It has been several months since Father Andrew Hanyzewski’s departure from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church after serving as its priest for almost eight years, and a lot has happened since that time.
The Fort Atkinson congregation undertook a nearly-six-month search process for a new priest for their parish and for new occupants of the Queen Anne style rectory across from the Merchants Avenue church.
Their prayers were answered when Mother Mindy Valentine Davis accepted their call. The moving van pulled up late April and she, her husband, Kevin; their three children, Spencer, Logan and Isabella “Izzie”; and their dog, Buttons, became the occupants of St. Peters’ rectory, and Mother Mindy became the first female priest St. Peter’s has had since the church was built in 1928.
The introduction to the community and the parishioners has been far from “normal” for the family and the parish. The COVID 19 virus has prevented a welcome reception, outings, meetings, church services and activities that usually would occur. But that hasn’t affected the enthusiasm that both the parish and their new priest have had in planning and making contacts “virtually.”
Mother Mindy was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa, so she is well-acquainted with the Midwest. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Iowa University and a Master of Divinity degree from the University of the South in Tennessee.
She spent the past three years as the rector at St. James Episcopal Church in West Bend, where she worked to rebuild and revitalize that parish. Here in Fort Atkinson, she hopes to form associations within the community.
Although now Mother Mindy is busy getting settled and learning the “workings” of the church, she soon will be using her background in teaching and preaching, and her beautiful singing voice, to draw everyone toward becoming disciples of Christ. She will be out in the community and connect with people.
Her overall philosophy is, “I am blessed and privileged to walk with people and share in their triumphs and assist with their needs.”