our staff

Get to know a little bit about our amazing staff by viewing their profiles. 

  • Rev. karin Ellis

    lead pastor

    Rev. Karin Ellis was the Associate Pastor at Aldersgate UMC before her appointment as Senior Pastor at La Cañada United Methodist Church. Prior to this she was on family leave for two years in order to stay at home with her two small children. Her past appointments include: Senior Pastor at Community UMC in Pacific Palisades, Senior Pastor at Toluca Lake UMC and Associate Pastor at Northridge UMC.

    Karin grew up in Mission Viejo, CA and attended the United Methodist Church. She went to Nebraska Wesleyan University where she received a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Hearing a call to ministry, Karin then attended Boston University School of Theology and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1997. She returned to Southern California to be close to family and begin her ministry career.

    Karin is married to Steven and they have two children – Abigail and Paul. In her spare time, Karin enjoys reading, traveling, walking, crocheting, playing with her children, and occasionally, scuba diving with Steven.

  • Victoria Symonian


    Victoria, our very talented accompanist, began playing the piano when she was 7 years old. Before she began serving at our church in 2002, she worked at Monterey Park United Methodist Church for 8 years. Victoria is currently the Head of Lark Conservatory's Performance Department and is a Master Teacher in Piano and Accompaniment. She also enjoys traveling, and live classical and jazz performances. 


    Piano Performance, Pedagogy, and Accompaniment, Mussorgsky Music College, St. Petersburg. 

    Piano Performance, Komitas State Conservatory of Music, Yerevan

  • liberty vigran

    administrative assistant

    Liberty is a highly qualified professional with experience in ministering at local churches.  She has worked in administrative and managerial jobs.  She has a strong love, commitment and dedication to God and his people. 


    Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, CSU Bakersfield

  • Blanca Eliassen

    Director of Children's Center Preschool

    Blanca began her work at the Children's Center back in 1991 as the first teacher for the school alongside Sue McKenzie. During this time she taught and co-directed for 7 1/2 years. Blanca left the Children's Center to get married and to have two children of her own, but returned in 2008 and has been there ever since! Blanca has a certificate in Early Childhood Education and 13 years experience as a teacher and director. She has all of the requirements by the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division and she is certified in CPR and First Aid. Blanca also enjoys spending time with her family, children, enjoys anything Disney, loves baking and needle point. 



    Edel has worked for a number of United Methodist churches, beginning while she was attending California State College earning her degree in Bachelor of

    Music, focusing on vocal performance and minoring in conducting. She was the Opera Chorus Director, directing the opera choruses for any of the major and minor operas presented at the university for five years.


    Edel has previously served as the Music/Choir Director for Maywood UMC, Lynwood UMC, Downey UMC, and lastly West Covina UMC, At the various Methodist churches, Edel has also managed and performed as an instrumental conductor, Bell Choir Director, as well as children’s and youth musical director.