INTERIM RECTOR – The Rev. Dr. Robert Williams
Bob grew up in Eastern Oregon and Washington. He graduated from Whitman College (Walla Walla) in 1968 and attended graduate school at Oregon State University (Corvallis), earning M.S and Ph.D degrees while working full-time for the Oregon Department of Agriculture (Salem). In 1984, Bob accepted a Key Manager position with Bristol-Myers which resulted in a move to upstate New York for Bob, his wife Sharon and two daughters. In 1995, Bob accepted a position as Director with Biogen, a biotechnology company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1996, Biogen introduced Avonex, the first Rx product approved by the FDA for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Bob retired from the pharmaceutical industry in 2001.
An active leader in the Episcopal Church since his confirmation by Bishop James Carmen (Diocese of Oregon) in the early 70’s, Bob completed the four year Education for Ministry program (University of the South, School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee) in 2006. He was appointed Lay Vicar of a parish by Bishop Gordon Scruton (Diocese of Western Massachusetts) in 2007. Honoring a life-long call to ministry, Bob entered the discernment for ordination process in 2008 and attended seminary classes at Andover Newton Theological School (Boston). He was ordained to the diaconate in June 2011 and to the priesthood in January 2012 by Bishop Scruton.
Bob has served as a leader in Episcopal parishes located in Oregon, New York and Massachusetts. He was called as Rector of Saint James, Tigard (Diocese of Oregon) in the fall of 2013 and retired in February 2018. He is currently serving as Interim Rector of All Saints, Portland.
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.