Meet Our Staff

Christian Education Coordinator

Laura has lived in Cedar Rapids all her life, and became a member of Hope United Church of Christ in 1984.  She currently works full time in Cedar Rapids for Podiatry Associated, PC, in the role of front desk office coordinator and receptionist/scheduler.  From 1992-2009 Laura worked at Gazette Communications as a production supervisor.  Laura graduated from Mount Mercy University with B.S in Business Management, with HR minor.

Laura has a desire to work with children as they gain knowledge about faith and learning about our God.  She has been part of the Christian Education team and served as a leader and/or member of various committees at Hope UCC over the last several years.

Laura has three grown sons, and three wonderful grandchildren. Brandon lives in Colorado-near Denver.   Kyler and his wife Morgan (“Mo”) are moving from Jacksonville, Fl. to Annapolis, Maryland in May of 2017.   Cameron and his wife Abbie live in Cedar Rapids with their 3 children.  Laura has four siblings who all live in Iowa, and she is the ‘middle child.’  Laura’s grandchildren are her greatest joy: Johanna, Burkley, and Neelynn Ogreen.

Laura enjoys reading, walking outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Mary Beth Hartenstein

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Pastor Mary Beth began her ministry with Hope in 2012. Mary Beth Hartenstein is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ currently serving as pastor of Hope United Church of Christ, Hiawatha.

Mary Beth graduated with a B.S. in Home Economics Education from the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, in 1981. She then received her Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA, in 2003. Presently, she is working towards earning her Doctor of Ministry degree at Eden Theological Seminary, Webster Grove, MO.

Mary Beth was ordained in 2004 by the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference, United Church of Christ, and was then called to St. Paul United Church of Christ, Waterloo, IL, where she served as the associate pastor for eight years.

Mary Beth was born and raised in northwest Ohio on a dairy and grain farm, the oldest of eight children. She and her husband, Mark, are the parents of two young adult sons, Adam and Luke. Mary Beth likes to write, enjoys reading, collects Longaberger baskets, and cheers for The Ohio State University Buckeyes.

Regan Bloomquist

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When you call Hope United Church of Christ, chances are the first person you’ll be greeted by is Regan Bloomquist, our office secretary. Regan has been a lifelong member of Hope. She enjoys being kept busy with a variety of tasks and connecting with new friends and existing members each day. “I am honored to serve Hope not only as a member and volunteer, but also as part of this hard-working staff team.”

Mindy Hatcher

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Mindy has been organist for Hope Church since 1992.  She became the organist after the retirement of the previous organist.  “It is an honor to serve the People of Hope as their organist.”

Cathy Boeset

Custodial Staff Person

I was born in Burlington to Marge and Dean Ita. I had 1 sister and have 2 brothers. I was raised at Zion United Church of Christ being baptized and confirmed there. Later, I was married there as well.  I served on Consistory several times and later I was ordained as an elder. I taught Sunday school for many years and was on the Board of Christian Education several times.

After my husband died in 1990, I spent a lot of time raising Nick and Melissa, helping them get to sporting events and music programs, while loving every minute of it. I have 2 grandchildren, Beckett and Harper, who are the light of my life.  I now get to enjoy their sports and school programs.

When my full time position was cut to part-time four years ago, I had to start over and made a move to Iowa City and then to Cedar Rapids. Recently I retired, but took on the part-time cleaning job here at Hope UCC (which keeps me out of trouble). Another move to Tiffin will allow me to be closer to Beckett and Harper, including the chance to get them off to school in the mornings and be near them for their events.

Allison Gruell

Nursery Supervisor

Hope United Church of Christ values the importance of providing a welcoming presence to our babies, toddlers and their parents.

Allison Gruell serves as our part-time Nursery Supervisor offering a consistent and dependable presence for children and parents. She also provides leadership for the other volunteers in the nursery as we practice Safe Church procedures to ensure the safety of our children.

Allison is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. She has served as an All Star Cheer Coach and a volunteer cheer coach for Metro Youth Football. Allison has been Vacation Bible School Teachers here at Hope UCC for several years.