Clergy at Christ Church of the Ascension
The Rev. Daniel P. Richards, Rector
The Rev. Daniel Richards has spent his career teaching about the Rule of God and welcoming the children of God home. He is a passionate preacher and teacher who fell in love with liturgy in college. That love of liturgy led from a Baptist childhood steeped in Scripture to ministry in the Episcopal Church after college.
Daniel has served professionally in the church since 1995. Ordained a priest in 2003, Daniel earned his Master of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific while serving St. James Episcopal Church in San Francisco as a worship leader and intern and at the Diocese of California as Associate Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries and Church Development. He served parishes in both Tucson and Phoenix, as curate and vicar, before heading to Traverse City, Michigan, where he served as rector of Grace Episcopal Church and dean of the Grand Traverse Area Deanery. He has led international trips for both missions and pilgrimage, consulted with both secular and faith groups about culture and leadership, and in addition to his duties as rector serves as the Chaplain to the Phoenix Fire Department.
Daniel lives in Phoenix with his wife Amy and three children where he reads voraciously, writes, and enjoys trail running in absurd temperatures. You can find his personal writing at HiddenHabits.org and find him on social media @danieloftheway on everything.
The Very Rev. Rebecca L. McClain
The Very Reverend Rebecca L. McClain is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and was ordained in 1985. Rebecca has served as priest at the congregational, diocesan and national levels and retired after completing her responsibilities as Interim Dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral in San Diego, California. In retirement, Rebecca has been assisting at Trinity Cathedral and continues to serve as a consultant to congregations and non-profits in transition and engaged in strategic planning. As a founding board member of the Godly Play Foundation, she has written a book Graceful Nurture, a guide to using Godly Play with adults.
In every role and position, her life and work has been shaped by the conviction that all creation is holy and every human being is beloved of God. Through the lens of Jesus, she strives to see as God sees and seeks to serve as an agent of God's love.
Rebecca has three grown children, and four grandchildren. They are the joy of her life. She shares her home with three Tibetan Spaniels, staying grounded in the daily rhythm of life with dogs.
The Rev. Timothy J. Watt, Associate Rector
Fr. Tim is a former Higher Education Student Services Administrator, consultant, and lecturer in organizational leadership and human resources. He holds a BA from Boise State University, a Master of Administration from Northern Arizona University, and a Master of Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary.
Tim is married to his amazing wife, The Rev. Tanya Watt, who is currently a Transitional Deacon for the Diocese of Arizona, completing her final year of studies at The Virginia Theological Seminary. Together they lavish misplaced parental affection on their dog, Daisy, as well as on Buddy, a cranky old cat.
As a priest, Tim most enjoys providing pastoral care and preaching. He spends an inordinate amount of personal time reading works in theology, liturgics, and Church history, but occasionally goes on a science fiction binge. He also enjoys college football, rooting for the D’backs, fishing, cooking meat, and baking sourdough bread. Tim also produces and co-hosts a fun, but deep-diving, weekly Podcast on the Sunday Lectionary, “The Irreverends,” with his friend and fellow priest, The Rev. Gini Gerbasi. Episodes are available on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.