The Reverend Father Christopher McLaren
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. Sylvia Miller-Mutia
Sylvia Miller-Mutia serves as part time assisting priest at St. Mark’s with a focus on outreach, evangelism, and family ministry. She has previously served as Rector of St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, NM (2015-2018), Assistant Rector at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, CA (2010-2015) and Pastoral Associate for Youth & Families at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Belvedere, CA (2002-2009). She is married to Donnel (grief counselor, couples coach, artist, best dad ever), and they have three awesome kids: Lucia, Johanna, and Alex.
Sylvia holds a BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Utah, an MA in Liturgy and the Arts from Pacific School of Religion, and Certificates of Anglican Studies and Theological Studies from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. As a priest, dancer, and mother of three, she is passionate about inviting people of all ages to join in seeking the divine through worship, prayer, and practice that is embodied, sacramental, participatory, and inter-generational. Creation, creativity, and connection with family and friends are the gifts by which God nourishes, stretches and sustains her. You can learn more about Sylvia and explore various resources she’s created to support your spiritual growth at www.mothersylvia.com.
The Rev. David Martin
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 has 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.
Laura grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She started college at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and graduated from New College of California in Santa Rosa, California.
Laura has worked in nonprofit finances for over 30 years. She is proud to have worked for the YWCA of Sonoma County, Community Action Partnerships – the Sonoma County Community Action Agency, Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Santa Rosa (CA). While living in California, Laura served on the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations. She was the treasurer of the Santa Rosa Education Cooperative while her son was a student at the preschool.
Currently, Laura volunteers at the Roadrunner Food Bank here in Albuquerque. She loves to crochet and sew and is an avid reader. Laura is also a life-long student of yoga and meditation.
Jennifer grew up in Utah, Texas and Washington State. She attended high school in Spokane, WA and college at Seattle University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and History. She moved to Albuquerque in 1993 to be closer to her parents who had retired and returned to New Mexico after many years away. Jennifer’s time is mostly dedicated to her children and to her own church, Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian. Jennifer comes to St. Mark’s from a neighboring Nob Hill Church, Immanuel Presbyterian, where she was the Office Manager. Prior to that, she was a writer and marketing coordinator for Mudhouse Advertising, a local marketing firm. She also served in Land Acquisition and Development for Pulte Homes and Customer Service Coordinator for Sivage Thomas Homes. Jennifer and the boys have an accidental zoo of four dogs, a “therapy” corn snake, an African fire skink, three parakeets, and two guinea pigs.
Erin was raised in Ashland, Oregon but moved to Albuquerque in 1991, so she considers this “home.” She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in 2004 and worked as a database administrator for 10 years, in both educational and government organizations. She has published two technical how-to articles. Erin enjoys painting, creative writing, graphic design, cooking, singing and playing the piano, "The Legend of Zelda" video games, being with animals, and sunflowers.
Erin was confirmed at St. Mark’s in 2015, and married her husband, Dave, in the Nave of St. Mark's in 2022. She has been working at St. Mark's in her communications role since late 2015 and continues to enjoy being a part of such a welcoming family of faith.
Director of Music
Originally from Kansas, Jeremy Wirths lived in Dallas for several years before relocating to Albuquerque in 2018. In addition to his work at St. Mark's, Jeremy continues his role as Director of Development for Opera Southwest, Albuquerque's opera company. Before moving to New Mexico, he served as Music Director of churches in Kansas, Georgia, and Texas. He has also taught music at the university level. Jeremy considers himself a lifelong learner and has earned several degrees. Most recently, Jeremy earned an MBA at Southern Methodist University in Dallas focused in arts administration. More relevant to his work at St. Mark's are his doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas and master’s degree in organ performance from Emory University, a program which included extensive study of liturgical theology and practice. Jeremy's undergraduate degree in music was earned at the University of Kansas (rock chalk!). Prior to COVID-19, he enjoyed several hobbies and a vibrant social life, which he hopes to resume soon. Highlights include his love of the Santa Fe Opera, Whisk(e)y, and his Standard Schnauzer, Anna Magdalena (named for the wife of Johann Sebastian Bach). The third coequal person of the household is Jeremy's spouse James, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon practicing and teaching at UNMH. James and Jeremy are New Mexico foster parents. Jeremy is passionate about the Anglican choral tradition and looks forward to diving into work with St. Mark's Choir. His goal is to make the choir accessible and fun for singers of all levels of training, while aspiring to make music at the highest possible level. He also works to make the choir an inviting gateway into the parish for those seeking a religious community. Jeremy and St. Mark's Reuter Organ are both natives of Kansas, and Jeremy looks forward to working together to bring great organ music to St. Mark's.
Leo C' de Baca
Leo C’ de Baca was born here at Presbyterian Hospital when it was still a one-building hospital. He has mostly lived in Albuquerque ever since. Before joining the staff at St. Mark’s, Leo worked in the hotel industry, that included five-star hotels. He also spent several months in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, gaining valuable experience in outdoor landscaping and lawn maintenance. Leo loves playing the piano and skiing in the Taos area.
St. Mark's Montessori School Director
After pursuing my degree in psychology at the University of New Mexico, I have been passionately curious about education. I’m particularly interested in the inner workings of the early childhood experience, such as developmental milestones and effective educational techniques.
I now have over eight years of first-hand experience in how students learn best, including how to organize the classroom, and the ways in which school support structures are crucial for each child’s educational success.
I have served as a support staff, a lead teacher, an assistant director, and acting director at two different preschools. At St. Mark’s Montessori School, I look forward to continuing good working relationships with the staff, students, and families here.
I will focus on my responsibilities as director with care, intention, and understanding. I want to lay a foundation where our students can blossom, and feel at home in their learning environment.
“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.” - Maria Montessori
I look forward to serving the community of St. Mark’s Montessori School, and leading the school into a new chapter of student achievement.