The Reverend Chris Schutte, Rector/Senior Pastor
I was born in Flagstaff and moved to Pinetop-Lakeside when I was five months old. I grew up there and, at the age of 14, felt God calling me into the ministry. After graduating from Blue Ridge High School, I went to the University of Arizona in Tucson. I majored in History/Classics, and, a year after graduating, went to seminary at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the Boston area. It was there that I felt called to be ordained in the Anglican church and, more importantly, met Tracy, who is now my wife. After seminary, we moved back to Arizona, and, after ordination, I served in Prescott for three years. While in Prescott we had our first child, Owen. After our time in Prescott, I served for two-and-a-half years in Paradise Valley. During those years we had two more children, Anna and Claire. It was in December 2007 that I began my service at Christ Church Anglican, and we all feel blessed to be here!
My primary calling at Christ Church is to provide spiritual leadership as we seek to be faithful to God’s call for us as a community.
I love to read, watch baseball, walk, run, and, occasionally, watch a movie.
The Reverend Chuck Collins, Associate Rector
Being raised in a family where unconditional love was practiced is the greatest gift imaginable. I am the oldest of four, raised in El Paso, Texas. I went to the Episcopal Seminary in Austin where I met Ellen. A year into our relationship, I had surgery for colon cancer and started chemotherapy and radiation. Thanks be to God, I was healed of cancer! Ellen’s love and support for me during those days made me love her even more. Ellen and I have been married for 35 years this July (2014) and we are extremely blessed with four children and two wonderful grandchildren (and two more on the way!).
I have served a number of churches as an Episcopal priest: Curate at St. Francis on the Hill, El Paso; Assistant Rector of Trinity, Vero Beach; Rector of Holy Family, Orlando; Rector of St. Mark’s on the Mesa, Albuquerque; and Rector of Christ Church San Antonio. Then five years ago, along with several others, I started Holy Trinity Anglican Church. I have also served as Canon Theologian in the Diocese of the Rio Grande, General Convention delegate, and as Trustee at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The gospel of God’s grace that comes through Jesus is as new and fresh today as it was when I first asked God to make himself real to me at the age of 18.
I am honored to serve on such a great staff, with a rector whom I respect, among the wonderful people of Christ Church Anglican! I will pray every day for great grace to come upon us (Acts 4:33).
My hobbies over the years have centered around our children’s sporting events, but in recent times I have enjoyed writing articles, poetry, and short stories. I have written a book about the history and beliefs of the Anglican Church in America, Cranmer’s Church, and another one called Reformation Anglicanism.
The Reverend George Miley, Assisting Clergy (non-staff)
It’s a great kindness (risk!) that our Lord trusted me at the young age of 21 to serve as pastor to a small church of the Disciples of Christ denomination during my undergraduate years. After completing a degree in History, I did my postgraduate theological studies at Grace Theological Seminary, and then joined Operation Mobilization (OM) as a missionary.
As part of a gifted team of leaders, my wife Hanna and I were privileged in the 1960s to lay foundations for the work of OM in India, a ministry now comprising several thousand Indian missionaries. In 1971 I became pioneer Director of the OM ship LOGOS, and later her sister ship DOULOS, and for 15 years Hanna and I ministered in some 100 countries (not hard when you live on ships visiting another port every 2-3 weeks!). In 1987, after 20 wonderful years of serving with OM, we founded Antioch Network, now a growing international, ecumenical fellowship of Christian leaders and their ministries.
Hanna is a German Jew, a Holocaust survivor, and we now find ourselves living half the year in the Eifel, her home region of Germany, in a ministry of reconciliation. Having turned Antioch Network over to the next generation of leaders, we are focused on teaching, writing and mentoring those coming after us, and were blessed to see Hanna’s memoir, A Garland for Ashes, published in 2013. We are deeply grateful for Christ Church Anglican–the fellowship of Jesus’ followers into whom we have been grafted and from whom our ministry springs.
I was ordained as an Anglican priest in February of 2013, and am blessed to serve the local church in this church family.
To relax, I enjoy reading (especially history, often church history), walking in nature, and taking Hanna for afternoon coffee and cake in historic, romantic Eifel cafès. For more about us, visit our website.
The Reverend David Stevens, Assisting Clergy (non-staff)
I spent nearly six years in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman and lived in Germany for three of those years deploying around the world. I currently work as the Chief Information Officer for Maricopa County. I’m blessed to have a wonderful wife, Jessica, and two amazing children, Andrea and Matthew.
I graduated with a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and completed my Clinical Pastoral Education at Banner Thunderbird Hospital. I was accepted as a postulant in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande under the Right Reverend Dr. Jeffrey D. Steenson; went on to be ordained a deacon by the Right Reverend John Guernsey (Province of Uganda); and was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Western Anglicans also by Bishop Guernsey.
My desire is to see the people of God grow in a deepening faith and passion for Jesus Christ and to equip them to go forth and build the kingdom of God through missions, evangelism, and discipleship. It is an incredible privilege to serve as an assisting priest for Christ Church Anglican – I’m humbled and overjoyed.
Hiking, golf, landscape photography, running, football, and family trips.
Christ Church’s Rector or Senior Pastor is assisted in leading the church by a lay leadership board that is elected by the congregation. The Vestry is made up of:
Rector: Fr. Chris Schutte
Senior Warden: Dave Akers
Junior Warden: Jack Smelser
Treasurer: Larry Moudy
Chancellor: Jim Craft
Clerk: Edward Jones
Lynne Petrovic, Manager of Facilities and Administration
I was born in Columbus, Ohio, and am the eldest of six children. My academic background includes a B.A. in Business Administration from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and a Certificate in Facilities Management from The University of California, Irvine. My professional career has included facilities and project management positions in manufacturing, health care, real estate development, and financial corporations in Ohio, California, and Arizona.
This position combines my professional experience with ministry opportunities to serve the church and the people I love, including coordinating weddings and funerals and serving on the Altar Guild. I appreciate the solid biblical teaching, the rich traditional Anglican worship and cherish the deep humble fellowship of the clergy, leadership and the parishioners. It is exciting to learn more about the ACNA and how CCA continues to play a significant part in its evolution. I look forward to building relationships with other church administration and facilities professionals within the surrounding area and our diocese.
I endeavor to effectively manage the office administration and church campus facilities to enable our clergy, vestry, staff, and ministries to fulfill CCA’s mission and vision to be a blessing in our city and wherever God leads us.
I enjoy reading, entertaining friends, playing golf, and look forward to traveling a bit more.
Judy Irish, Administrative Assistant
I’m a native Arizonan. I grew up in Tempe and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors degree in Marketing and Sales Management. I spent over 20 years working in the financial services industry before taking a season off to be a full-time mom and homemaker. My husband, Jeff, and I have two wonderful boys, Devin and Kyle. During my stay-at-home years, I enjoyed doing volunteer work in their schools and as a docent for Phoenix Art Museum. Our family began attending Christ Church when it opened its doors, right in our neighborhood, in 2007. We feel so blessed to be part of this church community.
I see my role as one of support to the clergy, ministries, and staff of CCA, as we seek to expand God’s kingdom in our city.
I love the outdoors, hiking, biking, taking the dog for walks, watching my boys play baseball, reading, and travel.
Megan Comstock, Assistant to the Rector, Children’s Ministry Coordinator, and Parish Life Coordinator
I was born and grew up in San Diego and completed my undergraduate education at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, studying both English and Spanish. In 2006 I moved to Phoenix to be mentored by and travel with Fr. George and Hanna Miley, a season which also brought me to Christ Church. In 2010, after a few years of working as a Consultant at a reading center in Scottsdale, Fr. Chris asked if I would consider coming on staff to lead the Children’s Ministry, an opportunity for which I continue to be grateful. I also very much enjoy using my organizational skills to assist Fr. Chris and our parish in the practicalities of our life together. As of late summer 2016, I transitioned from full- to part-time work at Christ Church, in light of beginning a graduate program in Occupational Therapy.
My vision for our children’s ministry is to create opportunities for our kids to experience the transforming love of God from a young age, help them become rooted in the biblical narrative, and assist them in learning to listen for and obey God’s voice.
I love to garden, bike, work on house projects, read, travel, hike, write, clean and organize anything and everything, spend time with my niece whenever possible, and slowly explore the many new venues in Downtown Phoenix, where I also live.
John Laffoon, Minister to Youth and Families
Imagine a simple little country church building in Kentucky and you’ll probably have a good image of where I grew up. From infancy, the church and my family taught me and showed me that Jesus loved me and the whole world. I thank our God for this great kindness and blessing.
The Lord also placed a fantastic youth minister in my life who walked with me spiritually as a Christian teenager. He suggested that I consider studying at Kentucky Christian University, which I did and enjoyed very much. I majored in Middle Grades Education and Biblical Studies.
After college, I taught World History to sixth graders for one year in Charlotte, North Carolina. I enjoyed teaching, but I discovered an exciting opportunity to serve as a youth minister in central California that I couldn’t resist. I served a wonderful congregation there for three years before the Lord provided me with another life-changing opportunity.
One of my best friends from college, and his wife, moved to Chile as missionaries to unchurched youth in the capital city, Santiago. They invited me to join them, so with the blessing of the California congregation, I packed up and headed south. I served there for three wonderful years before sensing a need and a desire for further theological studies.
In 2013, I began working on a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The thinking, reading, studying, and praying that were required to complete the degree have been of inestimable worth to me. I also became particularly fascinated with Early Church studies (Patristics). Therefore, I stayed one additional year to complete a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Historical Theology.
Now our God has given me this new opportunity to serve here at Christ Church as the Youth and Families Minister. I am so thankful and excited to see how the Holy Spirit works through me as I seek to serve Him and his Church.
Tennis, pickleball, hiking, reading, basketball, soccer, guitar, piano, board games, running, traveling, language learning, and skateboarding.
Beth Weicht, Pastoral Care Coordinator (non-staff)
I was born in Baltimore and lived in Maryland, Kentucky, Belgium, Zaïre, People’s Republic of the Congo, and Mauritius during my first 18 years. I attended Wheaton College where I met the love of my life, Grant. Together we attended Georgetown Medical School. I specialized in family medicine and in 1995 we moved to Seattle where I did a master’s in public health. In 1998 our first four children were born: Linnea, Tait, Katya, and Maddie. In 2000, we moved to Phoenix where Anneka was born and we attended Christ Church of the Ascension. We have been with Christ Church Anglican from its inception and I have served in several volunteer positions including Children’s Minister, Vestry member, Lessons and Carols artistic director, and on the healing prayer team. I am delighted to be in this wonderful, caring church community and am excited to use my skills serving as Pastoral Care Coordinator.
My vision for the pastoral care ministries at Christ Church is that we will all work together to support the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our church family.
My hobbies include gardening, reading, cooking, quilting, and spending time with friends and family.
Theo Davis, Connections Coordinator
I was born in Phoenix and have lived in Arizona all my life. Though I attended church during my childhood, I encountered Christ when I was 15 at a youth retreat. My faith became central to my life through the ministry of Mountain View Christian Church in Phoenix and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Arizona, my alma mater (go Wildcats!).
After completing my degree in Near Eastern Studies, I pursued a career in college ministry with InterVarsity, first at Northern Arizona University for four years and then at Arizona State. My wife Crystal and I met while working for InterVarsity and have been able to serve college students together for several years. When we moved to the Valley from Flagstaff, we quickly made Christ Church our home and enjoy the rich worship tradition Anglicanism offers.
My vision as Connections Coordinator is to help new people to be invited in, current members to find places to serve, and to help foster relationships between congregants at Christ Church.
I enjoy cooking very much, especially for other people. Gardening, reading, and staying active are also important to me. When I’m 90, I hope to still be learning things and am practicing that right now by learning French and jazz piano. Mostly, as my title suggests, I love connecting with people. Email me and I’ll take you out for coffee!
Tim Hoiland, Communication Coordinator
I was born in Guatemala City and lived in Guatemala until I was 15 years old, where my parents served as missionary linguists. After moving to Lancaster, Pennsylvania during high school, I studied journalism and communication at Millersville University and earned a master’s degree in international development at Eastern University.
Prior to grad school I worked with Church World Service in a Cuban refugee resettlement program, and later worked for three years with the global humanitarian organization World Vision. I’ve also spent time in Cambodia as a photojournalist and in rural Costa Rica, assisting with the formation of an education-focused nonprofit. These days I run Hoiland Media.
I met my wife Katie, in God’s mysterious providence, through Twitter. Despite being raised in different churches, our spiritual journeys have converged in the theological richness and liturgical beauty of Anglicanism. We have been part of the Christ Church family since 2013, and it is now a joy to serve God’s people by coordinating the church’s communication efforts.
I’m an avid reader, with interests including public theology, Latin America, baseball, and Bob Dylan. I enjoy long walks around the neighborhood with Katie and take my participation in the Tempe Softball League very, very seriously.
Matt Flora, Choir Director
I am a native of southwestern Ohio. My parents are both retired music educators living in the same district in which they taught for over thirty years. I earned my Bachelor of Music Education (choral emphasis) and Master of Education Leadership degrees from Northern Arizona University.
I have been the choir teacher at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert since 2013. Prior to that I held teaching positions at Higley High School (2009-13) and Desert Ridge High School and Junior High School (2008-09). I recently served as Chair for Senior High School Choirs for the Arizona Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association.
I have experience as a tenor soloist, section leader, chorister, and choral conductor, and I sang for six seasons in the chorus of the Arizona Opera. I now welcome the opportunity to serve a parish that values traditional sacred music and hymns.
I enjoy spending time with my wife, Elizabeth, watching movies, reading, listening to music, and following the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Reds.
Matt Vlahovich, Music Ministry
I am a third generation Arizona native. I grew up in Tempe and have a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Arizona. After college, I began working in churches as a music director and pastor. I met my wife while accompanying the choir she sang in. I earned an M.Div. from Fuller Seminary and during that time, my wife and I felt drawn to the Anglican Church. After graduating from seminary, I began working as a teaching assistant for a Great Hearts academy, and my wife and I served with Apartment Life Ministries, living in a low-income community in Mesa. After a year, I took a position as a lead fifth grade teacher, and subsequently have served as Assistant Headmaster, and now Headmaster, of Archway Cicero in Scottsdale. My wife, Heather, and I have three wonderful children: Kristian, Grayson, and Samuel.
I enjoy taking my boys to the zoo, reading them books, looking for bugs, and playing with dinosaurs. Once they outgrow this stage, I’ll go back to reading books and home brewing beer. As a family, we enjoy watching movies, swimming in the pool, and camping with friends.
Steven VandenBerg, Organist
I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and grew up in Jenison, a small community midway between Grand Rapids and Holland. I began taking organ lessons when I was 13, and played my first church service when I was 15. I graduated with a B.A. from Calvin College, where I studied both music (organ performance) and psychology. My Masters (M.Ed.) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degrees are both from Indiana State University, in school psychology. I am a school psychologist for the Gilbert Public Schools. I met my wife Mary while at Calvin – she was singing in a choir I was accompanying at the college. We were married in 1991 and had our son Morgan in 2000.
As an organist, I have served churches of several denominations, including Christian Reformed, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. I am honored to serve Christ Church Anglican, and greatly appreciate the tradition and beauty of music in the Anglican tradition. My goal as organist is to share my love and excitement of liturgical organ music, both historic and modern. My hope is that it moves others the way it moves me.
Aside from music, my hobbies include cooking, gardening, reading, and most of all, spending time with my family.
Cheryl Timmerman, Bookkeeper
I was raised in a tiny town in Bolivia, South America, as the youngest of three children and the daughter of Christian missionaries. We moved to Arizona when I was in high school, and, except for my college years at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, I have been in Phoenix ever since. I spent a year at a technical college studying Accounting and Office Administration, then worked in the office side of retail for several years before deciding to stay home as a full-time mom to my two wonderful children, Ellie and Isaac. My husband, Nate, is an Arizona native and is largely responsible for bringing me into the liturgical tradition. I am thoroughly enjoying my new education in the rich history and traditions of this particular branch of the church.
The staff here at Christ Church has been a great blessing to me, and I am grateful for the chance to serve and work together with them.
I enjoy reading and connecting with friends over coffee.
Clay Landwehr, Sexton
I got my start growing up on a farm, moving into various construction jobs and work in Minnesota with family members. I have more than 40 years experience in the construction and maintenance trades.
I served 20 years in the Air National Guard in Civil Engineering, working on real property maintenance of Air Base buildings and facilities. In 2010, I retired after working 20 years for the City of Phoenix, mostly in the Parks and Recreation Department. Much of that work included maintaining and constructing new park buildings and infrastructure. I also served as the sexton of the last church I attended.
My main interests include building custom furniture and cabinetry from my home and learning to turn objects on the wood lathe. I enjoy fixing things, discovering why they failed, and learning how to repair them so they don’t fail again.