I can’t tell you how excited I am to be your new Rector! I sense that God is about to do some great things at All Saints and in its wider community, and I am thrilled to be part of it. There’s no doubt in my mind that we are going to have a lot of fun growing together.
To give you some background about me, I received my Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School, with training in Anglican Studies from Seabury Western. I have a B.A. in Communication Arts from Warner Pacific College (now University), in Portland, and a post-baccalaureate degree in Philosophy from the University of Oregon. (Go Ducks!)
For the past four and a half years, I have been the Rector of a growing, urban parish in Rockford, IL, part of the diocese of Chicago. My work in Rockford has given me the opportunity to share leadership in several significant outreach ministries, including a drop-in center for people who suffer from chronic mental illness and an arts outreach initiative. It is also a church with strong music and children and family ministry programs, which wonderfully accords with the strengths and goals of All Saints.
My family consists of my husband, Jordan, whom I met at Warner, and our 2-year-old son, Jacoby (Coby for short). My husband recently received his Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible, also from the University of Chicago, and our son has the curiosity, energy and opinionatedness that you’d expect from someone his age. At this moment in time, he loves soccer and baseball, buses, trains and airplanes, and monsters. As a family, we enjoy camping, biking, swimming, paddle-boarding, playing music, and hanging out in interesting neighborhoods. We also eat a vegan diet, which should explain our frequent, future visits to the Laughing Planet across the street from the church. If you’re hosting a meal or event with food, please know I’m always happy to bring something vegan or provide ideas.
Another thing Jordan, Coby and I are looking forward to about this move is being closer to family. My parents and brother’s family live in Portland on the Southeast side, and Jordan’s family lives in Chico, CA. The position at All Saints helps us fulfill a long desire to move back to the Pacific Northwest, which we consider to be home. Also catching a few more Timbers games won’t hurt!
I’m really looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you. The time I spent with your Vestry and Search Committee was very meaningful, and I am grateful for their thoughtfulness, prayerfulness and devotion to and throughout this process.
When I came to the Episcopal Church in mid-life, I knew that I found a new spiritual home. That realization came while attending, for the ﬁrst time, the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Mark in Salt Lake City, Utah one spring morning in 1990. Since that time, by the grace of God and through the direction of many faithful Episcopaleans and clergy, I discerned a call to ordained ministry. I was humbled by their conﬁdence in my spiritual gifts and their continued encouragement as I remained steadfast through a diﬃcult eight year process of discernment and seminary study. I graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest, An Episcopal Seminary in Austin, TX on May 11, 2010. On May 21, 2011, I was ordained an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Utah. The Diocese of Utah is a small diocese of twenty-eight parishes. While small it is a mighty example of God’s Kingdom working to lead seekers to a spiritual faith tradition that is tolerant of everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. After my ordination, I began my journey as a bi-vocational priest. As a bi-vocational priest, I used my gifts as a chaplain, critical care nurse, nurse care manager, retreat coordinator and Associate priest in parish ministry. While in Utah, I served at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and All Saints Episcopal Church. Upon retiring from nursing, my husband, Bill, and I moved to Portland, OR in July 2016 to be closer to famiiy and to experience all that the Northwestern United States had to oﬀer. Bill and I, between us, have 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. We live in a modest condominium in southeast Portland and we are grateful, after 26 years living in a high desert state like Utah, for all the rain and green that surrounds us. Prior to coming to All Saints, I served at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church at the pleasure of there then priest-in-charge, the Rev. Josh Kingsley. With the closure of St. Matthew’s, Bill and I found our way to All Saints in August 2017. Since that time, I have had the pleasure to serve this lovely faith ﬁlled community as your assisting priest, under the Rev. Laura Truby, and as your supply priest. You have welcomed my husband and I with open arms which communicates to us that we have deﬁnately found our spiritual home. Thanks be to God!
Kathleen Borsch was ordained as a deacon in the Diocese of Northwest Texas in 2006, having completed four years of diaconal formation in her diocese and graduating from the Education for Ministry program administered by the School of Theology, University of the South. In her parish in Lubbock, Texas, she promoted awareness of hunger issues while involved with the South Plains Food Bank and was an active member of the Episcopal Cursillo community.
Raised as an Episcopalian in Northern California, Deacon Kathleen then spent 25 years in other denominations, giving pastoral care for several years to U.S. military families in Germany, Greece, and Spain, before returning to her Episcopal roots in 2000. She has worked in various areas of the medical field and plans to complete a degree in Community Health Education soon.
Deacon Kathleen found All Saints after moving to Portland in the summer of 2013. Assigned here in March 2014, she became canonically resident in the Diocese of Oregon in October 2014. She is active with the Hot Meals ministry and facilitates the Hot Meals Steering Committee, and she works with the Dental Van ministry and advocates for the support of William Temple House.
Cris Breshears lives in Portland with her husband, two children, and one cat. After 20 years of traversing the tricky terrain of stay-at-home parenthood, she joined the staff at All Saints in September of 2016. She brings her experience as an editor, writer, and consummate Portland Public School and PTA volunteer. She is a trained workshop facilitator with the Sibling Support Project which is dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental and intellectual disabilities. Cris earned her BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Texas and her MA in Philosophy with an emphasis on Existential Faith from the University of Houston. Rounding out her love of education, she also has studied analytical psychology at the C. G. Jung Institutes in Zurich and in Boston.
Laura Axon joined the staff of All Saints in August of 2013. She has been a member of the All Saints Congregation since 2006. Laura serves on the Episcopal Church Women’s Board and the Oregon Episcopal School Alumni Board. She holds a B. A. in Romance Languages from the University of Oregon and M. ED. in Educational Leadership, also from the University of Oregon.
James Denman has served as Organist and Director of Music at All Saints Parish since 2011. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from San Francisco State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Washington, where he studied music theory/composition and performance. He was the recipient of the Brechemin Foundation Scholarship, the American Guild of Organists Scholarship, and the Boeing Scholarship for Academic Excellence. He studied organ with Alexander C. Post, Carole Terry, Marie-Claire Alain, and Naji Hakim.
Prior to joining All Saints’ staff, he served in similar positions at Epiphany Parish of Seattle, St. John’s Episcopal Church (Milwaukie) and Christ Church (Lake Oswego). He has held academic positions in teaching, conducting, and accompanying at Seattle Pacific University, Willamette University, and Linfield College.
Dr. Denman is also on staff at Oregon Catholic Press (OCP), where he serves as Recordings Producer and Coordinator. He is published by The Church Hymnal Corporation and Oregon Catholic Press.
Jerry Meter has been the Family Choir Accompanist since 2009 and substitutes at the organ for Dr. Denman when he is away. He was the interim organist at All Saints during late spring and summer of 2010. Jerry plays the keyboard as part of the 4th Youth Sunday Ensemble. Jerry has been an active member of All Saints since 2005 and has sung Tenor with the Chancel Choir since that time. He is a Worship Leader, Licensed Eucharistic Minister, serves on the Vestry and is the Treasurer of All Saints. Jerry has been working on and maintaining the All Saints Website since its re-creation in the spring of 2013 in the official capacity of Webmaster.
Belinda Nissen has been the Director of The Family Choir since 2004. She has sung soprano in the Chancel Choir since 1999. She is a lector and she has served on the Church Vestry. Belinda composes motets for the Family Choir to sing for special occasions. She has written, composed and produced a Christmas Pageant in which the Choir and congregation members of all ages participate.
Noah is a cradle Episcopalian, and has been a member of All Saints’ since 2002 when his family moved to SE Portland. At the time Noah was 12 years old, and finding a congregation with a loving and accepting Youth Group was a chief concern to him and his family. Since then, Noah has grown up and come of age at All Saints’ and was an active member of the Youth Group during his teenage years. He served as the Interim Youth Director in 2012 during the final stages of our search process for a new Rector. Noah feels that he has learned a great deal about Youth Ministry-both from his time as the Interim as well as from watching the excellent leaders who came after him–and is honored to have the chance to serve All Saints’ in the capacity of Youth Director again.
Noah graduated with highest honors from Portland Community College in 2011, and went on to graduate magna cum laude from Portland State University in 2014 with a BA in English. In addition to the myriad ministries that Noah performs at All Saints’, he also works at Portland Metro Art doing customer service, nonprofit marketing, and teaching theatre and music classes to kids.