Chicago area born and raised, my husband Paul and I have called Riverwoods our home for
over 25 years. We have 2 sons who attended schools in Deerfield and were Troop 50 scouts
at St. Gregory's.
After graduating from DePaul University with a Computer Science degree, I worked for over 10
years in software development, spending most of that time writing systems for an options
trading clearing firm. After taking some time off to be with my children, I returned to work as a
substitute teacher for District 109. In 2006, I began my career in Church administration.
On my time off, I spend as much time as possible with family and friends. I enjoy yoga, travel,
walking and hiking, movies, music and going to the ballet and concerts.
Growing up as a PK (Preacher’s Kid) to a United Methodist minister in Carmel Indiana, church was a major part of my upbringing. I spent much of my teenage years in youth group and I have been a participant in the church all my life.
All those Sundays of worship instilled in me a longing to understand more and more about “God”—I always wanted to go deeper, I always wanted to take the brackets off. So when I went to college at Indiana University, it did not take too long for me to take an interest in Religious Studies. From there I my interests in the humanities developed as very diligently began to study history, philosophy, and theology.
I felt the calling into ministry in college and began leading a youth church band, and serving as a student pastor in the United Methodist Church in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Afterwards, I journeyed to Chicago to get my Masters in Divinity at the University of Chicago, which has prepared me for pastoral ministry. After I graduated I remained in the Chicago area, and took a job as Associate Pastor of Outreach at the Community Church of Wilmette.
My own life took a dramatic turn with the birth of my twins. My wife, whom I met in high school, and I made the difficult decision for me to become a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad), which would remain my primary focus for the next three years. Raising my twins suddenly brought a new calling into my life to working with youth. I began tutoring at Chicago Lights Tutoring in downtown Chicago until I was presented with the wonderful opportunity to become the new Youth Minister at St. Gregory’s. This is truly an amazing church with an exciting youth program, and I am most blessed to be a part of its ministry!
I have many interests and I try to make as much time for them as possible. Being with my kids and my wife, Meredith, is always a welcomed priority. I love watching good movies, playing games (particularly chess and texas hold ‘em), and listening to music. I have been playing guitar since I was 13, and I always take solace in playing good music. I also love philosophy, sociology, and politics—I am rarely ever found without a good book in one of the latter topics close to hand. I also enjoy playing and watching sports, particularly tennis, basketball, and football. Most importantly I love to laugh with people.
I have served as Director of Music and Organist at St. Gregory’s since September of 1991.
I hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Education from Millikin University (1973), where I studied with my mentors, Richard & Kay Hoffland – and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University (1977), where I studied Choral Conducting with Lloyd Pfautsch. I’m also a proud graduate of the Paul Christiansen Choral School.
My work as a musician has included public school teaching, a full-time church job, teaching at a university, musical direction of more than 250 theatrical productions and many years as a voice teacher, vocal coach, choral conductor and accompanist.
I am the Associate Conductor and Tenor Section Leader of the Chicago Chamber Choir.
This is the most incredible parish and church staff. They have taken such great care of me all these years! I want to honor them, and God – with the very best music that I can provide. So my goal is always to make our time together fun and enjoyable, to teach as I work – and together, to produce an uncommonly beautiful musical sound.
Family, Theatre, Movies, Concerts, Travel, Cultures, Politics, Biking, Cooking...
I took over the role of volunteer coordinator for the Church School program in the fall of 2007, after 8 years as a teacher on Sundays and helper with Vacation Bible School in the summers. I have a Masters in Education from National-Louis University in Evanston and currently work as a part-time tutor (both ACT prep and reading/writing coach for all ages). I have taught at area schools at the 5th & 7th grade levels.
My husband Ed and I joined St. Gregory’s in 1994, after moving to Deerfield from downtown. On Sundays I teach the 4th & 5th graders at our church with a team of two other adults. For spiritual growth I am part of a Centering Prayer group and look forward to attending one or two annual silent retreats, which I find deeply refreshing.
Before teaching I worked in advertising sales for 15 years for national magazines, most notably House Beautiful, and a parenting magazine put out by Rodale Press. I have a Masters in Journalism and BA in Humanities, both from Northwestern University.
My interests include hiking (the southwest especially), yoga, playing frisbee with my Australian cattle dog, and book clubs. In summer I love to take architecture tours in Chicago, visit museums, the Botanic Gardens, and Ravinia. Favorite places to travel are New York City, California, and national parks.
I grew up in Deerfield, at St Greg’s, and am one of only three kids that I know of who grew up here who have been ordained, so far. I graduated from the University of Southern Palatine (Harper Community College), and then the University of Iowa, where I double-majored in psychology and philosophy. Later, I studied Counselor Education at Northeastern Illinois University.
I have worked as a youth and family counselor (why do we give the hardest and most important work to the lowest-paid and least-trained workers?), an addiction counselor in inpatient and intensive-outpatient treatment, and, for the last twenty-plus years, as a probation officer in the Cook County court system. For a while, I was a union steward, and so I was very many the things I’d never dreamed I’d be: a law-enforcement officer, an ordained minister, and a Teamster! Mysterious ways, indeed.
I spent ten years leading psychoeducational groups for men who batter their intimate partners, and I believe that, when I look back from my deathbed, that will be the work of which I will be most proud. But you can do that only so long before you lose your mind – I leave it to you whether I got out in time or not.
For nearly thirty years, I had been a member of St Peter’s church in Lakeview, where I was married and divorced and married again, and where I finally heard and responded to God’s call to diaconal ministry. (For quite a while I thought I was called to priestly ministry, and in fact, I was very briefly an aspirant – from St Gregory’s! Close, but no cigar.) My wife, Cynthia Cheski, and I left for a tiny church in Norwood Park for a couple of years, then we arrived at St G’s just in time to celebrate fifteen years of ordained ministry the second or third Sunday I served here, in February 2013.
I have served on the diocesan Anti-Racism Commission, Chicago Episcopal Cursillo Secretariat, and the Deacons’ Formation Committee; I had been a member of St Peter’s vestry and delegate to Diocesan Convention. I am a life member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, an Anglican community dedicated to Eucharistic devotion.
Cindy is right: I really do spend an inordinate amount of time online – on Facebook, in discussion groups, and so on. I am a comoderator of a Yahoo group for deacons in the Diocese of Chicago, and moderator of largely moribund LinkedIn group for deacons internationally. I am gregarious yet an introvert, so online interaction suits me almost perfectly.
For a very long time, I was a banjo player, but autoimmune issues have done terrible things to my fingertips and fingernails, and I really can’t play like I used to. I do a lot of reading, especially while on the elliptical. I hope to obtain a seminary degree – probably online, possibly at Nashotah House – once my family responsibilities have lightened and time, money, and energy are more readily available.
I spent my formative years in Japan, returning to the U.S. to attend Tufts College and then San Jose State University, where I majored in Mathematics (because it was the easiest and most fun of my subjects!)
After being married and having four sons, I returned to graduate school – again in mathematics – earning advanced degrees at Western Michigan University. I taught mathematics at Rockford College in Rockford, IL for fifteen years where I founded the department of computer science. Combining my love of mathematics and the outdoors, I became engaged in environmental research and developed a number of computer models to predict fire behavior in forest ecosystems in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Then in 1982 my life changed directions. I embarked upon a journey toward the realization of a childhood dream to become an Episcopal missionary and priest. I enrolled at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, received my Master of Divinity in 1985 and my Doctor of Ministry in congregational development in 2000. After serving the Episcopal Church in ministry to Korean immigrants in Chicago and in Asian ministry for the National Episcopal Church, I returned to Seabury to teach mission and congregational studies. In 1995 I became associated with St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church where I served as vicar iuntil January 2012, when I formally retired from active ministry. However, I continue to remain actively involved in the life and ministry of this wonderful parish community.
I love everything electronic and mechanical. I have been known to take almost anything apart, and often succeed in repairing computers and appliances. I love to read (in English and Japanese), solve Sudoku and cryptography puzzles, and work out at the fitness center. I'm also a bridge enthusiast!
I am a farm boy from Minnesota, the lake endowed state and home of the mythical Lake Woebegone. I attended an agricultural college forty miles from home all the while vowing that I would ultimately get as far from the farm as I possibly could. In order to assure this, I pursued a subject that I loved, chemistry, ultimately earning a BS degree in Chemistry and an MS degree in Organic Chemistry from South Dakota State University. While there I met a female chemistry student and ultimately married her. We have five wonderful children who have given us six grandchildren.
After graduation, I landed a job in Cleveland with the Colton Chemical branch of Air Products, a manufacturer of emulsion polymers and there learned to do this seemingly exotic form of science. I spent my entire career in research doing emulsion polymerization although not always with the same company. It seems that after four years in Cleveland, Air Products decided to close the laboratories there and move them to New Jersey. That was too close to New York City to please a country boy so I changed jobs and moved to the Chicago area where I worked for a small laboratory doing research for several paint companies, all doing emulsion polymerization. I have also worked briefly for the adhesive industry. Both the paint and adhesive industries use emulsion polymers. I closed out my career working for Stepan Chemical in Northfield, IL, a manufacturer of surface active agents, substances used in emulsion polymerization.
In 1991, I was finally convinced by a parish couple to attend a Cursillo weekend, something that I did primarily to keep others from hounding me to go. It was while on this weekend that the call came from God to serve Him as a deacon in the church. I was ordained in 1996 and have served in this capacity at St. Gregory's since.
My interests include reading, almost anything that I can get my hands on from novels to biographies to tomes on the boundary between science and religion. I got started reading by collecting comic books and still love the funny pages of the newspaper. But perhaps the second most appealing parts of the newspaper for me are the editorial and op-ed pages. I also rarely miss doing the crossword puzzle and have become a fan of Sudoku. I love travel and movies. Hobbies include photography and genealogy. This latter hobby has led to my meeting relatives that I did not know I had, some as close by as Kankakee and some as far away as the state of Washington. I feed birds and chase squirrels. I gave up ice fishing when I learned that shacks were not allowed on the ice in Illinois. I like to cook, especially casseroles and other one-pot dishes. To me the kitchen is just another laboratory but one where it is not necessary to keep a notebook. Unfortunately, I like my own cooking a little too much and it seems to go to waist. I like eating out, too and that is even worse.
10:00 AM Holy Eucharist with choir and Children's Church