Nina Harlan Kohl
Minister of Congregational Care

FUMC is a caring community. In my role as Minister of Congregational Care, I help equip care teams to offer spiritual support to those among us going through periods of grief, illness, hospitalization, transition, crisis, or the everyday challenges of aging. I am privileged to visit church members, accompanying them on their journeys as they grow in discipleship and trust in God. I serve at FUMC part-time, 20 hours per week.

I come to FUMC from doing urban ministry as a Hospice Chaplain in the heart of the city of Milwaukee. I also served as a Chaplain Intern at a United Methodist long-term-care facility in West Allis called Village at Manor Park. Previously, I served as Public Relations & Communications Coordinator for Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, and as the Assistant Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I received my MA in Religious Studies from Cardinal Stritch University where I also earned a Certificate in Urban Ministry. I hold a BS in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. Currently, I am in the process of discerning a call to ordained ministry and contemplating seminary.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is visiting with people and listening to their stories. I have found that there is no such thing as an “ordinary” person – when you hear people’s stories, you realize that everyone’s life is extraordinary in its own way.

What passage of scripture especially inspires you in ministry?

 Ephesians 4:12-13 – “ to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”

 Another favorite is John 13:35 – “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

 I love to spend time with my husband, Hugh, and our teenage daughter, Cecilia. We frequently enjoy visiting my parents in Chicago and family members in Indiana, where I was born and raised. I like to play Country Gospel tunes on my guitar, and drive country roads (not at the same time).

 What are you currently reading?

Right now, I am especially interested in the Wesleyan tradition of the Love Feast, which hearkens back to the early Christian agape meal. So, I am reading Recovering the Love Feast: Broadening Our Eucharistic Celebrations by Paul Fike Stutzman and Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective by Andrew B. McGowan.