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!





Admin. Assistant

Barbara Gramps

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My Name is Barbara Gramps...

I’m a baby boomer, born and raised in the Los Angeles area.  I married young and within a year or so, was living in Waukegan, Illinois with an infant daughter and my husband.  Living in Illinois was quite an experience for a southern California girl like me.  We decided after a year living with a hot, humid summer and a winter of snowdrifts up to our roof, that we wanted back on the west coast although California was not an option.  So we hit the Oregon Trail, so to speak.


We ended up staying in Medford for one week because we ran out of money to get us all the way to Portland.  It was enough time for my husband to work a week and make the extra money we needed to get further north.  We arrived very weary and almost broke but God was smiling down on us.  Unfortunately, that marriage ended but I had been blessed with two more children, both sons.


I met Mike at a New Year’s Eve party that neither one of us had wanted to attend but went because we had made a commitment to our friends.  It turned out to be one of the best evenings of my life.  My children loved Mike and he really cared about the kids.  We were married 6 months later and will be celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary this year.


We moved to the Long Beach Peninsula in 1992.  We had vacationed here many times and had bought some property on which to put our vacation trailer.  Having a place to stay on weekends was great and we got to know the people and the area pretty well.  We talked it over and decided to sell our home in Gresham, Oregon; Mike would take an early retirement from Freightliner and I would leave US Bank.  So it was done.


We’ve both worked off and on since moving here.  Mike never really got to enjoy his early retirement but he’s happy and keeps busy also working part-time and I am thrilled to be back at work doing what I enjoy.  When not working, I love to quilt and am a member of the Peninsula Quilt Guild; I also enjoy cooking and reading.   Mike and I own a ’53 Chevy Bel Air and have belonged to the Beach Barons Car Club for many years.


The first Sunday we attended OPUMC was the day that Pastor Rene´ first announced they were looking for a new Administrative Assistant.  I knew God was smiling down on me once again.  My daughter, son and my husband have recently become members.  I feel so blessed to be working here and to be part of this wonderful church family.  My family and I felt like we were all missing out on something, not knowing exactly what it was.  Now we know.

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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Regular Schedule
Office Hours
  • Sunday
    – 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Tuesday
    – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday
    – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Friday
    – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Adult Sunday School
    – 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
  • Singing your favorite hymns
    – 10:45 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Sunday Service
    – 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Fellowship Hall for coffee, treats and good conversations
    – 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM
   April 2019