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Meet Our Staff

Rev. Jennifer Murdock – Pastor

Following Jennifer’s graduation from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, Jennifer has been in pastoral ministry since 2004. Her greatest joys are  helping people experience the love of God, discovering their soul’s purpose, and changing the world with love are her greatest joys in ministry.  As Pastor of Lynnewood UMC, she has the pleasure of doing that through preaching, worship, small group studies, and experiences of service locally and globally.  1 John 4:16 says “God is love and those who abide in love abide in God.”  She believes that learning to love with patience, forgiveness, compassion, and justice is our soul’s life-long journey. She feels blessed to companion this community along the way.

Prior to her appointment at Lynnewood UMC, she served the First UMC of Napa, South Reno UMC, Epworth UMC of Berkeley, and Los Gatos UMC.  She also served as Case Manager to San Bruno fire victims in partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the American Red Cross.

When she is not engaged in ministry, she loves to spend time with her husband and young children.  Together they enjoy camping, hiking, and any other activity that connects them with nature.  Music makes her feel alive, so you’ll occasionally hear her singing in worship or belting out a song while driving her my car!  She also enjoys running, reading, and watching the Ohio State Buckeyes play football.

Sam Altis – Director of Family Ministries & Community Engagement

Sam grew up in Kansas City, MO, and has since lived up and down the west coast and midwest. He has been working in and with churches since 2013, after graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary. He loves helping individuals of all ages experience God in their own unique way, find belonging, and foster justice and hope in their communities. 

Prior to coming to Lynnewood, he managed an ecumenical refugee-sponsorship program in Tacoma, served on staff at Crosswalk Community Church in Napa and co-pastored at Trinity Church in Indianapolis. Sam also hosts a podcast on progressive spirituality called A Better Story.  

When he’s not working, Sam enjoys traveling, reading, playing sports (often poorly), listening to music and engaging in anything that requires some creative energy. He and his wife, Kaylan, live in San Jose with their dog Ralphy.

Caitlin Ptak
Communications Coordinator

Amelia Han Riegert
Organist/Pianist and Music Coordinator