Beginning July 6, we welcome the Reverend Laura Westby as our Transitional Associate Minister. Laura will serve in a variety of roles including but not limited to pastoral care (supporting the church’s pastoral ministry team and Stephen Ministry Leadership), adult education, preaching, and the confirmation program.
Laura was born and raised in Thomaston, Connecticut. She graduated in 1981 from Hartwick College with a BS in Nursing. She practiced nursing for a number of years before heeding a call to ministry. In 1990, Laura received her MDiv from Yale Divinity School. She holds ministerial standing in the Connecticut Conference of the UCC.
Most recently, Laura served as the Interim Senior Minister at the First Congregational Church of Bethel, Connecticut. Prior to serving in Bethel, Laura served as the Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Danbury, Connecticut – a position she held for eight years. Early in her ministerial career, Laura served as administrator and chaplain for two home hospice care organizations.
Laura is married to her husband of 33 years, Kie Westby, who is a practicing attorney. They live in Southbury, Connecticut. Laura and Kie have two grown daughters, Sarah and Rachel.
One of Laura’s passions is service/mission work in support of Simply Smiles, a not-for- profit organization that provides bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities. She is an avid knitter, quilter, gardener and kayaker.
Laura says, “I have been incredibly blessed to have experienced what God can and will do with even the most broken places in my life. By God’s grace, those places have become the areas of greatest strength in my ministry. I am convinced that God is the great Gardener, transforming the “compost” of our lives into a a rich soil for life and growth.”
After settling in for a few days the week of July 6, Laura will embark on a week-long Stephen Minister Leadership Training program in Dallas, Texas; thus fully equipping Laura to support our 33 Stephen Ministers. She will return on July 19, and assume her full schedule of duties that week. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203)966-2651, x2.