By calling ourselves a Progressive Christian Community, we mean that we are Christians who:
- Have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus the Christ.
- Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm.
- Understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’ name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God’s feast for all peoples.
- Invite ALL people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable.
- Know that the way we love and behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe.
- Find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions than in the answers.
- Recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.
- See ourselves as a spiritual community in which we care for one another, strive for justice and peace among all people, care for God’s creation, and bring hope to those Jesus called the least (the marginalized, powerless, under-resourced, defeated) of his sisters and brothers.
Pastor Paul Bergmann, his wife Kathy, and their four children – Nicole, Joshua, Jared and Gracie – accepted the position of Senior Pastor at Ojai Valley Community Church on February 1, 1998.
Paul grew up in the San Fernando Valley and attended Granada Hills High School. He was introduced to football and ended up on the receiving end of two-time Super Bowl Champion, John Elway. That led to back-to-back Rose Bowl Championships for UCLA. He went on to play four years of professional football before going into full-time ministry, studying under Dr. Charles Ryrie, and becoming ordained in 1995.
Pastor Paul identifies himself as a failed pacifist who might get in a scuffle or two, and isn’t super fond of Christianity, although he loves Jesus and loves teaching his followers. When he closes his eyes he pictures Jesus in a tuxedo shirt, and sees Jesus as formal, but liking parties.
Children’s Ministries Director
Keri Matte, her husband Stephen, and their four kids – Finn, Drew, Reef and Bella live in beautiful downtown Ojai and OVCC has been their church home for many years. Keri has a passion for seeing children rise to their fullest potential and for celebrating them as true gifts from God. From growing up in a home where her parents sheltered many foster kids, to now being a mother and stepmother to four of her own, she has a great appreciation for what it takes to raise children that are healthy, balanced and full of God’s love. Her desire is for OVCC’s children’s program to be a place filled with, joy, creativity, love and laughter!
Maria David earned a B.B.A. Degree in Accounting from Eastern Michigan University where she also met her husband Galen David. Maria is the proud mother of four children – Dominique, Kiko, Jake and Shawnna.
When not working in the church office and performing the countless tasks involved in running the daily operations of the church, Maria is a part-time Zumba instructor, having fun dancing her way to fitness with students from all around the Ojai Valley. Maria’s favorite pastimes include reading, knitting and snow sports.
Front row, left to right: Paul Bergmann, Kathy Bergmann, Lisa Greenslit, Sean McAfee, Randi McAfee
Middle row: Maria David, Cindy Wachter, Fred Wachter, Michael Greenslit, Kirsten Dalto, Andy Dalto
Back row: Galen David, Steve Foster, Sue Foster