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Celebrating our Retirees

We give thanks to our retiring pastors who served a combined 261 years of ministry.

Scottfield

Scott Field

Scott Field - 41 years

I served as Pastor of Wheatland Salem United Methodist Church in Naperville for 33 years and First United Methodist in Crystal Lake for six years, plus two years back in the day when we were "Appointed to Attend School.”

One of the highlights of my ministry was the opportunities to serve with visionary, risk-taking people with a passion to introduce others to Jesus.

What will I miss most? My wife and I will miss the ready-to-go community of believers; now Lynda and I will experience "church shopping" up close and personal. We are excited about the next chapter of our faith journey together and finding a "church home" with whom to worship, serve, and witness. 

In retirement, we plan on some of the usual things like travel and more time for children and grandchildren, but I'm also very excited to be involved with developing the network of the Northern Illinois Wesleyan Covenant Association as well as serving as a volunteer on behalf of children within the judicial system. 

Bethgalbreath

Beth Galbreath

Beth Galbreath - 13 years

I was called to ordained ministry after careers in journalism, social service administration, and software development. I created and supported software for the Northern Illinois Conference in the years before the UMC created its own systems, and helped train NIC folks in computer use. 

Commissioned 2006, ordained 2009, I served two years in pulpit supply with wonderful folks at Malden UMC, DeKalb District, and in secondary appointments at Princeton, Woodridge and now Brookfield: Compassion church plant. I also supported LLP Linda Walker, in the now-closed, but important, prison ministry. 

My primary appointment has always been Galbreath Digital Culture Ministries (bethgalbreath.com), “helping the church move from print culture into 21st Century digital culture”: technology consulting, biblical storytelling (performing and teaching here and internationally), and teaching through the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship (beadisciple.com). I’ll continue teaching online: theology, United Methodist studies, storytelling, leadership, liturgy, spiritual styles, and interfaith understanding. I also authored The Story and the Feast, UM-patterned Communion liturgy connected to all weekly lectionary texts. 

My spouse and elder James Galbreath and I settled in Woodridge after his retirement in 2014. My ministry will continue; it is a joy to mentor folks of all ages both online and in NIC who are answering God’s call to serve God and the world in the Wesleyan tradition. I’ll also continue leading Prairie Wind Guild: Tellers of Sacred Stories (prairiewindguild.org). I expect to increase time spent in NIC and civic efforts for eco-sustainability and solar energy (econetnic.org).

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Donald Guest

Donald Francis Guest - 37.5 years

Since July 2017, I have served as the senior pastor of First UMC, Sunnyvale, California. First Church is the downtown church for this Silicon Valley suburb of San Jose. From July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2017, I served as senior pastor of Easter Hill UMC, Richmond, Calif.

After serving Glide church for five years, I served as a consultant on Urban Affairs for Bishop Warner Brown of the California-Nevada Conference (2011-2012). From 2006 to 2011, I served as lead pastor of the famed Glide Memorial UMC, Glide Foundation in San Francisco, Calif. This was the highlight of my ministry—serving a truly authentic 21st Century church, one where we lived “the eschatological-tomorrow-life-of-Christ” today.

Prior to this, I served as superintendent of the Northern Illinois Conference's Chicago Southern District  (1999-2006). I also served United Methodist pastorates in the Chicago area from 1981 to 1999 — Chicago: Julia Gay (1981-1984) Chicago: Washington Heights (1984-1988), Chicago: St. Mark (Associate) (1998-1990), Chicago: Gammon (1990-1994), and Hartzell Memorial (1994-1999). I also served as the staff assistant for Black Christian Education, General Program Council, RCA (1978-1981), and the Executive Director, Douglass-Tubman Center in Chicago, the Reformed Church in America (1974 to 1978), and St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal in Chicago (interim) in 1974. As of July 1, 2019, I have been appointed by Bishop Dyck to serve the people and community of Epworth UMC in the Chicago Northwestern District.

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Kye Ile Hong

Kye Ile Hong - 33 years

During my ministry, I served Cosmopolitan UMC (2009-2019), First UMC of Franklin Park (2017-2019), Elmwood Park UMC (2017-2018), Korean Central UMC in Prospect Heights (2004-2009), Salem Korean UMC in Schaumburg (1999-2004), Korean UMC in Buffalo, NY (1991-1999), and Peoria Korean UMC (1986-1991). In South Korea: (1974 - 1985), Seok-Kyo Methodist Church, Keum-Ho Methodist Church, South Korean Army Chaplain, and Young-Pyung Methodist Church. 

One of the highlights of my ministry was during the time I served the Buffalo Korean UMC from 1991 to 1999. When I was appointed to the church, the District Superintendent told me that my mission was to get a new building for the church. The church prayed for a new building for six years and finally we were able to buy a church building. The building had a 500- seat sanctuary, 12 classrooms, and a fellowship hall. It was so wonderful to see God answer our prayers so that we could continue to grow our ministry. 

What will I miss most? Being surrounded by so much love is what I will miss the most. Throughout my years of ministry, I have experienced the love of Jesus in such a tangible way through the church members. They have shown me love and kindness – and have shown me how precious the fellowship of God’s community can be. I have also experienced a closeness to God by loving the members of the church with my best. In my retirement, I plan to find volunteer opportunities.

Mario Mayer 2019

Mario Mayer

Mario Mayer - 16 years

I am from Collipulli, Chile. I graduated as an Engineer in Construction from the Technical University of Temuco and received a Bachelor in Theology from the Evangelical Theological Community of Chile. I began my ministry in the Chilean Methodist Church in 1980 and in 1985, due to the destructive effects of an earthquake, I felt compelled to devote part of my time to work as Engineer in Construction to help rebuild temples, schools, and parsonages throughout the country.

I served in different capacities in the Methodist Church in Chile, among them, pastor of seven different congregations, National Director of Connectional Ministries, National Youth Advisor and District Superintendent for the Southern District. 

In 1997 I emigrated to the U.S. and served as a Pastor in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference at Beecher City UMC, Shumway UMC, and Newton: Grace UMC. In 2010 I moved to the Northern Illinois Conference and served at Elgin: El Mesias UMC, Carpentersville: Trinity UMC and Rockford: Beth Eden UMC.

I have three adult children by my first marriage: Natalia, Constanza, and Mario Ignacio. In 2010 I married the Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer and we are the parents of 6-year-old twins, Pedro and Paulina.  

I give thanks to God for the opportunity I’ve had to serve Him in Chile and in the U.S. I will miss being in ministry as a full-time pastor and will miss the smiles of my parishioners, but I feel ready to dedicate my full attention to our younger children and to be of support to the ministry of my wife Fabiola.

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J. Stephen Mindrup

J. Stephen  Mindrup - 49 years

I have been privileged to serve the church in a variety of settings: urban, multi-cultural, suburban, small town, and chaplaincy. Choosing a “highlight” after more than 45 years is an impossible task! Each appointment I’ve had is full of wonderful memories and genuine encounters with the Holy Spirit. 

Having said that, probably the most formative experience was being able to serve one church for almost 20 years. Shepherding Grace Church in Rockford through a dramatic renewal, building program and relocation was a process in which God was powerfully present. 

In retirement, I hope to continue to serve as a pastor in some capacity as long as health and strength allow. I give thanks to God today for parents who brought me to the waters of Baptism in 1947, for the Sunday School teachers of Morgan Park Church who introduced me to Jesus, for colleagues who mentored me and kept me accountable, and for the people of God at Embury, Christ the Carpenter, Grace Rockford, Cherry Valley, Wesley Willows, West Dundee, and Sandwich – my friends and partners in ministry.

Rev Soong In Steve Moon 1

Soong-In Steve Moon

Soong-In Steve Moon - 33 years

Though ordained as a deacon/probationary member in 1986, I was appointed as a Local Pastor to start a new congregation for Koreans in West Chicago area in 1984. After serving West Chicago Mission Congregation for two years, I was appointed to Shin-Il UMC in 1986. I was ordained as an elder/full member in 1988. I was appointed to Bethany UMC in 1989. In 1995, Bishop Duecker appointed me to start another congregation for Koreans in Arlington Heights, which is Hallelujah UMC. Then, I served Hebron UMC from 2004 to 2005. I moved to Church of the Incarnation in 2005. Then, I moved to North Northfield UMC in 2009 and have served the church until today.

Some of the highlights and privilege of my ministry include the opportunity to start two new congregations, running the Marriage Counseling Program with my wife, the Rev. Sung-Ja Moon, for 10 years at the Korean Broadcasting System, and saving many families. I also started and hosted a new Gamblers Anonymous group for Koreans in the church. I also enjoyed organizing the music ensemble wherever I went and having them lead the services and programs.

What will I miss most? I will miss preaching the word of God and singing with the congregation as a pastor, creating new and different styles of worship for God's people, and decorating and beautifying the sanctuary according to the liturgical calendar.

In retirement, I will enjoy playing racquetball, guitar, singing, camping, and traveling. But I would need to wait to fully enjoy all those things until my wife Sung-Ja retires.

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Kathy Nadine Reeves

Kathy Nadine Reeves - 39 years

My name is Kathy Medina Reeves and I was ordained in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference in 1980. Throughout my years of service, I provided pastoral ministry in the following parishes: Chicago: Gammon Memorial (1980-1982) as Associate Pastor, Harvey: First UMC (1982-1984) as Associate Pastor, Oak Park: Frances Willard Memorial (1984-1991) as Pastor, and Oak Park: Euclid Avenue (2000-2006) as Pastor. I am legally blind, born with a visual birth defect.

Other ministerial responsibilities include my work as an Executive Secretary at the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries in the area of Health and Welfare/United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) from 1991-2000. While in New York City, my responsibilities included advocacy for people with disabilities. This position also provided a springboard into national and international volunteer positions including the President's Committee on Disabilities and the Task Force on Employment and People with Disabilities; during the Clinton years in Washington, D.C.

For close to a decade, I served as the North American Coordinator of the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN) World Council of Churches (WCC), in Geneva, Switzerland and Nairobi, Kenya.

In retirement, I hope to continue global advocacy for accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities. One of my core beliefs is that ministries must represent the full body of Christ. For me, this includes rights for all people regardless of their orientation. Therefore, I will continue to work to eradicate barriers of exclusion and discrimination for as long as I live.

Scottkirk

Kirk C. Scott

Kirk C. Scott (part-time local pastor)

I was called to be a local pastor and completed Licensing School in July 2005. I was appointed to Millington UMC upon completion of Licensing School. I started working in Millington August 2005 and have been there ever since. We have had many successes at Millington and I will just mention a few. None of these could have been completed with just the pastor, I had to get out of the way and let ministry happen.

Our children’s Sunday school coupled with our annual Vacation Bible Schools have been a highlight in service to the community, along with our semi-annual rummage sales that provide revenue for the church and a place for the community to get reduced-priced goods. Over the years we also hosted roast beef dinners, which were a great success and featured our social center as a great gathering place for the community. We have two groups that are still meeting today: a women’s Bible study group and a sewing group that makes dresses for underprivileged girls all over the world. The Bible study group has grown to 17 members, some from neighboring churches. The sewing group has made over 2,000 dresses.

I will miss the Holy Spirit guiding people in the church. My current plan is to assist in my local church in the Naperville area and continue to assist in helping my daughters with childcare for our grandchildren, which is great fun!

News & Announcements

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DYK? UM's on the move

t happens every year like clockwork. Appointments are made, annual conference ends, and the MOVES begin. This year there will be close to 65 clergy moves as appointments take effect over the summer.

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New church centers on community

When a surprise microburst swept through the Village of Itasca in July 2017 tearing down trees and knocking out power, it was not the sign the Rev. Bob Butler was looking for to start a new chur…

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Sympathy Notice: Rev. Douglas Williams

Rev. Douglas Williams, clergy member of the Northern Illinois Conference, passed away on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

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Annual Conference honors past, looks to future

The 2019 Northern Illinois Annual Conference wrapped up June 4 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill., after two and a half days of worship,…

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