This piece ran in today's issue of The North Iowa Times, Iowa's third oldest weekly.
Local woman makes
front cover of Parade magazine
By Trudy Balcom
She is perhaps McGregor’s most famous living resident. The Rev. Laura Gentry, laughter yoga expert, appeared on the April 15 cover of national newspaper insert, Parade Magazine.
The issue featured the 30th annual report about what people earn at various jobs, including celebrities and more ordinary people. For this year’s issue, the editors contacted some of the people they interviewed for previous issues. Laura Gentry was selected, rather by accident, to be included in the 2001 issue of the magazine.
At that time, Gentry, was serving as minister at American Lutheran Church in Burbank, Calif, making $31,000. A woman who was working as a photographer for Parade was a friend-of-a-friend of Gentry’s. When the photographer said she was looking for a pastor to include in the earnings issue, the friend introduced her to Gentry. “It was totally random,” Gentry explained.
This time she was contacted directly by the magazine. She says was a little reticent about publicly stating her earnings. “You are really putting yourself out there,” Gentry exclaimed.
She said that her pay as a pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lansing is “no secret,” but her congregation was probably not aware of the amount of money she earns teaching and promoting laughter yoga. And since the very brief magazine blurb made no mention of her work as a pastor, the number is a little confusing. The magazine reported her total salary at $53,066 (Gentry said that about half of her total earnings come from her part-time pastor’s position).
William Gentry, Laura’s husband is a photographer as well as minister at the First Congregational Church in McGregor. The magazine used one of his pictures of Laura for the front cover.
Gentry promotes laughter yoga for good health and good spirits, and teaches classes locally and across the U.S. and has even worked in other counties. To learn more about her laughter yoga practice, visit at her web site at www.laughinglaura.com.