Our Staff


Rev. Brian Roots, Pastor

Thank you for visiting our Christ United Methodist Church website!
I began my ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church in 1987. I have served churches in Cicero and Harvard in the Northern Illinois Conference, and in Kansas City and Liberty in the Missouri Conference. Before becoming a pastor I was a high school teacher in Chicago. I still love to teach through leading Bible studies and worship.
I began my ministry at CUMC when my wife, Ruth, and I moved to Deerfield in 2009, from Kansas City Missouri. Returning to Illinois was a bit of a homecoming for us because we met in Chicago and spent the first 15 years of our marriage in the area. Now our two adult children, Naomi and Paul, live in Chicago and we are happy to be near them.
We have always loved Chicago and have now grown fond of Deerfield as well. Further, we are thrilled to be serving Christ UMC. The congregation is committed to service. Every month of the year there are opportunities to work with others to make a difference in the world. CUMC is blessed to have active children’s and youth ministries, which emphasize the Christian faith in ways that are fun and engaging. Our worship is blended, utilizing both contemporary and traditional music. Most importantly our worship is dynamic and relevant. There are great opportunities for adult fellowship and study. I encourage you to visit us. I am confident that you will be greeted warmly and experience a meaningful worship service with us. If you stay for our social time after worship you will find many people who will be happy to chat with you.


Children and Youth Minister - Patricia Bonilla


 I am very glad to be joining the faith community of Christ United Methodist Church in Deerfield where I am very much a local of the area. I grew up in the Northwest Suburbs, first in Des Plaines where I was born and later moved to Mundelein and finally to Vernon Hills, where I completed High school. I went on to do a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in International Relations and French at Lake Forest College. I also was able to study abroad in the beautiful city of Paris, France, while in college. I stayed on for an extra year after my class had returned to the U.S. and I worked as an au pair for a wonderful family- (son of violinist-Isaac Stern). I gained a much higher appreciation for classical music, although I must admit that I still prefer “dance to” music, particularly Latin beats.
After college, I moved to Chicago and began working for community organizations that focused on community engagement and education initiatives. I was soon making connections with churches that shared the vision for community development and social change and quickly joined Amor de Dios United Methodist Church in Chicago. I started by teaching a few ESL classes, then computer skills, and finally Bible studies. Since then, I have worked in urban churches in Chicago and later First United Methodist in DeKalb, Illinois. I am currently finishing up my PhD from Drew University in New Jersey in the discipline of sociology of Religion with a focus on Christian Education and its potential to inspire and shape new leaders for the church and for the world. I received my Masters Degree in Christian Education from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. It was here that I worked with Drs. Margaret Ann Crain, Jack Seymour, and Reginald Blount who helped me to articulate my call to ministry in Christian Education, and begin my process towards ordained ministry as a Deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference.
I have a passion for educational ministries in the United Methodist Church and I feel that faith formation is central to developing leaders who respond to the needs of the world with compassion and love. When I am not at church or in the home studying and writing I enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors with Gabriel, my son, at the park, playground, pool, really anywhere fun.

I would love to hear from you, email me


Office Administrator - Margaret Anderson


Choir Director - Tim Plambeck


 Hi, I’m Tim Plambeck and I direct the choir. I also am the Director of Music at Lake Forest Academy and have been on faculty at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Tim is married to wife Peg. They met during rehearsals for Rigoletto at Cleveland Opera. They are married and are proud parents of Ani and Julia.  We have attended Christ United Methodist Church of Deerfield since 2000 and have been choir director since 2004.  My main activities are to chase my children around the yard, spend quality time with my wife, and make great music at LFA.  Even if you can’t sing, please join the choir. We are always looking for new and friendly faces!!


Organist - Gregg Sewell


I am currently a music education copyeditor with GIA Publications, Inc here is Chicago.  I have been with our church for five years and have also worked with many other churches including most recently, Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church in Kettering, Ohio.  I am a big anime fan and an accomplished composer having published over 2,600 compositions and arrangements: sacred, educational, pop; choral, vocal, organ, piano, handbell, orchestral.