Rev. Luis Felipe Reyes-Rosario (ell/he/him/his)
A native of the island of Puerto Rico; Luis, an elder in full connection, has 36 years of pastoral experience (with 28 years serving in Cross/Cultural-Cross Racial appointments) in the United Methodist Church. He has served churches in Puerto Rico and the former Western New York before moving to Northern Illinois in 1992.
Luis is currently the Lead Pastor of the United Methodist Church of Sycamore in Sycamore Illinois.
Luis holds degrees in Business Administration from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago) and has done postgraduate studies. Luis also has completed extended Continued Education in Church Mediation Skills; Clergy Clinics in Family Emotional Process (Systems Theory) and Healthy Congregations training.
Luis works every day to live by Dr. king’s quote….
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. Hannah Phillips Mollenkamp is a licensed local pastor working towards ordination on the elder track in the United Methodist Church.
She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston and dual degrees in English literature and German from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She has been in ministry for a little over four years, first as an intern with her home congregation, Open Worship at First United Methodist of Denton, then as the assistant youth director of that church for a year. After moving to Illinois for seminary, she served as the student pastor at Gilead Chicago and then as the seminary intern for University Christian Ministry at Northwestern University. Originally from Austin, Texas, she is thoroughly enjoying living in a place where fall is a real season and snow is an expected part of winter (rather than a surprise that shuts down the whole state for a few days). She is passionate about sharing her faith with others, particularly young people, including her belief that as people created in the image of a creative God, we all have God-given creativity within us. Part of her call is helping individuals and communities recognize and use their unique creative gifts as disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In addition to leading the youth, young adult, and family ministries at SUMC, she currently serves on the board of the 501c3 nonprofit Young Prophets Collective and is part of the BJC Fellows cohort of 2023. Her hobbies include reading, writing (just about everything), baking, dancing, making music, and getting outside with her husband, Max. Max teaches elementary, middle, and high school band in the U-46 district.
They have two cats, Dewey and Hobbes, who are very much enjoying parsonage life.
Debbie Elleson has been the Administrative Assistant at Sycamore UMC for 17 years. She was born and raised in the Sycamore area and graduated from Sycamore High School. In addition to her administrative duties, Debbie has a talent for design, creating beautiful settings throughout the church. From answering the phone to scheduling events, Debbie is the first voice you often hear at the church.
Debbie has three grown children and a grandson and currently lives in Sycamore. She is an active member and former president of Kiwanis Club of Sycamore. Debbie also is actively involved with Habitat for Humanity.
Debbie enjoys spending time with her grandson watching as he learns new things and working in her yard.
Jim McCue has been called to serve God his whole life. Born in Ohio, his career choice in Kindergarten was to be a pastor. Life lead him to Sycamore in third grade and he traveled a different path as he studied business and finance in College, graduating form NIU with a degree in Finance, with emphasis in statistics and economics. In 1999, the church was searching for a new Financial Secretary and he felt called to serve. In 2005, he became Sycamore UMC’s full time Business Director. A few years later Jim felt called to complete the required courses to become a Certified Lay Servant, coming full circle back to a calling he had first felt forty years earlier.
Jim brings 30 years of banking experience to Sycamore UMC. In addition to his financial background, Jim also brings experience in computers, technology, and building and facilities management.
In 1977 while working at The National Bank & Trust Company of Sycamore, Jim went to visit a sick co-worker in the hospital and met his soon to be wife Sue. Together they have two children, with three grandchildren between them. Jim enjoys spending time with his family and watching the grandkids participate in all of their activities.
Lisa Szydlowski is the director of ABC Preschool. She has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for since 1998 and qualified for the directors position in 2000. Lisa brought her heart for God and her love of children to ABC Preschool in 2009 when she was hired as its director.
Lisa lives in Hampshire with her husband. She has three grown children with eight grandchildren between them with another arriving soon. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors where you may catch her at various campsites on weekends. She also considers herself an awesome scrapbooker.
A coffee connoisseur, Lisa is always filled with excitement and spreading her sparkly outlook. Lisa says “I absolutely love my job. Every day , I have the pleasure of working with a fantastic team of women and we are constantly learning how to help the children, families and our community around us.”
Becca Rome literally has ministry in her blood. There is long line of clergy, lay leaders, and church staff in her family’s history. She grew up as the granddaughter of a Lutheran School principal and has fond childhood memories of sitting in the choir loft with her grandmother or whizzing around the church gym on a scooter. She was confirmed in the ELCA church and attended Augustana College, an ELCA college where she pursued her degree in Music Education. Upon graduation, she headed west to Southern California where she taught Middle School Band and General Music for nearly 14 years. It was during this time that she began to feel a call to serve God’s people.
Her journey to ministry began while serving as an Administrative Assistant in her congregation in California. While serving there that she felt the call to share her gifts and talents globally. In 2013 she was selected to serve the ELCA church as a missionary teacher in Bratislava, Slovakia at an English language high school. She was in her element leading daily devotions, sharing her faith journey with students, and worshipping beside them at weekly chapel. This experience fused her love of God with her talents in teaching. At the end of her mission in 2014, she returned to Illinois to be closer to family and return to teaching band at parochial and private schools in the Elgin area.
All these experiences led her to become part of the Sycamore UMC staff since Fall of 2019. She began her service to the church as the Children’s Education Director but when a need arose to help God’s children of all ages, Becca was invited to share her talents as the Director of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation in January 2022. In this role she works with the Discipleship Team to create avenues for people in all stages of their personal journey faith to know Christ and share Christ’s in love in the world. She oversees discipleship programming, such as classes, small groups, and church-wide conversations that aid us strengthening our relationship with Christ and one another. She feels called to create safe spaces where all can ask questions while being met with understanding and acceptance in Christian love.
She and her husband, Tim Keller, live in Sycamore with their two dogs, Kahli and Goober.
Peter “Pete” Hansen grew up in a large (there’s 8 of us kids!) musical, and harmonious family, as his father, John was the band and music director at Malta High for over 30 years. And, yes, mom and all his brothers and sisters sing and play musical instruments.
Pete earned his Associate of Arts from Kishwaukee College in 1988, and his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Northern Illinois University in 1992. While in college, he sang with the concert choir, university chorus, and the Northern Lights vocal jazz ensemble. In addition, he was also actively singing in his church choir (directed by his father), a number of barbershop and a cappella quartets, and also directing a local men’s chorus and singing with another one too!
All that and working nights as a custodian and keeping up with his studies and homework too!!
At NIU Pete studied voice with Dr. Edna Williams and Mr. Myron Meyers, and studied conducting and choral methods with Dr Elwood Smith and Dr. Ramona Wis.
While he only taught music for a brief time in public schools, Pete was always active for many years as a judge and clinician for IHSA and IGMSA music festivals and solo and ensemble festivals. Since 1993 he has directed choirs and music at churches in Kirkland, Batavia, Elgin, and Montgomery IL. From 2009-2021 he was Director of Music and Worship at First Presbyterian, Rochelle, IL. In 2021, he began his music ministry full time, as Director of Music and Worship at Sycamore United Methodist Church, Sycamore, IL.
While music is certainly his passion and happy place, Pete will unequivocally tell you his greatest accomplishment and true love is his family. Pete has been married to his beautiful bride, Valerie, for 27 years and they have 4 grown children. Alyssa, Christopher, Nicholas, and Jonathan. All are active in music performance and/or teaching!! They are also proud grandparents to Parker Ivy and expecting their 2nd grandchild (to be named Camille!) in November 2023!!
Craig has been the organist at SUMC since he was in college at NIU. He enjoys leading the congregation in singing each week during worship, and working with the choir every Wednesday during practice .SUMC has been home for him for over 30 years.
Currently Craig works at NIU in the IT department as a software developer. Outside of work Craig enjoys working in the yard, and traveling to see all of God’s creations. He has been on many of the LIFE missions trips over the years and loves watching everyone grow to become closer disciples on each trip as they serve together.