The Rev. Mary Elizabeth Pratt-Horsley spent much of her childhood in Mexico City and Caracas. She also lived in Paris for 8 years as a young adult, so she is fluent in both Spanish and French. After teaching French at a Bay Area community college, she used her familiarity with Latino culture as director of the Santa Maria Urban Mission in San Jose from 1995 to 2000. She was the pastor of St. Benedict's from 2000 until her retirement in 2006. Mary Elizabeth is now most active at St. Ben's providing pastoral and liturgical support, and as the organizer of the parish's community-building events, such as movie nights. She also uses her skills as a quilter in leading the creation of items for our annual holiday bazaar. She and her husband, John, have two children and two grandchildren.
The Rev. Donna Ross was the pastor of parishes in Oberlin, Ohio; and Cambria, California before her retirement in 2005. She is now assisting in worship and teaching classes through the Hollister Institute at St. Benedict's. She has long been involved in interfaith groups, attending both Episcopal and Lutheran seminaries before her ordination in 1985. After ordination she completed an Internship in Spiritual Direction at the Jesuit Renewal Center in Milford, Ohio. In "retirement" she still serves as a spiritual director for women and men from several faith traditions, and she has many friends she's met through spiritual discussions. Donna and her husband, Rob, have been married for 52 years; they have three children and five grandchildren. Donna's blog of homilies and book studies is Faith Matters.
The Rev. Carlton (Barry) Turner was a teen-age rocket maker and young physicist before turning to philosophy and theological studies. He continues to have a particular interest in astronomy and in the intersection of science and theology, and is drawn to contemplative practice. He was the pastor of parishes in Oroville and in San Luis Obispo before his retirement in 2014. His wife, Ruth, is an artist and works with horses as therapy animals. The Turners have two adult children.
The Rev. Deacon Sharon Dalrymple was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Golf was an important part of her youth, so she attended Arizona State University to play golf and earn a BA in English. Returning to San Antonio, she briefly taught school and then joined the family business, Gladwin Paint Company, an automotive paint distributor, for 35 years; she was CFO and CEO and is still on the board. She met her partner, Shelley, while volunteering at a camp for children with disabilities. Together they moved to Kentucky to raise Rocky Mountain horses and then to the mountains in eastern Arizona. Her faith and desire to serve drew her to the diaconate, and she was ordained in June 2013. Before moving to Los Osos, her service included work with the White Mountain Apaches.
John Cribb recently returned to St. Ben’s, after serving as our very first musician in 1987/8. He has also served at St. Stephen’s Episcopal, SLO United Methodist Church, Orcutt Presbyterian, Zion Lutheran and First Presbyterian. He has been accompanist for the choirs at SLO High School and Assistant Director of the SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble; and active in community theater as pianist and Music Director for numerous companies. He studied organ with Paul Knox in Dallas and James Bratton at the University of Denver. In addition to his work as a performer and director, John has served on the Board of Directors of the SLO Mozart Festival, Pismo Light Opera Theater, Pacific Repertory Opera, Vocal Arts Ensemble, and SLO Symphony; and as State Secretary of the American Choral Directors Association. When not contributing to the arts, John is a Realtor in San Luis Obispo.
The church is led by a group of dedicated members who together with the Rector are responsible for managing all aspects of the church’s life. Serving us this year are (top row, from left) John Cribb (Junior Warden), Lorienne Schwenk, Brian Spolarich, Stefanie Shuman, Francis Rivinus, Michael Lucas, (bottom row, from left) Rev. Caro, Pam Bleisch, Celeste Pennington, and Lisa Gonzalez. Pictured below: Maria Kelly (Senior Warden)
Lisa Gonzalez is our bookkeeper as well as Treasurer. When not volunteering for St. Ben's, our diocese, or many other non-profits, Lisa works as an IRS Enrolled Agent in her business "Controller-On-Call".