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Speaker and Leader Bios


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Presiding Bishop Dan Schwerin

Bishop Dan Schwerin May 2023

Bishop Dan Schwerin

Bishop Dan Schwerin, Bishop of The United Methodist Church, is serving as the resident Bishop in the Northern Illinois Conference. Bishop Schwerin was elected to the episcopacy at the North Central Jurisdiction gathering in November 2022.

Bishop Schwerin (he, him, his) is husband to his wife, Julie, and a father, grandfather, poet, and Jesus is the gold in his life. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology and did post-graduate Bowen family systems theory work there. He has enjoyed many contexts for pastoral ministry, including urban and rural churches, a new church plant, a Superintendent of two districts, as well as a multi-staff downtown setting which became a reconciling congregation and launched a beloved community of non-profits to benefit children dealing with grief, persons who wanted help to battle generational poverty, and children who desired access to stringed instruments, lessons, and a community who would enjoy their growth in musical ability.

After the General Conference of 2019, Bishop Schwerin was asked by Bishop Hee-SooJung to lead a collaborative effort with conference partners to increase racial justice and radical inclusion. He then served as Assistant to the Bishop in the Wisconsin Conference.  He has also served on the General Conference Task Force on Funding Patterns in the UMC.

Dan and Julie love evening walks and labyrinths. His poetry comes from life on a farm or making his rounds across thirty plus years as a pastor in Wisconsin. His debut haiku collection, ORS, from red moon press, won the Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Award in 2015.

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Bishop Sally Dyck

Ordination and Commissioning Service Preacher: Bishop Sally Dyck

Bishop Dyck is a retired episcopal leader of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2004 to 2020. 

She previously oversaw the Northern Illinois Annual Conference (2012-2020) and the Minnesota Conference (2004-2012).  She currently serves as the Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops. 

Ordained an elder in the East Ohio Conference, Bishop Dyck pastored churches there and served as a district superintendent in the Wooster area. She earned a master of divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology and a  certificate from the Ecumenical Institute, a joint program of the World Council of Churches and the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

She is the author of A Hopeful Earth: Faith, Science, and the Message of Jesus (with Sara Ehrman; Abingdon, 2010) and A Faithful Heart: Daily Guide for Joyful Living (both published by Abingdon Press, 2010).

Deeply committed to justice, she worked for full inclusion of the church, immigration reform, women’s and racial justice, climate justice, and peacemaking as essential to discipleship.  She runs daily and enjoys traveling with her husband, retired elder Rev. Ken Ehrman.

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Rev. Dr. Craig Howard

ECUMENICAL GUEST: Rev. Dr. Craig Howard

Rev. Dr. Craig Howard began serving as Executive Presbyter of Chicago at the end of 2021. Before coming to Chicago, he served as Presbytery Leader of Giddings-Lovejoy in St. Louis, Ministry Relations Officer with the Presbyterian Foundation, and as Presbytery Executive for the Presbytery of Milwaukee.

Craig is a native of Chicago’s south suburbs. He completed his undergraduate work at DePaul University, and earned MDiv and DMin degrees from McCormick Theological Seminary. Craig’s first career was in business as an insurance executive. After being ordained to specialized ministry, Craig served as Director of Recruitment and Admissions at McCormick Seminary and later as Chief Development Officer.

Craig has served several racial ethnic churches including Latinx, African American, Korean, and Euro American — and also a new church development in the Pentecostal Church. Craig’s spouse is the Rev. Marilyn Gamm, who is also a pastor in St. Louis. They have two adult daughters who both live in Chicago.

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Rev. Dr. AHyun Lee

Bible Study Leader: Rev. Dr. AHyun Lee

Rev. Dr. Lee is an assistant professor of pastoral theology, care, and psychotherapy at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is the author of Selves In-Between: Offering Care and Forging Bonds with Difference (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry,  2021). A clergy  member of the Wisconsin Conference, Rev. Lee has served in diverse pastoral roles, from small rural churches to bustling urban congregations and in various cross-cultural and cross-racial ministries.

Rev. Lee is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the State of Illinois. Her passion for integrating theology with psychotherapy has led her to roles as a psychotherapist and faculty member at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago. She is committed to theological education and pastoral psychotherapy, as evidenced by her involvement as a board member of PANAAWTM (Pacific, Asian, North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry) and as an editorial board member of the Journal of Pastoral Psychology.

Rev. Lee holds a Ph.D. in pastoral theology, personality, and culture from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary, and a bachelor's degree from Methodist University in Seoul, Korea.

Outside of her professional commitments, Rev. Lee enjoys playing the piano, singing, hiking, camping, cooking, and traveling. These pursuits provide her with peace and the chance to explore and appreciate the diverse beauty and cultures of the world.

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Worship Leader: Rev. Dr. Addison Shields Jr.

Rev. Dr.  Shields, a retired United Methodist elder,  pastored six congregations and served as superintendent of the former Rockford and Chicago Southern districts during his 34-year active ministry.  

Rev. Dr. Shields's musical ministry started at a young age. He was the organist for many churches across the Chicago metropolitan area. He studied voice under the late Thelma Wade Brown at American Conservatory of Music at Roosevelt University.  During his years with the Kennedy-King College Community Choir, the group sung as guest chorale with the Ohio Philharmonics and Chicago Symphony Orchestra and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Rev. Dr. Shields sings baritone as a member of the South Holland Master Chorale in South Holland, Ill.

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Pastor D. Josiah Montgomery

Musician: Pastor D. Josiah Montgomery

Pastor D. Josiah Montgomery is a native of Chicago’s sSouth Side, having grown up in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. His formative years were spent in Holiness and Lutheran churches, and he attended a Lutheran grade school.  He now serves as pastor of Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church (Chicago), his second appointment, having previously served  East Side United Methodist Church (Chicago), and most recently, in campus ministry at North Central College (Naperville). 
An organist by trade, Pastor Montgomery heard a call to ordained ministry in 2015, while serving at First United Methodist Church (LaGrange). He graduated from Perkins School of Theology in 2018 with concentrations in moral theology and African-American religious history. In 2020, he became a certified candidate for ministry. In 2022, he was licensed as a local pastor. 
Pastor Montgomery is a 2012 graduate of Elmhurst College and alumnus of the college's Pi Iota chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.  He holds membership in the Chicago Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (board member), Black United Methodist Pastors, and Black Methodists for Church Renewal. He is also the assistant conductor of the Chatham Choral Ensemble in Chicago. 

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Pastor Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton

Choir Director: Rev. Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton 

Rev. Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton is the lead pastor at Community United Methodist Church in Naperville. He brings over 25 years of experience in leading both traditional and contemporary worship, children’s and youth ministries, adult discipleship, and pastoral ministry.

Pastor Tipantasig-Wolverton earned a master of divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School of Ohio and an associate’s degree in biblical studies and bachelor of ministries from White Horse School of Ministries in West Lafayette, Ind. He also holds a bachelor of arts in music education from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. His ability to transcend worship styles to meet each group has been a testament to his ministry. He has preached and led worship for conferences throughout his ministry. 

Pastor Tipantasig-Wolverton's desire and passion are to see the next generation embrace their gifts and talents and to find a love for worship and God that will impact their lives for the future. He encourages everyone, no matter their skill level, to approach worship with a heart to worship our Lord and Savior from a place of gratitude.  His life motto is "love God and love people."

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Pastor Taeron J. Flemming

Liturgical Dancer: Pastor Taeron J. Flemming

Taeron J. Flemming was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Jessup by his grandparents, Raymond and Sandra Carroll. He began his walk with faith at an early age, joining First Baptist Church of Guilford at the age of nine with his great-grandmother, Ruby Carroll. At the end of his high school career, he transitioned to the United Methodist Church. As an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church, Jessup, Pastor Flemming held many positions, including president and founder of One Body Mime Ministry. He was a Lay Servant, a Youth and Young Adult Leader, a Sunday School teacher, a member of the United Methodist Men, and the Blacks for Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR). He also served as the Annapolis District Representative for the Young Adult Council and was appointed as the BWC Young Adult Representative for the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference.

Pastor Flemming serves as community pastor for The Well church. In the private sector, Taeron works in medical research and has been a part of several important medical breakthroughs, including being part of the many research teams on the frontline to find the vaccine for COVID-19. Taeron, a graduate of Lancaster Bible College Taeron, has his degree in biblical studies and is married to his wife, Kanitha Flemming, who has just given birth to their first child, Taeron Jr. 

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Annual Conference Committee Chair: Deborah Dangerfield

Deborah Dangerfield has been an active member of Maple Park United Methodist Church in Chicago since 1963. In the Northern Illinois Conference, she serves or has served on the Nominations Committee, Board of Pensions, Annual Conference Shepherding Team, Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Inter-Ethnic Strategic Development Group, and the Religious Conference Management Association. She has also served as a delegate to the North Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist  Church.  She has master’s degrees in both business and health care.

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Annual Conference Committee Vice Chair and Daily Proceedings Chair: P. Joanne Ray 

P. Joanne Ray is a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Joliet and is a leader on their music and audiovisual teams. She is a founder and principal of Consultants in Association Philanthropy (CAP), and a graduate of Valparaiso University.

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Conference Secretary: Randy Hayes

Hayes is a retired licensed local pastor, active member at Faith United Methodist in Polo, and former conference co-chair of the Bishop’s Initiative on Children and Poverty. He spent his professional career in Behavioral health as a licensed clinical professional counselor and a certified addiction and drug counselor.

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