The Reverend Father Christopher McLaren, Rector
Fr. Christopher McLaren grew up in Medford, Oregon, and graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, in Humanities and Art History. He married the love of his life, Maren Christine Cole, on New Year’s Eve 1993 at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Salem, Oregon. Christopher and Maren enjoy the hilarious nature of family life with their three children Sofia, Cole and Talia. Upon graduating from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, Fr. Christopher served as Associate Rector, Priest-in-Charge, and eventually Rector of St. George’s New Orleans for a period of 6 years. After many joyful and interesting years in New Orleans, the McLaren family relocated Albuquerque from New Orleans after losing their home in Hurricane Katrina. Christopher served at St. Michael and All Angels as Associate Rector for 5 years.
Fr. Christopher has been Rector of St. Mark’s since September 2011. He feels his many gifts for ministry and energy for nurturing strong communities of worship and learning are well matched. He hopes to shape a community that is faithful to the Christian tradition, progressive and open to all people, passionate about children and youth ministry, deeply relational, intellectually curious, and deeply engaged in service to the larger community. In his leisure time, Fr. Christopher enjoys good coffee, coaching soccer, gardening, beekeeping, fly fishing, reading, cooking, being with his kids, and exploring the outdoors.
The Rev. Patricia (Pat) Green, Associate Rector
Rev. Pat grew up here at St. Mark’s. Her family moved here in 1958 because her father was stationed at Kirtland Airforce Base. She lived in Albuquerque through her first years of high school before moving to Florida, but she returned for college, graduating from UNM with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Theater Arts. She met her husband, Al, and married while at UNM. They moved and Rev. Pat completed a Master’s degree in counseling from the University of Arizona, working in child abuse and drug and alcohol abuse treatment. She and Al returned to St. Mark’s after their children were grown. Rev. Pat spent many hours here as a lector, chalice bearer, teacher, serving on the vestry and as lay pastoral care coordinator at St. Mark’s before being called to become a clergyperson. She began a journey to Texas, where she was a classmate with Fr. Christopher at the Seminary of the Southwest.
After ordination in Colorado, she returned to Albuquerque to work as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director at the Samaritan Center. Under the Call to Common Mission, our clergy-sharing agreement with the Lutheran church, she served for almost nine years as pastor of St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church. In January of 2012, she retired to enjoy being a grandmother and focus more on her ministry as a Spiritual Director. While she continues to be a primary caretaker for a grandbaby, Rev. Pat enjoys her continued preaching, teaching and helping with pastoral care, and looks forward to expanding into serving the varied needs of this growing faith community. Her favorite use of her free time is reading, but she’s determined in her new efforts to join the fitness revolution.
The Rev. David Martin, Christian Education Director / Deacon
David grew up in Hannibal, Missouri. He attended the University of Kansas and lived in Kansas City, New York City, and Santa Fe before settling in Albuquerque. He was worked as an architect, interior designer, writer, waiter, bartender, male nanny (“manny”), and a church musician.
David was ordained as a Vocational Deacon in June of 2017 and is happy to serve at St. Mark’s – a parish filled with diverse and wonderful people. As a married gay man, David knows how organized religion has made many people feel unwelcome at church or unworthy of God’s love. It is David’s mission to spread the true message of the Gospel: – that God’s mercy and love are available to everyone – regardless of how they identify, where they have been, or what they have done. David finds it especially important to impart these principles to youth. Through his position as our Director of Christian Education, David works to make sure every young person knows they are a blessed child of God and loved for exactly who they are.
Having needed help through difficult times, David knows what being a part of a loving, supportive, spiritual community has done for him. He wants everyone to understand they can have the same experience.
Kathie MacDonald-Vargo, Organist and Choir Director
Kathie grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she started playing piano at the age of 2 and started singing in the treble choir at the age of 8. After moving to Indianapolis when she was 10, Kathie taught music to the kindergarten classes at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and sang with the adult choir while continuing to study piano. Kathie was a staff singer at St. Paul’s for quite a number of years until she she became Organist/Choir Director for St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Danville, Indiana. She moved to Phoenix in 1998 where she sang with Trinity Episcopal Cathedral until she moved to Albuquerque in 1999 where she was a staff singer for the Cathedral of St. John’s. Kathie came to St. Mark’s in the spring of 2011 and became Choir Director in the fall of that same year. She has sung with the Butler University Alumni Chorus, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Pro Musica, Pride of Indy Chorus, Santa Fe Chamber Choir, Polyphony:Voices of New Mexico, and Cantat to name a few. She has made a number of recordings with various choral groups and was part of a live broadcast on National Public Radio celebrating recently discovered works of G.F. Handel. Kathie currently works full-time as an administrator for a telecommunications company with several locations in the Southwest. In her spare time, she knits – prolifically (shawls mostly) – and cares for the dogs and cats she and her roommate have rescued.
Elspeth Keables, Parish Administrator
Elspeth grew up in Illinois. She double majored in Spanish and Religion at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She then spent two years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua, where she taught children’s crafts, women’s aerobics and English at one of Cantera’s cultural centers. After returning stateside, she worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher and a Spanish tutor. Albuquerque became home for Elspeth and her husband, Nate, in 2016. In her free time, she is most likely to be found talking with family and friends or on a walk.
Erin Cook, Communications Coordinator
Erin was raised in Oregon but moved to Albuquerque in 1991, so she considers this “home.” She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology in 2004 and became a database administrator for 10 years, in both educational and government organizations. She has published two articles for an online business, whose tips-and-tricks help those working with databases. While she has a strong IT skill set, she has a high aptitude for writing and likes to create short stories as her hobby.
Erin was confirmed at St. Mark’s in 2015. She feels very blessed and excited to be on the team at St. Mark’s.
Alan Clawson, Business Manager
Alan is a CPA with over ten years’ experience in tax preparation, accounting and consulting. He holds an MBA and Masters of Accountancy from the Anderson Graduate Schools of Management. Alan is pleased to bring his experience and passion for not-for-profit accounting to St. Marks. He is treasurer of Ensemble Music New Mexico, the parent organization of Chatter, an Albuquerque not-for-profit organization that presents a variety of chamber music concerts in Albuquerque. He, and wife Kathleen, have an eighteen-year-old son, Christopher.