The following new members joined Plymouth Church on Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 following our virtual Discover Plymouth class. Welcome!
Britt Teply Carlson
I am an attorney practicing in-house and focused on employment law. I live in Clive with my husband, Charlie, and nine-month-old son, Miller. Charlie and I were married at Plymouth in 2015. We enjoy all outdoor activities, especially anything involving a lake. Pre-COVID we loved to travel, with some of our favorite trips being gorilla trekking in Rwanda, hiking the Inca Trail, and touring Easter Island. We hope to share our love of travel with Miller once it is safe to do so.
Megan Sowa and Calvin Utt
Hello! We currently live in Clive in our new home with our wonderful puppy, Gus. Megan is an eighth and ninth grade English teacher in Johnston and Calvin is an Ag claims representative at Farm Bureau. We love to hang out with our friends and go on walks with Gus. Megan’s unique collection is her ever growing collection of owls, because her last name means owl in Polish! Calvin grew up on a farm in Southern Iowa and loves to go home to help whenever he can. Together, we rarely miss a Taco Tuesday!
Taylor and Dillan Crawley
Taylor (Rookaird) and Dillan Crawley reside in Des Moines. Dillan is a Des Moines area native and is an Ag underwriter for Nationwide. He’s a big movie/music buff, baseball fan and enjoys coaching with Kiwanis Miracle League. Taylor is an account manager at Lessing-Flynn, an advertising agency in the East Village. She enjoys trying out new recipes (especially sweet ones) and volunteering with local organizations. In our free time, we enjoy exploring Des Moines, walks with our dog, Georgie, and spending time with our families.
Ben & Jen Kleene
Ben and Jen enjoy hiking, traveling, and exploring new places – mostly with their combined family of four children and cadre of grandparents! Since marrying in 2018, coordinating kids across two districts, four buildings, and more activities than you can shake a stick at consumes most of their time. In addition to managing the constant chaos, Ben is an accountant with Athene and Jen manages construction projects for the State of Iowa.
Hardy moved to Des Moines a little over 20 years ago when his wife, Cheryl Thomas accepted a call to serve as Pastor for Calvary Baptist Church. Cheryl died 2 1/2 years ago. He has 2 children, John who graduated from Mizzou Law is working in the Attorney General’s Office and Glenna who is a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools. Hardy works in Quality Improvement. He is looking forward to participating in Plymouth’s social justice efforts and feels he can add some perspective to TIM ministers about the experiences a pastor’s spouse and family have.
I was born and raised in Des Moines and have lived here most all of my life. My favorite city to visit is Paris (I completed my MBA program there just so I could live there.) My hobbies include wine tastings (over Zoom these days), genealogy and photography. (I started genealogy just a couple of months before the pandemic hit and that really helped to pass the time. So far during my research I have discovered that I am a descendant from at least 3 of the original Mayflower pilgrims. Also, my 4th great grandfather was a soldier in the American Revolution.)
I have been retired from teaching elementary art for a few years now; trading that in for time spent watching my granddaughters, which turns out to be a pretty good trade. I am fortunate to have my daughter and son (and their families) in the Des Moines area, as family is my number one “hobby”! I also enjoy spending time in my art studio, working in clay and painting. Before the pandemic I enjoyed taking classes at the art center, so I am thankful I have my own in-home creative space. Other past times include yoga, biking, and long hikes. Since my husband’s retirement a year ago we have returned to our love for camping, giving up the days of setting up a tent to now traveling in our camper sprinter van, much better suited. So, I am enjoying lots of travel in the U.S., hoping to resume some international travel again, when possible.
I recently retired from a 21-year career with Deere & Co., which followed a 21-year career as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy. My chosen careers had one thing in common – a lot of international travel – so it’s been great to hang around home to focus on my hobbies: wood working, bike riding and fly fishing. The pandemic has limited our travel opportunities; however, we’ve found that we can safely see the U.S. in our small RV, which has been a lot of fun. Like most of us, I’m looking forward to a return to normal socializing and large family gatherings, especially the opportunity to see my parents and grandchildren on a regular basis.