Meet our clergy and staff

Our church is served by its full-time rector, the Rev. Eric Stelle, and several part-time employees, including: our parish musician, parish administrator, finance manager, and children’s coordinator. But the full ministry of the church is lived out by the entire parish as they seek to “be like Jesus” with and for one another.

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The Rev. Eric Stelle

Rector

St. John’s rector since 2011, Eric was raised in the evangelical tradition, but discovered liturgical worship while working in a community of reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland in the late 90s. He received his Master of Divinity at Regent College, Vancouver (2002); a Diploma in Anglican Studies at The University of the South “Sewanee” (2009); and was ordained in the Diocese of Alabama (2009). He’s been influenced by a wide range of authors (such as Richard Rohr, N. T. Wright, J. P. Newell, Gordon Fee, Marcus Borg, Francis of Assisi, John O’Donahue), but even more influenced by those he has known and been loved by – not least of which is his wife, Cynthia, and his two college-aged children. To call him a mystic is an overstatement, but he is clear that in everything, what he seeks is to know God, and to be formed in God’s likeness.

rector@stjohnsgigharbor.org

office: 253.948.9820

Mon – Thur, 9 – 5

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Dr. Dennis Northway

Parish Musician

Dennis has been a church musician throughout his life having served nearly a quarter century at Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Illinois.  He has degrees in Conducting, Church Music and Music Education and has also deeply studied Musicology, Voice and Organ.  He is an active and published composer and author as well as a trained Pipe Organ Technician, having worked for nearly a decade with John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders.  For over twenty years, Dennis has been Artistic Director of the Handel Week, Incorporated festival in Oak Park, Illinois, dedicated to celebrating the music of George Frideric Handel.  A resident of the Pacific Northwest since 2019, Dennis, known to his friends as “Denden,” enjoys international travel with his family when not making music and is honored to assist in the prayers and praises of the congregation at St. John’s Episcopal Church. 

dennis@stjohnsgigharbor.org

office: 253.313.1373

Sunday mornings; Wednesday afternoon/evenings

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Kae Eaton

Diaconal Postulant

St. John’s is honored to welcome Kae Eaton as our postulant as she pursues ordination as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.  Her postulancy at St. John’s provides a field term placement where she can begin to enter more fully into her diaconal identity – serving those who are most vulnerable in society and communicating their needs to the parish.  The liturgical role of deacons all underscore this diaconal call of the church to live as servants.  

Kae lives with her partner, Neal Bernstein and their cat, Katya and has two adult daughters. She also serves as the director and chaplain with the Mental Health Chaplaincy in Seattle.  

kae@mentalhealthchaplaincy.org

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Lorel McChesney

Children’s Formation Coordinator

Involved in Children’s Ministry since 1987, Lorel’s love of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd began in 1991, when she began her training in St. Paul, MN. Lorel also spent 7 years as Parish Administrator and resumed her catechesis training after moving to Gig Harbor. After raising four sons with her husband, Scott, she is now an enthusiastic grandmother, and pleased to serve on staff at St. John’s. 

children@stjohnsgigharbor.org

Office Hours: Sunday mornings; Wednesday

Kelly Krisman

Kelly Krisman

Parish Administrator

A member of the local Methodist Church, Kelly joined our staff in 2021 and oversees all forms of communication, the use of our building, and a host of administrative roles to keep the parish running smoothly. 

parishadmin@stjohnsgigharbor.org

office: 253.948.9821

Office Hours: Mon – Thurs, 9-3

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Sylvia Hopper

Finance Manager

Sylvia has been a bookkeeper for over 30 years in the Los Angeles area.  She relocated with her husband and German Shepherds to Washington to be closer to her and son and granddaughter.  She enjoys being part of the St. John’s community. 

finance@stjohnsgigharbor.org

Office: 253.948.9819

Office Hours: Mon & Wed, 10 – 2

Gomez, Jess

Jess Gomez

Youth Pastor

Jess has been the Gig Harbor Youth Group minister since its inception in September 2022. Prior to working with us, she has worked at a nonprofit organization in a middle school before-school programs in Lacey, WA; and in group homes for student with different mental health needs in Renton, WA. She is currently studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at the University of Washington, with hopes of becoming a School Counselor in a middle or high school setting. She is excited about the JYG because she believes that this next generation is filled with our future leaders and world changers.

jointyouthgroup@ghumc.org

Office: 253.861.2625

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Chris Conway

Videographer

Christopher has been working with St. Johns since 2018 starting as a choir singer.  During the pandemic, he transitioned to video recording/editing church services for St. Johns and now livestreams events for the church. He currently teaches private voice lessons from his private studio, and is self-learning to continue his passion for art through software development.