Our Leadership Team

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead

Pastor Juyeon Jeon, Pastor
Richard Swanson, Lay Leader
Vivian Johnson, Administrative Assistant
Beth Palmer, Director of Music and Organist
Beth and her husband, Frank Palmer, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Beth Struck Palmer was Epworth’s music director, 1983-2004, and now 2012 through the present. She plays Epworth’s beautiful 3-manual Moeller pipe organ (1939) and leads Epworth’s Praise Team and the Church School Singers. She loves Epworth’s cultural diversity and plays music from the Baroque through Christian praise music and many cultures.

Beth’s “big three” are children, church, and music. Her “default position” is music, and she feels blessed to be making music for the Lord. Her “calling” is the Tutoring Program. She started the Tutoring Program at Epworth in 1985 when she found that singers in the children choir could not read the lyrics of the songs. She started the Summer Piano Program at Epworth in 2001. By 2004 these programs had outgrown Epworth’s space. The program incorporated as Inspired Youth, Inc., and the Tutoring Program moved to Bezazian Library (weekdays), Margate Park (Saturdays), and the Summer Piano Program to Edgewater                                                               Presbyterian Church.

Beth began the Youth Choir Fest in 1981 when a convocation of United Methodist city churches inspired people to “do something special for the children of the city.”

She received an award from United Voices for Children in 2016 and an award as a Living Treasure of Edgewater in 2018.

Beth Palmer received an A.B. from Wellesley College in 1965 and an A.M. from the University of Chicago in 1967. She and her husband Frank Palmer celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016. For more information about Inspired Youth, check out their website: www.inspiredyouthchicago.com and to reach Beth Palmer if you are interested in joining the Epworth Praise Team choir, email her at bethstruckpalmer3@gmail.com.

Frank palmer, financial secretary

Frank Palmer was born in 1941, married in 1966, and came to Epworth in 1984. He got his SB in 1965 and his SM in 1967, both in mathematics.He currently serves as Financial Secretary. He is a frequent volunteer in the nursery. He often posts signs advertising church events in store windows.

Frank appreciates the social-involvement message that Methodists have shared since John Wesley. In following Jesus who came into the world not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved, we should not try to condemn people but try to improve the life of all, concentrating on the least and the lost.

Frank enjoys the diversity, especially the ethnic diversity, of the neighborhood, and he’s happy to belong to Epworth where that diversity is represented.

Bruce Greene, Chair of Trustees and Historian

Bruce has been an active member of Epworth since 2002 and currently serves as the Trustees Chair and Historian. He was awarded his Bachelors of Science in History (Architectural) and Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University. Bruce is enthusiastic about talking on issues relating to Epworth’s history and its historic edifice.

Tina Sansone, Chair of Staff Parish Relations Committee
Marshall Mitchell, Chair of Finance and Recording Secretary

Marshall Mitchell has been a residence in Edgewater for over 20 years. He transferred his membership from South Shore UMC to Epworth in 2007. He presently serves as Usher, Recording secretary and Chair of Finance. Marshall earned a BS in Biological Sciences from Illinois State University and a MA in School Leadership from Concordia University. As a recently retired CPS teacher, he remains active in the Edgewater community as a volunteer tutor for Inspired Youth Inc. He has been a Professional Dancer in the Chicago area for many years. Having danced with the National and International acclaimed Joel Hall Dancers, he currently teaches Graham based modern at the Joel Hall Dance Center, located in Edgewater.

Eva Schwinge, Director of Children’s Ministry
Sheila Mangler, Chair of Worship

Sheila Mangler has been a member of Epworth United Methodist Church since 1999 and chair of the worship team 10 years. Sheila’s responsibilities include recruiting liturgists and ushers, ensuring that the elements for communion (every Sunday at Epworth) are available for worship, preparing the bulletin, ordering supplies for worship, and ensuring that the altar cloths properly represent the liturgical seasons. While the pastor is chiefly responsible for selecting the elements of a given worship service—hymns, prayers, and message—Sheila actively partners with the pastor and members of the worship team in periodic discussions of the worship services at Epworth. In her free time, Sheila attends performances of Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, theatrical groups, and the occasional movie. She also loves to dine out with friends and travel to places both near and far. A native of Clinton, Iowa, she tries to get to Iowa as often as she can to visit family members.

Mistead Sai, Chair of Missions and Outreach

Mistead Sai has been attending Epworth United Methodist since November 2015; a member since April 2016. Mistead’s role is to engage the church in mission by planning and coordinating local, regional, domestic, and international mission opportunities for the congregation to live out their faith. He believes advocacy and social justice are part of God’s mission to bring about the beloved community in the world. He served as a US-2 missionary in the United Methodist Church, first with Interfaith Worker Justice on workers’ rights issues then later with Imagine No Malaria for the Northern Illinois Conference to raise money to eradicate malaria in Africa and other parts of the world. Originally born in Ghana, but grew up in Southern Maryland, Mistead has resided in Chicago for close to six years. He enjoys watching improv, having in-depth conversations on sociological concepts and theology, dancing, and hanging out with friends. If you are interested in reaching out to him to discuss volunteering and mission opportunities, you can email him at missions@epworthchicago.com.