The Rev. Christopher Potter
Office phone: 949.888.4568
The Rev. Karen D. Maurer
Office phone: 949.888.4595 x239
Dr. Michael D. Pratt, Head of School
Patti Peebles, Youth Pastor and School Chaplain
949.888.4536 or 949.290.0833
Cynthia A. Drennan, Administrator
Roger H. Bradshaw, Assistant Administrator
Sheryll Grogan, Sunday School Director
949.858.5144 x344 or 949.858.0773
LorraineÂ Kamholz, Assistant Sunday School Director
The Rev. Christopher Potter, Vicar
Fr. Christopher was appointed vicar of St. John’s Church and School in May 2017.Â St. John’s Church has nearlyÂ 300 members; St. John’s School has about 450 students, ranging from infants to kids in eighth grade.Â
Fr. Christopher’s path to St. John’s is fascinating! Born into theÂ Roman Catholic tradition, Christopher felt God’s call to ministryÂ around the age of 13. He receivedÂ a B.A. in Philosophy, with a music minor, fromÂ The University ofÂ San Diego, and an M.Div in Ministry, from St. John’s University, Collegeville Minnesota. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1982, and served in several pastoral assignmentsÂ in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. HeÂ took leave from parochial ministry,Â married, raisedÂ a family, andÂ built a few businesses along the way.
Though living and working in the secular world, Christopher always soughtÂ toÂ bring healing where people were broken and isolated and to offer hope to people who were in desperate straits. “I realized that my heartÂ and activitiesÂ had never left priestly ministryÂ andÂ after fifteen years as an Episcopal layman,Â IÂ asked Bishop Bruno to accept me as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Now I’m a single father of an adult daughter and doing what I love most in life!”
At St. John’s, Fr. Christopher sees his priestly role as fostering and nurturing hope. “My passion and education merge at the intersections of liturgy, education,Â personal responseÂ to the Gospel of Jesus, and encouraging people to join in the work of fulfilling Godâ€™s reign on earth. A priest is called to be the mid-wife of hope.Â
“With humility and prayer,Â priests are called toÂ enter with God into peopleâ€™s lives when loss, injury orÂ death have robbed them of vision. Together with them andÂ withÂ Godâ€™s grace, priests give birth to hope and rebuild lives. We find amid tragedy the unending love God has for the world as seen and taught by Jesus.”
Fr. Christopher previously served as Assisting Priest at St. Stephen’s and St. Joseph in Buena Park, and most recently as Priest-in-Charge at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Placentia from 2013 to April 2017.Â
In the Episcopal Church, Christopher served on two diocesan committees: the Bishop’s Liturgy Committee, and the Diocesan Committee on Disabilities. He also holds licenses/certifications in California as a Group Home Administrator, Adult Residential Facility Administrator, and is a Certified Instructor in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Prevention.
In his free time Fr. Christopher enjoys spending time with his daughter, cooking, and riding hisÂ bicycleÂ 15 miles a day.Â
Follow Fr. Christopher on social media:
The Rev. Karen S. Maurer, Associate Vicar
Rev. Karen was baptized a Presbyterian, confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and finally arrived at the Episcopal Church in 1982, and was received into TEC shortly after. Before going to Seminary, Karen taught Sunday School, worked in various leadership positions which included Vestry (twice), worship leadership, Cursillo ministry, Bible Studies in two Episcopal Churches â€” St. Clementâ€™s in San Clemente and Emmanuel, Fullerton. In addition, after their children were mostly grown, Karen worked for Capistrano Unified School District in the Adult Transition program, followed by employment by Casa de Amma in San Juan Capistrano.
Karen was ordained with her husband, Dave, in 2007. They served at three Episcopal churches in the Inland Empire: St. Peterâ€™s, Rialto; St. Lukeâ€™s, Fontana; and St. Clareâ€™s, Rancho Cucamonga. In February 2014 Karen was called to St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach. Karenâ€™s beloved husband, Rev. Dave, went on permanent disability due to an Alzheimerâ€™s diagnosis. He passed away January 6, 2016.
At St. Wilfridâ€™s, Karenâ€™s areas of responsibility were Pastoral Care and Outreach, with a particular focus as Executive Director of Beach Cities Interfaith Services, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to offer compassionate, faith-based service to all in need.
As St. Johnâ€™s Associate Vicar, Karen believes her role is to partner with Rev. Christopher, the people of St. Johnâ€™s, and the church staff to present the Gospel with love, humor and compassion in every encounter, including the greater Rancho Santa Margarita community.
Karen says, â€śAs a person, my greatest joy is found in relationships; with God, family, friends, and with all people with whom I come in contact. Godâ€™s care for each of us is so deep, so intimate, so filled with compassion and love! My prayer is that, as a priest I might be able in some small way to convey the magnificence and beauty of our loving Triune God.â€ť
Karen and Dave have two children, Gretchen, and Michael. Gretchen Killebrew and her husband Mark have three children Kye, Kalena and Ella. Michael Maurer and his wife Haley have two children, Vivienne and Jackson. Karen is close to her family members, including her sister JoAnne Sand and her husband Brad; Daveâ€™s brothers Stephen Maurer and his wife Jane, and Larry and his wife Barbara. Many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grand nephews round out Karenâ€™s extended family.
Karenâ€™s hobbies include daily walks, beach doubles volleyball, reading, swimming, playing music with friends, spending time with family and friends, and entertaining at home.
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Patti Peebles, Youth Pastor and School Chaplain
Patti joined the staff of St. Johnâ€™s January 1, 1998. Baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church, she attended a Lutheran Sunday School as a child. In high school she attended Young Life, but mostly to hang out with friends. Then she attended a Saturday night concert at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa led by Pastor Chuck Smith and was forever hooked on Jesus. However, as most young adults do, Patti wandered away from the church while she worked, pursued a career in business and simply had fun.
And then one night, during a tough time in her professional life, Patti ended up at the 2nd Harvest Crusade at the Pacific Amphitheater. And there on the stage was her old pastor, Chuck Smith, talking about only God knows what (seriouslyâ€¦ she doesnâ€™t remember a word of it) and was back. She started attending Calvary again. But still something was missing. A friend wanted to church shop and Patti went along; they saw an ad in the yellow pages (the OG Google) for a little Episcopal church down on Lido in Newport. Patti and the friend went and that was that. The Episcopal Church had exactly what was missing â€” liturgy. It was the Armenian church but in English! Within a short period of time, Patti was volunteering in Sunday School and even led Vacation Bible School when the director had to back out at the last minute. Even though she had no experience with VBS except as a child attendee! Patti was hooked. Children and Youth Ministry was where God wanted her. Within months, she had closed her business, gotten a job, and eventually went back to college part time, receiving her degree in Religion/Ministry and Leadership from Vanguard University (then Southern California College).
Her priest at St. James heard about a job opening for Chaplain at St. Johnâ€™s and sent Patti out for an interview for what was supposed to be interview practice. There were five priests also applying for the job, but Patti was chosen for the position.
Patti has worked with several St. Johnâ€™s parishioners in youth ministry and is so very grateful for them all. On the school side, Patti teaches grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8, plus manages the chapel schedule, leads the Preschool chapels and is pretty much all over the campus. She wouldnâ€™t trade this job for anything.
Patti met her husband Scott when he came to the school to present at a teacher workshop and they were married in July 1999. They live in Huntington Beach where they ride bikes every weekend. Patti also spends quite a bit of time with her grandniece at Disneyland â€” because what better place to babysit?
Roger Bradshaw, Assistant Church Administrator
Roger joined St. Johnâ€™s parish in 2010, taking on volunteer roles in the Food Pantry and Menâ€™s ministry before becoming its Assistant Church Administrator in early 2017.
Roger was raised in a non-religious household, never really thinking about the subject until as a newlywed, his wife, Joanne, said that she wanted to find a church home for the two of them. They were baptized together in to the Roman Catholic Church when Roger was 25. They chose the Roman Catholic faith because they were drawn to its traditional liturgy and pageantry.
Being on the School Board of St. Georgeâ€™s Episcopal School in Lake Forest, where his two sonâ€™s attended, led Roger to experience his first Episcopal church service in 2002. He and Joanne were already experiencing frustration with the direction of the Roman Catholic Church, so Roger suggested to Joanne that she check out a service at St. Georgeâ€™s too, and they both knew that they had found a new church home with the Episcopal Church. They stayed at St. Georgeâ€™s until a job opportunity took them to France and Denmark for five years. Based on the strength of St. Johnâ€™s Youth Ministries, they joined St. Johnâ€™s when they returned in 2010.
Wanting to deepen his knowledge of the Bible, Church history and its place in society, Roger enrolled in the Education for Ministry (EfM) program at St. Johnâ€™s in 2013, and graduated in 2016. He found the program very rewarding, as it increased his knowledge and understanding of Godâ€™s love for all of us, and how to apply that love to his everyday life.
When asked about what he appreciates about St. Johnâ€™s, Roger said, â€śWhat really impresses me about the people of St. Johnâ€™s is how active and engaged they are, not only in their faith, but in applying that faith to the issues and problems they see around them. They donâ€™t wait for permission to tackle a problem or begin a ministry, they just go about doing it.â€ť
Rogerâ€™s hobbies include woodworking and home improvements, working on his old car, and walking his two high-energy dogs with his wife.