The Rev. Robert E. Stevens, Jr., attended The Florida State University and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in 1991. Rob was awarded an M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in June of 2001 and ordained to the diaconate by the Rt. Rev. Robert H. Johnson (Diocese of Western North Carolina) in Asheville, N.C., on June 4, 2001. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 2001, at Calvary, Pittsburgh. Rob served as curate, then associate rector at Calvary from 2001–’05. He was called to be rector of St. John’s, Portsmouth, N.H., in the summer of 2005.
Rob’s experience varies widely from being a sales representative for an advertising company to managing an aquatics facility. He has also served as a full-time youth minister in the Episcopal Church. His passion is and has always been connecting people to the creative power of God in community, wherever that community may be.
St. John’s seeks to participate in God’s mission in the world. One specific way that St. John’s does this is by seeking to be a welcoming place for all. This spirit of hospitality is particularly important in the midst of much polarization in our culture. It has been through radical welcoming that Rob has been most encouraged by the grace of God that breaks through even the most hardened of hearts. St. John’s is a community of people who not only worship and pray together but have fun together as well. Rob believes the most important needs of the Church today are strong effective leadership and a good sense of humor, especially concerning oneself.
Rob is married to Jennifer and they are the parents of Hannah (’96) and Jack (’99).
Rob enjoys spending time with his family, reading, running, playing golf, surfing, fishing, and just about anything that involves being outside.
Anne Williamson, Associate Rector
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The Rev. Anne Campbell Williamson has served St. John’s as Associate Rector since 2013. Although Anne grew up in Michigan and went to college and worked in Chicago she spent 30 years in England. After working in banking, Anne served for in different lay capacities. She was ordained deacon in the Church of England in October 2004 at Southwark Cathedral in London, and priest in October 2005, also at Southwark Cathedral. Anne ministered as an Honorary Curate (an assistant priest) in a parish in South East London: St. John’s Blackheath in the Diocese of Southwark. During her theological training at the South East Institute for Theological Education (SEITE), she undertook a short pastoral placement in the local hospice, became a volunteer chaplain and when her curacy finished in 2007, she was appointed Co-ordinating Chaplain. The short placement in 2002 turned into ministering at the hospice for ten years, and part of her hospice role was to support local parishes, covering services for churches where there were vacancies. Anne also served as a chaplain in a large urban hospital in South East London.
Anne loves preaching and teaching, and accompanying others on their spiritual journey. She has a particular interest in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, has undertaken the 19th annotation (the Ignatian retreat in daily life) and has training as an Ignatian spiritual director. She is currently participating in the Adelynrood School for Spiritual Direction. Anne serves the Diocese of New Hampshire on the Commission on Ministry, as a facilitator for Fresh Start and is a member of the Title IV disciplinary board.
Anne has a passion for what might be described as ‘whole life discipleship’ – noticing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, resisting a sacred/secular divide between church and the rest of life, and seeking to live and walk in the light of God at all times. Her favorite pastimes are learning to play the harp, walking (especially by the sea!), reading and travelling to visit family and friends.
Nathan Bourne, Associate Rector
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The Rev. Nathan Bourne came to St. John’s and the wider Seacoast after finishing his Masters of Divinity at the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in May 2017. He was ordained a deacon in December 2016 at All Saints’ Cathedral in Asheville, North Carolina and was ordained a priest on September 9, 2017 here at St. John’s. Nathan works closely with the youth program and shares responsibility leading worship, preaching, and offering pastoral care.
Before seminary, Nathan received a B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South where he was a triple major in Russian, Philosophy, and Environmental Studies. There he became fascinated by the botanical world and learned to rattle off the names of plants while wandering through the forests of the Cumberland Plateau.
After graduating, he spent a year in the Republic of Georgia, teaching English, walking the coast of the Black Sea, and exploring small mountain villages. He returned to Sewanee to continue his undergraduate botanical research when he found his way to the Community of St. Mary--an Episcopal convent. He and another recent Sewanee graduate started an internship program with the sisters that brings young people to the community to tend the sisters’ garden and participate in their life of prayer. While there, Nathan discerned a call to the priesthood, learned to bake bread, and discovered at least eight different ways to prepare turnip greens. Nathan grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a rural town that his parents still call home.
At any given time, Nathan would rather be outside. He experiences God most palpably on mountaintops and in old growth forests and hopes to bring his love of the natural world to all areas of ministry. He is a lover of poetry and an ambitious cook. He enjoys trail-running, road biking, long Russian novels, and train travel in the former USSR.
Ashley Wade, Director of Children's Music and Ministries
Ashley Wade joined the staff of SJC in August of 2012, after serving as a Choral Scholar in the Parish Choir for one year.
As Director of Children’s Music and Ministries, Ashley oversees all St. John’s youth & children’s music & theater programs as well as the Sunday Morning Kids’ Church program for toddlers & school-aged children.
Ashley also serves as co-director of The Choir School at St. John’s, a tuition-free after-school music program for students in grades 3-8. Learn more about the choir school.
Ashley’s vision of ministry is to come alongside families on this journey, creating a space at St. John’s where children are irresistibly drawn to discover the Light within them. Ashley prays that this ministry will help God to work in the lives of our children, families, and volunteer leaders. With the help and guidance of a fully blessed community and Divine Love, children and families will come to be known in a church home that cares for them unconditionally.
Jennifer McPherson, Director of Music
Jennifer McPherson is the Director of Music and Liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH. She previously served as Minister of Music and Organist at First (Scots) Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. She holds a Master of Music in Historical Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied organ with Jonathan Moyer and harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. Ms. McPherson received her undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross (MA).
As a recitalist, Ms. McPherson has performed throughout the United States including Church of the Covenant (Cleveland, OH), Methuen Memorial Music Hall (Methuen, MA), Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Richmond, VA), and Old West Church (Boston, MA). At the age of 21, she was awarded Third Prize in the 2012 International Organ Competition Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in Amsterdam. She won First Prize in the 2013 American Guild of Organists Quimby Competition and was featured as a Rising Star at the 2014 National AGO Convention in Boston. As a collaborative artist, Ms. McPherson has performed with fellow students of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with Oberlin Baroque at the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival, with the Bach Society of Charleston on their annual Bach Festival, and has accompanied the Boston College University Chorale on their tours of Ireland and Prague under conductor John Finney.
A committed teacher of young musicians, Ms. McPherson was the director of the Kirk Choristers and the Youth Choir at First (Scots). She teaches private lessons and has led organ and harpsichord masterclasses. While in Charleston, she adjudicated the Young Organist Competition of the Columbia, SC American Guild of Organists, and served on the board for the L’Organo Series of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
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