We are always excited when new members become part of our community. They each add a new dimension to life at Memorial UCC. Here are the people who have joined in 2014. You can meet people who joined in 2013 and 2012 and 2011 and 2010 and 2009 by clicking on the years. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact
June 22, 2014
Nicholas and Elisabeth Dachniwskyj (Doc-new-ski ☺) have been looking to rejoin a spiritual community but really needed to find a church with beliefs that meshed with their own. They found kindness, openness, and warmth from everyone at Memorial and knew that it was the community that they had been searching for.
Nicholas grew up in Pewaukee, WI and was raised and confirmed in the Catholic Church. Elisabeth grew up in the Madison area and was (off and on) part of the Church of Christ on the north side of Madison. They both attended UW-Platteville, which is where they met.
They have been married for one year as of Monday (June 23) and currently live in Fitchburg. They have a dog, two guinea pigs and a fish.
Nicholas works as a mechanical engineer at Terso Solutions in Fitchburg. Elisabeth currently works part-time at Target Optical on Madison’s west side, but is a full-time students at UW Platteville (again) pursuing her degree in Elementary Education.
Jim and Jan Hornik say that while their quality of life in recent years has been “off the charts” and felt a need to get more engaged in service. And that led them to Memorial. They said, “After testing the waters, we are excited and honored to join this tradition and community and make a commitment to serve.”
Jim was born and raised in urban Milwaukee and thought about going into ministry or medicine, but instead pursued conscientious objection to military combat, the cause of civil rights, and the War on Poverty. After graduating from UW-Milwaukee, he worked as a community organizer in Nashville and the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. But four years later, he says “necessity and opportunity” led to 35 years in the design and construction industry, business consulting, and veterinary practice development.
His first marriage produced what he describes as “a family rich in cultural, racial, and personal diversity.” And he continues: “By grace, I was given an incredible second chance with Jan to share love and an examined life, and not just with her, but with an accepting blended family and growing squad of grandchildren.”
Jan, meanwhile, has lived in Wisconsin all her life - in Lancaster, Baraboo, Portage, and Madison – but says she was born with the travel gene in her DNA. She experienced that growing up with her family, did it with her children and now with Jim and his family. She taught English at Madison Area Technical College and echoes Jim when she says “one of the true blessings in my life has been meeting and marrying Jim.”
Lisa and Justin Karnes visited Memorial several years ago for a Christmas service and received such a warm welcome even though we knew they were "those people" who just show up on holidays, Lisa says she has visited other churches, but looks forward to joining Memorial and becoming more involved.
Justin and Lisa are both originally from Iowa – Justin from Des Moines, Lisa from Dubuque - and met while attending the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
After spending a couple years in Florida, they moved to Madison in 2005. Justin recently started working at American Girl in Middleton as a finance director. Lisa works part-time at Wisconsin Public Television in Madison as a planned giving manager.
Maya is 6 ½ and will start first grade in the fall. She loves gymnastics, singing, ice skating, and swimming. She is also a very proud big sister. Nolan turned two at the end of May and keeps everyone on their toes! He likes playing outside – especially in sandboxes - and chasing after the family cats, Emmy and Diva. Maya will be participating in Vacation Bible School in August and has enjoyed learning and making friends at Sunday school. When Nolan either gets older or finally adjusts to the nursery room, Lisa says we’ll see more of him and Justin on Sunday mornings.
And they say: “We're proud to be part of the Memorial UCC since everyone seems to be accepted there. We want to raise our children to be open-minded and we feel like Memorial is a place where differences are respected and celebrated.”
June 15, 2014
Marcia Manson and Tammy Freeman live in Oregon and have been partners for 13 years,
Tammy has been a mental health social worker for 25 years. She is originally from Chicago but grew up a good part of her life in Wisconsin Rapids. She has family in Wisconsin and in the Chicago area.
Marcia has been a law enforcement dispatcher for 29 years at the University Police Department, She was born and raised in Edgerton and her brother Henry and his wife Sharon continue to live there.
They have five cats and two dogs and are true animal lovers. They both enjoy outdoor activities like biking, hiking and taking their dogs to the various dog parks.
When football season rolls around they both enjoy Badger and Packer football and sometimes attend a game.
February 2, 2014
Carl Pfeiffer has transferred his membership to Memorial from Lake Edge UCC on the east side. For many years – from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s – Carl was a science teacher at Monona Grove High School. With his fellow teachers, he pioneered new ways of teaching science that integrated all the various scientific disciplines.
He and his wife, now deceased, had four children. He now lives in Stoughton and enjoys spending his summers at the family cabin near Eagle River, just a stone’s throw from the UCC camp at Moon Beach.
He has a particular passion for exploring the meaning of faith in his life and in our world.
Heather and Jason Leiber have been married for almost 12 years. They grew up and met in Green Bay, and were married at the Presbyterian church there. Heather grew up Catholic, Jason grew up Protestant. Their two daughters are Amelia, who is 8 and in second grade, and Avery, who is 22 months old.
Jason works part time at Stoughton hospital as a respiratory therapist. The rest of the time, he is – in Heather’s words – “a fantastic stay at home dad and cook.” Heather works full time (plus) as a physician assistant at the UW in vascular surgery. She is a 2004 grad of UW.
And what about their spare time? What’s that, asks Heather. They enjoy movies and eating out, Jason makes really good beer and is active at the gym. Heather says she occasionally gets to sleep.
They say they are excited to join a community to reaffirm their faith and introduce their children to this community.