Meet the Pastor
Introductions put us in an amazing place, bringing up both the joy and the anxiety of something new. Well, I just want you to relax because, other than being born at the top of Mount Olympus, I’m just like the rest of you.
Actually I was born in the corner of Nebraska at Fort Robinson and I lived in New Jersey, Colorado and Texas growing up. I also lived in Argentina for two years while on a mission for the Mormon Church, after which I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education. It was then that I came back to my family’s home, Arizona, where I have lived since. I taught first, second and third graders for 14 years before God put a call into my heart to go into ordained ministry. I’m not sure if it was the call so much as the fact that I had to tell my wife about the call that made it so scary. She had graduated from Arizona State University two years earlier and
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found a job at my school! God’s new plans changed all our well-laid-out ones. Joannie and I met playing volleyball at church and got married March 19,1994. She is an amazing partner to have as we minister together.
We have two sons - Jim who lives in Mesa and Eric who is in Minnesota. I currently want them to start providing me with grandchildren, so if anyone has suggestions about how to help with that, it would be appreciated.
I traveled back and forth to California for three years to Claremont School of Theology and received a Master’s degree in Theology in June of 2007. I have worked at Lakeview UMC in Sun City, First UMC of Phoenix in central Phoenix, back in the neighborhood where I taught school at Epworth UMC and most recently, at First Yuma UMC. In ministry I like to focus on people who have been pushed aside and overlooked, rejected or ignored. If that describes you, please come knock on my door.
Meet the Staff
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Melissa was born in New York City but qualifies as practically a native Tucsonan since she has been here for fifty years! She was hired at St. Francis in 2012 as part-time Administrative Assistant and then was promoted to full-time Office Manager. Now, besides being full-time (plus!) Administrator, she also chairs the Library for Peace committee, and facilitates the Loving Letters Writing Group and Sunday Night at the Movies.
Before working for St. Francis, she taught voice and guitar, and also worked in the retail and hospitality industries. In her
off time, Melissa enjoys camping, gardening, reading, playing her guitar, traveling and cooking. She and her wife, Patricia are raising a teenage son named David. They also share their home with two spoiled desert tortoises and a boxer named Max.
Born in Texas, Karen received her Bachelor of Arts & Sciences from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and is a recent transplant to Tucson via Ohio, Los Angeles and Atlanta, where she was a computer consultant, web developer and art director. She is a volunteer with the Library for Peace and Mental Health Ministry. She is also a trained Stephen Minister.
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A writer and artist, Karen's children's story "The Imagination Plantation" appears in the Summerland Illumination Project (Electronic Lunchbook Readers for Kids). She spends her spare time painting and keeping her dog and cat from
stepping in the paint.
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Born in Newbury, England, Steve made his way to Tucson with his adoptive parents in the early 1960's. Perhaps it was that foreign birth that give him a love of travel and adventure - he has lived in six states and 10 cities!
Prior to working at St. Francis, he worked as a law school admissions counselor, in corporate travel and international group
sales for a cruise line, and as a certified nursery and landscape sales professional.
Besides traveling, you can usually find Steve indulging in his love of "putzing" around the house, in the garden, with his friends, and spending time with his husband Tim, and their two dogs.
Children's Ministry Coordinator
Born in Washington, Sheena spent most of her childhood in Delaware. She was drawn to Tucson after spending some time here in 2005 and falling in love with the area. She is currently in school for Elementary Education and should have her Bachelor’s degree by spring 2022. She has worked as a lead pharmacy technician and at an in home health
care agency as scheduling coordinator and caregiver.
Sheena and her husband Keith have three daughters - Claire, Bella and Kate - and have been attending St. Francis for just over three years. Sheena is very excited to build relationships with the children and families of St. Francis and see how we can continue to grow our amazing community!
A Tucson native, Cynthia returned recently after thirty years in New York City. She is a composer, pianist, vocalist, and poet. She is also a piano teacher and vocal coach of all ages. Much of her original music expresses the beauty of creation and social justice issues.
Cynthia has performed in jazz festivals and concerts around the world, and directed musical endeavors of all sorts, including jazz ensembles, opera, theatre, and light opera. Cynthia also loves gardening, all kinds of nature, and living at the base of the Catalina mountains.
Thank you to our congregation
and all of our volunteers who keep
St. Francis in the Foothills
vital and alive!
Director, International School for Peace
Cathy earned a Master's Degree in Special Education in the area of Social/Emotional Development, and a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education, from the University of Arizona. Cathy came to the International School for Peace in 2004 from Valley View Preschool in the Catalina Foothills School District, where she was a Preschool Teacher for 2 years.
Prior to that, Cathy lived in Highland Park, Illinois and worked in the North Suburban Special Education District for 17 years before relocating back to Tucson in 2001.
Cathy and her husband Gerry have two daughters, and in her off-time, Cathy enjoys exploring and hiking in the beautiful Tucson desert.