Our pastor, Reverend Cerna Castro Rand, is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She was appointed to Prince of Peace UMC on July 1, 2011 after serving as an Associate Pastor of the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, in Chicago, IL for seven years; and also served as an Associate Pastor and Minister of Christian Education and Family Ministries at Grace UMC in Lake Bluff, IL for more than seven years.
Before she came to the United States in 1993 to study at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, she was commissioned as a Deaconess of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines and worked as a deaconess in the Philippines in the area of Christian Education.
Cerna earned her Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education from Harris Memorial College in the Philippines, a United Methodist Institution. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Christian Education Student Award at her graduation in 1989.
Pastor Cerna graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with two Masters Degrees in Christian Education in 1995 and Divinity in 1998. While at the seminary she was the recipient of the Outstanding Christian Education Award.
Other achievements included:
- Certified Grief Counselor through the State of Colorado University and the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado.
- Led several Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trips to the Philippines, South Dakota and Illinois.
- Elected as a delegate from the North Central Jurisdiction to lead the youth and young adult delegation to attend the First Youth Global Convocation in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2007.
- Served as the adult coordinator for the Youth Ministry in the Northern Illinois Conference for two years (July 2006 – July 2008).
- Served as the adult co-coordinator for the Youth Ministry of the Chicago Southern District for three years (August 2008 – June 2011).
- Served as a board member of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCOSROW) of the United Methodist Church for three years (2009 – 2011), and served as the Vice-President of the board for a year in 2011.
- Served as a board member at the Marcy-Newberry Association for over three years (2009 – 2012).
- Served as the President of the Philippine-American College of Clergy in Chicago in 2009 – 2010).
- Presently serving as a small group leader for the Vocational Formation and Church Leadership (VFCL) formerly known as the Field Education for the seoncd year students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary since August of 2008.
- Presently serving as chairperson of the Committtee on Nominations of the Northern Illinois Conference since February of 2012 to the present.
- Presently serving as the President of the Philippine American College of Clergy in Illinois since 2013.
- Presently serving as the secretary of the National Association of the Filipino American United Methodist (NAFAUM) since 2015.
Pastor Cerna was born the nineth child of ten children in the Philippines and was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. She received her call to ministry when she was a senior in high school while attending a United Methodist Youth Fellowship at the United Methodist Church in her city in the Philipines. She is a natural who loves life and enjoys reading, gardening, exercising, juggling, and walking around the neighborhood. She is a people oridented person who loves what she does while working with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Pastor Cerna married Mark Rand on June 3, 1995. Mark was born in Rockford, IL. He grew up in Homewood, IL, and was educated at Purdue University, IN, and Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, earning his Doctoral degree in Physics in 1996. They are blessed with a wonderful son (James Wallace) and a beautful dog (Goldie). Pastor Cerna’s pig-out food is pizza and she loves to explore different restaurants in Elk Grove Village to eat and meet people.
“I thank God for my appointment at Prince of Peace UMC in Elk Grove Village. My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to be serving at Prince of Peace UMC and it is my joy to work with the congregation to show God’s love where we are and beyond. It is a great place to be and every day I am challenged to serve the Lord and my neighbors with a renewed energy. It is my prayer that the congregation and I will continue to be the church that God wants us to be in the world. We continue to trust God who sends us to serve so that we can go forth to love God and others in words and in deeds. May the good Lord continue to bless us abundantly so that together we can transform God’s world. My verse in life is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)