Come worship with us at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays

2515 Central Park Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 869-9210




OWEN-CHRISTOPHER-55Dr. Christopher Owen, Director of Music

I conduct the Chancel Choir, Adult Bell Choir and supervise the wonderful musicians on staff at Northminster.

It is clear upon attending a service at Northminster that music is integral to our worship! My goal as music director is to foster the spiritual journey of all our members — some directly, through their participation in Adult Bells or the Chancel Choir and others indirectly, such as those worshipping with us on Sundays.

In the ensembles we improve our singing and playing techniques so that we can connect with the music and communicate our faith to the congregation. The congregation hears our ensembles every week and it is my hope they connect with the music to further their own understanding and strengthen their faith.

I began my music studies in the sixth grade. I started playing organ at my church during 10th grade, and conducted our church’s adult choir during my senior year of high school. The church and its remarkable music have played a large part in fashioning who I am as a musician.

Outside of Northminster I am the Director of Choral Activities and Music Education Professor at Northeastern Illinois University. In addition to academia, I work as a music director and chorus master for a variety of professional music groups including Vox 3 Vocal Collective, Chicago Opera Vanguard and Mozawa.

Contact Christopher.


Vanderwheele-webPaul Vander Weele, Organist

As organist at Northminster, my main duties are to lead the congregational hymns, provide preludes and postludes, and accompany the Chancel Choir and soloists.  My musical education includes a Bachelor’s degree from Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY, studying with David Craighead, and a Master’s degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, studying with Karel Paukert. I have played for church services since the age of 13.  Before coming to Northminster, I had played for Glenview Community Church, First United Methodist in Elgin, and First United Methodist in Crystal Lake.

I have played for NPC for the last 22 years.  I feel blessed in getting to know and work with the soloists and members of our Chancel Choir, getting to work with the instrumentalists, pro and amateur, of the church, and meeting and making friends with other congregational members.

In addition to playing at NPC I also play for North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe.  Shortly after I came to Northminster, the Chicago Brass Quintet and I recorded a CD titled “Music for Brass and Organ.”

Contact Paul.


M. ParcellMargaret Parcell, Director of Northminster Nursery School

I have been with Northminster Nursery School for 14 years, and have been Director for the last 3 years. I have a degree in Biology from the University of Illinois and a Master of Education from Springfield College in Massachusetts. My husband, Peter, and I have four daughters, all of whom graduated from Northminster Nursery School. In my free time, I like to read, walk my dog, and attend Northwestern sporting events with my family. The best part of my work week is that I get to hear the joyful sounds of busy children just outside my office door!
Contact Margaret.