Children & Families Staff Bios

Rev. Andrea Andress

Associate Pastor for Spiritual Formation of Children and Families

Reverend Andrea works with the Transformational Living Team to provide opportunities for connecting with God through the heart, mind and body practices that assist people in their spiritual journeys. The Enneagram, Spiritual Direction, the Biblical Garden, the Labyrinth and Centering Prayer are major emphases in this work. Andrea is also responsible for ministry to, for and with children. She works with Brenda Smith, the Children’s Ministry Director, as well as the Children’s Ministry Team in leading children and families at PVUMC toward spiritual formation. Andrea also works with the Caring Ministry Team.

Andrea holds a Master’s in Religious Education from Asbury Theological Seminary as well as a BA in Religion and German from McMurray University in Abilene, TX. Certified in Christian Education, she served as a Diaconal Minister 1979-1998 in Texas. Andrea came to PVUMC in 1998 after serving 12 years at First UMC in San Marcos, Texas. She was ordained as a Permanent Deacon in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference in 2000.

Spiritual Direction

In 1993-95 Andrea attended Shalem Institute in Spiritual Direction. She offers spiritual direction opportunities for individuals and groups.


In 2005, Andrea was certified as a teacher with the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition. The Enneagram is a personality and spiritual development tool that gives people insight into how they relate to God and others and what keeps getting in the way of those relationships.

Rev. Brenda Smith

Director of Children’s Ministry and Young Adult Ministry
602-840-8360, ext. 141


Brenda joined the PVUMC staff in 2012. She is employed part-time as the Director of Children Ministry for ages 3 years to 6th Grade, and part-time as the Young Adult Ministry Coordinator. She has a Master’s in Children and Family Ministry from Bethel University Seminary in St. Paul, and has served in this ministry for over 15 years and in several churches. She has also worked with Young Adults for about five years, and launched two Young Adult ministry programs. On June 20, 2015, Brenda was commissioned as part of the Annual Conference at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa. Commissioning makes Brenda a provisional member of the Desert Southwest Conference with the title of Reverend. The two-year commissioning period is a time of learning and preparation with an assigned peer group who guide and advise Brenda. Ordination follows in 2017. Brenda has a Master of Arts in children and family ministry from Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN, and she completed her UMC Basic Graduate Theological Studies for Deacon from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in May 2014.

Lori Wiggs

Certified Godly Play Instructor

After many years in the municipal Parks and Recreation Field, Lori retired to be home with her new family. She began teaching Sunday School in her daughter’s class, and eventually found the Godly Play classroom. She received training in the Godly Play Curriculum in 2004 and became a Godly Play Certified Instructor. Around the same time she also become a member of the PVUMC Preschool Staff as “Coach” Wiggs, the Motor Perception Instructor. She teaches an after school Godly Play class on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as the Sunday Morning class.

Kathy Ratliff

Kathy has served as Childcare Coordinator for approximately 14 years at PVUMC.  She has been a member here for 17 years and, in the past, has worked in Methodist Church nurseries in Florida and as a preschool aide. Her vocation was as an x-ray technologist and she worked in a Children’s Hospital. She is mother to eight grown children.

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