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Meet Our Leaders

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Pastor

Rev. Peter Perry

Pastor Peter was born in Phoenix, Arizona and grew up in the area east of St. John’s. He attended Washington High School, and later the University of Arizona. He graduated from the U of A in 1991 with a degree in Engineering Mathematics, but heard a call to become a pastor.

 

So, he attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. While at seminary, his teaching parish was Hope Lutheran Church in San Mateo, CA. He interned at Peace Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH. After his ordination on February 23, 1997, Peter served at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Mesa, AZ until 2004 when he went to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for doctoral studies. He specialized in the book of Revelation and ancient communication practices, graduating Ph.D. in New Testament in 2009.

 

Pastor Peter is married to Dana and they have two daughters, Ruth and Esther.

Pastor Perry was called to St. John’s in 2009. He seeks to listen carefully for how God is working in and through this congregation in the community.

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Associate Pastor for Outreach

Rev. Dan Potaznick

Pastor Dan grew up Lutheran on Long Island in an interfaith household, experiencing God through both Christian & Jewish traditions. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the State University of New York at Buffalo and earned his MDiv in 2018 as a member of United Lutheran Seminary’s first graduating class. 
 

In seminary, Pastor Dan worked as a fellow for the Zoe Project, a grant process through Princeton Theological Seminary that focused on forming young adult communities inside & outside the church.  

 

Moving to Phoenix in the summer of 2022, Pastor Dan was called as the Associate Pastor for Outreach to St. John's in 2023 and ordained by Bishop Hutterer as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on March 18th, 2023.  In this call, he is tasked to focus on how St. John's can be welcoming to all people and to build faith communities outside of our congregation.

 In addition to his call at St. John's, Pastor Dan serves as the Director for Generosity & Strategic Development for the Grand Canyon Synod.

 

Pastor Dan resides in Northwest Phoenix with his wife Randi, three adorable cats, and puppy Jack.

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Church Secretary

Jennifer Roland

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Digital Ministry Leader

Coreen

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Custodian

Ron Helvig

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Organist

Gayle Riggert-Harris

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Choir Director

Dr. Christopher Samuel

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Pianist

Daphne Collins

Christopher Samuel, a native of Virginia, attended James Madison University, the Royal School of Church Music, and Westminster Choir College, from which he received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. He was the associate conductor of the Westminster Oratorio Choir, and served on the faculty of Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He earned his doctorate at Arizona State University.

Throughout his career, Dr. Samuel has served variously as a conductor and vocal coach. Whether working with singers or public speakers, he has consistently emphasized the importance of high artistry in the outcome, based on a sustainable technique that is grounded in healthy vocal practices. We are blessed that Dr. Samuel leads our choir with this same emphasis.

 

All are welcome to join our choir. If you are interested please email our church office today! 

Church Council

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Council President

Liaison to Mutual Ministry Committee

Kevin Staggs

Kevin came to the St. John’s community in 2018 and was appointed to Church Council in November, 2020.  He was elected by the congregation to serve on Church Council in 2023.  Kevin has served as Church Council President since May, 2022.  Prior to joining the Lutheran Church Kevin and his family were members of Morning Star Moravian Church in Peoria until it closed in 2004.  As part of the Moravian Church Kevin served as a member of the Board of Trustees for 6 years, he served on the Pacific Southwest District Board of the Moravian Church for 8 years and as a member of the Interprovincial Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church for 11 years.  He was chairman of the Board of World Mission for the last 4 years of serving on the board.  Kevin retired from Honeywell in 2021 after a 44 year career with Honeywell.  When he retired he achieved the position of Senior Fellow in the corporation and spent his last 20 years as a cyber security consultant for the product development teams in the corporation.

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Council Vice President

Diane Arnst

Lifelong Lutheran from Chicagoland, in AZ since 2004, retired attorney who loves using words to unite and to prevent problems. Church Council Liaison to Lutheran Advocacy Ministry AZ; Caring Committee Member.

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Council Treasurer

Liaison to Finance Committee

Phil Bacon

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Council Secretary

Liaison to Christian Education Committee

Ann Steinhoff

In late 2019, Ann Steinhoff moved from Las Cruces, NM to Arizona and moved her church membership to St. John’s. She serves on church council as secretary, council liaison to the Christian Education committee and chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. She retired in 2012 after working 42 years as a teacher and district level administrator. She is the mother of three daughters and grandmother of four—three girls and 1 boy.

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Council Member

Caring Committee Liaison

Amy Beard

I have been a member for 12 years at St. John's and attending for close to 14-15 years. I am a member of the Church Council to help make decisions to improve the growth and membership of our church and to outreach others in the community. I am a Caring Committee Liaison and my children attend Sunday School and confirmation classes at the church. I experience St. John's through my "St. John's family", as when I walked in those doors 14-15 years ago, I felt welcomed, not judged, and "home". I experience St. John's through the outreach we do for the community, such as the Shower Ministry for people who are homeless and hosting the Cooling Centers in the summer heat.

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Council Member

Liaison to Fellowship Committee

Liaison to Property Committee

Sandy Osborne

I grew up in Madison, SD.  After moving to Arizona in July 1986, I became a member of St. John’s in October after visiting several Lutheran churches.  St. John’s was the most welcoming. I worked in the church office from February 1991 until I retired in December 2017.  As the liaison to Fellowship, I enjoy baking for events, and as liaison to Property, I enjoyed being involved in the courtyard renovation as well as ongoing maintenance projects at the church. I love the caring, loving and compassionate people of our congregation who share God’s love with everyone who comes to our doors. 

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Council Member

Liaison to Worship & Music Committee

Barb Kapla

I have been a member of St. John’s for almost 10 years. I have been serving on council for the past 2 1/2 years, and overseeing the scheduling of Altar Care volunteers since I joined the congregation. I have developed many wonderful friendships at St John’s, and thank God for them: Pastor Peter‘s leadership and counsel; and all of my church family.

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Council Member

Endowment Fund Committee Liaison

Pat Bodine

I'm the liaison for the Endowment Fund Committee, a member of the Altar Care team and part of the Music and Worship Committee.  God’s love and presence are evident at St. John’s! St. John’s is family.

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Council Member

Liaison to Welcome &

Outreach Committee

Cindy Staggs

I am a native of Arizona, I am married 48 years to Kevin. We have 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren. I am an RN, I have done all kinds of nursing, including 6 years as a parish nurse at a Lutheran congregation, but I retired as a school nurse after 27 years of elementary and High School nursing. I am happy to be serving on Church Council here at St. John’s. I love being a part of this faithful and inclusive congregation.

Your Bishops

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Bishop, Grand Canyon Synod, ELCA

Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer

The Reverend Deborah K. Hutterer was ordained in 2004. She earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Augsburg University. She is a life-long Lutheran brought to the denomination by default and stayed by choice. Growing up one mile from her church in St. Paul, Minnesota, she would often take the bus to church, and spend as much time there as she could. It was there that she experienced Christian community. This is where she heard Jesus’ call to ministry, but was told women couldn’t be pastors. Later in life that call was rekindled, which led her to congregational service, Lutheran college, seminary and ordination to the public ministry.

Click here to learn more about Bishop Hutterer
and the Grand Canyon Synod

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Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton was reelected to serve a second six-year term as ELCA presiding bishop at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Eaton is the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop and was first elected at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the College of Wooster. Eaton was ordained in 1981 and served three different congregations in Ohio before being elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod in 2006. She was reelected synod bishop in May 2013, shortly before her election as ELCA presiding bishop. Eaton’s four emphases for the ELCA are: We are church; We are Lutheran; We are church together; We are church for the sake of the world. These four emphases are fundamental to identifying who the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is.

Click here to learn more about Bishop Eaton
and the ELCA

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