Watson Dance Company, a multigenerational organization celebrating its 33rd season of performances. My husband Allan and I are happy to have found Plymouth Congregational to be the type of progressive, welcoming community that we were seeking to join.

Samantha Waibel

Hi there! I’m a proud mother of two and an elementary school teacher, specializing in English Learners and Immersion education. My partner’s from Mexico, and we’re navigating a bilingual journey as we raise our kids. Beyond teaching, I find joy in being with family, growing native perennials and diving into various DIY projects, with sewing as a particular hobby. Plymouth is our chosen community because its welcoming environment aligns with our family’s values. I’m drawn to its progressive values and inclusive atmosphere. Blending family, teaching, and hobbies in this warm and progressive setting is an adventure I’m looking forward to.