Rev. Laura Smidzik joined us in August 2016 as our first full time minister. She loves Sunday worship and believes that coming together for services and participating in church life is a radical act of connection, community and spiritual growth. Rev. Laura received her M.Div. from United Theological Seminary. Prior to serving at Michael Servetus Unitarian Society, she served as the minister of membership at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church. Laura was the 2013-2014 Cummins Ministerial Intern at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis and has served as acting executive director of UU Wellspring and Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA). Her Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy) was at Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Rev. Laura’s core of her UU identity comes from her membership and leadership at Unity Church-Unitarian in St Paul, MN. As a lay leader, Laura was a founding member of the Anti-Racism Leadership Team, Board of Trustees member and chair, Coming of Age mentor, Worship Associate Program member and leader, Unity’s Marriage Equality Campaign leader, and participated in numerous annual pledge drives and a capitol campaign. She believes strongly in shared ministry through equipping and empowering lay leaders.
Prior to ministry, Rev. Laura has served as executive director of two statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations (Rainbow Families and Project 515) and directed undergraduate internship programs at Macalester College and Hamline University. She holds a M.A. in Educational Policy from the University of Minnesota and B.A. from Beloit College.
Laura was raised as a Catholic with little connection to the church. She joined her first UU church in her late 20s and found a spiritual home coupled with a call to justice work which has been central to her faith. She loves Sunday worship and believes that at this point in our culture, coming together for services and participating in church life is a radical act of connection, community and spiritual growth. Her ministry has consistently included outreach to 60+ year olds, connection with children and youth, enthusiasm for welcoming newcomers, small group ministry, educational programs that connect us to Unitarian Universalism, and a deep commitment to social justice.
Rev. Laura lives in St. Paul with her spouse, Linda Smidzik. They have two young adult sons, Corbin and Quintin.