Meet Our Staff

PASTORAL STAFF

MARIELLEN YOSHINO
Senior Pastor

MARIELLEN YOSHINO
Senior Pastor
mariellenyoshino@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x113

I am thrilled to serve LAUMC as its fifth Senior Pastor, following Pastors Cox, Herrell, Dodson, and Bollwinkel. What an honor it is to follow in the footsteps of these fine pastors.

Before being appointed to LAUMC, I served as the District Superintendent of the Central Valley District of our California-Nevada Annual Conference (7 years). Other churches I have served in this conference include San Jose Wesley United Methodist Church (11 years) and Aldersgate United Methodist Church (6 years). In the Kansas East Conference (8 years), I was the Youth Director and Deaf Ministries Director at the Olathe First United Methodist Church, and the pastor of the Pomona/Richter United Methodist Churches.

I was born in Japan and grew up as a preacher’s kid in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. I graduated from Davidson College (North Carolina) and was a US-2 Missionary assigned to the Inner City Cooperative Parish in Des Moines, Iowa. I hold graduate degrees from St. Paul School of Theology and the University of San Francisco. I also have an AA in Sign Language Interpreting.

I’ve had the privilege of serving as an adjunct faculty member of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, and have written curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House as well as articles and study books for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and the United Methodist Women.

Husband Steve and I love the life of the church community. We’ve been married for 15 years and enjoy visiting with our family near and far. And we enjoy swimming in Hawaii!

SAM LEWIS
Minister of Young Adults

SAM LEWIS
Minister of Young Adults
samlewis@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x112

I feel incredibly fortunate to have been appointed to Los Altos United Methodist Church. I am the minister of young adults here, which means that I have the opportunity to work closely with our young adult group, OpenCircle, and to walk alongside this group as we explore and question and grow in God. I also work closely with the LAUMC small group ministry, GroupLife, as we strive to grow in our lives together.

I am a 2012 graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University and was ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church in 2015. At Candler I fell in love with the practice of worship—in the chaos of life we can sometimes get lost, but the weekly practice of communal worship gives us consistency, community, and centering in our daily walk. The church seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time) don’t have meaning in and of themselves, but they do help us give meaning to our lives, and they help us to walk in the ups and downs of our life and our faith. My favorite liturgical season is probably Advent (a season of hope and expectation), but the other seasons are pretty spectacular as well.

I love San Francisco Giants baseball, roller derby, and the liturgical calendar.

DIRK DAMONTE
Minister of Music & Worship Arts

DIRK DAMONTE
Minister of Music & Worship Arts
dirkdamonte@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x115

As the Minister of Music and Worship Arts, I have the coolest job at the church! I get to dream about, vision for, plan, and implement worship at this amazing church. I get to work with an incredibly talented, dedicated, and artistically diverse staff and a wonderful group of committed, creative, and tireless volunteers.

I was a piano performance major at the University of Puget Sound, where I received a Bachelor of Music Degree. I received a Master of Arts in Worship and the Arts and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion. I am an ordained Deacon in Full Connection. If none of that matters much to you, that’s okay. The most important thing is that I love making music, being involved in worship, and being a part of the Los Altos United Methodist Church Community.

My wife, Carol, who is the Director of Youth Ministries and Youth Music, and I have been at LAUMC in some capacity for 30 years. Together we direct the Starfire Singers, our high school choir, and Lightshine, our middle school choir. We have two adult sons, Dustin, who lives in Seattle and will be going on to pursue graduate studies in opera, and Dylan, who lives here, plays drums in the Creekside Worship Band, and works in Media Ministries.

Worship is all about connection—our connection with God and with the community that gathers together to worship God. I pray that you find that connection here at LAUMC.

JOHN L. DODSON
Pastor Emeritus

JOHN L. DODSON
Pastor Emeritus
JLD65@aol.com

I was pastor of LAUMC from 1978 to 1999. My wife, Sue, and I moved in retirement to Mt Hermon, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in 2001, and I have lived there ever since, with a one-year (2009 to 2010) interlude in Alaska. Sue died in 2005 in an auto accident and the sadness of that event was a long period of recovery for me. While in Alaska, as interim senior pastor at St John UMC, I met Vicky, my neighbor in Anchorage. My black and white life turned to technicolor, and we returned to the Santa Cruz Mountains together. It has been 15 years since I retired, and I have kept engaged with consulting, interim pastoring, and helping higher education institutions and churches to do feasibility studies and fund development. As of 2013 I have retired (again) from all such activities. So after 55 years of active ministry, Rev. Mark Bollwinkel and the Staff/Pastor Parish Committee of Los Altos United Methodist Church asked if I would become pastor emeritus at LAUMC, joining Reverend Wayne Williams in this honorary role. Vicky and I gladly accepted this new role in the church we love and admire.

DEBBIE WEATHERSPOON
Minister of Community Engagement

DEBBIE WEATHERSPOON
Minister of Community Engagement
debbieweatherspoon@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x114

I love serving as the Minister of Discipleship, one of the ordained pastoral roles at Los Altos. My ministry area focuses on all age-level ministries, supporting our directors to guide our congregation’s growth as disciples of Jesus Christ. Pastoral ministry goes beyond the local church as well, which means I am active with the Peninsula Clergy Network, denominational boards and events, and social justice organizations and gatherings. I have served as a church pastor since 1997, following my graduation from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. I’m married to the Rev. Dr. Dale M. Weatherspoon, senior pastor of The Good Samaritan UMC, Cupertino. Our sons are Wesley and Justus. It was through campus ministry, while a student at the University of Florida (B.A. 1990, B.S. 1991; anthropology and telecommunication), that I received my call to ordained ministry. Go Gators! Go God!

 

MINISTRY STAFF

CAROL DAMONTE
Director of Ministry & Music for Youth

CAROL DAMONTE
Director of Ministry & Music for Youth
caroldamonte@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x131

Youth n. The appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, characteristic of one who is young.

God n. Supreme Being, the creator and sustainer of the universe. Family n. A social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not. “Family” is also described as a community and a global village. Love n. A virtue representing human kindness and compassion. For over thirty years I have had the incredible joy of weaving these four words into the tapestry of LAUMC’s ministry. As Director of Ministries and Music for Youth, my life is filled with young people, powerful conversations around faith, journeys through scripture at youth fellowship, and rehearsals where we discover how words of profound meaning are linked to phrases of beautiful music. My ministry is filled with bursts of creativity as my husband, Dirk, and I write and produce musicals around challenging faith issues. The ministry also deals with the pain and hope that comes when we delve into issues of social justice. And, of course, there are the ah-hah moments where we “get” what it means to live out Christ’s call with head, heart and hands. Youth ministries at LAUMC offer young people the chance to understand what it means to “launch and find safe landing.” We celebrate bold dreams right alongside challenging realities, and always stand poised and ready to leap at any moment into God’s unlimited joy. As one who loves the word family, it is not surprising that you will often find me with a cup of coffee talking “ministry, music, and meaning” with my husband, Dirk, “life and mystery with our youngest son, Dylan, and “opera and all that brings joy” with our oldest son, Dustin. And together, the four of us can be seen redefining the word family as we open our arms to our church family, our community, and God’s world. We are all readers of books, care takers of the outcast and marginalized, travelers of the world, makers of music, believers in the human connection, and keepers of faith. In the end, it is the word love, that virtue of human kindness and compassion, the word that Jesus lived for and lived out, that finds me, holds me, knows me, drives me, and fuels my living each and every day. Welcome to my ministry.   Graduate of the University of Puget Sound- BM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy Co-Founder of LAUMC’s Anti Human Trafficking Group

PATRICIA PARFETT
Director of Congregational Care

PATRICIA PARFETT
Director of Congregational Care
patriciaparfett@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x122

I share my spiritual gifts by connecting – connecting people with each other and with God – through small groups and classes. When I’m not working on the church campus, I can be found working in camping and retreat ministry for our annual conference (another great way to connect people with each other and with God!).

Spring and summer bring baseball. In addition to being a San Francisco Giants fan, I’m the College of San Mateo Bulldogs team statistician. Go Giants and Bulldogs!

LISA CONWAY
Director of Children’s Ministries

LISA CONWAY
Director of Children’s Ministries
lisaconway@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x153

I am blessed with the joy of loving and connecting with children and their families at this amazing church, as I work side by side with some of the most incredible staff and volunteers I’ve ever known. We share our faith stories … we sing, dance, create, play, pray, and study the Bible so we can grow closer each day as followers of Jesus.

God’s love has filled me with awe-inspired joy and healed me in times of great sadness. I want our children to know God’s love is there for them, too, no matter what. I want them to know that together our faith put into action can change the world!

If I am not here doing this work that I love, I am spending time with good friends or one or both of my incredible daughters who inspire me every day. I can be found occasionally taking a hike in the mountains, sinking my feet deep into the sand on a beach, trying to do my best at yoga, or cooking up a new recipe after a trip to the farmer’s market.

I’ve studied sociology at UCSC and psychology at JFK University and consider myself a life-long learner of many things, often finding that children and life experiences offer the best wisdom of all.

I believe every one of us is a beloved child of God, and being together in this community of faith fills us up, so we can go out in the world and serve others, living the life God intended for us. My door is always open for a cup of coffee, a hug, or to listen and share as we travel this faith journey together.

HEIDI BLISS
Co-Director of Children’s Center

HEIDI BLISS
Co-Director of Children’s Center
heidibliss@laumc.org
650-941-5411 x141

Bio coming soon

CINDY GOLDEN
Director of Media Ministry & Youth Projects

CINDY GOLDEN
Director of Media Ministry & Youth Projects
cindygolden@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x123

I grew up here at LAUMC singing in the Sunshine Singers and later joined Starfire, touring all over the West Coast and even to Russia twice. It was here at LAUMC that my love of God began as I was surrounded by nurturing, loving arms. I studied religion and music until I decided it was time I better graduate and headed to Georgia to work with Habitat for Humanity. While there I fell in love with mission work and attended Sunday school with Jimmy Carter. I spent a few years in seminary until marriage and children became the priority and I ended up back here at LAUMC working in the youth ministry I love so much. A few years ago the opportunity to create a media ministry led me to expand my job title until I believe it is now the longest on the church staff!

Most days you will find me organizing the youth, filming the latest video, attending countless soccer games and percussion performances and just trying to make family time in a crazy, crazy world! God has loved and encouraged me through every path I’ve taken, and it is my lifelong goal to fulfill Micah 6:8, to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. On the occasion I find a moment free, I like to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of earl grey or catch a quick dinner date with my husband.

DEE GRAY
Co-Director of Children’s Center

DEE GRAY
Co-Director of Children’s Center
deegray@laumc.org
650-941-5411 x141

Bio coming soon

OFFICE STAFF

Operations:

Finance:

BECKY EVERETT
Managing Director of Operations

BECKY EVERETT
Managing Director of Operations
beckyeverett@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x118

I joined the leadership at Los Altos UMC in 2007 as the chairperson of the Administrative Board, now known as the Church Council. I was an early retiree from corporate life at Hewlett-Packard looking for opportunities to apply my skills and experience as a global information systems manager to new challenges in the church environment. I had the privilege of working with many dedicated volunteers on the 2020 Vision Study Project, and my excitement for the future of Los Altos UMC was born! I accepted the staff position of managing director of operations in 2010.

My husband, Sid, and I have been attending LAUMC since the mid-1990s. Our daughter, Annemarie, grew up here, participating in children and youth ministries and making life-long connections with this community. I have been a vocalist since childhood and sing every week with Morning Glory. My hobby is genealogy, and when I can connect that interest with travel – wow! – old cemeteries come alive! On my days off, you will often find me in the garden, pruning and planting. I enjoy hiking and exploring local trails. My roots are in the Bay Area, and Los Altos UMC is my church home.

MARY JOYCE
Financial Controller

MARY JOYCE
Financial Controller
maryjoyce@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x127

Coming soon.

Administration:

NIYATI PARIKH
Senior Accountant

NIYATI PARIKH
Senior Accountant
niyatiparikh@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x111

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MEGAN CARROLL
Executive Assistant to Pastoral Staff

MEGAN CARROLL
Executive Assistant to Pastoral Staff
megancarroll@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x152

I grew up in San Jose, then went to college at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. There, I received my credential and BS in Early Childhood Education. For the next 5 years, I taught in various locations and situations. One year, I was at a boarding school for MKs in Pakistan, teaching a combined class of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. For 2 years, I taught K-6 at an international school in Indonesia. I taught for 1 year at a church preschool in San Jose, and 1 year as a home school teacher to a family with 4 children, while also being a private aide for a child with Down Syndrome.

I got my SCUBA certification in Bali and was terribly spoiled by the warm, colorful waters there! I have gone diving just once in Monterey. In Texas, I learned to dance at Billy Bobs (the worlds largest honky tonk), and I continue to go out to the Saddle Rack as often as I can. One year ago the transmission went out on my truck and I replaced it with a motorcycle. I haven’t looked back!

After my credential expired, I decided to try my hand at office work. For the last year, I was at a visa & passport company in San Jose. I’m excited to now be at LAUMC and have the opportunity to help Pastors Dirk, Debbie, and Sam!

MARICAR MCCONNELL
Accounting Assistant

MARICAR MCCONNELL
Accounting Assistant
maricarmcconnell@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x125

I started working at LAUMC in 2010. Working here has exposed me to a great group of people who have helped me advance my skill set as well as helped and supported my family. My husband and I were married at the church in 1996, and I have enjoyed attending since I became an official member. Prior to working at LAUMC, I was fortunate enough to be a stay-home mom for about 10 years. This enabled me to participate and volunteer with the kids at their school as well as other extracurricular activities. All three of my kids are very active and enjoy attending LAUMC Sunday school and participating in the other fun-filled youth activities.

Outside of work, I can be found cheering for my kids at soccer games or volunteering at their elementary school. I also enjoy teaching Sunday school here at the church, as I find it very rewarding to work with the kids and watch them grow up in the church community. The church has become my home away from home, and the staff is my second family. Hopefully you will stop by the church office and say “hello” so I can meet you and tell you about all the wonderful activities and opportunities that await you at the church.

HARLEY TYNES
Administrative Assistant, Children’s Ministries

HARLEY TYNES
Administrative Assistant, Children’s Ministries
harleytynes@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x149

I consider myself fortunate indeed to work in an environment that concentrates on imparting knowledge and experiences of a loving God, in a caring, safe environment, to the young. I also am delighted to use whatever creative gifts I have in helping to reach out to those within our congregation and surrounding communities.

I am inspired by my children and the rest of my small family; I love to be in nature in any weather and love to draw, read, and travel. And I totally enjoy a quiet evening at home alone.

CLEO KIROS
Accounting Associate

CLEO KIROS
Accounting Associate
cleokiros@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x129

I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I came to the U.S. for my last year of high school and have been here ever since. I graduated from San Francisco State University in Accounting. After staying home to raise my two boys for some time, I joined LAUMC in January 2014. One thing that stands out for me at LAUMC is the sense of community. Everyone is caring and dedicated to the church, the community and the world. I could not have picked any better place to start my career over.

ERIN GRADY
Administrative Assistant, Operations/Youth Ministries

ERIN GRADY
Administrative Assistant, Operations/Youth Ministries
welcomedesk@laumc.org
650-948-1083

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Food Service:

Communications:

FRED MAYO
Director of Food Services

FRED MAYO
Director of Food Services
fredmayo@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x117

I came to know about LAUMC from a friend who regularly attends services. I got involved as a volunteer at Hope’s corner and witnessing first-hand the dedication and compassion for those less fortunate. Everyone from LAUMC staff to long-time members of the church have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home. I knew in my heart the Lord had guided me to my church home.

As Food Services Director, I am grateful to be in a position to serve the members of this church and community. The love I feel at LAUMC has greatly impacted my life and that of my family and can only be described as a true blessing.

With 30 years of corporate operations experience, I hope to apply these skills in my job as well my lifetime passion of cooking for others. I have been professionally trained in the culinary arts and have traveled to more than 40 countries worldwide which have helped me develop a wide range of ethnic cooking.

I currently reside in Sunnyvale with my wife and two children. In my spare time I like reading publications on advancements in astrophysics and engineering technologies, playing online video games and of course whipping up new culinary delights in the kitchen.

EMILY ALLEN
Director of Communications

EMILY ALLEN
Director of Communications
emilyallen@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x120

I grew up in the next town over, Palo Alto, and attended First United Methodist Church. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in communication from UC – San Diego, I worked for nearly eight years in a public relations agency in San Francisco. Joining the LAUMC staff marks my return to the Peninsula and an opportunity to put my professional communications experience to work for the church I love.

My wider church commitments include acting as the agenda chair for the California-Nevada Annual Conference Session each June, serving on the conference and jurisdictional committees on episcopacy, and serving on the board of United Methodist Communications. I was a delegate to General Conference in 2012 and 2016.

In my free time, I am an avid reader, amateur bird watcher, and active traveler.

Weddings:

Facilities:

ERIN KNIGHT
Wedding Coordinator

Erin Knight

ERIN KNIGHT
Wedding Coordinator
weddings@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x116

It has taken many years for me to evolve into a wedding coordinator. I first started working in the wedding industry years ago in Houston as a florist assistant. Eventually I was designing floral arrangements for weddings on my own. Over the years I have assisted bridal couples in Texas, Arkansas, England, and now California. Every aspect, from guiding couples through their plans, to directing the rehearsal in the church, to the reception, to the final send-off of the couple, are all wonderful parts of the job I enjoy.

I joined LAUMC in 2009 with my husband and our two children. In my free time I enjoy being active in modern dance, spending time with my family, and enjoying the wonderful outdoors of California.

Congratulations, and I look forward to talking with you about your upcoming wedding.

HAROLD CAUDLE
Director of Facilities

HAROLD CAUDLE
Director of Facilities
haroldcaudle@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x129

Bio coming soon.

 

FELIPE GARCIA
Day Custodian

FELIPE GARCIA
Day Custodian
felipegarcia@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x129

I was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles and San Jose. I attended San Jose State University for construction estimating and blueprint reading. I’ve been married for 35 years to my wife Maria Carmen and we have three daughters, two sons, and five grandchildren. I worked in the general construction field for almost 40 years. After all these years, I was searching for a place to work. It’s a blessing to be working at LAUMC. Every day I come to work excited about what will happen today, and I look forward to doing my work, going home at the end of the day, and enjoying time with my family. I enjoy reading, walking, cooking, and watching my grandchildren’s soccer and baseball games.

 

PEDRO RUIZ
Night Custodian

PEDRO RUIZ
Night Custodian
pedroruiz@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x141

Bio coming soon.

MUSIC STAFF

BILL GOLDEN
Director of Morning Glory

BILL GOLDEN
Director of Morning Glory

650-948-1083

I have been a middle school, high school and elementary school music teacher for the past 23+ years. I love to enjoy life with my wife, Cindy, and our two sons – hiking, biking and, in general, being outdoors, no matter what the weather. But mostly I just love to make music and have fun through making the music. I’ve been the director of the Morning Glory adult choir since 2001 and was a tenor in the choir myself, off and on, back to 1986! Whether it’s leading “MoGlo” to a very moving or exciting musical moment, soloing on the sax, thrashing away on a drum set, or doing interpretive dance to Peter and the Wolf with a bunch of kindergartners, it’s all special and wonderful. Music has opened up so much in my life, and I live to pass it on to others.

JENNIE HARE
Director of Sunshine Choir

JENNIE HARE
Director of Sunshine Choir
sunshinesingers@laumc.org
408-942-5530

I have been directing Sunshine Singers since 2005. Before that, I was a classroom teacher in the Cupertino Union School District. Currently I am serving as a substitute teacher, as it allows me time with my family and to volunteer in my daughters’ classrooms. Los Altos United Methodist Church has been my church home since I was in third grade. I was in Sunshine Singers myself, as well as Lightshine and Starfire Singers. My husband, Bill Hare, plays with the Creekside Worship Band on Sunday nights, and my daughters are currently in Lightshine Choir. Obviously, our family enjoys music, and we are thrilled to be a part of the music program at LAUMC!

JOSE MENDIOLA
Interim Director of Chancel Choir

JOSE MENDIOLA
Interim Director of Chancel Choir
chancelchoir@laumc.org
650-948-1083

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ERICA CARLSTROM
Director of Rainbow Choir

ERICA CARLSTROM
Director of Rainbow Choir
rainbowchoir@laumc.org
650-948-1083

About Me:

As a former Rainbow, Sunshine, Lightshine, and Starfire member and a current member of Creekside Worship Band, I never thought I would be directing the very choir that started my life of singing. When I’m not directing Rainbow, you can find me singing at Creekside Crossings, or hanging out with Journey (our jr. high youth group). During the summer I help out with Vacation Bible School, am a counselor at Camp Quest (our conference’s jr. high summer camp), chaperone the Starfire tour, and travel with my family.

I studied child development at Sacramento State University and got my Master in Teaching and teaching credential from Santa Clara University. I currently teach Kindergarten at Bishop Elementary School in Sunnyvale.

I am constantly amazed at how quickly the kids learn songs and how well they sing them in church. Even if they forget the words or which part to sing next, they always look so happy and adorable. And who knows, maybe there is a future Rainbow Choir director in the group!

PAUL ROSAS
Senior Organist

PAUL ROSAS
Senior Organist
tpaulrosas@comcast.net
650-948-1083

I take great joy in working with singers and instrumentalists to create moments of worship and inspiration. I also compose and arrange music for worship services and special individuals in his life. My 50+ years of experience on the piano and organ have given me insight into solving musical problems and working easily with everyone I meet.

My wife, Karen, and I enjoy gardening together, going on day adventures to explore the hidden nooks and crannies of the Bay Area AND finding great restaurants along the way. When we’re not traveling, we both enjoy a wide variety of mystery, sci fi and historic novels. We also volunteer at the Filoli Historic Gardens and with the Alzheimer’s Association.

DIRK DAMONTE
Minister of Music & Worship Arts

DIRK DAMONTE
Director of Lightshine & Starfire
dirkdamonte@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x115

As the minister of music and worship arts, I have the coolest job at the church! I get to dream about, vision for, plan, and implement worship at this amazing church. I get to work with an incredibly talented, dedicated, and artistically diverse staff and a wonderful group of committed, creative, and tireless volunteers.

I was a piano performance major at the University of Puget Sound, where I received a Bachelor of Music Degree. I received a Master of Arts in Worship and the Arts and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion. I am an ordained Deacon in Full Connection. If none of that matters much to you, that’s okay. The most important thing is that I love making music, being involved in worship, and being a part of the Los Altos United Methodist Church Community.

My wife, Carol, who is the director of youth ministries and youth music, and I have been at LAUMC in some capacity for 30 years. Together we direct the Starfire Singers, our high school choir, and Lightshine, our middle school choir. We have two adult sons, Dustin, who lives in Seattle and will be going on to pursue graduate studies in opera, and Dylan, who lives here, plays drums in the Creekside Worship Band, and works in media ministries.

Worship is all about connection—our connection with God and with the community that gathers together to worship God. I pray that you find that connection here at LAUMC.

CAROL DAMONTE
Director of Music & Ministry for Youth

CAROL DAMONTE
Director of Lightshine & Starfire
caroldamonte@laumc.org
650-948-1083 x131

Youth n. The appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, characteristic of one who is young.

God n. Supreme Being, the creator and sustainer of the universe. Family n. A social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not. “Family” is also described as a community and a global village. Love n. A virtue representing human kindness and compassion. For over thirty years I have had the incredible joy of weaving these four words into the tapestry of LAUMC’s ministry. As Director of Ministries and Music for Youth, my life is filled with young people, powerful conversations around faith, journeys through scripture at youth fellowship, and rehearsals where we discover how words of profound meaning are linked to phrases of beautiful music. My ministry is filled with bursts of creativity as my husband, Dirk, and I write and produce musicals around challenging faith issues. The ministry also deals with the pain and hope that comes when we delve into issues of social justice. And, of course, there are the ah-hah moments where we “get” what it means to live out Christ’s call with head, heart and hands. Youth ministries at LAUMC offer young people the chance to understand what it means to “launch and find safe landing.” We celebrate bold dreams right alongside challenging realities, and always stand poised and ready to leap at any moment into God’s unlimited joy. As one who loves the word family, it is not surprising that you will often find me with a cup of coffee talking “ministry, music, and meaning” with my husband, Dirk, “life and mystery with our youngest son, Dylan, and “opera and all that brings joy” with our oldest son, Dustin. And together, the four of us can be seen redefining the word family as we open our arms to our church family, our community, and God’s world. We are all readers of books, care takers of the outcast and marginalized, travelers of the world, makers of music, believers in the human connection, and keepers of faith. In the end, it is the word love, that virtue of human kindness and compassion, the word that Jesus lived for and lived out, that finds me, holds me, knows me, drives me, and fuels my living each and every day. Welcome to my ministry.   Graduate of the University of Puget Sound- BM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy Co-Founder of LAUMC’s Anti Human Trafficking Group

 

CHILDREN’S CENTER STAFF

HEIDI BLISS
Co-Director

HEIDI BLISS
Co-Director
heidibliss@laumc.org
650-941-5411 x141

Bio coming soon

SABINE MULLER-ROTH
Administrative Assistant

SABINE MULLER-ROTH
Administrative Assistant
childrenscenter@laumc.org
650-941-5411

Bio coming soon.

DEE GRAY
Co-Director

DEE GRAY
Co-Director
deegray@laumc.org
650-941-5411 x141

Bio coming soon.

BRYN STUEBNER
Family Resource Center Coordinator

BRYN STUEBNER
Family Resource Center Coordinator
brynstuebner@laumc.org
650-941-5411 x119

I recently joined the LAUMC family as an employee after years of being a church member and volunteer. Responsibilities that I tackle in my job include planning and organizing educational parenting speakers, maintaining a parent resource library, and organizing family fun entertainment activities for the church and Children’s Center families. I received my undergraduate degree in American studies and a master’s degree in sociology, both from Stanford University. I worked at Hewlett-Packard for 10 years, holding various human resources positions. After my second baby was born, I established my own HR consulting practice, which allowed me to work part-time on projects of interest.

On the family side, I have been married for the past 22 years to Jim Stuebner, my Stanford sweetheart, and we live just down the road from the church in Los Altos. Jim and I have three children: Cailey, a sophomore at Pepperdine University, Jake, an 11th grader at Mountain View High, and Bridget, my 8 year old. (Who keeps me on my toes and has the entire family wrapped around her little finger.)

When not caring for the children or working, I keep busy volunteering and am active in the PTA for my children’s schools and volunteering for each of my Stanford reunions. My hobbies include exercising, walking my puppy, being a Brownie leader, cheering on my kids’ sports activities, reading, and watching movies.

I am thrilled to be a part-time employee at the church and appreciate the flexibility it affords to continue with my passions of volunteering and caring for my family. Please come and visit me in my office at the Children’s Center – I welcome all to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities and resources available at the LAUMC Family Resource Center!

CAROLI JOHNSON
Executive Assistant

CAROLI JOHNSON
Executive Assistant
childrenscenter@laumc.org
650-941-5411

Bio coming soon.