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About

Our Staff


Kim Smith

Pastor

Pastor Kim Smith maintains that she would have been voted the "least likely to enter the ministry" in high school, she says, proves that "God has a sense of humor! And works through the most unlikely of people -- like me -- sharing God's love and forgiveness and bringing us into God's beloved community." Called to the ministry at age 19, while a college student, Kim came into faith at First United Methodist Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, where "the gospel became real through the congregation's work of social justice and community outreach. I witnessed people living out their faith in real and tangible ways. They were literally changing the world in the name of God's love. And they were so loving and accepting of me! I knew I had found my life path. I wanted to be like them -- and I'm grateful to God for providing these parents of the faith for me."

A graduate of Pacific School of Religion (Master of Divinity) and the University of San Francisco (Master of Nonprofit Administration), Kim has served a wide range of churches--small rural churches in Mendocino County, a large becoming-urban church in Fresno, traditional urban churches in San Francisco and Berkeley. In 2010, God called Pastor Kim into a new arena of ministry as the pastor of Mt. Tam Church. "I kind of wondered what the Bishop was thinking--26 years of urban ministry, and I'm sent to Mill Valley!" She has come to love the beauty of Marin County and the special community forming at Mt. Tam Church. About her ministry in southern Marin, Kim says, "We live in one of the most "un-churched" counties in the country. Members share with me that when they tell people they go to church, the response ranges from disbelief to laughter! At the same time many people in our community express their spirituality through engagement with nature and a deep commitment to family life. I love exploring with Mt. Tam Church how we are called to share God's love in Christ in this place, how to serve God's people here and around the world and invite others on the adventure. I'm especially interested in helping parents raise kids of strong values and generous hearts." Kim enjoys sharing great meals and travels with her whole family as well as reading, gardening and hiking.


Emily Syal

Youth Ministries

Emily joins the Mt. Tam community this year as the new youth pastor. Youth ministry has always been Emily's passion, even when she was still considered a youth herself. However, the call to youth ministry was never very clear. There was never a moment when the clouds parted and God yelled, "Hey, Emily! You should be a youth pastor!" God spoke through indirect means, through people in her life and through events, and even through times of questioning. Emily is always happy to share her stories about self-discovery, so feel free to ask her.

Emily is a Wisconsin native and grew up in the United Church of Christ. She's a graduate of Lakeland University in Sheboygan, WI with degrees in nonprofit management and Spanish and has worked extensively with youth and young adults in her home churches and at the conference level, in Kenya, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, and through her previous work at International Samaritan. Apart from spending her time with the amazing youth at Mt. Tam, she is attending seminary at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA with the goal of becoming an ordained minister.


Tricia Wiig

Director of Children and Family Ministries & Office Manager

Tricia Wiig joined Mt. Tam UMC as Director of Children and Family Ministries in 2010 after holding positions in both education and administration. Her passion for ministry with children is rooted in both her personal faith and being a mom! She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, her home state, and has lived in Marin since 2001. Tricia’s call to ministry with children and their families run deep: "I love the field of children's ministries as I get to combine my three great passions; working with children, doing crafts and learning and sharing about God. For me, ministry means sharing the vision of a world of justice, inclusion, love and peace and watching kids and families experience the Divine."

Tricia also assumed the role of Office Manager in March 2016. She's excited to bring her passion for ministry to this position as well!


Hyunjung Choi

Director of Music

Hyunjung Choi makes glorious music happen at Mt. Tam Church. A native of Seoul, Korea, she started to play the piano at the age of three and won the Grand Prize of National Piano Competition for Young Artists sponsored by Korea Times when she was nine. She studied Church Music and Organ Performance at Yonsei University in her home country and continued to study with Dr. Agnes Tan for Choral Conducting at Golden Gate Theological Seminary and Pipe Organ Performance with John Hirten of Legion of Honour in San Francisco. Hyunjung Choi was recently appointed as Artistic Director of The Pacific Choir and currently Church Music Director at Mt.Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, California. She also has been an evaluator of Music Teacher's Association of California for the last 14 years.


David Erskine

Facilities Director

First and foremost, David is proudest of raising two daughters (26 and 21) with the opportunity of being a stay at home dad for the first ten years of their lives while working nights. He has also been a volunteer in Mill Valley over the past 20 years. Areas included coaching Mill Valley Little League, CYO basketball, fundraising for Kiddo, Tam High School Women’s basketball scorekeeper & fund raiser. At Mt Tam UMC he has been the lead usher, choir participant and SPRC committee chairperson and participated in the Memorial Day Parade.

His professional background includes working at Autodesk for 12+ years as a sales manager with a goal of driving rapid and sustainable growth. This resulted in building high-producing sales teams and consistently exceeding quotas. He adapted quickly to changing priorities and excels at building consensus. Also, able to execute actionable plans as well as identify opportunities for improvement in performance and efficiency.

David has a Bachelor of General Studies from Ohio University with a focus on political science, 3rd world literature and film making. He also holds a Masters in Communication Management from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California and is a member of Screen Actors Guild since 1981.

David grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and is the fifth child in a family of six. He has lived in Boston and LA prior to settling in Mill Valley. Finally, David has traveled extensively over the years including a nine-month journey in the early 1970’s. David is very grateful to be part of Mt Tam United Methodist Church as the facilities manager.


Pearl Chen

Child Care

Pearl Chen provides loving, joy-filled care in the church nursery. She has served as a kindergarten teacher in Hong Kong, where she also worked as a registered midwife. She graduated in 2001 from the College of Marin, majoring in CIS Microcomputer Programmer Specialty and retired from working as a Registered Dental Assistant after 28 years in Mill Valley. She loves her part-time work as a swim instructor and lifeguard at the Strawberry Recreation and Park. One of Pearl’s passions is golf, and she gets on the course 5 to 6 days a week. About her ministry with children Pearl says, “I enjoy very much contributing all my professional knowledge of the early childhood education experience to work at church in the child care service in the past 15 years. I love babies and small children, and love sharing with them".


Madeline Fabbri Nunes

Child Care

Madeline Fabbri Nunes integrates her training in early childhood development with her love for God in her work as Sunday morning children’s ministry assistant. Currently a student at Marin community college working on her degree in child development, she is from Bakersfield, Ca. She moved to Marin county 3 years ago to be near her fiancé Jason, and they are now newlyweds. She now serves God by working with the Sunday School teachers and preschool children on Sunday mornings.


Schuyler Rhodes

District Superintendent

District Superintendent Schuyler Rhodes has been a pastor, writer, musician, activist and leader in the United Methodist Church for over 30 years. Before he became the District Superintendent of the Bridges District in 2013, he served as the pastor of Temple Church, San Francisco and the campus minister at UC, Berkeley. Schuyler brings a passion for sharing the gospel through social justice and lively worship to his ministry.


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