Fr. Peter Smith
Rector, joining us in September
Fr. Peter has been following Jesus since the day he was born to two devoted Christian parents. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Kristie, since 2009. They are the proud parents of two children: Cohen (2013) and Hannah (2015). Peter received a Masters of Divinity with a Certificate in Anglican Studies from Beeson Divinity School. Since that time, he has been serving as the Assistant Rector at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Birmingham, AL. As an Anglican, he loves worshiping the Lord through Scripture, Spirit, and Sacrament in our ancient-future and local-global tradition. He enjoys good conversation, craft drinks, being outside, riding his scooter, playing with a ball of any kind, and spending time with his wife and kids. He and his family are very much looking forward to becoming a part of the shared community of Living Faith. He considers it to be a great privilege.
Fr. Ernest Victor
A cradle Anglican, born in India. Fr. Ernest is a fourth generation Christian and his wife, Lalitha, is second generation Christian, and were members of a high Anglican Church. They came to know Jesus as their savior and Lord at an early age in their Sunday school. Both were mentored and discipled by their Sunday school teachers, and later in the Intervarsity Fellowship. It is in the Intervarsity Fellowship where Ernest got the call of God to missions.
Ernest came as an Engineer and Lalitha as a teacher educator to the Arabian Peninsula. Six years into being an engineer, the Lord called Ernest to serve Him full time; to plant churches among the expatriates. He was ordained in 1996 and his canonical residence is with the diocese of the Cyprus and the Gulf. God graciously enabled and provided for Ernest to complete his theological studies and Ph.D. in missions, in Fuller Theological Seminary, California.
The Victors moved to Arizona, with a clear call of God to minister to the students in the ASU, especially to the international students. They are thrilled that members of the Living Faith Anglican opened their hearts to them, embraced them and the mission to which God has called them.
Ernest feels they are back in their spiritual home—Anglican, and are thrilled beyond measure to be an integral part of the Living Faith Anglican. They feel they have already received much love and encouragement. Ernest shared, "We are very thankful to God and all of you at Living Faith. We know all this is of the Lord and to Him we give all honor and glory." Contact Ernest.
Rev. Dcn. Mathew Allen
Deacon/Discipleship Ministry Director
The Rev. Dcn. Mathew Allen has lived in Arizona since he was transplanted here at age 10. Jesus Christ found him while attending MIT in Boston and was raised in faith as a ‘Proud Protestant’ for 20 years. Finishing off his efforts at ASU in Aerospace Engineering, he found himself in the Information Technology profession and never escaped. When he was playing at Medieval Historical Reenactment, Mathew happened upon a ‘Three Streams Church’ where they taught the Gospel of Christ, Church History and worshiped in liturgical beauty. Caught by God’s beauty and patient love, he answered the call and completed seminary and was ordained a deacon where he served for 15 years. He comes to Living Faith from that parish full of expectations to do what God has called him to do. On fire to follow Christ, to be changed by Christ and to be on mission with Christ, Mathew was significantly molded by ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ and it defines how he serves Jesus and His People. With his wife Tina, they work to pour out their lives for each other, their blended family of five and for the Church for to which they have now been called. Mathew loves reading, gardening, and carpentry. He loves all music, from Bach to Matt Maher, from Genesis to ancient chants, with a particular soft spot for Irish, Scottish and English folk songs. But most of all he maintains a home that is open to friends, sharing and the work of God. Contact Mat.
Interim Administrative Asst. & Children and Family Ministries Director
Cindy was born in Michigan, raised in New Mexico, and relocated to Phoenix in 1994 as a single adult. In Phoenix, she met Jeff Bisgrove with whom she has been married 20 years. They have been blessed with two sons, Benjamin (18) and Daniel (16). Cindy & Jeff found this faith community in 2000 and were joined by Cindy’s mother, Eunice Frost, upon her relocation to Phoenix in 2004. Living Faith is their faith home. At the founding of Living Faith Anglican Community, Cindy volunteered to coordinate Sunday School utilizing various curriculums before finding and implementing Godly Play. When LFAC moved to this location, the Children’s ministry leaders and parents built a Godly Play room and the wondering became much fuller and deeper for our young people. That season of ministry passed, she then served in other volunteer arenas, and now she believes it is time to return to the life giving ministry of sharing stories with the young people of LFAC, and all who join us on a given Sunday.
What is Godly Play?
Godly Play assumes:
A child’s sense of the sacred is innate
A child has a profound, intuitive knowledge of God.
A child needs the adult to model how religious language works to make meaning and help find direction in life.
A child needs the adult to witness their growing faith within a caring community.
A child needs the adult to assist them in drawing out their own truth
More About Godly Play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw_mrzZJx00
Observing a Godly Play Lesson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvfVf13GhYA
Living Faith & Cindy's ministry goal for the 2016-17 school year is to create a sacred environment for the spiritual growth of God’s beloved children. We will make this transition like the tortoise, not the hare; remember that the tortoise always wins.
Fellowship Ministry Director
Pat Darrah is currently serving as Ministry Director of Fellowship. She supports people as they work on growing closer to Christ by developing seminars, classes, groups, events and resources that help people in their walks with the Lord. She has three primary qualifications for this position: (1) a hunger to grow closer to the Lord and to learn how to better follow Christ, (2) a desire to help others to grow closer to Christ and to share that love with others, and (3) a willingness to work and learn. Pat was born and raised in the Midwest but made her way out to Arizona. Pat has one daughter, son-in-law, and 3 grandchildren. After retiring from Deere and Company in 2010, she is now blessed to be able to spend much of her time with the Lord's people, worshipping Him and doing His work. With time still available for her family and friends, she enjoys watching HGTV and the Food Network, doing puzzles and reading mysteries. Contact Pat.
Jr. High & High School Youth Director
Tina is excited to serve as the Youth Ministry Team Leader to our Jr. and Sr. High Youth. Tina was born in Japan to a military family and has lived many places worldwide, but her roots lie in Wisconsin and the upper-midwest. Tina came to know Christ as a teenager and has always appreciated the importance and significance of discipleship and teens. She has served in children and youth ministries in several churches, large and small. She has had the opportunity and blessing to work closely with her husband, Deacon Mathew, in serving in various ministries while raising their busy adult, teen and pre-teen children! Tina is excited to bring her passions to serve the youth at LFAC.
Evangelism Ministry Director
Jeff Bisgrove is currently serving as the Ministry Director of Evangelism. Jeff has spent the last 2 years working with communities in Arizona and helping them positively transform their communities. He helps them hear their story, to find their assets, to strengthen their voice and then to organize themselves to drive the transformation that they want to see. Prior to this, Jeff spent almost 25 years in the high tech business, working with Intel in a variety of positions. He has a Masters degree in Physics from Clarkson University, a Masters Certificate from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering and a Masters Certificate from the University of California Santa Cruz in Software Engineering. Jeff is married and has two fantastic boys. He loves spending time with his family and friends and enjoys running, hiking, camping and climbing. Contact Jeff.
Interim Music Director
Marie Shirasago is currently serving as the Choir Director and pianist our Sunday service. Marie has served more than 10 years with us at Living Faith. She was trained as a classical pianist and has a heart for old hymns. Her motto is "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." There is laughter in every direction to gives to the choir, and She welcomes new voices, instruments, and sounds to inspire the people in worship. She enjoys bicycling, playing for weddings, and swimming.
Senior Warden, Treasurer
Joanne Benschoter was born in Adrian, Michigan and moved to Arizona with her family in 1981. She is the daughter of Richard and Beverly Lackie who were founding members of St. James Church and Living Faith. Joanne followed her parents from St. James to Living Faith in 2004 and has previously dedicated her service in the church as an Acolyte and a Lay Reader.
For over 27 years, Joanne has been employed at Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.; she currently holds the position of Compliance Analyst. Her professional career also includes extensive experience in the food service & hospitality industry; as well as sales. Joanne received an Associate Degree in Organizational Management from Gateway Community College in Phoenix.
In 2011, Joanne married Glen Benschoter and together they organize hospitality on Sunday mornings and oversee large events. They also enjoy traveling, cooking, visiting neighbors, volunteering at a local nursing home and just being together. In Joanne’s spare time she loves to read.
Stephanie is an Arizona native has two girls in high school. She is excited to be at LFAC and loves the challenge of getting the office organized. She started as the bookkeeper and has since taken on more administrative roles. Her background is in Accounting and she lives in Tempe.