Rev. Dr. Marlayna Schmidt centers her life and work in Christ, whose transforming power in the lives of individuals and churches “is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20) Ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1991, Rev. Marlayna has spent the last 26 years serving churches in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The past 15 years, she has focused exclusively on interim ministry, as she feels a strong call to help congregations survive and thrive through times of transition. Equipped with training, experience, humility and humor, Rev. Marlayna has worked collaboratively with lay leaders and clergy colleagues in the churches she has served to deepen the congregation’s faith in God, to heal from past hurts, to strengthen connections with the community surrounding the church, and to prepare for new leadership and ministry.
Rev. Marlayna has a B.A. from Colby College, an M.Div. from Boston University, and a D.Min. (in Preaching) from Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition, she has completed the Interim Ministry Network’s “Basic Education” course, the 40-hour “Walking in the Way – Christian Peace Building for Churches” conflict transformation and facilitation training; as well as a number of stewardship training workshops; she is also a Reiki Master. Reiki is a “laying on of hands” healing method.
Marlayna enjoys reading and writing sermons, novels and short stories. She likes to pray and meditate and memorize poetry and Scripture. She and her husband of 17 years, Rev. Paul Nickerson, enjoy watersports, cross-country skiing, and going to the YMCA. Together, they like watching crime shows on T.V., and listening to stand up comedy. When she is not walking her dog, a chocolate lab named Kira, Marlayna likes taking funny pictures of Kira with her cell phone. Among her other passions are gardening, sewing, eating Italian food and listening to NPR (though not necessarily at the same time). Marlayna has two adult stepsons and one adopted dog.