Rev. Dr. Tracy Hughes, Lead Pastor, brings to Mountain View United Church 18 years of experience as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and faith-based peacemaking with Common Global Ministries spanning 20 years. She has worked with children, refugees, teens, families, elders, immigrants, and people without homes, women and children fleeing violence, and rural farmers in places of war. As part of her unique faith journey she has lived in two Catholic Worker communities, joined The Christian Peacemaking Teams in 2000, and served in pastoral leadership in 9 United Church of Christ congregations.
Pastor Tracy, as she is affectionately known by church folk, has been part of church since she was baptized in a Congregational church in Connecticut and was part of the children’s choir at First Presbyterian Church in Tiffin, Ohio. She is a big fan of retreats and summer camp for children, youth, and families. Templed Hills and Pilgrim Hills, UCC camps in Ohio, were a large part of her formative years as a youth leader at her home church. As a new pastor, she served as camp director of basketball camps, and counselor for confirmation retreats in those same sacred hills.
Pastor Tracy’s call to ministry is rooted in Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
In her own words: I’ve taken my baptismal and confirmation vows and the teaching of Micah 6:8 to heart. I have been blessed because this led me to ministry in many places and cultures around the world. I have had the experience of sharing in church communities in Latin and South America, the West Bank, Africa, and the Desert Southwest of the USA. I’ve learned that the Body of Christ is a living breathing reality because of the Christians I’ve worshiped, worked, and lived with in these places. I’ve met God in the faces of Muslims, Jews, indigenous peoples, and people of other traditions. For me, these relationships and communities define what faith-filled living and church is much about – experiencing God’s love in community with both neighbors and strangers. Consequently, these experiences led me right back to the local church in places like my home town, Tucson, and now, Aurora. This is because there is no global church without the local church and there is no local church without mission in their communities and world.
Rev. Wayne Laws, Minister of Social Justice and Mission earned his Master of Divinity at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado in 2009. He also holds a Master of Education from the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. A native of Colorado, he feels greatly blessed to be married to Sherri for 37 years and father of Kelli and Kevin and grandfather to seven with all living in the metro area. In 2010, he retired from a 32-year career with Lockheed Martin. Pastor Wayne and Sherri have been doing infant foster care for 26 years and have been privileged to have fostered 126 babies. His hobbies include golf (a true but dedicated hacker), photography, fishing, gardening, and reading.
Pastor Wayne was ordained into Christian Ministry in The United Church of Christ in 2013 following a call by Mountain View United Church to serve as its Minister of Social Justice and Mission. Prior to that he served as the Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church of Littleton, Colorado. He is also an ordained Deacon and Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Over the years as a lay leader, he has served in a wide variety of positions in the church.
In his own words: The seeds of my passion for social justice were planted when I was in elementary school by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whom I heard preach. These seeds were watered and began to blossom while in seminary. It was during that time I made the decision to move to The United Church of Christ drawn by its inclusiveness and commitment to ecumenicalism. In the time between my graduation and call to serve at Mountain View, I discovered that my passion is not parish ministry per se but rather in serving the church by being the voice and presence of the church in the external community advocating and working for social justice. My personal theology is best described as progressive and process-oriented and my approach to ministry is based upon 1 John 4:16: “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.” and John 13:34-35: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I am blessed and thankful to be serving in a congregation that lives out its commitment to social justice in response to Jesus’ commandment to “love one another.” I invite you to join us!
Amy Petré Hill, Director of Mental Health & Inclusion Ministries, received her Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado in 2016 and is currently a Member-in-Discernment for ordination in The United Church of Christ. Amy grew up in Dallas, but as an adult has lived throughout the West, attending college in Santa Fe and working in high-tech public relations in Albuquerque. Inspired by her volunteer work helping adults with developmental disabilities learn to read, Amy pursued a career as a disability rights attorney after graduating from the University of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
Amy was called to her position as Director of Mental Health and Inclusion Ministries at Mountain View United Church in May 2017. She is excited about helping this and other area faith communities celebrate the dignity and gifts of every person, including individuals and families living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, substance use challenges, and physical disabilities. She gained extensive experience in spiritual care to people from a variety of faith traditions and life experiences as a chaplain intern at the Colorado Mental Health Institute of Fort Logan, one of two state psychiatric hospitals. She currently serves on the national United Church of Christ Mental Health Network board, ministers to veterans as the spiritual care advisor to the Voices for Vets Mental Health Council of Denver, and advocates for disability rights as a volunteer advocate with Mental Health Colorado. Her amazing husband, Ernie Longmire, has brought joy and unending support for her ministry during their 21 years together.
In her own words: The Apostle Paul saw clearly that manifesting the Kin-dom of God requires the gifts of everyone. Absolutely everyone! He states this explicitly in 1 Corinthians: 12:12-13: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were baptized into one body.” I am fortunate to serve a ministry of radical hospitality that advocates for the inclusion of people of all mental, physical, and behavioral abilities within every aspect of society. For honoring the sacred worth and dignity of each person is not just a nice idea, but the key principle of social justice Jesus proclaimed when he commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. As a WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) Congregation for Mental Health and Inclusion, we at Mountain View United Church strive to fulfill this commandment in all we do. It is a joy to welcome people of all abilities and gifts into our faith community.
You can find Amy’s frequent blog posts on the importance of inclusion of all people within the Body of Christ on the UCC Mental Health Network website at www.mhn-ucc.org.