My name is Melissa Garcia, and I am running for the Board of Trustees.  My family and I have been Pacific Unitarian members for over 12 years, and this community is a big part of our lives. I have served on several committees. I am currently on the Harmonious Relations Committee, the RE Committee, the Transitional Minister’s Committee, and have recently joined the Food ministry.  I am also OWL trained and had the wonderful opportunity to teach our youth, as well as having been a teacher in the RE Sunday program, and have chaired the Welcome Table.  

Outside of Pacific Unitarian, I am a Marriage and Family therapist with a practice in Torrance as well as being a contract therapist in a group practice in LA.  I have a Master’s in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. I love my vocation and feel it is a true calling to be able to walk with people in their pain and healing.  I have also served on the Board of the Long Beach-South Bay Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists where I served as Board President in the 2016-2017 year.  Additionally, I served several years on the PTA Board at 156th St Elementary.  I also enjoy volunteering at all my children’s school and extra-curricular activities.

I am excited about the opportunity to serve on the Board at Pacific Unitarian and help maintain our strengths, reinforce the values of our community, and build an even stronger future for us all.    


After growing up in NJ as a UU, I first moved west to Seattle and then down to LA a little over 11 years ago. I now find myself in Torrance, firmly transplanted, married to a native Angeleno who helped me see the circumstances that have shaped this county, and the resilience and beauty it can encompass. As a new member, I would be honored to serve the board and help Pacific Unitarian navigate its next stages, exploring growth and support for our community alongside Pastor Joshua.

I have a master’s degree in computer science from Cornell and am working at Jam City in Culver City as a technical director on Panda Pop and other mobile games. My wife and I started attending Pacific Unitarian in September 2022 shortly after we moved to southeast Torrance from just outside Culver City in Palms. Fun fact: I have traveled to 13 countries and 36 states and hope to visit plenty more, despite my only real fluencies being English and Coding/Nerd. 


I am a longtime UU who came to the South Bay ten years ago from South Orange County  where I was very active with Tapestry UU in Lake Forest.  I’m a mother of three, a grandmother, and have been a pledging member of Pacific Unitarian for close to two years.  I participate in a book group, chalice group and Thursday senior lunches at Pacific Unitarian.  My other interests are gardening, bird watching, films,  reading and creative  writing.  I’d love to serve  on the Pacific Unitarian board, and contribute what I am able, to the future of Pacific Unitarian Church.  Thank you for your consideration.


My name is Lisa Sites, and I have been a member of Pacific Unitarian since 2016 when I transferred my membership from All Souls UU Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. I have sung in the choir, directed programs for RE, given Moments for All Ages, served on the RE committee, and attended many rallies and parades as a member of this church. My family is part of the food ministry and is involved in the annual auction. We attend Camp deBenneville Pines every summer. I’ve served on the Green Sanctuary Committee, the Social Justice Committee, and attended several sessions of the series on Race.

I have been a widow since January 2015, and this church played a huge part in my grief process. It lifts my soul to enter and worship in this space. I consider this my home. During the pandemic, I contracted Covid 19 and had long covid for more than a year. I am better now and want to become more active again.

I have been a Theatre teacher for over 50 years, specializing in directing, acting, costume design, dance, and literature. I am a professional storyteller and an award-winning Childrens Theatre Director. My forte is Musical Theatre. I have a Masters in Theatre and a minor in Dance, with Credentialing in Community College and K-8 instruction. I am credentialed in grades 9-12 in English and Theatre. I have volunteered and led professional educational groups in California including California Educational Theatre Association, international Thespians, and CETA High School Festival. 


Kiki is a yoga instructor, sound healer, and Jung scholar-practitioner. She was born in California and has lived in the South Bay since 2002. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology. Her focus is promoting flourishing and well-being for all. A yoga practitioner for 25 years, Kiki is an accessible yoga ambassador, working to bring yoga to people in underserved communities, incarcerated, or infirm. As a professor, she teaches positive psychology interventions to help grad students make well-being modalities accessible to all. She first attended Pacific Unitarian 2 years ago and was drawn to the ideas of spiritual activism she found here – she is interested in serving on the board to help make these offerings available/accessible in the greater community.


My family joined Pacific Unitarian in 1967. We were looking for a place to fulfill our children’s needs. We stayed because we found our own home base. I have served on almost every committee at one time or another, with the exception of Membership and Finance. 

Early years were spent mostly in RE teaching every Sunday while my children were attending, along with over 200 others in the program.

A few committee highlights for me were:

  1. Teaching the Human Sexuality program for teens and adults. It was innovative for its time and drew from outside our congregation as well as our UUs. One of our best outreaches.
  2. Organizing and teaching our first Coming of Age program. We got the entire congregation involved, giving our kids – for the first time – a sense of pride in UU tradition, their welcome place in it, as well as responsibility for self and permission to flourish.
  3. Ombudsman Committee for seven years, along with two fellow Pacific Unitarian’ers, was challenging, awesome, and most rewarding.
  4. Serving on the board and being president.

Presently I am on the Ministerial Care Committee.

Something about my background – I was raised in Hermosa Beach by a very Catholic family, attended only Catholic schools through high school. Married a dashing officer in the British Merchant Navy and began a 62-year adventurous life that produced two children and sent us exploring the world. We made London our home base when our kids were born. Keeping our house in Cheswick, we lived for a while in Karachi, where Mal’s Parsi Zoroastrian family lived. We explored India and Pakistan, and then joined Mal on a cargo ship for four years. He was the Captain, and the kids and I were part of his contract. Kinda a bonus for joining that steamship company. 

Eventually we settled here in 1967, living in Miraleste for over 52 years while we continued to travel widely. Now I live by myself in a much smaller house in Harbor City. I have seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 22 to 38, and two great-grands, ages 6 and 3 years.

My long association with Pacific Unitarian has gifted me with much more than I have given – friendships lasting more than 50 years, and untold adventures in learning and growing. I would like to be on the board at this late age to perhaps share some of the lessons learned and possibly help enhance this fine place and the lives of folks who attend here, hopefully helping to find new avenues of outreach that allow and encourage a larger church membership. I am thrilled with our choice of new minister and look forward to working with Pastor Joshua.