at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church
MEET OUR STAFF
The Rev. Nathan Biornstad accepted the call to be the Rector at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in August 2021. Previously he served as the Associate of Pastoral Care at St. Cross Episcopal Church for three years. He also spent several years at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Monrovia where he oversaw the children’s program. His undergraduate degree is from Portland State University, where he double majored in business management and marketing before he moved to California and attended Fuller Theological Seminary.
While studying for his Master’s in Divinity at Fuller, a friend invited him to a Taizé service at Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel. This service sparked his curiosity about liturgy and the Episcopal Church. A couple of years later, Nathan joined Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Covina where he became actively involved. Eventually, Holy Trinity became Nathan’s sponsoring parish for the priesthood. During his ordination process, Nathan was the Youth Director at Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights and Adult Education Coordinator at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Upland. In May 2014, he completed his degree in Anglican Studies at Bloy House, and in January 2016, Nathan was ordained to priestly orders. He is also an active on the HFS Adoption and Foster Care board.
THE REV. Steve Swartzell
Associate RECTOR and
Director of children, youth, and family ministries
Fr. Steve graduated from the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont with a Diploma in Theology and earned his Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology. Steve has been on staff at St. Wilfrid's since 2019 and is working with the Children, Youth and Family's ministry of the church. Prior to serving at St. Wilfrid, Fr. Steve for the last 24 years worked in the legal field in the specialty of Bankruptcy Law. In his own words, "St. Wilfrid's is a place of healing and renewal."
Fr. Steve lives in Orange, with his husband, Bob of thirty-three years.
THE REV. WILLIAM E. WELLS
ASSOCIATE AND MINISTER OF MUSIC
Fr. Bill is a native of Southern California and has studied music at Biola University and at the University of Southern California where he was awarded the Irene Robertson Organ Scholarship. He holds the Diploma in Theology from the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, where he received the Community Service Award, and earned the Master of Divinity from the Claremont School of Theology. He has completed the certificate in bioethics at Loyola Marymount University and the clinical course in ethics at Harvard Medical School.
For twenty-nine years he served as the Minister of Music, Organist and Associate Pastor for Newport Harbor Lutheran Church in Newport Beach and for fourteen years as Adjunct Professor of Music at Chapman University in Orange, California. He was affiliated with the Crystal Cathedral as staff member, recitalist and organist for the renowned Glory of Christmas. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists for which he has served as dean and appeared as recitalist and service organist. Fr. Bill has performed with the Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale, with celebrated vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, with the William Hall Master Chorale, at the historic St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City, in the recital series of Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and as service organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
As a hospital chaplain, he has trained in pediatrics, oncology, critical care and trauma at Mattel Children’s Hospital/UCLA Medical Center, the University of Minnesota Medical Center and the St. Joseph Health System. He is a survivor of pediatric cancer and a frequent speaker about his life and cancer heroes for medical conferences, fundraisers and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Laurie’s journey at St. Wilfrid’s started in 2019 when she joined the St. Wilfrid’s Choir as a staff singer. During the 2020 pandemic, Laurie assisted choir members in recording vocals from home, which she then compiled into one unified hymn for the virtual services, incorporating visual imagery to connect the music to the readings and the sermon. In the spring of 2021, Laurie joined the staff at St. Wilfrid’s Preschool, where she delighted in teaching art to all age groups during the school year and growing the minds of the elementary school age children during the summer. In the fall of 2021, Laurie was honored to accept the position of Parish Administrator.
Before coming to St. Wilfrid’s, Laurie had been a church staff singer since 2013 with a strong background in administration. She has worked in the administration of non-profits, been the director of child care programs, and taught in classrooms of all ages. She grew up in a large family from Utah, graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2016, and enjoys writing music in her spare time.
Laurie has a strong desire to make the world a better place and loves that St. Wilfrid’s makes helping the world an easy task to accomplish.
Peggy has always had an unconditional love for all children, which brought to her devotion to Early Childhood Education since 2010. She did her studies at Vanguard University. In 2017, Peggy join St. Wilfrid's as the Associate Director and Financial Administrator and is now serving as the Interim Director where she looks forward to inspiring children to learn and develop with essential skills and knowledge to become Kindergarten-Ready.
Table Singers Director
Jamond is an improvisational jazz and gospel influenced vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger, session singer, and accompanist creating music for various venues and other fellow musicians. He is dedicated and committed to giving each musical endeavor the passion, energy, and respect it deserves. His current endeavors include teaching at studios, and working as an assistant director at the Monterey Jazz Summer Camp, and giving back to the church communities that helped shape him as a music director. Jamond is looking forward to pushing the limits and carrying on the legacy of M-pact music group for which he now sings baritone. Outside of music, he absolutely loves all things food and puts as much passion into eating and making food as he does music.