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Click through the tabs below to view our different staff, officers, and deacons.

 

Click through the tabs below to view our different staff, officers, and deacons.

 

Staff

  • Rev. Timothy Avazian
    Rev. Timothy Avazian
    Interim Pastor

    For the past two-and-a-half years, Tim has served as the Interim Head of Staff at Magnolia Presbyterian Church in Riverside, CA. Prior to this he served as an Interim Senior Pastor at Christ Presbyterian in Carlsbad, CA and for 16 years Associate Pastor at Irvine Presbyterian Church. Married for 32 years to Karyn (who is a clinical psychologist in private practice), they have four children, Aaron (who is a design engineer for a bio-medical engineering firm) twin daughters, Lizzy (a senior at Chapman University) and Emily (a senior at UC San Diego) and daughter Lauren (a freshman at Baylor University). Tim, who grew up in Los Angeles, loves to cheer for LA sports teams (the Dodgers and Lakers being his favorites) to read, work in his yard and to go on hikes with his family. The grandson of Armenian immigrants who came to this country because of persecutions in their native Turkey, Tim has always had a heart for those who have come to this country to begin a new life and for those who live on the margins of society.

     

 

Office Staff

  • Kristin Baldonaldo
    Kristin Baldonaldo
    Office Communications Coordinator

    Kristin is our Office Communications Coordinator. If you call the church office, she is the friendly lady who will get you the information or help you need. She creates the weekly power point and bulletins for our Sunday Services. Her passion is photography and she loves writing, baseball and music. She has been married to Jerry for 25 years and has two sons, Sam and Ben.

  • Martha Bodlovich
    Martha Bodlovich
    Financial Manager

    Martha handles the cold hard cash: she records the church's income and pays the bills (on time!). She reports on the status of the church's finances, providing regular reports to the Session, as well as sending out giving summaries to indvidual members.

 

 

Music & Worship Staff

  • Joshua Palkki
    Joshua Palkki
    Director of Chancel Choir

    Joshua Palkki is Director of Music and Director of the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian. In addition, he is Assistant Professor of Vocal/Choral Music Education at California State University, Long Beach. He holds a Ph.D in music education (choral conducting cognate) from Michigan State University. Palkki taught middle and high school choral music in Maryland and California and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ball State University and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University. After starting his music/singing career at his home church in upper Michigan at age 7, he has held church choir positions at Flagstaff Federated Community Church (Flagstaff, AZ) and the Presbyterian Church of Okemos (Michigan).

  • Macain Treat
    Macain Treat
    Soul Feast Music Leader

    Macain Treat leads our Sunday evening "Soul Feast" music team. A graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, Macain leads his own Contemporary Christian Band (called "Tenth and California"), and they have posted several music videos on YouTube. He also leads singing from his acoustic guitar with great energy and verve.

  • Insuk Park
    Insuk Park
    Organist

    Insuk Park has been accompanying churches since she was 15. Born in Korea, where she first began piano and organ lessons, she earned a Master’s degree in Organ at Kazan State Conservatory in Russia, and later played organ in Italy. She and her husband came to the US thirteen years ago and she has served as church organist most recently at First Presbyterian in Torrance. Insuk makes her home in Torrance with her husband, two daughters and a cat.

  • Elliot Porterfield
    Elliot Porterfield
    Tech Systems Manager

    Elliot coordinates use of the sound equipment, setting up and tearing down when needed, fixing things when they go wrong, and scheduling the sound board operators for each service. He recently graduated from UC Berkeley, and works in aerospace safety analysis for his day job.

  • Danny Pravder
    Danny Pravder
    Contemporary Music Coordinator

    Danny Pravder is a pianist and composer based out of the Greater Los Angeles Area. He attended Skidmore College on a classical piano scholarship, and was a recipient of the Young Emerging Artist Scholarship in honor of the legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. Danny has composed for a wide variety of ensembles, ranging from ballet to big band.

    He has music directed seven full length musicals. He showcased original works at the nationally recognized Place Theater and Plaza Hotel, and performed at events headlined by Grammy Winners Liza Minelli, Steve Martin, Edie Brickell and Pablo Sanchez.

    Danny is a ballet, modern and character class accompanist with the American Ballet Theatre Gillespie School, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, California State University Long Beach and Chapman University. He is also a keyboardist for the renowned television program, the Hour of Power.

    Danny recently recorded piano, composed and arranged at Capitol Records for Grammy winning rapper Kid Cudi’s album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. Additionally, Danny improvised and composed original material for his performance with Kid Cudi on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

  • Jake Asaro
    Jake Asaro
    Children's Choir Director

    Jacob received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a focus in Voice from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. He directs the “Troubadours” and “Bel Canto,” of the South Bay Children’s Chorus, located in Torrance, CA.

    Jake is an active vocalist in the LA/OC area, performing with groups such as the Mark Morris Dance Company (Dido and Aeneas), various professional church choirs, and “The Rolling Stones.” He has also worked as a studio singer to record for various video game soundtracks.

    Jacob specializes in vocal pedagogy and teaching all styles of singing.

    “My goal is not to create a certain type of singer or musician, but to help cultivate a sense of confidence and vocal freedom in any style of singing.”

 

 

Children & Youth Staff

  • Sharon McLachlan
    Sharon McLachlan
    Toddler Room Coordinator

    Sharon McLachlan grew up her in San Pedro, where she attended Dana Middle School and San Pedro High. She joined our church in 2005 (after visiting for several years), and soon became involved in ministry to kids. Her smiling face is a welcome sight to many children in our church.

  • Jake Asaro
    Jake Asaro
    Children's Choir Director

    Jacob received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a focus in Voice from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. He directs the “Troubadours” and “Bel Canto,” of the South Bay Children’s Chorus, located in Torrance, CA.

    Jake is an active vocalist in the LA/OC area, performing with groups such as the Mark Morris Dance Company (Dido and Aeneas), various professional church choirs, and “The Rolling Stones.” He has also worked as a studio singer to record for various video game soundtracks.

    Jacob specializes in vocal pedagogy and teaching all styles of singing.

    “My goal is not to create a certain type of singer or musician, but to help cultivate a sense of confidence and vocal freedom in any style of singing.”

 

Session

The session is a group of elected officers (the pastor and the elders). It is responsible for the mission and government of the church. The elders are elected for three year terms, one-third of the Session being elected each year. Note that elders are ordained for life, but only serve on Session when they are are elected. In our church, the elections are held during a congregational meeting in the Fall.

 

Session Members

Pastor/Moderator

  • Rev. Tim Avazian

 

Clerks

  • Elliot Porterfield

 

Class of 2017

  • Roger Quadhamer- Worship and Music (Chair)
  • Sue Speth- Mission (Chair)
  • Gordon Teuber- Membership
  • Todd Walter- Student Ministries
  • Christy Wade- Student Ministries (Chair)

Class of 2018

  • Bob Goldsworthy- Personnel
  • Rick Iwai- Membership (chair)
  • Paul Puskar
  • Virginia Wade
  • Marcie Wigle-Stewardship (co-chair)

Class of 2019

  • Sandy DeLossa- Stewardship (co-chair)
  • Cam Beck
  • Lauren Beck- Student Ministries
  • Elliot Porterfield- Personnel (chair)
  • Matthew Benjamin

 

Sarah Mantz is also co-chair of the Student Ministries Commission

 

 

Detailed responsibilities

From the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Order:

 

The session shall have responsibility for governing the congregation and guiding its witness to the sovereign activity of God in the world, so that the congregation is and becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness. As it leads and guides the witness of the congregation, the session shall keep before it the marks of the Church (F-1.0302), the notes by which Presbyterian and Reformed congregations have identified themselves throughout history (F-1.0303) and the six Great Ends of the Church (F-1.0304).

 

In light of this charge, the session has responsibility and power to:

  1. provide that the Word of God may be truly preached and heard. This responsibility shall include providing a place where the congregation may regularly gather for worship, education, and spiritual nurture; providing for regular preaching of the Word by a teaching elder or other person prepared and approved for the work; planning and leading regular efforts to reach into the community and the world with the message of salvation and the invitation to enter into committed discipleship; planning and leading ministries of social healing and reconciliation in the community in accordance with the prophetic witness of Jesus Christ; and initiating and responding to ecumenical efforts that bear witness to the love and grace of God.

  2. provide that the Sacraments may be rightly administered and received. This responsibility shall include authorizing the celebration of the Lord’s Supper at least quarterly and the administration of Baptism as appropriate, in accordance with the principles of the Directory for Worship; and exercising pastoral care among the congregation; in order that the Sacraments may be received as a means of grace, and the congregation may live in the unity represented in the Sacraments.

  3. nurture the covenant community of disciples of Christ. This responsibility shall include receiving and dismissing members; reviewing the roll of active members at least annually and counseling with those who have neglected the responsibilities of membership; providing programs of nurture, education, and fellowship; training, examining, ordaining, and installing those elected by the congregation as ruling elders and deacons; encouraging the graces of generosity and faithful stewardship of personal and financial resources; managing the physical property of the congregation for the furtherance of its mission; directing the ministry of deacons, trustees, and all organizations of the congregation; employing the administrative staff of the congregation; leading the congregation in participating in the mission of the whole church; warning and bearing witness against error in doctrine and immorality in practice within the congregation and community; and serving in judicial matters in accordance with the Rules of Discipline.

 

Deacons

Moderator: Sue Masengale

Vice-Moderator: Martha Bodlovich

 

The office of Deacon, as set forth in Scripture, is one of sympathy, witness, and service after the example of Jesus Christ. Here at First Presbyterian Church, this caring ministry is taken very seriously. Thus, deacons are elected by the congregation, examined by the session, and ordained by the pastor. Most deacons serve a three year term on a 20 person board. This Board of Deacons is responsible for the following tasks:

 

  • Greeting those attending worship every week.
  • Providing coffee after worship on the second Sunday of every month.
  • Preparing the elements for communion and cleaning up when it is finished.
  • Maintaining regular contact with sick and shut-in members using cards, visits, and telephone calls.
  • Sending sermon tapes to shut-ins who request them.
  • Hosting a monthly luncheon (called "Forever Young") for elderly and shut-in church members.
  • Hosting receptions following funerals of church members.
  • Delivering seasonal gifts to the elderly, the shut-ins, and the staff.

 

In order to fulfill this ministry, all deacons meet for an hour and a half on the first Thursday of each month. After this meeting, sub-committees usually gather to organize receptions or the monthly lunch. At least nine deacons also serve as liaisons to the standing commissions of our church.

 

Anyone interested in learning more about this ministry is encouraged to contact our moderator and/or our pastor for further details.

 

Commissions

The work of the church happens through the commissions. They are the incubators for new ideas and the forum for discussing how things happen. The chairperson of each commission is normally a member of Session, and the rest of the commission is drawn from the congregation. Anyone is welcome to join a commission (except Nominating), just contact the chairperson to learn about meeting times.

 

 


Student Ministries Commission

The Student Ministries Commission oversees our educational and relational ministry to middle school, high school, and college aged young people. They organize Youth Sunday School, Youth Fellowship, and "Hang-Out" (a non-threatening community outreach) every week. They also organize youth Sundays, youth camps, youth weekends, and mission trips. They contact church youth regularly and encourage them to participate in worship, fellowship, and service. They also seek responsible volunteers to assist with this ministry.

 

Chairperson: Christy Wade

 

 

Membership / Adult Discipleship

Description Coming Soon

 

Chairperson: Rick Iwai

 

 

Mission Commission

The Mission Commission supports a wide variety of humanitarian and evangelistic work in our city and throughout the world. Well over 10% of our budget is earmarked specifically for this purpose. Within Southern California, these funds support ministries to drug addicts, mentally ill persons, abused women, adoptive families, foster families, and the homeless. Outside of Southern California, these funds support several full time missionaries.

 

We increase awareness of Mission Opportunities through an annual Mission's Fair, an Alternative Christmas Market, a variety of missionary speakers, and the annual CROP walk for world hunger. In partnership with the Student Ministries Commission, we also encourage short-term mission trips, including a recent project in West Virginia. A major project of this commission is the annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive, which has distributed several thousand boxes of food and gifts to needy families in our community throughout the years.

 

Chairperson: Sue Speth

 

 

Personnel Commission

This commission recruits, hires, and evaluates both full and part-time staff for the church. They maintain up-to-date job descriptions for each staff member. They evaluate each staff member at least biannually, they recommend salary changes, and they work to resolve significant performance problems that may occur. They also work to resolve any inter-personal problems or conflicts involving staff members.

 

Chairperson: Elliot Porterfield and Mike Mantz

 

 

Stewardship Commission

This Commission manages both the finances and the property of our church. They count the weekly offering and oversee the investment funds of the church. They supervise the financial secretary, they monitor financial reports, they create an annual pledge campaign, and they recommend an annual church budget for approval by the session. They oversee the maintenance and repair of church property. They also approve the use of church property by outside groups.

 

Chairperson: Sandy DeLossa

 

 

Worship & Music Commission

This commission is responsible for all aspects of church worship and music. Through the music staff, they organize music rehearsals and plan the music for each worship service. Through designated volunteers, they furnish liturgists, ushers and sound technicians each Sunday. They organize elders to serve the elements on each Communion Sunday, and they provide a sound technician for weddings and funerals when requested. They are also responsible for banners and seasonal decorations in and around the sanctuary.

 

Chairperson: Roger Quadhamer

 

 

Nominating Committee

This commission seeks to discover the individuals that God is calling to be elders and deacons in our church. In making this decision, they prayerfully consider stewardship, attendance, giftedness, spiritual maturity, and willingness to serve. In a typical year, they seek at least 7 elders and 11 deacons. This process takes several months of work.

 

Chairperson: TBD

 

 

Mission Facilitation Team

Description Coming Soon

 

Chairperson:

 

 

Technology Support Team

Description Coming Soon

 

Chairperson: Elliot Porterfield



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    Sun, Oct 08, 2017