Meet the Staff

Reverend Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton

Senior Pastor

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Pastor Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton was born and raised in Benton County, a rural area of the northwest territory of Indiana.

He brings over 25 years of experience in leading both traditional and contemporary worship, children’s and youth ministries, adult discipleship, and pastoral ministry. Jacob’s husband is Luis Tipantasig-Wolverton, and they have two beautiful children, Carter James & Emilia Grace as well as their fur baby Cooper John. Jacob lead the faith formation experience for children through senior adults at Union Chapel Indy, and launched a fresh expressions ministry known as IGNITE! 

Jacob has his Master of Divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School of Ohio. He holds both his Associate’s Degree in Biblical Studies & Bachelor of Ministries from White Horse School of Ministries in West Lafayette, IN. Jacob also holds his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN.

His ability to transcend worship styles to meet each group has been a testament to his ministry. His passion to see souls reconciled to the Lord has been seen both nationally and internationally as he has preached and led worship for conferences throughout his ministry. His approach to worship draws from his experiences in creative arts, choral music, tradition, contemporary Christian music, and his love for the Word of God.

Jacob’s desire and passion are to see the next generation embrace their gifts and talents and to find a love for worship and God that will impact their lives for the future. Jacob believes in a multi-generational worship experience, and holds true to the teachings of Jesus that taught us “let the little children come unto me…” Jacob encourages everyone, no matter their skill level, to approach worship with a heart to worship our Lord and Savior from a place of gratitude. As a pastor, Jacob’s care for the people has been monumental in navigating the change required during this time in the church. Through faith formation experiences, sermons, and small group experiences, Jacob helps people begin to live out the mission of God which is to love like Jesus. His life motto is to Love God and Love People.

Reverend Sharon E. Rice

Deacon of Discipleship

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Sharon Rice lovingly “blames” CUMC for helping her understand God’s call to ordained ministry with a particular focus on discipleship ministries, thanks to the love and nurture she experienced as a child and youth of the church! It was at the age of 17 while attending youth fellowship at CUMC that she realized God was calling her, urging her to share her experiences of God’s reconciling love and mercy with others, so that they too could grow as disciples and share that love with others they encounter.

Sharon is a proud North Central College (NCC) alum, with a double Bachelors degree in English and Religious Studies, and credits a great deal of her Bible and theological education to the wonderful professors in NCC’s religious studies department. It was also at NCC that she continued her growth in discipleship leadership through campus ministry, fueling her passion to build bridges between the church and the world, and also between CUMC and the NCC campus community. Sharon received her Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and has served a number of churches in both the Iowa and Northern Illinois Annual Conferences. An ordained deacon in full connection, Sharon also serves on the Discipleship Taskforce for the Northern Illinois Conference, and is the conference co-leader for D.A.Y. (Discipling Anti-racist Youth).

A self-proclaimed “liturgical nerd”, “crazy cat lady”, and “Wesleyan feminist”, Sharon is a lover of books, coffee, board games, and baking shows, especially pie. Ask her nicely, and she’ll make you a pie!

Chris Garofalo

Director of Music Ministries

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Chris Garofalo has been active as a pianist and accompanist in the Chicago area for over 30 years and has composed works for solo piano, voice, choir and chamber ensembles.

As a soloist with orchestra, he has performed in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. In 1990, he appeared on the television series Music Alive! sponsored by the Chicago Department of Film and Entertainment. With a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, he previously administered a program of classical music and professional soloists for 27 years in Hinsdale. Mr. Garofalo maintains a private teaching studio in Westmont.

In addition, he is a former President and current board member of the Downers Grove Music Club, a charitable non-profit arts organization that provides free monthly music concert programs, a Piano Festival, Student Music Awards and community donations to foster music performance and education in the Downers Grove area.

His recording, Silhouettes, released 2005, features 12 original compositions for solo piano and the original song cycle Within the Circle of the Seasons with tenor Henry Pleas. The four poems are from Edward Searl’s collection of seasonal reflections Beggar’s Bouquet. Previous recordings, produced by Melinda Perrin, include: Left Brain/Right Brain (1998), Earth Air Fire Water (1989), Luminaria (1990), and Soliloquy (1991). In 1999, he accompanied tenor Henry Pleas on his first CD: Deep River: A Spiritual Journey. Chris’ Suite for Flute, Violin, Cello and Piano and Sonata for Flute and Piano are featured in David Gaynes’ 2013 documentary film “Next Year Jerusalem.” Chris Garofalo is a Steinway Artist.

Ed Green

Media Services

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Ed has over 42 years of experience in all aspects of video and media production, currently running his own production company, Green Digital Media. He coordinates a staff of about 20 volunteers, youth and adult, live-streaming our worship services every Sunday. Ed is also a member of the OnCenter band, singing and playing guitar almost every Sunday. Ed has been married for over 36 years to his lovely wife, June, and has two grown sons.

Amy Hollander

Interim Director of Contemporary Worship

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Amy started singing before she could talk! During her school and college years, she was constantly involved in musicals and plays. Her connection with Community UMC began as a youngster and she was confirmed here as well as sang in the choir. After college, she became fully involved in the life of Community UMC, singing with the OnCenter band, starring in and directing Community Players shows, and running an adult Sunday school class for 15 years. She is honored to be interim Director for the OnCenter service.

Suzanne Wills

Administrative Assistant

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Suzanne Wills is Community UMC’s Administrative Assistant. Suzanne originally hails from Dublin, Ireland; she moved to the States in 1992. She has over 35 years of experience as an office administrator and over 25 years as a graphic designer. Suzanne is active in Community Players and plays electric bass with the OnCenter band. She is absolutely thrilled to be on staff at Community UMC, which she has called her church home since 1993.

Onsite Hours: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Mon – Thu • Remote: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Fri.