Pastor Marylee Sheffer was appointed to serve the Lafayette United Methodist Church as of July 1, 2012. Before coming to Lafayette Marylee and her husband Ralph (and their Schnauzer, Dibley) lived in Scott Valley, California, where Marylee served the Etna and Ft Jones United Methodist Churches. Pastor Marylee has also served the First UMC of Palo Alto and Calvary UMC of San Jose.

Marylee received a Master’s of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary as well as a certificate in the Christian Spirituality Concentration. Marylee has participated in both the Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis, and is a Stephen Minister.

Marylee and Ralph have two adult children, Mimi and David. Some of Marylee’s favorite things are helping people experience the presence of God, walking, cooking, and reading. Some of Ralph’s favorite things are singing (especially barbershop music), and finding and repairing old clocks and lamps. Ralph is a recently retired software engineer manager with Varian Medical in Palo Alto.

Marylee and Ralph feel blessed to be part of the church and the community of Lafayette!   Email Pastor Marylee 


LORRI SULLIVAN, Office Administrator

Lorri Sullivan has served as Office Administrator since 1996.  She offers gracious hospitality to all who visit our church campus.  As a hub of the church, her administrative leadership undergirds all the ministries of the church.  She coordinates the facility calendar for all organizations using the campus.

Lorri grew up in the San Diego area where she met and married her husband, Jim, in 1976. Lorri and Jim attended Northwest Christian University/University of Oregon and moved to the Bay Area when Jim was offered a position at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. They have two grown children, Justin who lives near Chicago with his wife and Shauna who resides in the LA area with her husband.  Lorri likes to travel, read and watch the bay behind her house.   Email Lorri Sullivan


COLENE “BUNNY” GRUHN, Director of Music Ministry

Bunny Gruhn earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Montana.  She taught music in the public schools and has served as a church choral director for over 25 years.  She sings with Contare con Vivo Chorale and the Four Sisters Quartet.  She has three grown daughters and six grandchildren.  In addition to her love of music, she enjoys reading, knitting, and traveling.  She has lived in many different places, including Geneva, Switzerland.  Email Bunny Gruhn


KATIE ANDERSON, Director of Youth Ministries

After meeting the young people of LUMC as a youth group volunteer under the leadership of her fiancé, Jamere, Katie Anderson is very excited to be joining the LUMC team as Director of Youth Ministries.

Katie grew up in a Christian household in Roseville, CA, located outside of Sacramento. Some of her fondest memories of middle and high school come from her time attending and assisting with her home church’s youth group and her high school’s service and retreat teams. Theses experience in Christian service and social justice called her to attend college at Saint Mary’s College of California, where she minored in Montessori Thought and Justice & Community while majoring in Liberal & Civic Studies. After earning her Bachelor’s, Katie continued at SMC for her CA Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, two Montessori teaching credentials and her Master’s in Education.

She comes to LUMC with over ten years experience working with young people in a variety of capacities. Katie has taught as an elementary school teacher for five years and is entering her fourth year teaching fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Eagle Peak Montessori School, a public charter Montessori school in Walnut Creek. She has also worked in summer camps for eleven years, including six years at Camp Awesome, which is housed at the Lafayette Community Center, and three as camp director.

When Katie is not busy working with young people, you can find her spending time with her fiancé Jamere, cooking, traveling, camping, or volunteering with any of her favorite non-profits.


CAROL CARTER, Joyful Beginnings Preschool Director

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development from California State University, Sacramento in the 80’s. I returned to school in 2009 and earned my Master of Science in 2010 from California State University, East Bay. My Master of Science degree was in Education with a Curriculum Option. Throughout my career in Early Childhood Education I have attended countless conferences, workshops and earned a variety of certificates in the field. I am an enthusiastic lifelong learner of Early Childhood Education. I currently teach courses in Early Childhood Education at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.
I am a wife and mother. I have been married for almost 25 years and have two grown daughters. Rachel graduated from SDSU in 2015 and Hannah is currently attending college in Oregon. My husband and I have been enjoying the “empty nest” this past year and have taken up a couple of new hobbies…including kayaking!
​I look forward to meeting you and showing you around our school! Email Carol Carter