Meet Our Staff

John Shuck

Pastor

John Shuck began serving Southminster, January 1, 2015.  Since his ordination in 1992, he has served congregations in Lowville, New York, Billings, Montana, and Elizabethton, Tennessee.  He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.

John has been involved in the work of the Westar Institute (the Jesus Seminar).   Westar promotes the advancement of religious literacy.   John is proud that Southminster engages spirituality and critical thinking. John is a signatory of the Clergy Letter Project that advocates scientific literacy including teaching Evolutionary Theory.

John is a member of Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth. He believes that unless the American people come to terms with the lies and propaganda of the military-industrial-intelligence-finance-congressional-media complex, endless war and the destruction of the planet will continue.

John is committed to interfaith and justice work. In 2018, he went to Iraq and participated in the largest peaceful gathering on Earth. He walked the 50 miles from Najaf to Karbala for Arba’een with 15-25 million others. He and his friend, Josh Townsley, made a film about the experience, “For Love of Hussain (a.s.)

For seven years (2012-2018) he hosted the syndicated weekly radio show “Progressive Spirit” and currently hosts a monthly show on 90.7 KBOOBeloved Community.” Spirituality. Social Justice.

John has been an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the church and in society. He is honored to serve a congregation that is More Light and fully inclusive.

John and Beverly have a daughter, Katy, who lives in Johnson City, Tennessee with her wife, Amber, who are in turn parents of Pippa! The Shucks are also the proud parents of Zachary Andrew Shuck, who passed away on June 28th, 2012.

Email John
Shuck and Jive Blog
JohnShuck.com
Progressive Spirit
Beloved Community

Don Ludwig

Associate Pastor for Family Life

When Don returned to the Pacific Northwest in 1997, it was like a homecoming. In various capacities, he has led youth, college students and adults on over twenty mission trips, including cycling across the United States in forty-four days for Habitat for Humanity. Don has also worked with social work agencies in the Portland metro area such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Morrison Child and Family Center, and Evergreen Counseling Services.

He attended Portland State University and earned his Ph.D. in Social Research in 2009. He has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University, George Fox University and Clark College. In Spring of 2018, he was granted tenure as a Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, where he currently serves as the Department Chair.

Don joined the staff at Southminster in May 2006. For him, the focus on inclusivity, social justice, equity for all and interfaith dialogue are what brought him here. Over the years, he has purposed to build an intentional intergenerational ministry for college students, youth and children and strengthen our church’s connection to families and mission. For Don, “God exists in community and is revealed as we work toward social justice in all ways and all things.”

Email Don

Denise Ackerman

Coordinator of Children’s Ministries

Ms. Denise is the Coordinator of Children’s Ministries and oversees that children’s program. With a master’s degree is in elementary education and early childhood education, she has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 15 years.

Ms. Denise enjoys reading, coloring, and cooking.

Kim Strine

Nursery Supervisor and Event Coordinator

Ms. Kim oversees the nursery program and is the children’s event coordinator.
With a bachelor’s degree in child development and early childhood education,
she has worked in the field for more than 15 years.

Ms. Kim grew up in Ohio and enjoys going to the beach with her family and kickboxing.

Jason Sabino

Director of Chancel Choir & Congregational Singing

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 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 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.

If you are interested in learning more about handbells at Southminster, please contact Dan at danajovich@gmail.com. Rehearsal are currently on Wednesdays at 6 PM in the sanctuary.

Marisa Varner

Office Manager

Marisa has a B.S. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, where she focused on intersectionality, ethics, and nonprofit management. She previously worked as an accounting and administrative assistant at Cedar Mill Library. Marisa is also a freelance web developer, passionate about accessibility and experience design. She and her husband have a bright and boisterous preschooler and together have called the Pacific Northwest “home” since 2012.