Meet Our Staff

John Shuck


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.

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Shuck and Jive Blog
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.”

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Denise Ackerman

Sunday School Teacher

I grew up in Albany and always knew I wanted to live in the “big city”, so I moved to the Beaverton/Portland in 1992 and I never left! I have worn a few different hats; dental receptionist, dental assistant, nanny, teachers aide, teacher, business owner, coach, tutor, florist, English teacher, and finally Preschool teacher! Whew! I truly enjoy working with children of all ages in both social and academic settings and I would be safe to say I will likely retire from the same joyful noise!!

I have my one and most favorite son who is 20yrs old and a pretty wonderful kid. My parents live in Albany and have been married 58 years. I have an older brother and a twin sister. Our favorite fuzzy friend is a chihuahua/terrier named Roxy Carmela.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Andrew Malderelli at Chehalem Elementary school for 8 years and now I currently teach preschool at Valley Catholic Early Learning School with Char Kepner! The two of them put their heads together and nominated me for the Elementary Sunday school position. I have very much enjoyed working at the church, learning and embracing more religious beliefs for myself and look forward to the future and what it has in store for myself and my son!

Mrs. Beverly O’Connor Shuck

Children's Choir Director

Greetings Southminster Church family!!  I’m happy to say that I will be stepping into the position of Jr. Choir Director  as our wonderful Andrew Maldarelli has increased his duties in our education department.  (We will still be calling on Andrew’s gifts as a musician from time to time as we all know what a wonderful resource he is!)

I’ll be adding this role to my current full-time K-5  general music/honor choir position with the Beaverton School District.  I’ve  been teaching public school general music and choir for about 19 years-11 years to students in grades K-5 and 8 years at the high school level and hold a B.M. (bachelor’s degree in music) from Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and an M.M. (master’s degree in music) from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY.

Church worship is where I had some of my earliest musical experiences.   My grandmother was a classically trained church musician; directing choirs and playing the piano and organ.  She was a young music professor in Minnesota. My mother directed junior choirs in her churches as well. Because of my upbringing and education, I highly  value the ‘church music experience’ for children and adults of all ages. Church is a non-threatening place for children to develop their performance skills and musicianship.  Our hymns and songs provide positive messages they can take with them into the rest of their week and serve to unite us as a church family.  The opportunity to serve the church by being in a choir or performing on Sunday is one of the valuable gifts that children can offer-uplifting the entire congregation with their voices and the kind of contagious energy that only children  possess.

Having directed Junior/Senior/Bell Choirs in Lowville, NY and Elizabethton, TN, I look forward to helping our children here at Southminster “Make a Joyful Noise”!!  If you have any questions about how your child can participate in Junior Choir, please e-mail me at

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

Handbell Director

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 Rehearsal are currently on Wednesdays at 6 PM in the sanctuary.

Marisa Varner

Office Manager

The “spreadsheet savant,” Marisa’s organizational style is intentional and inclusive. Drawn to the public sector from an early age, Marisa earned a B.S. in Social Justice from Arizona State University, where she focused her studies 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 toddler and together have called the Pacific Northwest “home” since 2012.

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