Don Ludwig, Interim Pastor
Don joined the staff at Southminster in May 2006. For him, the focus on inclusivity, social justice, equity for all, and interfaith dialogue is what brought him here. Over the years, Don has stepped into many roles at the church; he often jokes that he has had more “titles” at Southminster than pairs of shoes.
Currently, he is serving as the Interim Pastor since December 2019 and is leading the church through some unprecedented times. Under Don’s leadership and guidance, Southminster has learned to become virtual while maintaining its vitality, completed a mission study, elected a Pastor Nominating committee, undergone some needed organizational alignment, and gathered support and grants to bolster our growing technology and social media ministry. Don has spiritually guided the congregation in our response to a culture of political divisiveness and racial unrest by guiding Southminster in becoming a Matthew 25 congregation. Don also serves on the Committee on Representation for the Presbytery of the Cascades which seeks to mobilize equitable and inclusive practices in churches statewide.
Don is a true “bi-professional”. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary and Rutgers University where we obtained both the MDiv and MSW degree in four years. For Don, ministry and social work are one and the same. In his words, “We are called to ministries of equity and justice that create a Beloved Community wherever we find ourselves”. He has worked many years as a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) in the Philadelphia and Portland metro areas, mostly serving at-risk youth and families in various capacities. He attended Portland State University and earned his Ph.D. in Social Research in 2009. Currently, Don is a tenured Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, where he also serves as both the Sociology Department Chair and Behavioral Sciences Division Chair.
Over the years at Southminster Don has built an intentional intergenerational ministry for adults, youth, and children and strengthened our church’s connection to families, mission and each other. Don has led mission trips for youth and adults to Cuba (twice), Alaska (twice), New Mexico, San Francisco, Wapato, Washington (twice) and Spokane (seven times). For Don, “God exists in the community and is revealed as we work toward social justice in all ways and all things.”
With vision and enthusiasm, Don is excited to return to the role as Associate Pastor for Family Life as soon as the new Senior Pastor is in place in early 2021.
Lisa McQuilliam, Administrative Assistant
Lisa was born and raised in the Laurelhurst neighborhood in NE Portland and is the youngest of eight children. She was raised around sports and the outdoors and is an avid NFL fan. A new rivalry has come to Southminster: Lisa’s Kansas City Chiefs and Don’s Pittsburgh Steelers! Additionally, Lisa loves the outdoors and camping and does so whenever she gets a chance.
Lisa received her B.A. degree in Education from Western Oregon and spent three years as a sixth-grade teacher in Silverton before deciding to move to California to start a new career where she remained for 12 years. After returning to Portland, Lisa worked for her brother for more than 15 years before taking some time off to slow down and enjoy life. Lisa loves traveling – South America, Europe, and Australia are crossed off her bucket list and she is hoping that Vietnam is next. She also loves to garden. Lisa has a 26-year-old daughter who teaches sixth grade in Sweet Home, a husband who is a retired military veteran, and a pseudo grandson, Ryder, who is four.
Amanda Olson, Family Life Coordinator for Youth Ministry
Amanda Olson joined Southminster as the Family Life Coordinator in 2020, but has been a part of the church since she was in the youth group, all the way back in 2010. She has gone on two mission trips, San Fransisco in 2011 and Cuba in 2012, and has remained active in Don’s youth activities ever since.
Amanda graduated from Portland State University in 2016 with a bachelors degree in Community Health Education and a minor in Aging Services. Professionally, she loves to support mission-based work and has had roles at non-profits, universities, and most recently Airbnb. She loves working with the Southmin youth and helping them build connections to one another and their community.
Amanda enjoys being outdoors, baking, event planning, and coffee!
Jason Sabino, Interim Staff Coordinator of Music, Technology, and Re-Opening
Known for his “enthusiastic performances” (Oregon Arts Watch), Jason Sabino is an active conductor, clinician, and singer in the Portland area. In addition to his music ministry at Southminster, Jason is currently Artistic Assistant and Associate Conductor of Pacific Youth Choir, where he is the Boychoir conductor and assistant conductor for high school ensembles Pacific and Chamber Choir. He also regularly prepares choirs for the Oregon Symphony. An advocate for music education, Jason is also Assistant Director of Choro in Schola, a non-profit organization that provides choral workshops to local high schools. As a chorister, he’s performed with Cappella Romana, Resonance Ensemble, and The Ensemble of Oregon.
Jason earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Portland State University, where he was a graduate teaching assistant and adjunct faculty and received the University Service Award. At PSU, Jason reestablished the Community Chorus, conducted the University Choir and Man Choir, and was an assistant conductor for the award-winning Chamber Choir. Jason earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Choral Music from the USC Thornton School of Music, where he received the Choral Department Award.
Dan Anajovich, Director of Handbell Choir
Dan started playing bells in 2010 after a hiatus from any musical performance since high school. He was drawn to the bells as a place where the whole really is more than the sum of the parts. Dan started in a non-audition church choir and moved to audition and then a community ensemble (Pacific Ringers) within a few years. Dan is a self-taught conductor, although he has been very lucky to be mentored by his current director at Pacific Ringers.
Dan feels that his job as a director is to enable the group to bring their offering to the congregation. All the bells together form 1 instrument, which means it takes everyone connecting to everyone else to create a moving experience. The pursuit of that experience is what keeps him going.