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. Sylvia Miller-Mutia, Associate Rector
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, 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.
Jennifer Lind, Parish Administrator
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 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 dabbles in painting and creative writing.
Erin was confirmed at St. Mark’s in 2015. She feels very blessed and excited to be on the team.
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.
Randall Hayden, Seminarian in Residence
Randall is a second-year seminarian with the Iona Collaborative of the Seminary of the Southwest. He has been assigned to St. Mark’s for the next two years as he continues to discern a vocation to the priesthood. Raised in Los Angeles, CA, Randall first worked as an industrial designer. Later, while serving in several the capacities at the Southwest Museum American Indian, he had the opportunity to study Navajo weaving with the master weaver, Kalley Keams Lucero. Eventually, he became co-owner of Stick and Stone, a fiber arts shop in Los Angeles where he taught spinning, dying and weaving. Randall currently lives in Santa Fe with his husband, the Rev. Scott Hankins, a retired Episcopal priest, and his English springer spaniel, Fafner.
In the early days of the AIDS crisis Randall administered three separate email-based community self-help groups. Serving HIV+ Gay men, hemophiliacs and their families, and health care professionals, these groups helped men and women primarily living outside major metropolitan areas to find both health services and emotional and religious comfort. This ministry would eventually lead to work with the Grief Ministry at the Church of the Holy Faith in Santa Fe.
Randall is excited to have been assigned to such a diverse, vibrant, and welcoming faith community as St. Mark’s.