Pastor Michael Paulson
Pastor Michael Paulson and his wife Rose have been serving God together within the UMC for nearly 14 years. He currently serves as Lead Pastor at Lincoln First UMC where his family (including three children) has been serving for 7 of those years. Gabriel is 14 and loves chess and scholastic bowl; Elijah is 9 and loves reading and archery; Grace is 6 and enjoys dancing, art, writing, and illustrating. Rose has passion for prayer and art and reaching and serving children and adults with special needs.
Michael’s passion is helping people come to understand the incredible love God has for them individually, to experience the transformation of their lives as they grow deeper in that relationship with Jesus, and then learn to share that love with others in authentic, lifegiving ways. He brings strategic leadership skills and has a passion for coaching, developing leaders, and helping groups and churches to discern God’s vision for them and how to carry it out.
They all are looking forward to getting to know and become part of the Morton UMC family.
I am Rev. Bill Novak, your new associate pastor. I am married to Abby Novak, the new school nurse at Lincoln Elementary, and we are the parents of Wynne (9), Beatrice (7), Mabel (5), and Clementine (3). I am originally from Chester, Montana, a tiny little farm and ranch town located at the very north-central top of the state, forty miles from the Canadian border. When I wasn’t working at my parents’ grocery store, I was wandering around the wilds with my friends and playing basketball. While I don’t hunt, fish, or hike as much as I would like, I still try to get in two games a week, though my knees are shot now that I’m forty. I grew up in the tiny little United Methodist church across the street from the family house and remember the building fondly in particular for the laser tag games my friends and I played in there when we were up to no good.
I went to Whitman College in Walla Walla Washington and after that to the Peace Corps where I was an agriculture volunteer in the little village of Fatima Paraguay. I met Abby in Paraguay where she was a beekeeping volunteer. After the Peace Corps, I went to the University of Montana to begin a PhD in political philosophy but then was re-directed to seminary by my mentor and advisor. In the midst of that, I went back to Paraguay to see about this girl and take her back to the States. That is how we ended up at Garrett-Evangelical in Evanston IL where Abby and I began our family. In the middle of all this, I completed my M.Div. at Garrett in 2013 and am finally graduating with my PhD in moral theology this fall.
In 2016, I was appointed to First United Methodist Church in Cheyenne Wyoming and received my ordination in 2018. Now, we are excited to get back to the Midwest to be near Abby’s family and enjoy the famous hospitality of the region. I look forward to serving God in this kingdom-creation with all of you in the coming years. Let’s get to work.