Urbandale UCC


3530 70th St., Urbandale, Iowa 50322 | ph 515.276.0625
fax 515.276.2451 | email: staff@urbucc.org | how to find us
Rev. David Sickelka, Senior Pastor

To learn more:

  • see the list of the church's current lay leaders on the Leaders page

Our Staff Members


Senior Pastor

The Reverend David Sickelka (Pastor Dave) was raised in rural Iowa on a farm between the towns of Sutherland and Primghar, in O’Brien County. With two older brothers and a younger sister, there were many opportunities for hay forts in the barn, snow forts in the winter, ball games of various stripes and lots of hands-on experience with conflict resolution! He attended Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa earning a B.A. with majors in Christian Religion and Sociology. His Seminary experience was at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, located in New Brighton, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis).

After earning his Master of Divinity degree there, he was ordained on June 9, 1985, in his home church of Calumet, Iowa. He served churches in western Nebraska, southern Illinois and northern Indiana before accepting the call to serve Urbandale UCC on April 11, 2010.

The Sickelka household now includes wife Susan, also an ordained UCC pastor, son Anthony and daughter Shannon. The kids are out of the nest now and pursuing college degrees. The house is being faithfully guarded by Daja, a Labrador retriever, and Pepper, a Shetland sheepdog (sheltie).

Pastor Dave enjoys music, jogging, reading, drama and crossword puzzles. This is not to say that he has any particular aptitude or skill in these areas! He has been known to spend hours tinkering on something mechanical that has stopped working or make a home repair job drag on for weeks. He is pleased to be back in the Tall Corn State, and is looking forward to rooting for his favorite Iowa college team (which shall remain a closely guarded secret!). Email: david.sickelka@urbucc.org


Sabbatical Supply Pastor

Rev. Paul Johnson is pleased to support the leaders and members of our church by serving as the Sabbatical Supply Pastor during the senior pastor's sabbatical July through September 2015. Email: paul.johnson@urbucc.org


Ministry Program Coordinator

Rev. Amy Murray is a Kentucky native but calls the midwest her home. She was born and raised in the UCC and has been active in various levels of church leadership. Amy graduated from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, where she majored in Spanish and Sociology. She went on to Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where she received her Masters of Divinity in 2006. Amy also completed her chaplain residency program at Methodist, Lutheran and Blank hospitals and became a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).

Amy served as a youth director, student pastor, chaplain and church relations coordinator for a faith-based organization. She enjoys working with children and youth and the energy they bring to ministry. In addition to church work, Amy also serves as a part-time hospice chaplain at a local hospice house.

Amy enjoys spending time with her spouse Katie, their 4 year old son, Sam, and their two dogs, Blu and Twix. They enjoy spending time with family, friends and figuring out answers to Sam’s questions about the meaning of life and bodily functions. :-) Email: amy.murray@urbucc.org


Music Program Director

Steven Linn joined us as Music Program Director in August 2011. Steve grew up in a small rural community in Nebraska. He was active in his church singing solos, singing in the choir, and serving as the organist. He studied private piano at Wayne State College during his high school years and continued as an undergraduate student with emphasis in voice and piano. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Education from Wayne State College and a Masters in Education from Viterbo University. Steve has served several congregations in central Iowa as both music director and accompanist. He has taught secondary vocal music in Iowa for over 27 years, and he is currently Director of Choral Music Activities at Ames High School. Email: steven.linn@urbucc.org


Organist/SOS Choir/Youth & Adult Handbells Director

Bobby Stinnett, M.M., joined the staff in September 1997. He received his bachelor's degree in Music Education from Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas. He earned his masters's degree in Organ Performance with a Church Music Certificate from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Bobby has been playing the piano and organ for various denominations for over 25 years. As a public school music specialist, he brings many teaching skills to the graded choir program here at Urbandale UCC. He directs the Children and Youth choirs which he began. The choirs have grown immensely from the original nine members. Besides his church involvement, Bobby is the music specialist at George Washington Carver Community School in Des Moines, and serves as organist at Temple B'Nai Jeshurun in Des Moines. Email: bobby.stinnett@urbucc.org


Office Coordinator

Sophiap Eng-Swanson, who goes by Sophia, began at UUCC in June 2015. She is a wife and mother of two—a daughter and a furbaby. She is excited to be back in Iowa after being in Seattle, WA for 10 years, and Minneapolis, MN for a year. She has been in the administrative field for over 10 years and has a couple years' experience as an Office Manager for a United Methodist Church. Email: sophiap.eng-swanson@urbucc.org



Sadmir & Umihana Omerhodzic came to the United States from Bosnia back in 1997. Sadmir & Umihana are married and they have two boys, Dino and Damir. Sadmir likes to play sports with his kids, soccer especially, basketball, and fishing. Sadmir's favorite food is everything; he likes enjoying all kinds of foods from different countries. He likes music and enjoys watching family movies. Email: sadmir.omerhodzic@urbucc.org


Adjunct Minister for Community Concerns

Rev. Gayle Strickler, Jr. obtained his bachelor's degree from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, a M.Div. degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a MSW degree from the University of Nebraska. Currently he serves as the Disaster Response Coordinator of the Iowa Conference UCC and represents the Conference on the Iowa Disaster Human Resources Council (IDHRC), the group the coordinates disaster response work within the State of Iowa. Email: gayle.strickler@urbucc.org