Pastor: John Song
I have been an ordained United Methodist pastor for the past 36 years in the CA-Nevada Conference. I have served in a variety of church settings mostly in the Bay Area.
Having completed my undergraduate studies in Humanities at U.C. Berkeley, I went on to complete a Master of Divinity at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. In addition, I received a certification of Spiritual Director at a 3-year program at Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA.
I have a passion for helping people discover integral Christianity and cultivate healthy and transformative Christian life through spiritual teaching, theological grounding, meditation practices, and embodied spirituality. I have a special interest in applying Christian mystical tradition for illuminating and deepening Christian faith and life. I have a deep vocational commitment to teach and guide people through psycho-spiritual inner work for transformation and discovering their deepest YES! I have great interest in integrating contemplative spiritual practice with social justice work.
I enjoy teaching, spiritual retreats, Improv, art and culture. My more physically active pursuits include tennis, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, playing conga, hiking/backpacking, and nature/outdoor activities.
Office Manager: Erika Bernabe
In my position as Office Manager, I am in charge of the building use, and I oversee all administrative functions of the church. I am the welcoming face of our congregation to members, guests, and visitors. I enjoy supporting the loving ministry of the church. I love to be active in most of the outreach programs offered by the church. The continuous support provided to me by this congregation has allowed me to grow, and develop my spiritual growth. I enjoy spending time with my family, swimming, and bike riding.
Communication Director and Office Assistant: Hilda Rocha
It’s a pleasure working for the Watsonville First United Methodist Church as the Communication Director and Office Assistant. I take pride and joy in effectively and creatively communicating to the public What’s Happening at our church. I frequently have the opportunity to interact with church members, visitors and the broader community of Watsonville. I love serving my community and spreading the joy and love that is Jesus Christ. I feel welcomed, loved and appreciated in this special place and I pray that others get to experience this too. For fun, I enjoy nature walks, baking and watching movies.
Music Director: Mike Locke-Paddon
Michael Locke-Paddon has a degree in music composition from the University of Idaho, and is currently working towards a master’s degree from San Jose State University. He has many years of experience making music in our area and enjoys teaching music to children and youth.
Pianist/Organist/Piano Teacher: Marina Thomas
I enjoy spreading happiness and joy through my music. I love working with the children and teaching them how to play the piano. The congregation here at Watsonville 1st UMC holds a special place in my heart. It’s a great pleasure of being part of this wonderful ministry. As a hobby, I enjoy crocheting toys and other figurines. And I love my kitten!
Media Director: Antonio Pantaleon
Antonio is our Media Director. He is in charge of the tech department of the church of operating the state-of-the art cameras and video production equipment for recording and Live Streaming our weekly Sunday services. He is available for weddings, funerals, and concerts to record and/or live stream your event for those who cannot be there in person. Antonio graduated from CSUMB (CA State University Monterey Bay) with a B.A. in cinematic arts and technology.
Nursery Attendant: Tatyana Martinez
I’ve been a member of the Watsonville First United Methodist Church since 2004. I have over 5 years of experience working with children and I’m certified in CPR, AED, and First Aid & CPR for Children, Infants, and Adults. When I’m not in school, I like playing video games and listening to BTS. I look forward to meeting you.
Nursery Attendant: Julissa Solis
Julissa serves as our Nursery Attendant on Sunday mornings during our weekly Sunday services. Julissa enjoys working with the children and preparing creative and interactive activities for all the little ones. She strives to provide a safe, caring and nurturing environment for all the children who attend our Sunday services.
Worship Liturgist: Tahja Martinez
As a Liturgist, Tahja helps with the leading of weekly Sunday worship with our pastor. Tahja also serves as an Assistant to our Music Director in running our Children Music Programs. For fun, Tahja enjoys creatively expressing herself through her beautiful art work.
Church Chef and Cleaning Team: Norma Luciano
Norma Luciano is the church chef. She prepares delicious food for special events and brings great joy to our church community through her cooking. Norma also serves as part of our Clean Team which is responsible for the maintenance of our building. Through this work Norma creates a clean and welcoming environment for all who attend our church.
Cleaning Team: Harvey Avitua
As part of the Clean Team I tidy each room and office space so that it is ready for members & guests to use. I am proud to be able to help however I can! The building must be clean and pleasant to welcome the people to worship or just to gather and share. If everything is clean and organized and guests don’t even stop to think about it then I have done my job. I enjoy eating out, watching psychological thrillers or just hanging out with my family. I like taking long walks to local stores. I take advantage of my extended commute to my work to listen to audiobooks or many humorous podcasts.