Reverend Judith Hanlon, Pastor
Raised in Indiana, the second child of seven born to a Pentecostal minister, Pastor Judith Hanlon played the piano at age 5, sang harmony with her mom and siblings, and taught Sunday school when she was 12. She claims that "ecclesia" (Greek for "church") is in her genes.
Judy grew up, married a man from the Worcester area and left Indiana for the East Coast. She became successful as a marketing rep at Verizon from where she retired at 45. Being a pastor may be her second career, but she feels as though she finally "came home" to what she was "called" to do all of her life.
Pastor Judy has two daughters, Amy and Carrie. For 25 years she and her family were active at Salem Covenant Church, where she directed and accompanied a singing group called "Passages." (She has written music since she was 9, and has produced two CDs, "The Color of Grace" and "The Colors of Love.")
After retiring, Judy began her seminary training and, in 2000, found her way to Hadwen Park Church where she was only supposed to provide "pulpit supply" for the summer. But she fell in love with HPC, and we fell in love with her. She will tell you that Hadwen Park Church and she are in "good covenant, we make a good team." Hadwen Park has been a loving, faithful congregation since 1911 providing community outreach and service with grace and mercy. Pastor Judy comes with the spunk of her Pentecostal heritage and a radical welcoming spirit that comes from her commitment to the United Church of Christ, our denomination. Judy loves to preach and we love to hear her. She loves kids and teases the older folk. She is passionate about justice and brings varied music into our worship service.
Pastor Judy came to us as a single woman and shared stories of being divorced and raising children on her own. It was helpful to many of our single parishioners to hear that others go through lonely times, even ministers! (Her daughter Carrie lives in Florida. Amy and her son Jack and daughter Roxy Kate live in Worcester.)
In 2006, Pastor Judy married Glenn Richards who literally danced into her life in 2003. She asked HIM to dance and the rest is history. A lifelong Congregationalist, Glenn understands the church and makes the perfect "minister's spouse." Glenn raised his four athletic children, Brett, Melissa, Lindsay and Adam in West Boylston. He has been competing in triathlons for over 20 years. Pastor Judy was attracted to Glenn because he was a dancing Congregationalist, but fell in love with him because he loves to hear her preach and also because he can cook!