Our staff is here for you. Anyone with a pastoral concern should feel free to contact one of our pastors through the main office.
Lydia began at First United in 2016 after serving United Church of Christ congregations in California. She received her master of divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion and has a passion for creating safe and healthy environments where people of all ages, members of the LGBTQ community, and all those on the margins can learn the sacred stories that bind us together, find a sense of identity within those stories, and gather courage to write the next chapter. She loves to make music and has worked in church music and in music education. In her time off, you’ll find her gathered around a table of friends, eating good food, telling stories, and playing board games.
William Chin has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Bill is the Assistant Director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and is the founder and artistic director of the Oriana Singers, a six-voice a cappella group that tours nationally and internationally and has performed with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. He is Music Director of the Oak Park and River Forest Children’s Chorus, with whom he has recorded two CDs for GIA Publications. In addition, Bill directs the Symphony Chorus for the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest and is the conductor of the Anshe Emet Synagogue Choir in Chicago. Bill has been the Director of Music Ministries at First United Church of Oak Park since 2000.
Nguyen “Bobby” Nguyen-Organist
Born and raised in a musical family from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Nguyen grew up as a piano student of the city’s Conservatory of Music, being an active member of the musical environment. He continued studying piano through his undergraduate years with Dr. Terree Shofner-Emrich at North Park University in Chicago, where he started to explore organ literature with Dr. John Sherer. Nguyen further pursued his passion for the organ in his graduate studies at The Juilliard School, studying with Mr. Paul Jacobs. In his free time, Bobby indulges in coffee and tea with his friends, or biking around the streets of Chicago.
Heather is a “recovering” lawyer who found her way to the world of church work as a second career after working in construction law at a large Chicago law firm. After a stint as Communications Administrator at First United, she is now with the church full time. When she isn’t organizing the running of the church or crafting newsletters and social media posts, you can usually find Heather watching her boys play baseball or run track, reading on her front porch, or making a giant mess in the kitchen. Heather lives in River Forest with her husband, Jamie, and their two boys.
Shirley joined First United as a part-time Financial Administrator in July of 2020. She has a BA from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and an MBA with Accounting and Finance from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She has spent the past 10 years working in accounting and business administration for nonprofit organizations. When not at First United, she is the Business Manager for another church in the Austin area of Chicago. She also serves at that church as a facilitator for Discipleship Class and New Member Class. In her time off, she enjoys family time, which usually involves food, music, and lots of laughter. She lives in Oak Park with her husband, Cliff.
Keith has been with First United since 2013 and has assumed numerous building maintenance responsibilities while also working a full-time day job. DIY and maintenance comes naturally to Keith — if he comes across an unfamiliar task, he will read and watch instructional videos to learn. You’ll usually find Keith at First United from 4:30 until close of the building, though his responsibilities include weekends, early hours and after hours when necessary. Keith is dedicated to maintaining the church along with the other custodial staff members, Julian Klytta and Jesus Santiago. He works closely with Building and Grounds to ensure all areas of concerns are addressed. Keith, his wife, and two children live in Berwyn and enjoy family trips to Six Flags throughout the summertime.