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Rev. Paul Kottke, Senior Pastor

Paul KottkePaul Kottke, Day One on the Trail…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…And the second is like unto it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. [Matthew 22:36-40] – Core Gospel

Paul is a 1981 graduate of Iliff School of Theology and was ordained Elder in 1982. His passion is to find ways in which a vital congregation can build relationships with the surrounding community and the world. He was the founding director of Denver Urban Ministries in 1981. Served at Iliff as director of development from 1985 to ’88 and as pastor at Warren UMC from 1988 to ’95. He has served University Park since 1995. He believes that the gospel of Jesus Christ invites us in this 21st Century to overcome the divisions which religion so often inflicts on God’s children.

“I am particularly interested in how as Christian disciples we can work with persons of other faith traditions and cultures to be agents of wholeness and healing for our society and the world. I believe that we are at the front edge of what I call ‘The Second Great Reformation’ – a time when we move beyond the divisions of doctrines and embrace the essence of sacred relationships. This is truly an exciting time to be a congregation in ministry to each other and to the world.”

Rev. Debby Lawrence, Congregational Care Pastor

Debby LawrenceDebby with bullhornWhatsoever you do to the least of these, that you do unto me.
—Matthew 25:40

Debby joined the staff of UPark in 1998 as Christian Education Director. She was consecrated a Diaconal Minister in 1999 and ordained Deacon in 2002. In January 2001 she became our full-time Congregational Care Pastor. Previous to working at UPark, she was a Stephen Minister and Leader, and Sunday School teacher at St. Andrew UMC.

Duane Buys, Director of Christian Education

Duane BuysFor I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
—Jeremiah 29:11

Duane has lived in Denver for over 30 years and previously taught at Denver Christian Schools. He began work with UPark in 2001 and enjoys working with children of all ages. He coordinates the Youth Mission trips each year.  In 2012 they worked in Los Angeles and in the summer of 2013, the Middle School group will be working at La Puente in Alamosa and the High School group will be going back to LA.

JoAnn Gudvangen-Brown, Director of Music/Organist

JoAnn Gudvangen-BrownMake a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise
—Psalm 66:1-2

JoAnn joined the staff as organist in July 1989 and became Director of Music in 2004. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and the University of Denver with degrees in Piano Performance and Choral Conducting. She is an active musician, teacher, and performer.

Diane Felt, Administrative Assistant
Angela Hudgens, Wedding Coordinator