A Laurel Heights Welcome

Rev. Lisa M. Straus has been appointed to serve as Laurel Heights UMC’s Senior Pastor beginning in late June. Our church is blessed to be joining in ministry with Lisa and her husband Jim as they make the transition from Buda UMC where Lisa currently serves as senior pastor. Lisa brings many gifts and graces to her new leadership role at Laurel Heights, including an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, and a love for ministry. As we move through this season of change and new beginnings, I know you’ll join with me and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee as we prepare to welcome Lisa and Jim to their new church home. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to God’s purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

Karen Angelini

Chair, Staff Parish Relations Committee

The Rev. Lisa M. Straus was born and raised in Vermont. She graduated from Smith College with her B.A. in French Studies and Classical Languages. After marrying Jim who is a software engineer, they moved to the Silicon Valley in California where Lisa worked as a Latin Teacher for nine years. Jim and Lisa moved to Austin with their two, young children, Jessup and Zephyr. Lisa received her M.Div. from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (A.P.T.S.) and her M.T.S. from Boston University. She is currently enrolled in a D.Min. program at A.P.T.S. Lisa and Jim live with their beloved standard poodle, Jax. Their two children are both young adults. Jessup lives in Austin and is a Special Education Teacher at Dripping Springs High School. Zephyr recently moved from Seattle to Monroe, LA where her fiancé, Michael, is a Volleyball Coach at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Zephyr is continuing her position as Director of Children and Youth for Wallingford U.M.C. remotely until she finds a new job or Wallingford replaces her. Zephyr and Michael will be getting married in Pennsylvania on June 11. When Lisa is not busy with church, she enjoys running, Camp Gladiator, reading, writing, doing word puzzles walking the dog, and cooking with Jim. Jim and Lisa also like to travel and explore new places together. This summer they have planned a trip to Spain where they will walk 100 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago along the medieval pilgrimage path. Before her appointment to Laurel Heights, Lisa served as the Senior Pastor of Buda U.M.C., the Associate Pastor of Westlake U.M.C. in Austin, and the Associate Pastor of United Parish of Brookline in Massachusetts