Staff Members at Urbandale UCC
- Senior Pastor: Rev. David Sickelka
- Ministry Program Coordinator: Rev. Amy Murray
- Music Program Director: Steven Linn
- Organist/SOS Choir/Youth & Adult Handbells Director: Bobby Stinnett, M.M.
- Office Coordinator: Sophiap Eng-Swanson
- Custodians: Sadmir & Umihana Omerhodzic
- Adjunct Minister for LGBTQ Concerns & Community Outreach: Rev. John Chaplin
- Student Minister: Tony Dillon-Hansen
Rev. David Sickelka
The Reverend David Sickelka (Pastor Dave) was raised in rural Iowa on a farm between the towns of Sutherland and Primghar, in O’Brien County. With two older brothers and a younger sister, there were many opportunities for hay forts in the barn, snow forts in the winter, ball games of various stripes and lots of hands-on experience with conflict resolution! He attended Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa earning a B.A. with majors in Christian Religion and Sociology. His Seminary experience was at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, located in New Brighton, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis).
After earning his Master of Divinity degree there, he was ordained on June 9, 1985, in his home church of Calumet, Iowa. He served churches in western Nebraska, southern Illinois and northern Indiana before accepting the call to serve Urbandale UCC on April 11, 2010.
Dave is married to Susan, also an ordained UCC pastor. The house is being faithfully guarded by Daja, a Labrador retriever, and Zippy, a Friserrier (Bichon Frise/terrier mix).
Pastor Dave enjoys music, biking, reading, drama and sudoku puzzles. This is not to say that he has any particular aptitude or skill in these areas! He has been known to spend hours tinkering on something mechanical that has stopped working or make a home repair job drag on for weeks. He is currently the chair of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, and in that position advocates for religious freedom and civility in public dialogue.
Rev. Amy Murray
Ministry Program Coordinator
Rev. Amy Murray is a Kentucky native but calls the Midwest her home. She was born and raised in the UCC and has been active in various levels of church leadership. Amy graduated from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, where she majored in Spanish and Sociology. She went on to Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where she received her Masters of Divinity in 2006. Amy also completed her chaplain residency program at Methodist, Lutheran and Blank hospitals and became a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).
Amy served as a youth director, student pastor, chaplain and church relations coordinator for a faith-based organization. She enjoys working with children and youth and the energy they bring to ministry. In addition to church work, Amy also serves as a part-time hospice chaplain at a local hospice house.
Amy enjoys spending time with her spouse Katie, their son Sam, and their two dogs, Blu and Twix. They enjoy spending time with family, friends and figuring out answers to Sam’s questions about the meaning of life and bodily functions. 🙂 Email: email@example.com
Music Program Director
Steven Linn joined us as Music Program Director in August 2011. Steve grew up in a small rural community in Nebraska. He was active in his church singing solos, singing in the choir, and serving as the organist. He studied private piano at Wayne State College during his high school years and continued as an undergraduate student with emphasis in voice and piano. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Education from Wayne State College and a Masters in Education from Viterbo University. Steve has served several congregations in central Iowa as both music director and accompanist. He taught secondary vocal music for 33 years. He retired in 2017, teaching the last 26 years at Ames High School. In the fall of 2017 he was appointed Staff Accompanist and Adjunct Faculty at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny. After residing in Ames for many years, Steve and his husband Scott moved to Des Moines and reside in the East Village with their dogs Rex and Georgi. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organist/SOS Choir/Youth & Adult Handbells DirectorBobby Stinnett, M.M., joined the staff in September 1997. He received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas. He earned his masters’s degree in Organ Performance with a Church Music Certificate from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Bobby has been playing the piano and organ for various denominations for over 25 years. As a public school music specialist, he brings many teaching skills to the graded choir program here at Urbandale UCC. He directs the Children and Youth choirs which he began. The choirs have grown immensely from the original nine members. Besides his church involvement, Bobby is the music specialist at George Washington Carver Community School in Des Moines, and serves as organist at Temple B’Nai Jeshurun in Des Moines. Email: email@example.com
Office CoordinatorSophiap Eng-Swanson, who goes by Sophia, began at UUCC in June 2015. She is a wife and mother of two—a daughter and a furbaby. She is excited to be back in Iowa after being in Seattle, WA for 10 years, and Minneapolis, MN for a year. She has been in the administrative field for over 10 years and has a couple years’ experience as an Office Manager for a United Methodist Church. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadmir & Umihana Omerhodzic
CustodiansSadmir & Umihana Omerhodzic came to the United States from Bosnia back in 1997. Sadmir & Umihana are married and they have two boys, Dino and Damir. Sadmir likes to play sports with his kids, soccer especially, basketball, and fishing. Sadmir’s favorite food is everything; he likes enjoying all kinds of foods from different countries. He likes music and enjoys watching family movies. Email: email@example.com
Rev. John Chaplin
Adjunct Minister for LGBTQ Concerns & Community Outreach
John Chaplin is Adjunct Minister for LGBTQ Concerns and Community Outreach.
Student MinisterTony Dillon-Hansen is an MID and has been an active member of Plymouth UCC with Chancel Choir, Stephen Ministry and leading worship for area retirement centers. He did undergraduate at Iowa, MBA and doctoral study at Walden University. He is currently taking seminary courses through Pathways Theological Education, and he works downtown as a Senior Software Developer. He has been active working with organizations for equality, interfaith, civility and martial arts. He lives in Des Moines Southside with Bret-Wayne and the two were married at UUCC. The house is full with son, Tyler, in college at ISU, a dog, and four cats. He looks forward to learning and growing with the unique gifts of UUCC.