Robert (Rob) Dean

Rev. Robert “Rob” Dean generally uses the title “Pastor.” Although he was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection within the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2012, Pastor Dean has continued to use the title he received upon being appointed and licensed for ministry in 2008. If you ask him why he uses that title, he may tell you that it is the etymology of that title which seems most fitting to his personal understanding of his calling. His goal is to neither seek reverence nor acclaim, but rather to live out a calling faithfully and peacefully alongside others.

Pastor Rob holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Philosophy from Roberts Wesleyan College and a Master’s of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Additionally, Pastor Dean has become a Member of the Academy Forum through Upper Room’s Academy for Spiritual Formation and is working on certification as a specialist in Spiritual Formation through the Global Board of Higher Education and Ministry in the United Methodist Church. Pastor Rob is continually working on developing professional and self-published the Lenten devotional “The Path of the Beatitudes” in early 2020.

Pastor Rob’s professional background includes time spent in ecumenical youth ministry, mental health advocacy, and participation in various Volunteer in Mission Trips to both Northern Ireland and among the Diné near the Four Corners in the Southwestern United States. Pastor Rob is also a former participant in the "Men Who Cook" Community Competition supporting the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.

Pastor Rob’s personal life revolves heavily around family life. He has three children. In his free time, Pastor Rob enjoys cooking, baking, archery, photography, and science fiction in various forms.

Lay Leader

Judi Eastburn

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Judi Eastburn was asked to take over the position of lay leader in January 2020 and this year certainly had it’s challenges! 

Judi has been at TUMC for approximately 40 years.  She and her husband, Les moved to Trumansburg in 1978.  They have a daughter, Heather who resides in Santa Fe, NM with her husband, Dave and two sons, Mateo and Brody; and a son, Scott who lives in NC with his wife Laura and sons Lincoln and Ezra.  Judi loves to visit them. 

Judi has been an active member of TUMC pretty much from the start.  She is retired from Cornell University where she worked for over 40 years.  In her retirement, she became even more active in TUMC.  She now serves as the newsletter editor, the webmaster of this web site, the backup financial secretary and has chaired the church bazaar many times and now works closely with the pastor on Sunday services. 

In her spare time, Judi loves to watch baseball, a perfect summer day is sitting at the ballpark watching a game live.  Her love of the Los Angeles Dodgers is well known.  She also loves to bowl with her friends and at one time was bowling on two leagues.  She also has a great love of music and a love of reading and has attended lots of Cornell women's hockey games.    

Administrative Assistant

Sheryl Rakowski

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Sheryl Rakowski is a T-burg high school graduate who has come home to roost after three decades in the Midwest. Her career path began “high above Cayuga’s waters”, with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell. Sheryl’s next stop was the University of Wisconsin, another renowned research institution with a multicultural campus that overlooks a scenic lake. More than that, it was another school that takes great pride in its dairy store and its hockey traditions.

Sheryl’s first job out of college was as a lab technician but she gravitated to roles in science communications and research administration. Before starting her previous position as an assistant for grant proposal development, Sheryl worked as the manager of a microbiology lab and as a department-level financial specialist.

Back in Wisconsin, Sheryl was heavily involved in a local car club and spent countless hours staffing motorsports events. Although most were amateur races, she twice worked as a flagger in Montreal for Formula One, the epitome of international auto racing. Sheryl has been on a motorsports hiatus since returning to New York, but she eventually added Watkins Glen International to the list of tracks she’s worked. She also enjoys nature hikes (preferably with a camera in hand), dancing at local wineries and brew houses, and family outings for minor league baseball and, well... Cornell hockey, naturally. Go Big Red!


Music Director

Francine Darling

Francine began studying piano at the age of five and continued her musical studies at Ithaca College majoring in music.  She has accompanied multiple soloists, both instrumental and vocal; played for many weddings, funerals and parties; accompanied high school and middle school choirs in Watkins Glen, Ithaca and Trumansburg at choral concerts, played for students at NYSSMA and is currently on staff as an accompanist at Ithaca College. She has served as the church organist and pianist at TUMC for the past 12 years.