First United Methodist Church of Oak Park
324 North Oak Park Avenue · Oak Park, Illinois 60302
708·383·4983 · churchoffice@firstUMCoakpark.org
Pastor, Rev. Jenny Weber
Pastor Jenny Weber was appointed to First UMC Oak Park in July of 2013 after having served churches in Chicago, Sandwich, Geneva and Glencoe, Illinois. Jenny received her MDiv. from Garrett-Evangelical Thelogical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and also did a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Residency at Rush Hospital in Chicago. Jenny loves music and enjoys singing as well as playing the piano and flute. When she’s not working, she reads mystery novels, watches her favorite shows on Netflix while cuddling with her dog, knits, quilts or gardens. Jenny is married to Rev. Matthew Eaton, a chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center and they have one son, Spencer.
Director of Christian Education, Meg Park
Meg was originally born and raised in Seoul, Korea. She came to Richmond, VA to study Christian Education, then to Evanston to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary for her PhD in Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture. Along with this academic journey, Meg had also been seeking for ways to fulfill her sense of vocation in ministry. She served youths and young adults in Korean American immigrant churches for seven years, then spent the last four years at Urban Village Church where she extended her ministerial horizon, deepening her own theology in ministry. Meg has a strong heart for young people within and beyond Church, committed to reach out and meet them wherever they are in faith. She loves her ministry at First UMC Oak Park, excited for the new things she hopes to bring, together with the congregation. While she adores wild activities with children, she finds herself rejuvenated through quiet time at home, reading, writing, and contemplating, with her feline companion named Caramel.
- Facilities Manager, Mike Dutka
- Administrative Assistant, Jennica Smoke
Music Director, David Mancini-Conway
I’m originally from Central New York and moved to the Chicago area in late 1991. Oak Park was one of the very first Chicago suburbs that I visited in May of that same year. During that trip, I was helping to relocate a small pipe organ from its home in Rochester, New York!
Although almost all of my professional full-time work has been in Roman Catholic parishes, I grew up in a zealous Italian Pentecostal faith community in Syracuse. It was there that I first witnessed the power of congregational singing, beautiful, classic hymnody, Biblical preaching and the Italian language. There is much crossover between what I sang in church as a child and our current Methodist hymnal.
My deep interest in keyboard instruments extends back more than forty years. My parents and maternal grandparents recognized my interest and encouraged my music studies, beginning at age nine. As a teen, that eventually drew me to my very first part-time organist position in a Methodist parish in Phoenix, NY. Gaining experience, I moved on to various Presbyterian, Lutheran and other Protestant positions. In 1989, I received my baccalaureate degree in organ performance and then, two years later, a master’s in music education at Syracuse University.
During much of my late high school years, and before moving to Chicagoland, I was also heavily involved in a volunteer organization that owned and maintained a delightful three manual, 11-rank 1925 WurliTzer theater pipe organ at the New York State Fairgrounds. Those experiences provided a wonderful context for learning about the musical possibilities of the theater pipe organ and repair, design and tuning. My time with the theater organ in Syracuse provided a generous backdrop for understanding and appreciating our beloved Skinner pipe organ.
During my work year, I will often help out at Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders, located in nearby Bellwood, with fall and spring tunings. Also, the past three tax seasons have seen me work for a CPA in Naperville, as a tax preparer.
My partner, Dan McGuire, and I, have lived in our townhome in Naperville the last twenty years. Dan is exceedingly supportive of my work at FUMC OP and attends worship here regularly. He is a middle school language arts teacher in District 203 in Naperville.
In addition to my musical interests, I am also involved with a group in Naperville that meets monthly to support adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Right here in Oak Park, I am currently taking a course in film acting. Fast walking is my very favorite form of exercise. I’m always looking for a partner for a round or two of Chinese checkers, my very favorite board game.
My goals for my time at FUMC OP is to sensibly grow the Chancel and Handbell Choirs, keep the wonderful Skinner organ, and other instruments, in tip top shape and serve God faithfully through the ministry of sacred music.