Meet the Executive Director
The Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches is the Rev. Kerri Parker. Rev. Parker brings a strong faith commitment to the ecumenical ministry of the Wisconsin Council of Churches and has demonstrated leadership in leading complex coalitions toward a common goal. Her experience as a nonprofit executive, marketer and fundraiser, combined with her call as a parish pastor and her leadership roles in the United Church of Christ, made her a standout candidate. East Central ELCA Synod Bishop Gerald Mansholt shared, “Kerri clearly has a passion for church vitality that includes a connection to the diverse community of the world around us that will serve the Council well.” This passion combined with her experience in intentional renewal will help the Council reach new levels of impact by creatively and effectively addressing present and emerging needs of the church, our communities and the state.
Rev. Parker recently served as pastor of McFarland United Church of Christ, McFarland, WI. She previously served as executive director of YWCA Rock County in Janesville, Wisconsin, where she managed a large agency with programs dedicated to peace, racial justice and women’s empowerment. During her tenure, she facilitated the renewal of community connections, improved donor relations and actively engaged stakeholders in a process focused on a recommitment to the agency’s mission. She is a graduate of Smith College and the Chicago Theological Seminary.
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| Rev. Kerri Parker
|Peter Bakken, Ph.D
Coordinator for Public Policy
|Lori Denoyer Administrative Coordinator|
|Intern Claire Embil||Intern Emma Lai|
The Wisconsin Council of Churches is pleased let our two new public policy interns introduce themselves. They will be supporting our outreach for the End Child Poverty campaign and our other advocacy events and initiatives during the spring semester.
My name is Claire Embil and I am a sophomore and First Wave Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am a writer, photographer, and graphic designer with an eye for the beauty of the world and a passion for justice. This has lead me to pursue a major in English: Creative Writing. I am also getting a certificate in Art: Photography and Religious Studies. I identify as a biracial Ghanaian-American and have been raised in the ELCA Lutheran Church. I would consider myself a faith-based activist who uses the social justice message of the gospel to be an advocate for all people. When I’m not making art I enjoy music, travel, and am a competitive gymnast.
My name is Emma Lai, and I am a second-year student at UW-Madison. I am majoring in Economics, Psychology, and Religious Studies because I am fascinated with the way humans make choices and the consequences of those choices. Besides Public Policy Intern for the Wisconsin Council of Churches, I am an Interfaith Fellow for the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry, Research Assistant at the Brauer Group Lab, and Professional Outreach Chair and High School Outreach Chair of Women in Economics. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, practicing piano, and drawing.
Emma and Claire’s internships are supported in part by a grant from First Congregational Church, Janesville and Advent Lutheran Church, ELCA Madison. If you’d like to support the Faith and the Public Square internship program with a financial gift, visit our online giving page.
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