Loft Leadership

Rev. Molly Vetter

Rev. Molly Vetter
Senior Pastor
molly@westwoodumc.org

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Rev. Molly Vetter is passionate about many things: building community with unlikely and diverse people, making the church more boldly welcoming, and caring for the earth. She was appointed Senior Pastor of Westwood United Methodist Church in 2019. She’s excited to serve a congregation with such a rich legacy of thoughtful engagement on social issues and such an incredible worship space in which to connect to the grace and mystery of our God.
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In her personal and professional life, she loves planning events and trips, and enjoys experiencing them, too. She loves designing and making things, especially out of fabric or food or the internet.
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Before coming to Westwood, she served for several years as lead pastor of Redondo Beach First United Methodist Church, and for 11 years as an Associate Pastor at San Diego First United Methodist Church. Molly received her Masters of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in 2001. Commissioned as an Elder in 2001, she was ordained in full connection in 2004.
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Outside of the local church, she’s enjoyed working with District Junior High Camps and Strength for the Journey, a retreat for adults living with HIV/AIDS in San Diego County. For many years, she led a weekly Bible study at the San Diego Rescue Mission Women and Children Center, and she has also guided Bible studies and taught classes for the California-Pacific Annual Conference and San Diego State University. She currently volunteers as the Communications Coordinator for the Grain Place Foundation, a non-profit that will inherit and continue her family’s organic farm in central Nebraska.
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She’s really good at church meetings. Her work in the United Methodist Church has included serving as Chair of the Order of Elders for our Annual Conference, and as member of its delegations to General Conference in 2008, 2012 and 2016. As a Board member of the General Board of Church and Society, she supported work for Economic and Environmental Justice. She been a part of Faith and Order work of the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches.
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As an undergraduate, Molly studied Art History at Boston University, and spent a semester abroad in Niger, in West Africa. Molly is a graduate of North Platte High School in western Nebraska. Molly lives with her husband, Matthew Parker, and their son Jonah.

Josh Lopez Reyes

Josh Lopez-Reyes
Curator of Loft Worship and Beloved Community
josh@theloftla.org

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Josh is not the most interesting man in the world, but he aspires to stay thirsty for justice and mercy. He is gratefully married to his life partner, Grecia who is an amazing community organizer. As a Chicano, Josh often refers to himself as an ‘organic Hispanic’. Though he was born and raised in central California, he has lived in the greater Los Angeles area for more than a decade. A transformative time for Josh was the two years that he spent in his twenties living and working in a favela community in Brazil. His mother encouraged him to stay in school, and to not be a fool, so he went to Azusa Pacific University and Seminary where he messed around and got a triple double in theology, transformational urban leadership and divinity. As the Curator of Loft Worship and Beloved Community, Josh is responsible for curating our weekly gatherings and our justice efforts in the community. Let him know how he can help you get better connected with The Loft community!

Julia Black

Julia Black
Co-Director of Loft Music
julia@theloftla.org

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A lifelong Methodist, Julia has been an active member of The Loft community since she first joined in 2016. Growing up in Brown Deer, Wisconsin she developed a love and passion for musical theater. She moved to Chicago in her twenties where she made her living as a thespian. Some of her favorite roles include: Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Lorraine in All Shook Up, and Joanne in Rent. She relocated to Los Angeles in 2012 because (like most Los Angeles transplants) she loves the weather. Julia’s position at the Loft is shared with her dear friend and teammate Macy Thompson. Together they curate the music portion of The Loft’s weekly gatherings.

Macy Thompson

Macy Thompson
Co-Director of Loft Music
macy@theloftla.org

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Macy is a spontaneous, warm-hearted soul from the southern part of Georgia, and she prides herself on her journey from one coast to the other. She graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelors in Music focusing on piano performance and vocal instruction. Before making her journey to LA to pursue her dreams of working in the film and television industry, she taught at the School of Rock in Nashville. Today she works in all genres of music and continues to hone her own style of performing and leading a band. And when not jamming out to new tunes, she explores new hiking trails, finds new coffee shops, and tries her hand at baking a cake or two. Her interests are versatile, but she focuses heavily on her music and faith. Growing up in the Methodist church, she’s been grateful to find community wherever she goes, but the Loft has created a space for her to combine both her talents and faith. She works to enrich the Loft’s gatherings with music that not only connects to the message but cultivates a relationship with God wherever it may be. She works alongside Julia Black to make the creative decisions that eventually come to life every Sunday morning.

Wesley Garcia

Westley Garcia
Director of Loft Connections
westley@theloftla.org

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Westley is an extreme extrovert who takes pride in being able to connect with people from all walks of life, and yes, that includes introverts. Westley’s pronouns are he / him / his, and he is a proud member of the queer and Latinx communities as a gay cisgender man who is of Mexican and Salvadoran descent. A Southern California native hailing from San Diego, he spent six years in northwest Iowa before calling Los Angeles home. Westley’s journey of faith began in a fundamentalist Christian tradition and has since moved through a few Christian expressions finally finding a safe place in the intellectual and progressive Cal-Pac United Methodist tradition as a member of The Loft at Westwood Church. As the Director of Loft Connections, Westley works to create pathways for Loft attendees to better connect with the community gathered on Sundays. Let him know how he can help you fold into Loft community, Sunday participation, and Loft leadership.

RyanDobson

Ryan Dobson
Youth Director
ryan@westwoodumc.org

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Ryan Daniel Dobson grew up in a small town in southern Colorado called Monte Vista. He then attended Southern Nazarene University, to receive a degree in Theology and serve as an intern youth pastor in a local church. After college he worked as the assistant chaplain at Casady Episcopal K-12 School, while simultaneously discovering a love for performance and acting through Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. Subsequently, he and his wife, Sarah, moved to Los Angeles to pursue the entertainment industry. Ryan is now an award-winning writer and director who has recently finished his first feature film, HOSEA. Ryan, Sarah, and their two children have been members of WUMC since 2014.

DianaHolbert

Rev. Dr. Diana Holbert
Interim Children and Family Minister
diana@westwoodumc.org

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Diana and John Holbert visited Westwood UMC as soon as they moved to Culver City from Dallas, Texas in 2017. Immediately upon their arrival, Diana signed up to teach Vacation Bible School in order to get to know the children of our church. She has taught Bible stories in VBS for the three years that they have been among us. Often you will see Diana and John arrive at Westwood with their granddaughters leading the race into the church, a place both of the little girls love. Saoirse (pronounced Seer-sha) is 7 and Moxie is 4½.
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Pastor Diana was raised in Kansas, and received a music degree from Grinnell College in Iowa and a Master in Music from SMU. Beginning in 1984, Diana developed a liturgical dance ministry at First UMC, Dallas. She has led worship through dance in Greece, England, Australia, and Brazil, and across the United States, from Alaska to Florida and California to New York.

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While she was getting her master’s in music, Diana taught music and dance in a private elementary school. Later she became a children’s choir director for fourteen years, and then she began seminary. One of her preaching professors was her husband, John. You will have to ask her what it’s like to be graded by one’s spouse. (Or ask John what it’s like to be harassed by a student who is your wife!)
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In June 2011 Diana retired as the Senior Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, a Reconciling Congregation in Dallas. Over her career as a clergywoman, Diana served as lead minister in suburban and inner city parishes. Three of her most interesting posts were 1) as Associate Pastor for Hamilton Park UMC, a predominantly African-American congregation, 2) as an American clergywoman dancer for a year near Manchester, England, and 3) in 2005 she completed her Doctor of Ministry degree, writing about her experience as a General Board of Global Ministries missionary and founding pastor of ArtSpirit, a United Methodist ministry in the arts community of Dallas. Diana and John live in their “Garage Mahal” behind their son Darius’ house, and are only twenty minutes or so from their daughter Sarah and her husband Kyle in The Village Green.