Dawn Christenson, LVT, MDiv, served as the Bridge Pastor for First Congregational Church during the summer of 2018.
Dawn originally moved to Charlotte, when she began her career as a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Town & Country Animal Hospital in 1979. Her long career in veterinary medicine also included 30 years of teaching for the Veterinary Technology Program in the College of Veterinary Medicine at MSU, as well as 6 years in Emergency and Critical Care Medicine in MSU’s Veterinary Medical Center. While her professional activities kept her focused in East Lansing much of the time, Dawn has always maintained close ties to the Charlotte community.
She joined First Congregational Church, UCC in 1992. Over the years, she has actively engaged in the life of the church, serving as Moderator and in various roles on numerous boards, committees and in the musical ministry of the church. Her volunteer work for 11 years with Eaton Community Hospice (now Palliative Care) led her to make a career shift, from veterinary medicine to ministry. She began her seminary education at Chicago Theological Seminary in 2010. She persisted in her studies, while working fulltime. In 2016, she graduated with a Masters of Divinity. Dawn is currently serving First Congregational UCC in Charlotte, as their bridge pastor.
Dawn is married. She and her wife, Bea VanKampen, live near Williamston, with their Cardigan Welsh Corgi (Branwyn), cat (Bobbie), and Blue & Gold Macaw (Jaylin). Suffice it to say that all of God’s creatures, great and small, will always be included in her theology. In her view, the love of God is broad enough and deep enough to include all of humanity, as well as our creaturely kin and communal home – the earth. Dawn also believes strongly in inter-religious engagement and is a member of the Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing.