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REV. DICK WISDOM
Rev. Wisdom started seminary in 1996 after 22 years working in the private sector. He has a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and two Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degrees* in Leadership (*ABD – all but dissertation): one from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and one from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Pastor Dick is a passionate believer of lifelong learning. Rev. Wisdom is a husband of 33 years to Cheryl, a father to 4 children, a grandfather to 4 perfect grandchildren, and the “dad” to his rescue dog Shadow. He previously served as the District Superintendent for the Aurora District in the Northern Illinois Conference.
REV. SHERRY STEELE
Minister of Faith Formation
Sherry serves as the Minister of Faith Formation at Plainfield United Methodist Church. She is responsible for spiritual formation and educational opportunities for all ages, from infants in the nursery up through adults. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University with degrees in music and religion, she moved to Nashville, TN in 1999. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2004 and was ordained a deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2010. She now lives with her husband, Tedd, who is also United Methodist pastor; her two children, Anna and Nathan; and her three stepchildren, Jadyn, Sophia, and Brooklyn. Sherry is passionate about equipping people to use their gifts both within and outside of the church. She is active in the Plainfield Ministerial Association, and serves on numerous district and conference committees, as well as the President of the board of the Ridgewood United Community Pantry and the Emergency Food and Shelter Committee with the United Way of Joliet. When not at church, Deacon Sherry can be found singing, dancing, playing with her kids, laughing with friends, hanging out at the gym, hiking, and reading.
REV. FRITZ BARTELS
Retired Pastor in Residence
Rev. Fritz Bartels is a retired ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference. He started seminary after working 30 years at Caterpillar, his last position being that of a Machine Designer. Fritz graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.). Before his retirement, he served at Green Garden UMC, Polo Emmanuel UMC, East Jordan UMC, Crete UMC, and Grace Joliet. Fritz has been married to his wife Judy for 43 years, and they have two grown sons, Ben and Matt. They also have an adorable grandson named Jack. Fritz loves to camp with Judy, to ride his Fuji road bike, to take photographs, and his reading interests include theology, fiction, poetry, and sometimes he even reads directions, but not always. He’s also very interested in birding and is the current Will County Audubon president.
Director of Youth Ministries
Roger is the youngest of seven children and believes that growing up in a house full of siblings helped prepare him for the fun and chaos of youth ministry. Roger graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Magazine Journalism and worked for some years as a reporter and editor. Despite being very involved in his church as a lay person, Roger still did not feel like he was doing enough to serve God. Through time and prayer, he discerned his call to professional ministry and later graduated from United Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree. Roger enjoys a wide variety of activities in his leisure time. He is a huge NASCAR fan and loves anything with four wheels and an engine. He also enjoys working on cars and doing his own automotive maintenance and repairs. He is an avid reader, always having at least one book going, and sometimes two or three. Roger also enjoys cooking, pets, spending time outdoors, and camping. He enjoys camping so much that he is an assistant Scoutmaster with his son’s Boy Scout Troop and also serves as one of its co-chaplains. Roger and his wife Kathy reside in Aurora and have two children, Laura and Alex.
Director of Administrative Ministries
Cheryl was born and raised in Rockford IL, one of fourteen kids. She worked for AT&T for 35 years, retiring in 1997. A life-long Methodist, Cheryl joined PUMC in 1997 and starting working here shortly after. Alongside serving as the Director of Administrative Ministries, Cheryl is also the financial secretary and membership secretary. She and her niece, Suzy, live in Whispering Creek. Go Cubs!
Suzy was born in Rockford, IL. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1981. Suzy attended Miami University in Ohio, majoring in marketing. After graduation, she became a manger for an Eddie Bauer retail store. Suzy is a life-long Methodist and joined PUMC in 1997. She also volunteers at the Plainfield Public Library and Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet.
Chancel Choir Director
Beth is a lifelong United Methodist, growing up in parsonages across Central Illinois. She started singing in cherub choir when she was four years old, and feels most at home in the choir loft. She has directed adult choirs at Wesley UMC in Charleston, Illinois, and Community UMC in Naperville. She also directed the youth choir, Sine Nomine, at Community for six years. Beth has been a frequent guest conductor at Community Presbyterian in Clarendon Hills.
Beth retired in June after 34 years of teaching vocal music in the public schools. Beth retired in 2017 after 34 years of teaching music in the public schools, 30 in Indian Prairie District #204. Beth holds a bachelors degree in music education from Eastern Illinois University, and a masters in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University. She is active in the Illinois chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, serving as president in 2011-2013. She and her husband Jim live in Naperville and are owned by their three cats Cinderella, Tigger, and Tinkerbell. In her spare time, Beth enjoys knitting, crocheting, sewing, and reading.
Worship Band and Handbell Director
Megan Marconi has been a member of Plainfield United Methodist Church since 2015. Megan earned a B.A. in Music – Vocal Performance from North Central College and a M.A. in Elementary Education from National Louis University. Her lifelong passion for worship through music began at the young age of 3 years, when she joined her first church choir in her hometown of Aurora, IL. That passion would continue to flourish within the same church for the next 20 years, where she co-founded and lead vocals for another praise band. Megan is a stay-at-home mother to Joey and wife to Bryan, a Joliet Firefighter; they reside in Joliet, along with their cat, Sebastian, and dog, Cujo.
Kathleen has been an area resident for most of her life. She grew up in the Valley View school district and now enjoys retirement after working in that district as a teacher for over 40 years. Kathleen earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Elmhurst College and begins her 47th year as organist at Plainfield United Methodist church. She accompanies the chancel choir, serves as the pianist for the worship band, and is a member of Bellissimo, the PUMC handbell choir. Kathleen and her husband Keith celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in June and reside in Joliet. An avid reader, she also likes knitting, sewing, and cross-stitch.
Jennifer started at PUMC back in 2011 as a weekend custodian. She now is settling into her new role as facilities coordinator. Being a lifelong Methodist herself, she likes to volunteer as much as she. On her off time she enjoys time with her husband David, children and grandchildren.
As indicated by the dashed yellow areas on the map below, there is widely available parallel and curb parking conveniently located within a one-block radius of the church. The closest public parking lots are located north and east of the Plainfield Public Library.