Our Ministry Team
Pastor David Ezekiel, Transitional Pastor
Pastor David’s passion is congregational health and vitality. He has decades of experience leading and working with a variety of congregations and organizations in transition. David desires for his churches to discover their place of most potential and opportunity. He is relentless in his efforts for the congregations he coaches to develop a purpose, goals, and a plan. One of the defining scriptures for his life and ministry is Jeremiah 29:11-14, which says in part: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope…”
This driving interest is communicated to his seminary students by teaching them about the locus of culture and context for ministry. David was honored when one class asked to extend their week-long intensive so that he could teach them about intersectionality. The faculty requested a presentation, too. David even taught UCC polity at the request of several students.
But David has never forgotten his early roots having once wanted to be an economics major. The way he tells it, his mother was a bookkeeper, so he learned how to run a double-entry column of figures and read a spreadsheet before he began grade school. David says that both God – and the devil – are found in the details.
David is married to Janet, and they love to travel. They have lots of stories: sleeping out under the stars on the ice of Antarctica is a favorite one. He loves to cook and try new foods. (Sushi is the exception – he grew up where raw fish is called “bait”). David is a religious devotee of college football, especially the Alabama Crimson Tide. (He will point out that the University is actually referenced in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel – of course).
He is not a patient driver. Always has a good quip, joke, or story. Loves dogs. Loves good scotch. And loves good coffee.
Rev. Jae Cho M.Div., Associate Pastor
Rev. Jae Cho moved to the United States from Seoul, Korea, when he was 3 years old. He grew up in a Christian family and felt called to ministry in his college years.
Jae spent his early years living in Los Angeles and his teen and college years in Seattle. Jae graduated from University of Washington where he attained a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Entrepreneurship. And after working for a few years sensing God’s call, he enrolled in Regent College at Vancouver, British Columbia graduating with a Master of Divinity.
Jae has served youth, college, young adults, and adult ministry. He also participated in mission trips all over the world: Tijuana, Mexico, Hong Kong, Beijing, China, Tibet, and South Korea.
Jae enjoys spending time with family. He is happily married to Esther who is a Chicago native. They have a fun loving son, Luke. Jae loves to talk to people about his faith journey and has an eye for beauty in all of God’s creation including art, design, and culture. When he has free time, he loves watching and playing all kinds of sports from basketball, ping pong, tennis, and golf. He also loves watching YouTube videos and connecting with people on social media.
Kirsten Hedegaard Director of Music
Kirsten Hedegaard has enjoyed a duel career as a singer and conductor. She has performed numerous Bach cantatas and baroque chamber music and has been a soloist with many early music specialists including Nicholas McGegan, Paul Hillier, Ivars Taurins, Kenneth Slowik, and John Butt. Ms. Hedegaard has sung with, Philharmonia Baroque (founding member), Mercury Baroque, Ensemble viii, Baroque Band, the Newberry Consort, Ars Antiqua, the Rook Ensemble, the Callipygian Players, the Opera Company, Bella Voce, and Tafelmusik BSI among other ensembles. Ms. Hedegaard has performed a variety of new works, including an international tour of Louis Andriessens’s The Odyssey with the Beppie Blankert Dance Company and performances with the Grammy-award winning new music ensemble, eighth blackbird.
Currently Director of Choral Activities at Loyola University, Ms. Hedegaard has taught conducting at Concordia University, River Forest and has conducted choirs and orchestras for various institutions including Eastman House, Chicago Children’s Choir, Gallery 37, Loyola Academy, and the University of California. She was guest conductor with Chicago Choral Artists for the 2009-10 season and is the former conductor for the Bella Voce Outreach program. In 2000, she co-founded The Musical Offering, a nonprofit music school in Evanston where she held the position of Executive Director until 2005. She also holds the position of Director of Music at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington.
Ms. Hedegaard holds a BM from Northwestern University and her MA in conducting from the University of CA, where she was assistant to Paul Hillier. In 2008 she was invited to be a conducting Fellow at the Yale Norfolk Festival, studying with Simon Carrington.
Andy McBeath, Organist
Andy served previously as the Associate Organist/Choirmaster for eight years at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois. Currently, he teaches percussion and assists with both the band and orchestra program at Lake Forest High School. Andy received his Masters of Music from New York University Steinhardt School of Education and his Bachelors of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.