Pastor Krista Paradiso (she/her)
The Rev. Krista Paradiso (she/her/hers) received her MDiv from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2013 and began serving as a pastor in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference in 2014. She believes with all her heart that the gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to experience and offer the love of a God who is bigger, messier, and more mysterious and joyful than anything we could imagine. She is a frequent asker of questions that start with “why?” and tends to follow up with some version of “what do you imagine would happen if we...?”
After serving three churches in Chicago, Krista remains passionate about creative worship experiences that draw together people of all ages to experience God and being the church. She grew up Roman Catholic, spent time as an evangelical fundamentalist and later an agnostic, and eventually became a member of the United Methodist Church when she encountered a Reconciling church in Columbus, OH. She loves intersectional justice work and is excited about the work that Northbrook UMC has done and continues to do for the good of people of all sexualities, races, ethnicities, abilities, and other ways of being in the world.
Krista is also a spouse, mom, and dog mom who enjoys making food and messes and music, playing, reading, and laughing with her family. She looks forward to finding a yoga studio and kickboxing when it’s safe to work out with others again. In her spare time, she reads anything and everything she can get her hands on, does modern quilting, gardens, and lays on the floor listening to music.
Youth and Family Ministries Director
Nancy Bartell (she/they)
Nancy spent over 25 years in retail management and over 15 years in youth and adult ministry as a lay leader before graduating from Trinity Evangelical Divinity school with a Master of Divinity degree. Her studies focused on the imago dei and how the image of God informs social and racial justice issues in the church and society at large. Nancy was the first openly gay student to graduate from TEDS and she continues to be in dialogue with members of that community as well as being invited to speak to future pastors in training regarding LGBTQ inclusion in the church.
Following seminary she was a case manager, later promoted to become the director of a Federal Bureau of Prisons Transition and Treatment Center, aiding inmates in their transition back to their families and their communities in Baton Rouge, LA. Nancy also serves on the board of directors for The Reformation Project, an organization whose mission is to advance LGBTQ inclusion in the church. She is an avid Cubs fan, her happy place is the beach, and her reading pile is mostly about racial and social justice issues.
Organist Mijin Kim (she/her)
Music Director Shirley Mosteller (she/her)
Shirley Mosteller is a retired opera singer who made her New York City debut at Town Hall under the auspices of the Eleanor Steber Foundation. An alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts, she performed with the Merola Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Lake George Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Piccola Opera. Throughout her career, she sang extensively as Violetta, Lucia, Gilda, Musetta, Norina and Rosina, performed recitals and concert works and had a private voice studio in the New York City area.
Starting as a church soloist in high school, Ms. Mosteller transitioned to leading church choirs and then becoming music director. She taught music in New Jersey public schools and then classes on children’s voices at DePaul University. Now on the faculty of the Merit School of Music, she teaches private voice, theory, Classical Voice Technique and Art Song Repertoire.
As Music Director at NUMC, she works with the Chancel Choir, organist, instrumentalists and Chime Choir to present music that supports the message of each service.
Office Manager Helayne Levin (she/her)
Helayne Levin is a degreed Social Worker, having worked mostly with elderly populations. After staying home to raise her 2 children, she has held many positions including bookkeeping, law office management, catering contract management and general office positions. She has completed 8 “AVON 39” walks including in Boston, New York, Washington DC and here in Chicago, raising over $25,000 for Breast Cancer research and services. She has also participated in The Race Against Hate, The Walk to End Alzheimers, and the walk for the Chrones and Colitis Foundation.
She has been active in the leadership of her synagogue for 25 years, having been president for 5 terms. Her passion is feeding those who are hungry and for 10 years has managed the effort of her synagogue to purchase, cook and serve over 150 people at a Chicago Soup kitchen on a monthly basis.
She lives in Morton Grove with her husband of 40 years and has one child in LA and another in Boston. In the past few years she has taken up mountain hiking and rock climbing, learning with her children.
Mijin joined the staff of Northbrook UMC in 2009. Born and raised in a faithful Christian family in Seoul, Korea, she was interested in art and music as a child and began playing piano at age five. She has served many years as an accompanist and director of children’s choir.
Mijin holds a Master of Music in piano and voice from Northern Illinois University, and has studied music education and organ. She is piano faculty at Music Academy of Chicago and conductor of Jump Children’s Choir, as well as teaching private lessons. Mijin lives in Wheeling with her husband Jake, and loves nature, travel, and watching the Food channel.