Our Pastor

Rev. Joshua Simon, Pastor

Hi, I’m Pastor Josh! Welcome to Emanuel Church! I have the great privilege to serve the people of Emanuel Church. We are a vibrant and growing congregation. My ministry here began in February 2023. Before Emanuel, I served the First Congregational Church of Essex Junction, VT as associate pastor from Dec. 2017 to Jan 2023. I have a political science and religious studies B.A. from the University of Wisconsin: Milwaukee. Go Panthers! And a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary. 

I grew up just outside Seymour, WI, home of the hamburger. I moved back to Wisconsin to be closer to family and friends. I’m so glad to be back! In my spare time, I like to watch movies (probably too much), hang out with friends, cuddle with my dog, Joy, spend time outdoors, and, now that I’m back, attend Brewer games. 

I joined the United Church of Christ (UCC) in college.  I joined the UCC because it affirms and celebrates the lives of LGBTQ people. As a gay man, it was important for me to be part of a denomination that affirms and celebrates LGBTQ people, and when I joined the UCC, it was one of the only denominations to do so on a national level in the country. 

My ministry is grounded in the two commandments Jesus emphasized: love God and neighbor as self. My hope for my ministry at Emanuel Church is to continue to extend God’s all-embracing love and welcome to all people. I want people of all ages to feel welcome to be who they are, to bring their questions, doubts, fears, faith, hopes, and dreams.