Denise Westfall

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A little about myself…

I was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, and grew up in Spokane, WA.  I have four older brothers.  We were raised in the Roman Catholic Church and I attended parochial school for eight years.   

I graduated from Eastern Washington University and attended Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO.  I have three children, a son and two daughters.  All are grown with families of their own.  I am the obnoxious grandmother to six wonderful children, four girls and two boys.  They are the light of my life!

My husband, Mike, and I have been married for 35 years.  Mike has always been supportive of what God has called me to achieve and feels God’s special mission for his life is to support me. the children and the churches I have been blessed to serve.

I have served three previous United Methodist Churches in Deer Park, WA, Battle Ground, WA, and Vancouver, WA.  I retired a year ago and then the opportunity to serve Ocean Park UMC came up and I felt called to be here.

I have spent my ministry active in social justice issues.  I have worked with the Reconciling Ministries Network, Planned Parenthood, #MeToo Movement, and immigration reform, to name a few.  John Wesley set an example by going to the prisons to teach men, and women and children, to read to help prepare them when they got out of debtors’ prison for a better life.   I feel called to lift up all of God’s children without regard to ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or not. 

I invite you to worship at this little grey church by the ocean.  It is filled with people who are working out their faith and doing their best to be the best they can be.  And, they are amazing!





Choir Director

Barbara Poulshock

Pianist, Vocalist & Composer

Born into a musical family in Southern California in 1926, Barbara Poulshock began her musical studies at the age of eight.  Her principal teachers included pianists George Liebling, Arthur Wynter Smith, Frances Bittner and David Vasquez.  While in high school, she began her vocal studies with Gwendolyn Koldofsky and Natalie Limonick at the University of Southern California.  As a teenager, Poulshock became interested in musical composition, and was fortunate to study with composer Morris Hutchins Ruger.  Within a year, she was awarded first place in a national music competition for a short choral work. 

Mrs. Poulshock has enjoyed a long career of teaching piano and voice, both institutionally and privately.  She taught at the University of California at Long Beach, Cornish Institute in Seattle, and Orange Coast College.   In 1974 she joined the voice faculty at Pacific Lutheran University, as a professor of voice and opera.

During her years at PLU, Mrs. Poulshock’s interest in composing for voice and piano continued to flourish.  She arranged two volumes of songs for young singers, to be performed for recitals and school voice competitions.  The two volumes were published by Belwin in 1980.  Poulshock also composed vocal arrangements Pacific Lutheran University’s world-renowned Choir of the West, including two sets of American folk songs in 1989 and 1991.

Though retiring from PLU faculty in 1994, Barbara continues a full schedule of performing, teaching and composing.  She has recently published three choral pieces for the Judy Harrington Series with Pavane, and has composed eleven original songs set to the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

In recent years, Barbara has directed two seasons of Jerry Bock’s “Fiddler on the Roof” and Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitor,” as well as many recitals, concerts and Vespers performances on the Long Beach Peninsula.

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  May 2020  
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