Rev. Randy Hyvonen
Interim Conference Minister
After 18 years of conference ministry in Ohio, Pacific NW, and Montana-North Wyoming, Randy retired on Halloween, 2011. Then he was lured back into service by the opportunity to help the SEC “bridge the gap” as it looks for a new Designated Conference Minister. The duties of a Conference Minister are broad in scope, but what is most compelling for Randy in SEC is its diversity and the way it has been attracting new affiliations, new leaders, and new church starts. This all bodes well for the future of the UCC!
The eyes, ears, and heart of the Southeast Conference, Gerri has worked for the Conference since 1997. With competence and compassion, she keeps the Conference office running smoothly. Previously, she worked for United Cerebral Palsy and with the federal government in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Rev. Dr. Sarah Kim
Executive Director of Theological Education
Dean of PATHWAYS
Sarah Kim is a bilingual Korean-American ordained in the United Church of Christ (UCC). She currently serves in the Southeast Conference, UCC, as the Excutive Director of Theological Education, Director of Global Theological Education Initiative, and Dean of PATHWAYS. She holds a Th.D. degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling with the dissertation titled, “Spirituality of Awareness,” which integrates theological anthropology, Buddhist psychology, and Integral psychology toward developing a model for counseling. Dr. Kim’s areas of interest and expertise include global theological education, comparative studies on Western and Eastern philosophy and spirituality, interfaith dialogue, meditation practices, and healing and transformation of the self through individual and group counseling. Her hobbies include creative writing including writing novels and screenplays. Her published novels are written in Korean. She lives with her husband,two sons, and two dogs in Duluth, Georgia.
Rev. Laura Arnold
Associate Minister for Theological Education and Registrar for PATHWAYS
Laura holds a M.Div. from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, where she concentrated in religious education and spiritual formation. Her areas of interest include collaborative learning, non-traditional models of education, creativity and spirituality, and community organizing as a means for the justice work of the church. Laura currently serves as Senior Pastor at Congregational UCC in Decorah, Iowa alongside serving on staff in the Southeast Conference. Fun Fact: Prior to heading into full time ministry Laura served a zookeeper.
Debbie has lived in Tucker, Georgia for 20 years since moving to Atlanta from Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a long haired Dachshund named Sidney. Born and raised in Ohio, Debbie was transferred to Atlanta because of her job with Kroger in the early 90s. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio (a UCC affliated university) and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Cincinnati. Her career with Kroger spanned the fields of Marketing, Human Resources, Sales Management and Consumer Research. She retired in 2006 after 25 years with the company. She is an active member of Central Congregational United Church of Christ and former moderator. She is the President of the Toco Hills Community Alliance Board and a former Board member of the UCC Southeast Conference. Debbie volunteers monthly with the Grace Memorial Soup Kitchen, and is a driver for Open Door’s Prison Ministries. She currently serves as Generosity Coordinator and enjoys assisting churches with stewardship and OCWM events.
Rev. Chris Lyman Waldron
Director of Communications
Chris is the pastor of Praxis UCC, a new church start in Atlanta, which he started with his wife, and co-pastor, Leah. He is passionate about service, social and environmental justice, and youth ministry. Chris serves on the executive board of Justice and Witness Ministries and has previously served on the Conference Board of Directors. In addition to his work at the Conference, Chris is also a freelance web designer.