Contact the Staff
Church Office 310-393-8258
Preschool Office 310-395-7292
Send an email by clicking the name of the person below or fill out the email form at the bottom of this page.
Christina Eddy – Business Administrator
Christina joined First UMC in early 2010. She has nearly 30 years of experience in for-profit and non-profit work. She is a C.P.A. and received her M.B.A. from Notre Dame De Namur in 2000. Aside from her for profit work experience, she has served as Director of Finance of YMCA of San Francisco for nearly a decade, and as C.F.O. for Jewish Vocational Service L.A., where she currently sits on finance and planning committees as a volunteer. It is one of her greatest passions to serve our church and connect people and resources so that the mission of First UMC moves forward with transformation and grace. She finds the connectional body of the church to transform the world authentic, encouraging, and a privileged responsibility. She resides in Topanga, CA with her husband and two boys, of which the youngest is a graduate of First UMC Preschool.
Anne Premer – Congregation Care Giver
Anne is originally from New York, and grew up on Long Island. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Delaware (coincidentally she was a student there while Rev. Patricia Farris served as the school Chaplain!) Anne’s work experience includes working in the entertainment industry with her late husband, Dallas, and she even appeared on the Academy Awards! For the last several years she has been actively involved in the Cancer Support Community (formerly the Wellness Community) in caregiver support and education. Anne recently completed a certified training course at WISE & Healthy Aging taught by Dr. Miriam Caiden who is the Director of Community Aging Resources and Education in Santa Monica.
Anne is passionate about being the Congregation Care Visitor and looks forward to extending
the congregation’s care, love and encouragement. She lives in Santa Monica and in her free time, she enjoys yoga, music, travel and hanging out with family and friends.
Tina Gage – Communications Director
Tina graduated from UC Irvine in English, and has a masters degree in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate School. She enjoys her job at the church where she designs all things graphic – from the orders of worship and Sentinels to the large sanctuary banners and special event signage.
Tina currently lives in Topanga with her two sons. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, reading, yoga and hiking. In the spring of 2014 she even had some of her art pieces exhibited in the Fireside Room.
Sarah Rold – Lead Coordinator
First UMC has been part of Sarah’s life since she was a child. Visiting her Aunt Claudia and Uncle Phil Flanders every summer, they would bring her to worship on Sundays. So when she moved from Montana, after receiving her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Montana, to live somewhere much warmer, she continued to come to church and hasn’t stopped yet.
When she’s not in the church office or at worship, she is helping out with the Children’s After School Theater Program (C.A.S.T.) with her husband, Dane Rold, C.A.S.T.’s director. He also works in the preschool as the Assistant to the Director. Sarah also loves reading, scrap-booking, and most of all spending time with her husband and their son.
Shalimar Carducci – Communications Coordinator
Shalimar has a deep love for the community of First UMC of Santa Monica. It all began when she worked as an assistant teacher for the preschool in 2007. Years later, she left the school to continue her education and to be her grandparents’ caregiver. Then, through a First UMC preschool family connection, she found herself working for My Life Foundation, a non-profit providing services to and for individuals with developmental special needs. Besides motherhood, for her, there has not been a more humbling and human experience than her time with the Foundation. She made her way back to First UMC when temporary administrative assistance was needed in the preschool and the rest is history. Shalimar is grateful to be working with the wonderful staff of both the church and preschool and the warm community of the First UMC congregation.
Shalimar lives in West Los Angeles with her husband and daughter, who now attends the preschool! For fun she enjoys zumba and dance lessons, cooking, music performances, face painting, and swimming at the SMC pool with her family.
David Penson – Facilities & Membership Coordinator
David originally hails from Phoenix, Arizona, and has actively attended church here at First UMC since 2005. He graduated Santa Monica College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and currently works on-air part time at KCRW and KFI when he’s not working here at the church. In his free time, David enjoys hikes, walking his dog Begley, with his wife Jen. Stop by and say hello to David at the Hospitality Table on Sundays!
dr. james e. Smith – Music Director
Jim Smith has been the Music Director of First UMC Santa Monica since 1965. Read the September 2015 Sentinel celebrating his 50th anniversary.
Ty Woodward – Organist
Ty Woodward has played classical and theatre organ concerts that have ranged from performances at Westminster Abbey, London; Trinity Church, New York; The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.; St. James Cathedral, Toronto and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles to Shea’s Theatre, Buffalo; the Byrd Theatre, Richmond; the Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids; the Alabama Theatre, Birmingham and the outdoor pipe organ in Balboa Park, San Diego where his July 2012 concert was attended by over 2,300 people. He has played several major works with orchestra including the Symphonie Concertante of Joseph Jongen and Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3.
His recording credits include a solo classical recording on the Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and a theatre organ recording on the Wurlitzer organ at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, N.Y. along with accompaniments for many choral recordings.
Ty holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance and a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California. He is a former Dean of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and has served on the Commission of Liturgy and Music for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. He is currently Organist at First United Methodist Church, Santa Monica, and a Staff Organist at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
As a pipe organ consultant, he has worked with numerous churches on the design and installation of their pipe organ and is the area representative for the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio.
Bastsheva Spector – Preschool Director
Batsheva graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelors degree in Education and from the State University of New York – Brockport with a Masters degree in Education. She has been working as a director of preschools for since 1997. And has been working in our First UMC Preschool since 2012.
She is the proud mother of three wonderful children; Joshua, Ariella, and Michael.
She loves working with parents and teachers to help provide the opportunity for each child to grow and flourish to the best of his/her abilities. Her goal is to provide the most nurturing, safe, loving, developmentally stimulating environment for every child in this Christian valued based program. She is thrilled to be working here as the Director of First UMC Preschool.
Dane Rold – Assistant to the Preschool Director
Many of you know Dane as a member of First UMC, and Director of Children’s After School Theater (C.A.S.T.). Dane has years of experience teaching children anything from swimming, cooking and acting and has a background in acting.
Dane lives with his wife Sarah – who works upstairs in the church office, and the two drive in to work together daily.