Pastor: Rev. Collen M. Norman
Pastor Colleen Norman began serving the congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Oak Lawn in August 2017, after serving other congregations in the Chicago area since 1996. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from DePaul University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Chicago Theological Seminary.
Pastor Colleen brings a passion for preaching the word, creating innovative worship, providing opportunities for all God’s people to share their gifts of time, talent and treasures, and encouraging God’s wonderfully diverse people to live and grow into the future God wills for them, both as individuals and as Christ’s gathered people. One of her favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Pastor Norman invites you to join us as we journey together into a future of faith and service at First UMC of Oak Lawn.
Choir Director: Linda Joscht
Linda Pankratz Joscht has been a church musician since she became a member of the United Methodist Church following her confirmation in her family’s church. She served for 10 years as chancel choir director and children’s bell choir director for Faith UMC in Waukegan, IL (now Living Faith UMC) and has been the chancel choir director and adult bell choir at FUMCOL for over 10 years, after initially joining as a choir member in 2000. Linda holds a BS in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Masters of Music from Northwestern University in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting and taught in the Illinois public schools as a band and choir director for 12 years before relocating to the Oak Lawn area to be with her late husband, John Joscht; John’s friendship with the Beavans family led to her membership in FUMCOL, where she has remained a member since his passing in 1999. She is the former director of the Lakes Area Community Band based in Antioch, IL and the Chain O’Lakes Orchestra and is the former assistant director of the Waukegan Municipal Band. Her main instrument is clarinet (which she has played for summer services); she also plays organ and is a vocal soloist for several Eastern Star chapters in the south suburban area.
Organist: Eric Hiller
Eric Hiller has been organist of First United Methodist Church of Oak Lawn since 2011. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he has been working as a collaborative pianist in Chicago since graduating from Roosevelt University in 2009. Additionally, Eric serves as pianist for the Sunday evening mass at St. Benedict’s Parish.