About the Pastor

Rev. Janis K. Doleschal, known by her members as “Pastor Jan,” was born and has lived in Milwaukee, WI her entire life. Her pastoral work has included a beginning as a Licensed Minister at St. John’s UCC in Germantown, WI. For two years she served as a volunteer chaplain in the hospice unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital. From 1981 t0 1982 she served as the interim minister at First Congregational in Mukwonago, WI, the church at which she was ordained on May 23, 1982. From 1982 to 2009, she was the Pastor of Brown Deer UCC in Brown Deer, WI. She has served on many UCC committees and is currently serving on the LGBT Committee for the Wisconsin Conference UCC.

Pastor Jan started her ministry at Trinity UCC when she served as a pulpit supply minister in August, 2009. In January, 2010, she was called by the Council as the Interim Minister. After serving in that capacity for six months, her designation was changed to Transition Minister, and in July, 2011, she was called to be our Pastor by a unanimous vote. Her installation was held on Sept. 25, 2011 with Bishop John Shelby Spong as the featured guest and speaker.

She also serves as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Brown Deer Police Department and in July received her Master Chaplain designation from the International Conference of Police Chaplains.

Her name may be familiar to many people as she also served the Milwaukee Public Schools as the Commissioner of Sports and Athletics from 1974 to 2002. Her plaque as an inductee into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame can be seen in downtown Milwaukee outside the Arena.

She explains her theology:

My theology can best be described as progressive. I read extensively and often incorporate some of the ideas into my sermons. My theology has been most influenced by the writings of John Shelby Spong, and in a lesser degree by modern theologians such as Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan.

I do not believe that faith is static, but that it is a growing, moving, evolving experience for us. As such, we must consider relevant modern research and thinking in order to allow our faith to develop. This can, at times, be a frightening experience, because it makes us rethink our relationship with God and how that relationship will influence our relationships with other people. It can be frightening because it may lead us to discard idea and beliefs that we have held for a number of years. It can also be a liberating experience that can lead to “ah-ha moments” that will often help us grow in our faith.

I believe that sermons ought to be easily understandable, well-organized, relate the ideas in Scripture to situations that we might encounter in our daily lives, and make people think. I believe that worship services ought to tie together around a theme as much as possible and give people food for thought for the coming week.
— Rev. Janis K. Doleschal