Rev. Dr. Shawn Bawulski
Mayflower is excited to welcome Rev. Dr. Shawn Bawulski in August as our next Senior Pastor.
Pastor Shawn is committed to preaching the Scriptures with clarity and making theological truths accessible and applicable. He is passionate about cultivating a healthy church culture, listening and leading by consensus, and concern for the least of these—the marginalized, oppressed, and powerless.
A passion and love for the church have led Shawn over the years to serve in various ministries where theology and pastoral ministry connect. His calling is to shepherd a theologically diverse, multigenerational church. Shawn is so excited about shepherding Mayflower for this next era in her history!
Shawn is committed to learning from diverse Christian voices, emphasizing global Christianity, women, and people of color. He has grown under the influence and leadership of Christians who are very different than me.
Shawn and his wife, Sara met at church in the Chicago suburbs. Their daughters Kate (12) and Charlotte (10) were born in Scotland and their family has lived in Scotland, Lithuania, Arizona, and China.
Dr. Julia Brown
Director of Music and Organist
Julia Brown joined the staff at Mayflower in August, 2018, moving from Eugene, Oregon. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Julia studied piano, harpsichord, and organ in her native Brazil before receiving her Masters of Music in Church Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance from Northwestern University.
Julia is passionate about music-making with volunteers and professionals of all ages. She believes that music is a powerful means of outreach, faith formation, and spiritual growth.
In addition to church work, Julia teaches, performs, and records. Her Naxos recordings of W. F. Bach, J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, and Scheidemann have gained high critical acclaim, and are readily available on Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube.
Julia has three children, Howell, Gabriela, and Alex Petty.
Director of Chancel Choir
A Grand Rapids native, Scott received his Bachelor of Music from Calvin College, then a Masters of Music from Oklahoma City University. While living in Chicago he sang with the St. Luke’s Choir of Men and Boys in Evanston, where he met his wife Jane. They moved to Somerset, UK, where Scott was a Choral and Chorister Voice Trainer and on the Music Faculty at Wells Cathedral (ranked #1 choir in the world).
Scott was the Choir Director at Thornapple Covenant Church for 11 years, and has been the Director of Music for the Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys since 2001. He teaches voice and music at Grand Rapids Community College and Calvin College.
Children's & Youth
Abby Brooks completed her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Michigan State University where she focused on early childhood and elementary music education and holds a Bachelors of Music in Education and Bachelors of Arts in Dance Education degrees from Hope College. She fulfilled her student teaching requirements at Chicago Public Schools and subsequently taught General Music at Park Elementary in Hudsonville from 2006-2015. Since 2009, Abby has been the assistant director of the Hudsonville High School musicals.
Abby has performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and was in the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2010. Abby directed the Children’s Choir at Epworth Heights in Ludington, MI from 2000 to 2007. Abby also teaches Music Together at Joyful Sounds Music Studio in Grand Rapids, a class for parents or caregivers and children that focuses on a child’s musical development.
Abby has been a member of our Chancel Choir since 2017 and has been working with Mayflower children’s choirs since 2018. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Andy, and their three children, Julia, Henry, and Luke.
Director of FAMILY MINISTRIES, Outreach, and EVENTS
She directs Mayflower’s Midweek program which includes choir and youth groups for grade school-aged children as well as fellowship for families. She is also the Coordinator of Mayflower’s Family Promise/IHN ministry for homeless families in Grand Rapids.
Rachael has a background in non-profit, having worked with at-risk youth at Boys Town for 10 years and was the Executive Director of Youth Unlimited.
Rachael and her husband Andy have two children, Jackson and Harper.
Director of Youth Ministries
Allison Houlihan and her husband Peter joined Mayflower shortly after being married here 18 years ago. She loved the strong sense of community Mayflower provides and she knew she wanted that same connection for her children as well.
In addition to being active in her children’s schools, she has served as a Sunday School teacher, Midweek volunteer, and part-time cook, Confirmation Partner, and the chair of the Congregational Events Committee at Mayflower.
Allison had meaningful experiences in youth groups as a teenager and is works to create those kinds of moments for the youth of Mayflower.
DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Andrea is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in communications and journalism. She has been a member at Mayflower Church since 2001 and has been an active volunteer with children’s ministries.
Andrea and her husband, Chad, have three children, Natalie, Lillian, and Matthew.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATE
LAURA VAN WYK
Laura Van Wyk joined the staff at Mayflower in May 2022 as the Office Manager.
Laura has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Art from Calvin College.
Laura worked at Calvin College in the Information Technology Center as the Telecommunications Manager and Customer Service Specialist.
She and her husband, Bob, enjoy camping and spending time outdoors with their daughter Ashley, son Matthew, his wife Kira, and their granddaughter Arti.
Courtenay Oosterman began serving a Communications role in the spring of 2019.
Courtenay has a bachelor degree in Art and Letters Interdisciplinary Humanities from Michigan State University with emphases in English, Art, Communications, and Psychology. She is a protean designer and has worked in various areas of design, advertising, and marketing over the past 25+ years with non-profit organizations, small businesses, and corporations.
She has supported Mayflower for over 15 years as a freelance graphic designer with a passion for identity and brand building yet now appreciates being a part of the Mayflower staff to support communication efforts whether in print or online.
Courtenay and her husband, Doug, have two children, Whitaker and Rehn.
Andrew Ely (Andy) is retired after spending 30 years in corporate finance most recently as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for a local defense firm in Grand Rapids.
Andy holds a BA in Accounting from Michigan State University and an MBA from Grand Valley State University Seidman School of Business. Throughout his career, he has worked for familiar companies like General Motors, Magna International, and Amway Corporation.
Andy and his wife love spending time with their 2 boys and extended family. For fun, Andy enjoys playing and coaching tennis.
Murry Idema is a long-standing member of Mayflower, having also served as Director
of Mayflower Pre-School for 33 years.
Her current responsibilities include chairing
the Congregational Care Committee, which is instrumental in scheduling volunteers
as greeters on Sundays and in sending handcrafted cards to persons on the prayer
list and also to members who are celebrating milestone birthdays. The committee is also responsible for facilitating coffee receptions before and after the Sunday services.
In addition, she directs the Friendly Visitors who participate in visiting
the homebound or elderly and arrange for meals to be delivered to them as needed.
Murry also arranges the “69UP” social gatherings for Mayflower members and
Murry attended Colby Junior College and received her B.A. degree and teaching
certification from Michigan State University. She and her husband Phil have 2
children and 3 grandchildren.