Congregational Church of Jefferson Park

Staff

GayleTucker

Rev.Gayle Tucker

I grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, where my parents still live. I have an older sister and a younger brother, who both live in the Carolinas. My family was very involved at First Congregational UCC in Janesville, in music, children and youth ministries, and leadership positions. The church and many of the adults and peers I met at youth events have been and continue to be an extended family for me. Church and youth events had been very important to me as I grew up, but I had not yet realized that I was called to ordained ministry. After graduating from Janesville Craig High School, I attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. While working toward a degree in Music Education I discovered a passion for academic religious studies and eventually added a religion minor to my degree. These courses, along with participation in music organizations at the college and attendance at the local UCC church, were significant in my continuing faith development. Most significant in discovering and discerning my call to ministry, though, was my summers working at Pilgrim Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Each summer while I was in college and for several summers afterward, I worked on counselor rotation (alternating weeks on maintenance and kitchen crew and as a cabin counselor) or as a program director, designing and leading program activities for various camps. This gave me a chance to explore various elements of ministry including, teaching, worship design and leadership, pastoral care, and programs, as well as my own development as an individual and a person of faith. It was at camp that I came out as a lesbian, and as someone called to ministry.

 
JoanieMoody

Ms. Joanie Moody
Church Secretary
Phone: (773) 725-0121

 
ChuckBezold

Mr. Chuck Bezold
Music Director
Phone: (773) 725-0121
Email: ccjpucc5320@att.net

Chuck grew up at Jefferson Park, starting in Sunday School at the age of three. He was confirmed as a member of the church in 1964, and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees, Diaconate, Board of Religious Education, as well as Associate Moderator, and Church Clerk, the position he currently holds.
He started singing in the Junior Choir at the age of eight, and hasn’t quit singing since! He took voice instruction from the late Bernhardt Mendro, former CCJP Musical Director, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Northeastern Illinois University.
Chuck’s career in choral direction began while serving in the U.S. Air Force, where he became involved with the Chapel program. He sang in, and/or directed, choral ensembles in the Chapel program during his twenty year career.
He returned to Chicago in 1991 after retiring from the Air Force, and was appointed Musical Director in 2000.
Chuck currently works full time for the Chicago Public Schools as an Attendance Clerk at Steinmetz Academic Centre. He sings with the Lutheran Choir of Chicago, and serves on their Board of Directors. He also serves as a member of the Mission and Spiritual Care Committee of Advocate Health Care. He enjoys cooking, participating in community theater, attending the Symphony with Jenny, his bride of 45 years, and of course, music (especially singing)!

 
Phil-7iot3mas

Mr. Philip Orem
Pianist

Philip Orem received his B.M. and MM. in piano performance from Northwestern University as well as a diploma in Composition and Arranging from the Grove School of Music. While at Northwestern he was elected to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda and the College Register.  His compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded throughout the U.S. and Europe. In April 1996 he was awarded a NEA Meet the Composer/Midwest grant by Arts Midwest to spend five days overseeing the premiere of his Variations for string orchestra by the McHenry County Youth Orchestra and rehearsals of various choral, concert band and jazz band pieces at local schools and churches in McHenry County, Illinois. He has also been composer in residence at St. Maryʼs Episcopal Church in Park Ridge, IL since 2007 where his Requiem was premiered January 15, 2012. A new piece, a tribute to Nelson Mandela, for concert band and choir will be premiered this June in San Francisco.
He is very active in all musical aspects of musical theater having worked on over 130 productions including work with Karen Morrow, Charlotte Rae, Sheldon Harnick, Joanna Gleason and the late Betty Garrett, Charles Nelson Reilly and Georgia Brown. He has composed the music for three childrenʼs musicals including Theatre Westʼs Storybook
Theatre production of The Emperorʼs New Clothes, which won an Artistic Director Achievement Award from the Valley Theater League for best music in a childrenʼs musical.  For five years he served on the faculty of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts West in Los Angeles.
He is published by GIA Publications Inc., Gentry Publications, Dorn Publications Inc., Pan
Press and Brass Chamber Music Press.