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Our location:
7195 Simms St, Arvada CO 80004


Our Pastor – Rev Karin Kilpatric

Pastor Karin Kilpatric

Pastor Karin has had an “ecumenical” history, which seems to fit well with the diversity of faith traditions, which come together in the United Church of Christ.

She grew up in the Presbyterian church in her home state of Missouri; graduated from Drury University, a Christian Church (DOC) related Liberal Arts College; graduated with her Master of Divinity Degree from a Methodist seminary, Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and has served in ministry at First United Church of Arvada UCC since 1999. Karin also has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communications from Webster University.

Prior to parish ministry, she worked as a hospital chaplain, campus minister, youth minister, and college speech instructor. She is married to Dr. Steven Bennett, a professor at Regis University. Their home is in Boulder, Colorado. They have two grown daughters, both Regis graduates.

Other Church Staff

Rev. Karen Howe, Faith Formation Coordinator

Rev Karen HoweFrom Karen: Having spent a summer at First United a few years ago, I know the depth of the work, love, and joy the people of FUCA live out. The Holy Spirit is indeed here, moving among us. I am grateful to be a part of this movement!

One of the main influences on my spiritual development was the year my family spent in Kenya. Because I was eight years old and we weren’t much of a church going family, it wasn’t a direct or intentional learning, but with compassionate parents pointing out the beauty of the country and the incredible wildlife, as well as the depth of the poverty of many people, I learned that when having much material wealth, only by the fluke of where we were born, we are to share with those less fortunate. It was a good start to my understanding of God’s preferential option for the poor and marginalized.

I have a BA in art, a Master’s in Christian Education, and my M.Div. both from the Iliff School of Theology. I have served as Christian Education Director at my home church, Community UCC in Boulder, as interim in Hayden, and last year as pastor at First Congregational in Pueblo. All of these positions helped broaden my understanding of the interconnectedness of Faith Formation and putting our faith into action in the world. I look forward to doing the same and more at FUCA!

I have three grown children and one adorable grandson, all of whom enrich my life in boundless ways!  –Shalom, Karen

Sue Wedaa, Music Director

Sue WedaaSue has been immersed in music since the age of seven. She played the flute and alto saxophone in high school and community college and has toured Europe with two different groups. She has also studied voice at Cal State Long Beach, California, and Vocal Performance at SUNY at Buffalo, New York, focusing on 20th century vocal repertoire.Sue has sung and performed with various area groups, including the Broomfield Symphony Chorus and Jubilate! Sacred Singers, and privately teaches flute and vocal performance. She has been pursuing her passion for music at First United since 2001.

Mary Ann Fraser, Organist/Pianist

Mary Ann FraserMary Ann has accompanied congregations on the pipe organ for more than 40 years; she was first introduced to the instrument in the 8th grade. She has taught music in public and private schools to ages ranging from kindergarten through junior college and continues to give private lessons in piano and guitar. She has studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and has a BA in Music Education, a Masters in Music Performance, and is working on a BA in Art.

Gloria Knutson – Dir, Peals of Praise Bell Choir

Gloria has directed the handbell choir since 1988 after joining the choir in 1977. She is a member of the Handbell Choir Directors Guild and has also studied piano for eight years. She has a BA Degree in Elementary Education.

Kathy Hine, Secretary

Kathy has been a member of First United since 2015. She and her husband, Jason moved to Colorado in 2014 from Southern California. Kathy was born in Washington State, but grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a missionary kid. She studied Biology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She has worked in the “admin” world for over 20 years serving as and Admin Assistant at Mission Aviation Fellowship and a Customer Service Rep at the Redlands Police Department among other positions. She sings in the choir, pulls out her flute every once in a while, loves to organize and to relax with a good book. Her husband works at Esri in Broomfield. They have two kids and one goofy dog, Spackle.

Patty Painter-Wakefield, Communications

Patty has been a member of First United since moving to Colorado with her family in 2013. North Carolina was her home before that. There, she worked at WUNC Public Radio for 18 years, in various capacities, including on-air hosting, producing spots and writing copy for on-air. More recently she’s returning to her roots in music by focusing on writing music–especially for church use, when she’s not focusing on Communications, working on youth Sunday school, or researching/implementing worship ideas for First United. Her spouse is a professor at Colorado of School of Mines. They have 2 children and 2 cats.