Here is our staff which, along with a dedicated team of lay persons, keeps CUMC a vital and engaged ministry in our community.
I was born and raised in Southern California. I grew up in Lakewood, CA, and was active in the First United Methodist Church of Long Beach. My father was head usher, mother was a Sunday School teacher, sang in children’s’ choirs before I could read, and learned to read music in bell choir.
Being a “Cradle Christian” I was raised to know and love the stories of the Bible, and to understand God’s love and acceptance. Like John Wesley, however, it was only later that I had an experience where I learned and realized that all of that information applied to me. This happened, of course, at church camp, Elementary camp at Cedar Glen, where I responded to an altar call and then came home asking “what does it mean that I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior?”
Upon becoming a believer, I began to hear a different call of God in my life. In youth group, and in madrigal singers in high school, I began to understand and practice the gifts of listening, caring, organization and leadership. As I began to practice pastoral roles, I realized that this work satisfied an inner hunger, so I set out on the path to ordination. I attended Cal State Long Beach, where I received a BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. I met with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry, who told me that being born, raised, educated, and churched in Southern California, I should probably go somewhere else for seminary. I applied at schools around the country, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, was the first to say “Yes.” So I spent three years in the Chicago area. I came back to the California-Pacific Annual Conference, where I was ordained and appointed to serve. I served as an Associate Pastor at the Yorba Linda UMC and Shepherd of the Hills Church in Mission Viejo. My first solo charge was the lovely, multi-cultural Artesia-Cerritos UMC. Next came Saint Andrew UMC in Santa Maria, where I went through some major life changes at church camp – this time at Colby Ranch.
In all of these places, times and experiences, I learned to be open to the movement of the Spirit, and that the best leadership is that which points beyond oneself to what God is doing today.
Director of Christian Education and Caring Ministries
I have been blessed to serve in many capacities here at CUMC over the past 17 years. As Director of Nurture and Outreach ministries I get to work where my passion is, helping other people. I love being involved with helping people locally and globally. As staff I get to help people find ways to live out their calling to help others, whether that is through our Congregational Care Ministries program, Shower Ministry program, EngageHB, or one of many other outreach ministries that we have here at CUMC. As a lifelong United Methodist, I love being able to live out my faith everyday by helping to show the love of God to others. I love this church family and the way CUMC lives into it’s calling of helping to transformation the world.
I have been married to Jeff for over 35 years and we have 2 grown sons. To refresh my spirit I read, garden, do Pilates, yoga, and Disney.
Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries
For me, this opportunity was a natural progression from teaching elementary school to raising three boys to volunteering at CUMC with every age group from preschool through high school.
One of the highlights of my position is sharing in the children’s discovery of their faith and learning more about my own faith through them. They have a simplicity that is refreshing. I feel assured that our future is in good hands.
I am a Southern California native and a life-long Methodist. My husband, Bobby, and I enjoy camping and boating with our family. I look forward to my weekly soccer games, monthly scrapbooking gatherings and am always looking for an opportunity to play any board game. I am an amateur photographer and hope to sharpen my skills in this hobby.
Dr. James Calhoun
Director of Music Ministry
James brings a wealth of experience and talent to our thriving Music Ministry, beginning with his joining the youth choir at Macedonia Baptist Church in the Watts area of Los Angeles. He later earned Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees with majors in organ performance and church/sacred music graduate from the University of Southern California. His more recent sacred music experiences have included the Los Angeles area Westminster Presbyterian Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Second Baptist Church and Holman United Methodist Church and director of the dlw (Don Lee White) Community Chorale, a group of 45 gifted singers dedicated to the preservation and performance of black sacred music in it’s many forms including, negro spirituals, hymns, anthems, cantatas, and traditional gospel music.
As an educator, Dr. Calhoun has taught at the University of La Verne, Loyola Marymount University, University of California at Irvine, and Cypress College. He has traveled extensively including a 2006 European tour with the Paul Smith Singers to Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Essen, and Vienna. In March 2010 James performed with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers in concert at Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall), both as soloist and accompanist and he recently made his debut performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall where he was featured in a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Organ Concerto with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.
We are blessed to have James join us in doing God’s work through music!
Preschool School Director
Vicki has been the Director of the preschool since 1999. She earned her degree at Loyola-Marymount University. She enjoys the company of her three children – April, Travis and Clint. She likes gardening with April, reading and going to the movies.
What a joy it is to be serving with you at CUMC as Worship Coordinator. Along with my husband Steve, we have two grown sons Justin and Matt who have beautiful families of their own. The joys of my life are my 3 grandchildren, Hannah, Lily, and William, who keep me very busy but happy.
In my spare time…I enjoy working Sr. High Summer Camp and walking along side young people on their faith journey, and I love to create! I do this through many different mediums such as gardening, singing/music, sewing, and I especially love creating sacred space. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” This verse keeps me grounded in all my comings and goings.
Office Manager and Bookkeeper
Thank you all for the warm welcome in 2020. CUMC is my happy place. When life gets a little chaotic, as it does, I find comfort with this church family. I often lean on God’s words Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” These words keep me grounded and focused on His plan.
I am a California native, with a degree from Long Beach State University. My husband, Christian, and I have been married for 20 years and have 2 beautiful teenage sons, Sean and Erik. Our family loves spending time together while traveling, hiking, playing board games and sharing meals. If I haven’t met you, please stop by and say hello.
Coordinator of Web- Based Communications
With a life-long involvement in the United Methodist Church as the daughter of a pastor, Emalee is thrilled to be serving the CUMC congregation as Coordinator of Web-Based Communications. She brings a marketing communications background with an MBA and Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Denver. She transplanted to Huntington Beach with her husband and daughter from Colorado via Bakersfield, CA in January, 2017. She enjoys spending time baking, running, and going on fun adventures with her family.