Our Pastor and Staff
Reverend Chips C. Paulson
I’ve been pastor of Manitowish Waters Community Church since 1993, and have joyfully seen it flourish as an active, caring fellowship of Christians, committed to sharing Christ’s message and helping each other in our church and community. We whole-heartedly welcome new inquirers to come and experience our Christian life together.
My journey to MWCC has taken many turns. Thirty years ago God gripped my life with his loving power, and through Christ drew me into the ministry. In the years since, I served pastorates in several very different places before accepting the call to Manitowish Waters.
As newlyweds, my wife Suzanne and I moved to Princeton New Jersey where I completed my Master of Divinity. Upon my ordination in the Presbyterian Church, we went to Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church in Southern California for my first formal “Call.” I served with—and was mentored by-- a gifted pastor and supportive congregation.
Suzanne and I then accepted a call to serve as missionaries in a tiny native Alaskan church in Kake, Alaska. It was a fascinating experience--whales breached directly in front of our home and bears wandered the streets. Along with our ministry as missionaries spreading God’s word, we immersed ourselves in the village culture. I was adopted into the Raven clan and given a Tlingit name. We laughed and danced with the traditional Tlingit dance group; buried friends on Grave Island out in front of the village, and hunted and fished to augment our table. Our daughter, Chrystel was born there in Alaska.
I received my call to the Manitowish Waters community Presbyterian Church in 1993, where my son Lucas was born. Ministry in northern Wisconsin is very different from the coastal communities of Southern California and the stark beauty of the boreal rainforests of Southeast Alaska. Yet the joys and the pains of the human heart are universal. Our time here in Manitowish Waters has been rich, rewarding, and challenging. Our church is steeped in a spirit of energetic service, hospitality and welcome, and we “rejoice with those who rejoice,” and “weep with those who weep.” I also serve as the Spiritual Care Coordinator and chaplain for Regional Hospice Services in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I have served on the cusp of life and death with hundreds of people for over eighteen years.
I believe the congregation and I serve very effectively together creating a warm, welcoming, Christian Fellowship in which people are challenged to initiate, develop, nurture, and deepen their Christian faith in our community.
Director of Christian Education
I've been Christian Education Director here since 2007, and was a volunteer youth group leader for five years prior to that. I really enjoy working with the kids in the Wednesday Youth Group--I love their energy and enthusiasm! I also enjoy leading the adult Bible study group, as the group gains understanding of God's message and learns to put Bible study into practice.
As secretary I get to know everyone! I'm in the office every weekday morning from 9 to 12 noon, answering the phone, keeping our records, and preparing our Sunday service bulletins and monthly newsletters. I answer questions and help our busy church members find what and who they're looking for. I've been secretary for twenty years and a member of the church since 1974, so if you have a question, I can help you!