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Pastor update

Paul used "confidence" in his letters to the churches as they faced difficulties and challenges. He always reminded them of the great promise over the horizon. Keeping Paul's letters of confidence in mind, a small leadership team was created with the Council's support to develop a plan for the first half of 2023.  This team has been hard at work and will continue with the same intensity, diligence, and thoughtful consideration until the best possible pastor for Salem is found. We do not need or want to settle for anything less than that. We have come up with a plan, but it requires the congregation to assume more responsibility and ownership for the life of the church in the absence of an interim pastor. We are incredibly blessed to have so many talented and committed members; we are confident we will all work together to care for our church and each other through this transition. In fact, we are hopeful that this level of involvement will continue even after we welcome a new pastor. The plan includes three main areas of focus: securing pulpit supply for Sunday services, engaging members to help with worship and pastoral care activity planning, and recruiting a bridge or interim pastor, if needed. We will see how the first several months unfold and adjust our efforts and timelines accordingly. We will do our best to be transparent and provide updates along the way, but please feel free to reach out to the Council with questions and concerns at any time.

Staff: Our Mission
3D Close Up


Search ongoing

Greetings!  As you may know, Salem UCC is currently searching for a settled pastor.  As a congregation, we worked to discern where Salem has been, where we are now, and where we think God is calling us to be.  

This effort supported the development and posting of our church profile on the national UCC website- please feel free to review and watch this space - when we have a call agreement in place, we plan to share information about our new pastor.

In the meantime we will continue to have regular church activities; just more variation in the pulpit on Sunday mornings.!

Staff: About
Staff: Staff & Leadership

Office Administrator

Cara Bahr

Cara Bahr is our Office Administrator


Sarah Pundt

Director of Christian Education
Director of Youth Ministry

Sarah has been Salem’s Director of Christian Education since October 2016, and also serves as the Interim Director of Youth Ministry since March of 2021. 

She primarily oversees our Christian Education program for all ages including our nursery childcare center, Sunday school, Safe Church Program, Vacation Bible School, evening Adult programs, intergenerational activities, and special seasonal activities. She enjoys providing opportunities for every member of the Salem community to explore and deepen their faith, serve as teachers and mentors to others, and grow in fellowship with each other in the process.  Everyone is at a different place in their faith journey and at Salem, we offer a loving and supportive environment to ask questions and challenge ourselves to live active and fulfilling lives as Christians.

Sarah and her husband are natives of Rochester, NY and moved to Verona in 2003 with their two children.  She has been a lifelong church member- in the Presbyterian (PCUSA), Congregational, and UCC traditions.  The Pundts became members of Salem shortly after moving to Verona.  Sarah earned a B.A. in Music with a minor in Psychology from Hamilton College (Clinton, NY) and is currently enrolled in the Lay Academy through the UCC WI Conference.  Her volunteer roles at Salem include serving on Youth Ministry Team and the Pastoral Relations committees. When she is not at church, she enjoys spending time with her family, participating in outdoor recreation activities, and scrapbooking.  

She looks forward to engaging as many of you as possible in our educational programs and welcome all questions and ideas. Please contact her at or 608-692-3239.

Staff: About

Dawn Lingard

Director of Music

Dawn Lingard has been a musician nearly all of her life, sharing her musical gifts in her Salem Sunday School class at around age 10, then becoming one of the 2 organists while in High School.  After focusing on her music studies at Oral Roberts University with Joyce Bridgman in Tulsa, OK, she then moved to Kansas City, MO.  There she found a church home that embraced her eclectic musical background & helped enhance her worship style.  Since coming back home to Salem in 2005, Dawn took over the Organist responsibilities.  Here, she was able to introduce her varied background in piano performance & accompaniment.  She loves working with musicians of all ages & abilities, helping them embrace their talent & share it with others.

Currently, Dawn is our Music Director where she continues her Organist responsibilities while also moderating the Music in Worship Committee.  In addition, she served on the Wisconsin Conference UCC Annual Worship Committee for 8 years.  Here she led that group in planning & performing for the Annual Conference worship services. 

She thoroughly enjoys sharing her gifts of music not just with Salem but with her community at large.  She has been the Lands’ End Christmas Choir accompanist for 25 years & helps out with local school concerts, Solo & Ensemble events, and musicals … to name just a few. 

Staff: About
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