Learn more about our conference, mission and team.
Rev. Dr. Chad Abbott has been the Conference Minister in the Indiana-Kentucky Conference since 2017. Originally ordained in the Indiana-Kentucky Conference, he has served churches in Kentucky, New Jersey, and Indiana. He received his bachelors from Greenville University in philosophy and religion, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary with a focus on the sociology of religion and race, and recently received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Church and Community Leadership. Chad is the author of a couple of books about creativity and discernment among local churches, his latest of which is Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations and Sacred Habits: The Rise of the Creative Clergy. He is passionate about local churches, pastors, mental health, and integrating contemplative spirituality into daily work and social justice. He is a trained labyrinth facilitator, spiritual director, and storyteller. He grew up in nearby Illinois and felt the call to ministry at age 10. Chad and his wife, Shannon, live in Indianapolis with their two kids, Isabel and Solomon, and dogs, Zoe and Finn.
Rev. Dr. Monica J. Ouellette was born in Washington D.C., spent most of her childhood in Stone Mountain, GA. and her teen years in Newport, RI. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a B.A. in Anthropology in May 1999. She earned her M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston, MA in May 2004. Monica was excited to be ordained in the Rhode Island Conference in January 2005. Then in 2016 she graduated with her Doctor of Ministry degree from Andover Newton Theological School. Her doctoral project is entitled, “A New Model of Church Growth in Smaller Congregations.” Monica has served as the Associate Pastor at First United Church of Christ in Carlisle, PA and St. John’s United Church of Christ in Boalsburg, PA. Currently she is serving as the pastor of Lynnhurst UCC in Louisville, KY. In October 2018 she began her ministry with the Indiana Kentucky Conference working with congregations and clergy in times of transition. Monica is energized by working with committees and teams to share resources and best practices, brainstorm ideas and create an action plan. She enjoys helping people recognize their spiritual gifts and using them for God and the church. Monica lives in Jeffersonville, IN. She loves quilting, reading, and traveling to new places.
Rebecca’s primary responsibility is the support of the churches and clergy in the Conference. She is the hub of the operation who resources the churches and the staff. Her expertise also includes management and analysis of the business activities of the Conference to facilitate financial decision making and planning. Her experience and knowledge make her an asset to our churches and authorized ministers in matters of contract negotiations, payroll, policies and procedures, not-for-profit filings and tax questions, budgeting, etc. Rebecca also possesses a depth of knowledge on the many benefit, investment and insurance plans provided by the UCC. Rebecca earned her Master of Business Administration at the University of Indianapolis. When she is not at the office, Rebecca feeds her spirit by attending and volunteering at her church. She is a wife and mother, who expresses her creativity through cooking and crafting.
Merlyn is the Senior Pastor at Immanuel United Church of Christ, Highland, Indiana. She was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She brings to her ministry a vast range of vocational and professional experience in the field of social work and experience both as a lay- person and ordained minister within the United Church of Christ. . Her years of commitment to lay leadership in the UCC in all its settings resulted in the high honor to serve for two years (2005-2007) as the Moderator of the 26th General Synod/ also the UCC’s 50th anniversary in Hartford, Connecticut, an experience forever etched in her heart and soul.
Sheronda believes in the strength of people and holistic approaches to healthcare services that support meaningful change. Originally from Orangeburg, SC, Sheronda completed her Undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology in 2009. She received a Master in Rehabilitation Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 2012. Additionally, as a reflection of her interests in holistic and spiritually integrated care, she received a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Christian Theological Seminary in 2020.
Jordan is an Indianapolis native, who graduated from Warren Central High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from IUPUI in Sociology and master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-profit Leadership.
Jordan formerly lead the Regional Public Affairs department at a prominent insurance company where she built community relationships, developed a volunteer portfolio, and generated annual fundraising. She helped the corporation gain exposure as a company that cares, shares, and gives back to the community.
Alongside her success in her career, Jordan has received nominations for Junior Achievement’s Indy’s Best and Brightest and Center for Leadership Development’s Up and Coming Achiever’s Award. She also has served on committees and boards for March of Dimes, Indiana Children’s Bureau, Junior Achievement, and Black Fathers Rock. She enjoys mentoring high school students in her spare time.
Jordan is a dedicated wife and mother. She is a proud member of Emmaus Christian Church.
Cassidy Hall, MDiv, MTS, MA, is an author, filmmaker, and podcaster. Born and raised in Iowa, she now works at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Indianapolis where she is pursuing ordination through the Indiana-Kentucky Conference in the UCC. Throughout her time at Christian Theological Seminary, she worked as a Teaching Assistant while studying for her MDiv and MTS degrees (December, 2021). During her time at seminary, she also served as the Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society and continues to serve on the board of Enfleshed.
Cassidy co-authored Notes on Silence (2018) and has had her work featured in devotionals including most recently: Thirsty, and You Gave Me Drink; Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C, from Clear Faith Publishing (2021). Her essays have been published in the Christian Century, The National Catholic Reporter, Convivium Journal, The Thomas Merton Seasonal, The Thomas Merton Annual, and she has also been a contributor for The Huffington Post and Patheos.
Before pursuing her MDiv and MTS in Indianapolis, Cassidy lived in Los Angeles where she worked on the production team of the documentary feature film, In Pursuit of Silence. The film’s success on the festival circuit and beyond led to its worldwide theatrical release. Her directorial debut short-film, Day of a Stranger, paints an intimate portrait of Thomas Merton’s hermitage years and received the Audience Choice Award from Illuminate Film Festival.
She is the co-host of the Encountering Silence podcast, which explores the ambiguity of silence in our modern-day lives. And more recently, she created a podcast hosted by the Christian Century titled Contemplating Now, which examines the intersection of contemplation and social justice.
You can learn more about her and her work at cassidyhall.com
Val is a graduate of International Business College in Fort Wayne, IN. and a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ. Val works full time as the Administrative Assistant to the President of Christian Theological Seminary. As the Data Entry Specialist, Val provides part-time assistance to the conference administrator in maintaining vital records for all clergy, volunteers and staff. When not at work, Val enjoys volunteering for various mission and outreach projects, reading, hiking and spending time with her children and grandchildren.