Vicar: The Rev. Alissa Newton
The Rev. Alissa Newton became Vicar of St. Columba's on August 3, 2014. Alissa grew up in Northern California and moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend Seattle Pacific University in 1996, where in the course of her undergraduate career she found and fell in love with the Episcopal Church. After completing her BA in Religious Studies at SPU, Alissa worked as a research interviewer for Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services and spent her free time playing the drums for an all-female rock band she formed with friends.
In 2008 Alissa received a certificate in Congregational Development from the Congregational Development Institute and was accepted into postulancy for priesthood in the Episcopal Church. She attended seminary at Seattle University while also working as a congregational development consultant in the Diocese of Olympia and as a founding trainer for The College for Congregational Development. In February of 2014 Alissa became the Director of The College for Congregational Development. She graduated from Seattle University in 2014 with her MDiv, and was ordained priest in July of 2014.
In addition to directing The College for Congregational Development, Alissa currently serves the Diocese of Olympia as Canon for Congregational Development.
Alissa married her husband Andrew, a native of Poulsbo, WA, in 2005. They have two daughters, ages 6 and 8, a black lab, two guinea pigs and a tank full of fancy guppies. Alissa and her family live in Des Moines, WA. In her free time, Alissa loves to spend time with her family, read geeky fiction, play the drums, and grow dahlias.
Associate Vicar: The Rev. Meghan Mullarkey
The Rev. Meghan Mullarkey became Associate Vicar of St. Columba's in January 2019. Meghan grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to the Pacific NW in 2007 to work at a teen homeless shelter. She began seminary at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in 2008 and found a home in the Episcopal Church in 2009. She began the discernment process to the priesthood shortly after and has worked at numerous churches within the diocese doing pastoral care, youth work, and adminstrative work. She was ordained to the priesthood in July 2017. She completed her curacy at St. Andrew's, Tacoma in January 2019 before beginning at St. Columba's.
Meghan met her husband, Luke, in graduate school where he was pursing his Master's in Counseling. They were married in 2013 and moved from Seattle to Tacoma in 2016. They have a daughter, Cascade, who is two and a little boy that is due in mid-April. Meghan loves exploring the Pacific NW; going on long walks with Luke, Cascade, and their dog (Scout); and participating in the intersection of listening and God’s healing work in the world.
Associate for Liturgy and Music: Martin Pommerenke
Showing an affinity for singing from a young age, Martin has brought his musical gifts to a variety of settings.
His music leadership in churches has crossed denominations, including choral conducting in Baptist and Lutheran congregations and service as a pianist for a small charismatic faith community. More recently, Martin has previously served as music director for Episcopal congregations in Tempe, Arizona and Sammamish, Washington.
He has performed with numerous wind and choral ensembles, including the choirs of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, All Saints' Episcopal Church, and the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, and on the euphonium with the Phoenix Metropolitan Philharmonic, Phoenix Concert Band, and the Rainbow City Band of Seattle.
His primary work has been in the multifaceted world of church administration. He makes time for solo work in churches around the community and enjoys engaging faith groups in experiences of worship in the style of the ecumenical monastic community of Taizé, France.
With private study in voice, composition and euphonium, Martin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona with a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music, with an emphasis in Choral Conducting. There he was awarded the Ray-Maben scholar designation, the school's highest academic honor. Professional interests include the intersection of music, worship, and congregational development.
Children, Youth, and Family Ministries: Elaine Ogden
Elaine Ogden is our Children, Youth, and Family Minster. Her favorite thing about St. Columba's is the people! She loves how the people here love and respect one another, are always happy to help, and are energized about the children and youth. When she is not spending time with her favorite young people, she enjoys adventuring with her family and watching Netflix.
Church Administrator: Becca DeShaw
If you need something - ask! Becca does as much as possible in the few hours she has each week including but not limited to: parts of the Newsletter - The Epistle, setting up Prayers of the People, calendaring, reminders to servers, answering phone and voice mail, handling incoming mail and "other duties as assigned". She is frequently accompanied by Walla her Canine Companions for Independence puppy who will, at maturity, enter training to be a service dog.