StaffLike jazz musicians, our staff work collaboratively with volunteers in an improvisational style of shared leadership.
Mark Tidd dreamed of being an archaeologist digging up ancient bones and artifacts. He became a follower of Christ when he first heard about Jesus as a hippie up on the Hill in Boulder. After graduating from C.U. his plans changed from digging in the dirt to digging into the Word and the human soul.He received an M.Div from Calvin Theological Seminary and has been a pastor since 1984. In March, 2010 he lost his ordination in the Christian Reformed Church because of his beliefs and practice of the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the life of the church. He has been described as a “one trick pony” — he always finds himself preaching about grace, in one form or another. But, as he says, “If you only have one trick, grace is a doozy.”
Mark is married to attorney Leanne DeVos, whom he claims is much smarter than he and wins all their arguments. His only respite is that a half hour later she feels guilty. They have five grown children. For decades he has been brutal to his 1971 Martin D-18 guitar he claims to love despite signs to the contrary. He and Leanne have been fully vested in restoring their Highlands area home, garden and neighborhood. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenny Morgan likes playing Tama drums and she’s an avid road cyclist. Jenny grew up a coal miner’s daughter, the oldest of four kids, in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She discovered a real and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ sometime early in the 70’s under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, some Pentecostal friends, and reading the Bible voraciously.
She loves people, particularly her 13 nieces and nephews, most of whom live far too far away. She earned a bachelors degree in music from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. After serving happily for 23 years in Youth for Christ/Campus Life, along with doing a bunch of writing, speaking, and teaching, she finally became a pastor. Jenny enjoys wine and cheese with her life partner anywhere near Florence, Italy. She lives her life as though God really does adore her – and she believes God adores everyone else too. Some of her best memories are working alongside amazing people in Chicago, as well as Sri Lanka, The West Indies, Egypt, all over the continent of Africa, and in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Born in Albuquerque, Rachael made the pilgrimage 444 miles north to Denver in 1999, and while she misses her green chile and hot air balloons in October, she loves the vibe of living in the heart of Denver. Rachael studied music at UC Denver and the school of “real life,” tutored on-the-job by some of Denver’s most celebrated jazz musicians. She serves Highlands Church by curating and presiding over the weekly Sunday gatherings, supporting and providing leadership to the Staff, overseeing our Bookkeeper and coming alongside various volunteer-led ministry teams. Rachael is also involved in OPEN (Organizing Progressive, Evangelical and Non-Denominational leaders and communities), providing leadership, collaboration and vision for this bourgeoning organization.
Rachael married James McClair in 2002 and together they are raising two lively, musical and hilarious boys. In her spare (Ha!) time, Rachael enjoys being outdoors, walking, biking and generally enjoying the beauty Denver and the surrounding area have to offer.
Jeana hails from the great city of Chicago, but would never live there again. As a graduate of the University of Denver, she considers the DU neighborhood home. Jeana has a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling from Colorado Christian University and holds a licensed practical counselor certification. She spent many years serving in the local church and working in the mental health field, until both these endeavors threatened to make her crazy. (Well, mostly church threatened to make her crazy.) A very long season away from church has helped her discover the heart of God in sweet and rich ways. Jeana’s belief in God can be boiled down to, “anything that violates kindness, violates God.” Jeana’s great desire is to help kids and adults alike discover what it is they love, and go after it (though kids pretty much know it already) So Jeana just hopes to help them keep that beauty within themselves into adulthood. Her great loves include her husband, Tim, two daughters, Fiona and Aria, and BBC Masterpiece mysteries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mia was born in Massachusetts but grew up in Denver where she also met and married her best friend and high school sweetheart – Chris. After college and spending some time in the Army, Mia had enough of the rest of the country and came running back to Colorado in 2012. She never plans on leaving. After moving back, she spent awhile “church shopping” and is so happy to have found Highlands Church so that her family, including four kids, can celebrate both the saving and accepting power of Jesus with the wonderful Highlands community. Mia absolutely adores children and has been involved with various children’s ministries and programs for over a decade. After many years working as a project manager, Mia was blessed and honored to be able to leave the corporate world and start homeschooling her children while also working as a nanny part-time. Since taking this step, Mia has become more aware of what makes her tick and has been able to grow closer to her family and deeper in her faith than she ever thought possible. She looks forward to continuing this discovery process. In her free time, Mia enjoys reading and anything outdoors – no matter what the weather. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Jim is from several states around the Great Lakes. He grew up in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan before college in Ohio and then settling for a time near Chicago, Illinois where he worked mainly in communications, graphic design and art direction. In 2005 he was ready for a change of scenery and the mountains and sunshine of Colorado drew him out of the flat and grey midwest. A huge Apple aficionado, he worked as a trainer for them, among other things, upon arrival in Denver. Jim enjoys art and museums — he and his fantastic partner Stuart are members of many of them around town, as well as the Zoo and Botanic Gardens. They are also avid theater-goers who see most of the Broadway shows that come to town as well as local productions. He considers himself an architecture buff and loves vintage buildings and furnishings. Discovering, salvaging and re-purposing of these are a passion of his. He also loves dogs, great food, biking, travel and the color orange! He is grateful to be part of the amazing team that leads Highlands Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jill Altieri grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA. She moved to Denver in 2001 in search of adventures in the mountains. Jill is married to Michelle Neuroth and they have two beautiful children, Mia and Cruzer. Jill completed her Masters Degree in Social Work in 2005 from Colorado State University. Two years later she became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has worked in community mental health, the Denver Public School District and has her own private practice as a therapist in Northwest Denver. Jill has been working with adolescents and youth for as long as she can remember. She has a passion for helping youth develop a deep sense of value rooted in God’s abundant love for them. She desires to help them grow into God-loving, people-loving, change- makers. In her free time, Jill is outdoors as much as possible. She loves camping, biking, snowboarding, running, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Born and raised in Denver, Melissa fell in love with all the beauty Colorado has to offer and decided if she could help it she would never leave. She grew up attending preschool at church and found her love of Jesus and his teachings through her Nana’s gentle guidance. In 2008, Melissa graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado with a BA in Industrial Design. A year later she and her then boyfriend, now husband, bought a house in the Highlands neighborhood right down the street from the original location of the Highlands Church on Lowell. After walking up for service one day, Melissa knew as soon as she walked in that she had finally found her church home. Now a family of four, Melissa and her husband spend most of their time trying to keep up with their silly two-year-old and very happy 7-month-old. In the summer, you can usually find them at their favorite place in the world: the cabin her great-grandparents built in Grand Lake. In her limited free time, Melissa enjoys reading, crocheting, knitting, sewing and being up to her eyebrows in all things craft. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe was born and raised in Colorado Springs which would make him a native of Colorado but not a native to the unique spirituality that Colorado Springs offers. Joe relocated to San Diego with his family for a year and then Salt Lake City for high school and college. Salt Lake City also offered it’s unique version of spirituality but despite all of this Joe remained involved in the Roman Catholic faith in which he was raised. Joe participated in youth group, vacation bible school, and was even an altar boy. Despite all this involvement Joe’s relationship with God did not become clear until he moved to Denver and rolled up his sleeves and did some real work on that relationship. After wrestling with God, Joe can proudly say that he is a “real man with a great heart and a real love for his God”! With that wind in his sails he was brought to Highlands Church to grow strong in his new relationship with God and himself. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Originally from the Midwest, John fled to Denver in search of sunshine. He now works in marketing for Family Promise of Greater Denver, a local homeless shelter for area families. John has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a marketing master’s from the University of Colorado Denver. He is currently earning his Master of Arts in Teaching from Metropolitan State University to teach special education. When he’s not studying, John enjoys yoga, writing, weekends, and exploring sunny Colorado. He loves the heart & soul of Highlands and is grateful to be part of the Soul Care Team! He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.