La Jolla United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor

La Jolla United Methodist Church members on July 1 bid a fond farewell to the Rev. Dr. Walter Dilg after eight years of ministry and welcomed a new pastor, the Rev. Dr. Philip Bartalo Wood.

Pastor Phil comes to La Jolla from Fullerton United Methodist Church. His pastoral service has included United Methodist Churches in Huntington Beach, Oxnard, Chula Vista, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Glendale and Arcadia.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Whittier, California, he graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1970, and was selected as a member of the Annual Conference Study Seminar to Bolivia. It was there, he said, that he felt and answered the call to ministry. Subsequently, he graduated with his Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology and his Doctor of Ministry from the Claremont School of Theology.

Pastor Phil and Elsa Cordero Wood have been married since 1990. Theirs is a yours-mine-and-ours family, sharing four children and three grandchildren. They said they are looking forward to being part of the La Jolla community in many ways. The location of their new residence puts them within walking distance of the church at 6063 La Jolla Blvd., and Pastor Phil has already made the acquaintance of a number of his new neighbors as he commutes via foot between home and work.

In the short time he’s been a part of his new congregation, Pastor Phil has won the hearts of staff and parishioners alike. When asked for one sentence to describe his calling, Pastor Phil responded, “All I’m attempting to do is to fulfil St. Augustine’s statement that ‘God has not called us to be successful, only to be faithful.’ ”

For more information, call the church office at (858) 454-7108.