A bit of my story -- my roots extend to Wisconsin and Minnesota. I was transplanted to Tucson and attended and graduated from the U of A and met Bonnie (a Tucson original) at Christ Church UM where, as young adult lay persons, we served together in youth ministry and then married.
After graduating from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas (1987), I received my first appointment in Las Vegas with University UM Church where I served as associate for six years. While serving at University, our two daughters, Amy and Allison, were born. Our next appointment kept us in the North District at St John’s UMC in Kingman. We returned to Nevada to serve Desert Spring UMC for six years and then back across the state line and to the East Phoenix Valley to serve at St. Matthew UMC and First UMC of Gilbert. We feel like we are coming home as we return to Nevada to serve at Green Valley UMC.
As a youngster in Sunday school I learned the familiar Bible stories. It wasn’t until I was a young adult that those stories began to be personal and I experienced them as my story, too. I enjoy introducing others to God’s Word; like holding up a mirror to see into your own heart. This is the gift of Jesus who brings our story into the story of God’s saving work. That’s when our lives find meaning and purpose and great joy.
I would like to hear the story of how Jesus touches your life. Come by and share it with me sometime.
I come from the “Sunflower” State of Kansas, and for my brother, sister, and me, moving was a way of life because our dad was in the Air Force. By the time I entered college, however, we made one final move to Aurora, Colorado, and four years later, I graduated from Colorado State College—now known as the University of Northern Colorado—and began life as a high school drama and speech teacher. Life’s twists and turns found me a few years later in Flagstaff, Arizona, where I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Masters in Secondary Education. Fast forward a little over 25 years later, and after graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, (home of the Rose Bowl Parade and the Rose Bowl game itself!) in June of 2002, I was commissioned a Probationary Elder and began serving as an associate pastor at Red Mountain UMC in Mesa, Arizona. Three years later in June of 2005, I was ordained a Full Elder with The United Methodist Church and was appointed solo pastor at Shepherd of the Valley UMC in the north part of Phoenix. My next appointment in 2009 kept me in Phoenix, but this time the central part of the city at Creighton UMC where I served once again as the solo pastor.
Before becoming a pastor, I taught junior high and high school students, worked as an executive secretary and customer service agent in a tour and transportation company, and was a part-time cashier and customer service agent in a major department store.
I am a single mom with three grown children, eight grandchildren (ages 7 to 23), three great-grandchildren with another on the way . . . and I’m a child of God’s! I came to the ministry much like Moses did—arguing all the way!!! I first heard God’s call shortly after I went on the Walk to Emmaus. “Yes, I know God loves me, but surely he doesn’t want me to be a pastor! I’ve made so many mistakes! I’m not good enough!” I guess I sound like a certain fisherman I know by the name of Peter, don’t I! However, just as Peter was blessed by God’s amazing grace, so have I been similarly blessed! What I have learned and continue to learn through my ministry is that God’s grace is meant to be shared with all of God’s children! Thus it is I believe God called this argumentative, imperfect, grandmotherly child of God’s into ministry to let God’s children know grace abounds . . . for them!
Cathi joined the Green Valley UMC staff in January 2012 and feels absolutely blessed to be working with such a wonderful, caring, fun group of people.
The daughter of an Episcopal priest, she grew up in San Angelo, Texas and Orlando, Florida. She worked as a secretary with Walt Disney Entertainment, then an Operations Supervisor for Universal Studios. She moved to Vegas in 2006 when she was offered a job as Box Office supervisor for Caesar’s Entertainment (Bally’s and Paris Hotels). She joined FaithSprings UMC in 2007 where she sang with the Praise Band, and then transferred to Green Valley UMC in 2011 and sings in the choir and the Praise Band.
Cathi enjoys singing, acting, music, movies, woodworking, leatherworking and cooking. She has an amazing husband of over 30 years (Joe), a wonderful son Stephen, a very special daughter-in-law Tiffany, and two 4-legged daughters - Tandy, an Australian Kelpie/Shepherd mix and Zoe, a Miniature Schnauzer.
Hi, I’m Carol, I joined the Green Valley UMC staff in December of 2012. I grew up and lived in central New Jersey my entire life before coming to Henderson in October of 2009 when my husband retired after fifty-two year in dentistry. David and I have been married for thirty six years and have two daughters together. Jaime lives in Casablanca, Morocco where she teaches English to foreign speaking students at a language institute. Lindsey moved to Henderson with us and works in retail. I also have three grown step-children and six step-grandchildren. While in New Jersey I enjoyed being a full-time mom, working as a travel agent, and going back to school and becoming certified as a massage therapist. I worked at Aldersgate UMC for ten years serving three different Pastors, (affectionately known as the three B’s, their names being Bill, Barry and Bob.) In my spare time I like to massage, hike, attend Pilates classes, read, play the piano (need lots of practice), scrapbooking, and I love animals in all shapes and sizes. We’ve enjoyed living in Henderson and I'm enjoying getting to know all of you at Green Valley UMC. It is my pleasure to work with you all.
February of 2001, I left a career as Chief Financial Officer to become a church musician and worship coordinator. I began my position as organist/pianist for GVUMC in February of 2008. I feel very blessed to be able to share my God-given worship talents with a community of faith. I am a trained Stephen Ministry Leader and I hope to use those skills again at some point. I also work as a professional nationally certified guardian and I am in the process of completing a B.A. in Social Science Studies with emphasis in Gerontology.
I was born in Eloy, Arizona. As the daughter of a Methodist minister, I grew up moving from church to church in California, Nevada, and Arizona. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University in May of 2002. I have taught third, fourth, and fifth grades in North Las Vegas and Arizona. I married my wonderful husband, Jeremiah, in 2009 and have been teaching kindergarten at a charter school for the last two years. We welcomed our first son, Lucas James, in October of 2010. I am thrilled to be the Children’s Ministry Coordinator for Green Valley UMC for so many reasons. I love to teach children about Jesus and the difference He makes in all of our lives and I love to learn the simple truths that only children can teach us. I also love working with the incredible staff and volunteers of this church. I am looking forward to what God has planned for this ministry.
My name is Jodi Hovis-Skiba, I was born in Franklin, PA where I attended the Galloway United Methodist and Grace United Methodist Churches in Franklin, PA. I attended Christian Life Academy and graduated from Oil City High school in 1997. My further education degrees were completed at Cazenovia College where I received an AS degree in Advertising and Graphic Design (1999), and Bachelor degree in Business Management and Visual communication from Liberty University. I am married to Brian Skiba and together we have a beautiful two year old daughter KayLynn, who was born on our 8th anniversary. (a lovely gift for someone who was never to have children.) We lived in Cheyenne, WY from 2004 to 2008 and the last two and half years in Henderson, NV. I am overjoyed to be selected as the Nursery Director for Green Valley United Methodist Church; I hope to continue with the great things that have been started in the nursery and children’s ministry and hope to build on the program. I love sharing my faith and belief in God with others, and I’m excited to be able to work with and teach the young children about our Lord and Savior.
Hi! My name is Juan Ruz and I have been working at GVUMC as a custodian since 2011. I love the job that I am doing. I was born in Santiago, Chile. I have a daughter living with her mom in Colorado and a son living in Chile. It is a tremendous and incredible experience for me to work here. "I feel that I am in heaven", close to GOD, in HIS Holy House, surrounded by angels. I’ve been a Christian since 2000.
I love cooking and dancing and I like to hear music while I am working. I want to give the best of me for this awesome Christian Community.
My name is Beth Kennedy and I have the awesome privilege of being the director for the Green Valley Methodist Preschool & Kindergarten. God called me into this position in June, 2007, after my family returned to Henderson from military service overseas. I have attended GVM church since 1997.
Hello, my name is Sandy Abendshien or you can call me Miss Sandy!
I have been a Preschool Teacher here at GVUMC Preschool since 2007 and I was the substitute teacher for 4 years prior to this. My two children, Travis and Jennifer, attended our preschool, when it opened in 2000. I was inspired with our employees as well as our curriculum and the interaction with young children. I loved it so much, that I never left and became a preschool teacher! I enjoy watching the children grow and change, challenging them to be independent thinkers, and the hugs and smiles are great too!
I grew up in central Ohio where I met and married my high school sweetheart. We both went to college in Columbus, Ohio and we moved to Henderson in 1995. I have recently joined the Young Men's Service League and I have years of experience working with my son's Cub Scout Troop and my daughter's Girl Scout Troop. I was even the Cookie Mom one year - yikes! I also have several years of Vacation Bible School experience. When I am not working at preschool, I enjoy time with family and friends, scrapbooking and Bunco.
I believe children are great imitators, so I strive to give them something great to imitate!
Romans 12:7 -If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.
My name is Barbara Sells and I have the privilege of teaching Preschool at GVUMC! I know God opened this door for me 13 years ago and I have been blessed ever since.
I grew up in San Diego, California and my favorite place to be is at the ocean - swimming, listening to the waves, searching for sea shells and enjoying the company of family and friends.
I have been a member of GVUMC since January 1989. I was married for almost 25 years when my wonderful husband went to be with the Lord. I have two awesome children: Miranda, 24, and Garrett, 22. Miranda and her husband, Chris gave me the best gift possible last September - a grandson named Asher!
My experience includes: working in a preschool/daycare environment, being a Lead Instructor in the City of Henderson Safekey Program, Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School Teacher, Girl Scout Leader, as well as being an aide and Preschool Teacher since the Preschool's inception.
My other interests include: my four-legged family members, scrapbooking, mission opportunities, and most of all being with my family!
Hello, my name is Lori Scott and I love being a preschool teacher! I have the wonderful privilege of teaching the three and four year old classes.
I have two children. My daughter, Lindsay, is 21 and my son, Chad is 18. We are originally from southern California, but consider ourselves now “locals”, since we have lived in Henderson, NV for 16 years.
I have over 21 years of experience working with children. I was the substitute teacher for the GVM Preschool in 2007-2008. I also worked as a substitute teacher for the Clark County School District for three years. I went to school in southern California and graduated from college in 1988.
I love working with children and I feel so blessed to be part of the preschool.
My name is Lisa Gayer. I am married to a wonderful man named John. We have 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl. Anthony 23, Felicia 19, Austin 17, and my last two are 12 year old identical twin boys, Trevor and Trent.
I was born and raised here in Las Vegas. After high school, I attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and got my degree in dance. To help pay my way through college I had several jobs working with children. I had a babysitting job for 3 different families, I worked as a before and after-school care teacher for a private school for 4 years, then taught preschool for 4 years before moving back to Las Vegas.
Since then, I felt the calling to continue working with children and have been on that path ever since. I was hired on as a teacher here in 2003. I have been teaching at Green Valley United Methodist Preschool for 9 years. I love working with kids and feel that I am here to share God's goodness with them as well as prepare them for Kindergarten.
My name is Kami Skelly. I have been working for Green Valley Methodist Preschool since 2008 as the three-year-old assistant.
I have been married for 17 years and have two boys: James, 14, and Ryan, 8. My son Ryan attended both the 3-year-old and 4-year-old classes here at Green Valley Methodist. In addition, Ryan attended the inaugural year of the Kindergarten class with Mrs. Bodin and Mrs. VanAken.
My hobbies are baking, walking and I love baseball, as both of my boys are involved with teams!
Hi, my name is Kristi Walters and I am the aide for 4-year-old preschool.
My husband and I have two boys, ages 11 and 13. We are originally from California, but have called Henderson home for more than 20 years. I am a member of the Calvary Chapel Church and am active in the Christian community. Our children both attended Green Valley Methodist Preschool and are now in 5th and 8th grades.
I enjoy exercising, running and spending time with my family. I completed my first marathon in December 2010! God is always good and faithful! I love working with the children God has entrusted to my care and consider my job to be part of my service to Him!
Meet our Kindergarten Teacher!
Our wonderful kindergarten teacher is Amy Bodin. Amy has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Taylor University. She taught first grade at the Heritage Christian Academy in Northfield, Illinois for nine years. Amy returned to the classroom in 2007 as a kindergarten teacher with the Clark County School District and began teaching for Green Valley Methodist Preschool & Kindergarten in 2008.
Amy has been married to Jon Bodin for more than 20 years. Jon is a pastor in a local area church. They have three children: Kaitlyn, Connor and Jaron. They have lived in Nevada since 1991.
We are so blessed to have Amy as our kindergarten teacher. She possesses a unique combination of education, experience and strong faith. This, combined with her creativity and love for the students God has entrusted to her, makes our kindergarten class a remarkable and rich learning environment.
My name is Tracy VanAken. I was born and raised in Las Vegas and have lived here my entire life.
I am married to Kevin and have a wonderful son, Alex. Kevin is a welder at Republic Services and Alex is attending the College of Southern Nevada. My family and I are members of GVM church, where I also teach Sunday school.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from UNLV in 1987 and worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years. I continued my education by enrolling again at UNLV in the Education College and have been working with young children ever since.