Staff and lay leadership
Becky was a longtime Denver journalist, including 24 years as a writer and editor for the Rocky Mountain News, before finding her calling in the church. She’s also worked for newspapers in Tennessee, for the Associated Press, and has done freelance work that has appeared in numerous publications.
A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, she has bachelor’s degrees in mass communications and political science from East Tennessee State University, and a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, where she was a Kiplinger Fellow. She came to Colorado to go skiing one weekend in 1984 and simply never left. She received her Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology in Denver in 2007, with concentrations in Anglican Studies and Justice & Peace Studies. Ordained a deacon in 2008, most of her seven-year diaconal ministry was focused on serving the homeless, and on advocating on behalf of the poor and marginalized. She was ordained a priest in 2015, and came to St. James as priest-in-charge in 2016.
The Rev. Anthony Christiansen was ordained a deacon in June 2017. He has a background in ministry with the homeless as well as chaplaincy experience in hospice and in correctional settings. He was raised in Minneapolis; went to college in New York City, where he lived for 15 years; and he received a master's degree in theology in Washington, D.C. in 2005. He's lived in Colorado since late, not counting the 2016-17 school year that he spent at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.
He is owned by a dog, a 5-year-old Brussels Griffon by the name of Boo, who is unarguably the center of Anthony's life. Besides Boo, he has many interests and hobbies including travel, reading, drawing and painting, and cooking. He lived for a couple of years each in The Netherlands and in England, working in both places with refugees from war-torn areas of the Middle East and Northern Africa. He loves languages and is fluent in Spanish, and does fairly well in both French and Dutch. He is passionate about social justice issues and has a strong bias that acting justly in the world is at the heart of our vocation as Christians.
Our parish administrator
Bev Thomas oversees the day-to-day running of our parish office, and chances are, it's her cheery voice you'll hear if you call the church.
Prior to her retirement, she worked as a senior information technology data analyst for Catholic Health Initiatives in Denver. She's skilled in all things related to computers, financial software, data base management, procurement and project management. Trust us, she's the ONLY one around here who knows how to coax a malfunctioning printer back to life or how to get the computers to work properly.
She also serves as Bishop's Warden for The Episcopal Church of St. Peter & St. Mary in Denver and is managing director of St. Clare's Ministries, a Tuesday evening ministry to the homeless and hungry in Denver.
Our music director
Gretchen Timmer started playing for church services as an eighth grader, and during her career has served Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Congregational and Catholic congregations. She has a bachelor's degree in music education/keyboard performance from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebr., and a master's degree in music education and piano from the University of Nebraska. A school music teacher for much of her life, she retired from Cherry Creek Schools in 2006 after teaching 24 years at High Plains Elementary. She was director of children's/youth choirs at St. John's Cathedral from 2007-2011, and has served as a collaborative pianist for Young Voices of Colorado since 2006.
Our vestry – the hardest-working vestry in Colorado
Carol Johnson - Senior warden
I was born in Germany and lived in the Territory of Hawaii, California and Virginia before coming to Colorado in 1968 to go to C.U. Boulder. I received my B.S. in elementary education in 1972. My main occupation was as a lactation consultant for a company I started in 1993. Since retiring, I have spent many hours helping with five of our granddaughters who live nearby. I have volunteered two days a week at their elementary school for the last six years. I have served on Altar Guild at each church I have attended. I have also helped with Vacation Bible School, rummage sales, silent auctions, and anything else that was needed. Outside of church, I keep busy with my family, Daughters of the American Revolution, and genealogy.
John McCormac - Junior Warden
I was born and raised in Detroit. After high school I spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, then went to college in Michigan for two years. After relocating to California and completing the Southern California Carpentry Apprentice Program, I took a temporary job supervising the construction of a new home development In Arvada. Little did I realize I would not return to California. In 1982 I started my own company, Merit Homes, based in Broomfield. We built and sold new homes, townhomes and apartments, office warehouses and small retail developments. I retired in 2007. I have two grown children and six grandchildren. My main goal as Junior Warden is to help grow the congregation by showing that we are a vibrant group working together to improve our church. In my spare time I play golf, fish, garden and, of course, love those grandchildren.
Karen McCall – Treasurer
I worked for the Postal Service for 31 years, where I held a myriad of positions. My last position was as a Contracting Officer. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative Management, and am knowledgeable about computer programs and systems. At All Saints Episcopal Church in Denver, I was the treasurer, served on Altar Guild, and was an acolyte, chalice bearer and Eucharistic Visitor. I am currently in training to become a verger. A fun fact: I like to travel and go fishing at the lake.
I was raised as an Air Force "Brat" along with my three sisters, so we lived in many places. I graduated from Ft. Collins High School and got a BS in Nursing from the University. of Northern Colorado on an Army scholarship. I served four years as an Army Nurse in Tacoma, Wash. We also lived in Grand Junction, Lakewood and now Ken Caryl/Littleton. I'm married to Matt, a mining engineer from the School of Mines for 39 years so far! We had three children – all grown and out of the house!! I worked part time as a nurse for 37 years, and was always involved with mothers and babies. For the last 20 years of my career I was a Lactation Consultant, and retired from the University of Colorado Hospital three years ago. I am a lifelong Episcopalian, serving on Altar Guild, was a Sunday School teacher, worked with Youth Group, and Buildings and Grounds at our last church. I hope to bring fresh eyes to the vestry, and a willingness to "get things done." I also am in PEO, a women's group, and a book club. My quirky fact is that I am a Lambkin, as those that graduate from FCHS are known.
JoAnn Hamm - Clerk
I am originally from New Jersey. I worked for 25 years as secretary to the Special Services Department of Red Bank Public Schools in Red Bank, N.J. I retired from that position in June, 2013. In February of 2014 I moved to Arvada with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. I've been attending St. James since we moved here. Prior to moving here, I attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in New Jersey. I now volunteer two days a week at Peck Elementary School in Arvada, and I recently adopted a bulldog puppy named Gracie. My goal is to have St. James become the parish that we know it can be.
I worked for the State of Colorado for 22 years and retired from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. I worked for Printing Services as a Program Assist II in charge of the business department and payroll. I also did payroll for the Bookstore, Mail Center & Photography. After I retired I went back to work for them as a partime retiree for three more years. I have been at St. James for almost four years. I started attending the Episcopal Church about 25 years ago. I started at All Saints Episcopal of Denver until it closed and from there I went to St. Laurence in Conifer until I came to St. James. I am head of the Altar Guild, an acolyte and Eucharistic Visitor. I am married to John and we live in Thornton. I have four children and four grandchildren. We love to go fishing and camping .
Phyllis Sharla - Bio and photo coming soon!
I am a 74-year old widow. I moved to Colorado from Ohio when I retired in July 2009. I have a BSW from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and a MSW from the Ohio State University. My MSW was in the administrative track. I worked in the addiction field for 25 years working myself up to Compliance Officer for two non-profit agencies. I was co-owner of a children's clothing store from 1976 - 1984. I had not been actively involved with a church since 1994, when my husband died. Recently, I decided I needed to find a church again and attended a service at St. James. I felt at home and knew this was the church I wanted to join. I was a City Council Member for four years in Bowling Green, and was chairman of the Safety Committee. I was a charter member of the Bowling Green Housing Agency and was an Adjunct instructor at BGSU. I was also President and Membership Vice President of the American Association of University Women in Bowling Green. I have three married daughters and no grandchildren. I am a very active person and try to walk 7 miles a day. I am in very good health and love life.
I was born and raised in Denver and graduated from East Denver High School and Colorado State University (a long time ago). After moving around some, Lakewood has been my home for 52 years. I am a widow with four sons, two daughters-in-law, and 10 grandchildren. I have worked in several nursing facilities in the area and retired as an administrator of an assisted living facility. I have been a member of the Episcopal church since age 9 (that was a really, really long time ago) and have served on more than several vestries and am privileged to serve on the St. James vestry.
I was born in Kansas City, raised in north central Pennsylvania, spent 2 ½ yrs at Northeastern University in Boston, and spent 23 years raising a family in upstate New York. I moved to Denver in 1993 and have been here since. That’s me. I have been widowed since 1997, have two children and two grandchildren. I have attended churches here and there along the way, but never felt at home as I do at St. James. I was raised as a Methodist, attended several other denominations, and settled on the Episcopal church only after landing in Denver. For a time I was a member at St Michael’s and All Angels on University Boulevard, but then moved to the west side of town. I began attending St. James last fall. As far as employment, I worked as an adjuster in the insurance field for more than 25 years. I later took a job at RTD as a bus operator and worked up to being a driving instructor. I went on to light rail as an operator and instructor. After I retired from there, I worked as a medical courier for about eight years. Now I am fully retired and finally have time to become an active parish member.
I am owner of the public relations firm, Masterson & Friends Communications. Among my more than 30 years of experience in public relations, advertising and promotions, were four years with Ned High Public Relations and four years as director of public relations for the Denver Art Museum. Before joining the museum, I was director of public information for the University of Colorado's Boulder campus. I served as editor, production manager and director of public information at the Education Commission of the States and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In this capacity, I was responsible for media relations, legislative briefings and national news conferences. I am the former host of "Denver Showcase" on KCNC, Channel 4, Denver. I served on the American Lung Association media task force, and on the boards of Community Housing Services, Visiting Nurse Association, Denver Woman's Press Club, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, and Arvada Chamber of Commerce. I currently write for GuestGuide Publications, publishers of tourists publications in Estes Park and Winter Park Colorado and Moab Utah.