The Rev. Bill Garrison
Hello everyone, my name is Bill Garrison and I am your new interim priest. I thought I would send along some information about me and I hope it is helpful.
I came to ordained ministry later in life, but I have felt the call since my early twenties. I have been a priest for a little over fifteen years. Prior to ordination I was involved in the commercial floor covering and ceramic tile business, owning my own company for the last twenty-seven years.
I never felt that I was worthy, or smart enough, or holy enough to become an ordained person. Well, God kept tugging at my heart strings, and I finally ventured down the discernment path, went back to school, and one day woke up to find myself a deacon and then a priest.
I began my ministry as an associate at St. Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano. I was also the Religion Department Chair in the attached School of over twelve hundred students. While there I taught Old and New Testament along with World Religions.
I spent the next ten plus years as the Rector of St. Matthias in Whittier. It was nothing but a joyful time for me as we ventured down the road of ministry together. I departed last year in May as I was told it was time to start taking my pension. (Please note I said nothing about retirement!) I then spent six and a half months as the Priest in Charge at All Souls’ in San Diego as they went through their transition from one Rector to another.
What follows are some things about me that you might find interesting and perhaps are some conversation starters.
Favorite place outside of church: I love northern New Mexico. I am awed by the bigness of it, and the beauty of the light and the mountains. I also love the food. It is a very spiritual place for me.
My time off: I enjoy reading and I get to the gym several times a week. Movies are also one of my favorite things to attend.
First Job: I worked as a plumber’s helper for a summer before my senior year in high school and then found a job selling shoes after that.
My most prized possessions: My trophies and pictures from coaching football along with mementos from my family.
My time closest to God: The same thing has happened twice in my life. Once when I was a child in the fourth grade and again when I was a sophomore in college. I was in bed as a child the first time, and in the chapel at church the second time, when I felt keenly the presence of God. The second time is also when I would say I became a card carrying Christian.
The person I’d like most to meet: I have a hard time picking between Plato, Newton, or Socrates, but as I think about it would be Jesus for sure.
My responsibilities: All my adult life I have wanted the job I have. I love servant ministry of priesthood and serving the people of God.
My Family: My wife Sherry and I have been blessed with four children, and ten grandchildren. We are empty nesters and enjoy the blessings of the freedom to be with each other, and the opportunity to enjoy our grandchildren when they are around.
Nobody knows: I coached Pop Warner football for 19 years in Yorba Linda, 13-15 year olds, and have won seven Orange County Championships, and a couple of regional championships, with our team, The Aztecs.
My favorite movie: Again this is a hard choice, but I love Field of Dreams, and Gladiator.
The best thing about being a Christian: God’s overflowing nature gives us a window into God’s self, in the life of Jesus, so that we might see and know God better.
Take care everyone and I look forward to being a part of the family. Bill
Phil Theodorou is a native of Southern California and received his earliest training in music as a chorister with the Pasadena Boys’ Choir. After graduating high school, he received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Fresno State University, a master’s degree in conducting and music education from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and a doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of Oklahoma. He began his teaching career in 1988 directing high school choral ensembles in California and Nevada.
In addition to directing music at St. Andrew’s, Phil currently teaches in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District.He also served on the faculties of Cal State Long Beach, UC Irvine, Boise State University, and Georgia Southwestern State University. Today he still resides in Southern California with wife Megan Starr-Levitt, a former “Christine” with the national tour of “The Phantom of the Opera” and their sons Alexander and Stefan.
Minerva is bilingual in English and Spanish. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from Cal State Fullerton. Before joining St. Andrew’s in 2009, Minerva worked as a parish accountant in a local church, as an administrative assistant at the Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange, and as a staff accountant in a local business. She is blessed to be a part of this loving and welcoming community. What makes her most excited is interacting with parishioners and assisting with the financial management of the Church. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children at their home in Fullerton.
Christian Education Coordinator
Honour Harry arrived in California in 2016 to further her illustration education. Before that, she grew up in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Beaumont, Tx, volunteering in multiple capacities such as acolyte assistant, Sunday school teacher, confirmation leader, Lay Eucharistic minister, and soup kitchen server. She graduated from Lamar University Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, but she wanted more opportunities that only California seemed to provide. After taking classes for two years at Concept Design Academy and Brainstorm School of Art, she rediscovered her love for teaching and decided to pursue it.
In addition to working at St. Andrews as the Sunday School Coordinator, she also works at North Orange Community College for Continued Education, teaching art classes to residents of nursing homes and memory care facilities. When she’s not teaching, she works as a freelance illustrator. Her illustrations have been featured in cookbooks, calendars, tabletop games, and children’s books, including the Halley Harper: Science Girl Extraordinaire series and the Three Courses Cookbook.
Honour was delighted to find a loving Episcopal community in St. Andrews and feels grateful she can contribute her services to such an enthusiastic church. She currently lives with her partner and her family while raising cats and researching good ghost stories.
Claudia Kellogg is a native of California from December 3. She has always made her living as a musician and actress. She has played piano for places as far apart as churches and Knotts Berry Farm. Also, she has been lucky enough to act in musicals, operas, plays, and as a background person for films and television. Her hobbies are quilting, collecting old and unusual cookbooks, and cinema history from its beginnings through World War II.