History & About Us

The Clergy

The clergy may be contacted through the receptionist at 858 459-3421.

The Rev. Janet Wheelock, Interim Rector

Janet Wheelock hails from Minnesota, where she served as university chaplain, cathedral canon, priest in charge, and in an assortment of interim ministries. She has been involved in two building projects and has led numerous mission trips. In 2010 she was called to St. Timothy’s Mountain View. Following the spirit, she was led to St. Andrews Encinitas near San Diego.  She was called to lead them through their rector transition, followed by St. James by-the-Sea, La Jolla in early 2014.

Janet is accompanied by the church dog, Cupertino, a rat-chi terrier.  She enjoys playing piano, recorder and singing in her spare time as well as cooking Indian and French recipes. She is an avid hiker, especially on the Pilgrim’s route, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

The Reverend Eleanor Ellsworth, Sr. Associate Rector   
 The Reverend Eleanor Ellsworth joined the St. James Interim Team for 18 months beginning in 2005. After a hiatus, she joined the new rector’s clergy team in early 2007, as Priest for Church and the World Ministries. She became the full time Senior Associate Rector in early 2009. She is the Ecumenical and Interreligious Office for the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, is active in several arts organizations, and is involved with non- profit endeavors to empower women and girls.Prior to St. James, The Rev. Mrs. Ellsworth served two parishes in the Diocese of Washington, (DC), and one in the Diocese of Maryland, and the Senior Chaplain at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in the Diocese of West Tennessee. She received her B.A. in History from the University of Tennessee, followed by

Masters in both Library and Information Science and Public Administration. She was on the faculties of the University of Tennessee and the Catholic University of America, (CUA) Washington, D.C. At CUA,

she was Associate Professor and Director of the National Rehabilitation Information Center. Between academic posts she was a Personnel Officer for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tennessee. She left CUA to pursue Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church and received her Masters of Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1990.  Mrs. Ellsworth resides in Del Mar, CA, where she and her late husband, Robert F. Ellsworth made their home in 2003. Her two adult children live in the Washington, D.C. area, as do her grandchildren.


The Rev. Steven Strane


The Rev. Steven R. Strane, Associate for Pastoral Ministry
The Rev. Steven Strane completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, Northridge, and California Teaching Certification at San Diego State University.  Following  graduation from The Virginia Theological Seminary, his was the first ordination in the newly-created Diocese of San Diego. Steven served parishes in Palm Springs and Point Loma before being called to St. Timothy’s, Danville, in the Diocese of California, where he served as rector for 22 years. Steven and his wife , Jane, who have been married for 40 years, returned to San Diego in 2011 following Steven’s retirement from full-time parish ministry. He was invited to join the St. James’ By-the-Sea staff on

a part-time basis in August, 2011. Steven and Jane have an adult daughter who lives in Walnut Creek, California. His ministry at St. James’ involves visiting parishioners who are hospitalized, ho

me bound, or long or short-term residents in assisted living or skilled nursing settings. Additionally he participates fully in the liturgical life of the Parish on Sundays and Wednesdays, and at the two local assisted living facilities - White Sands and Wesley Palms.

Lay Staff

The staff may be contacted by phone at 858 459-3421 and their extension.

Tye Barber, Receptionist and Communications Coordinator x110 
A native La Jollan, Tye has over 30 years’ history with St. James, beginning when she was a student at The Bishop’s School, and continuing with her wedding and the baptism of her daughter.  Tye brings with her a depth of administrative office and customer service experience, and earned a BA in Art History from UC San Diego.

Walter DuMelle, Assistant to the Rector x103 
Originally having come to St. James in 1995 as a section leader in the choir, Walter DuMelle joined the staff full time in 2010 as the Assistant to the Rector.  He has a diverse background in the performing arts, arts management and office management, as well as the pleasure of having lived in Denmark for a year. He has a Bachelors degree in Music, and a Masters of Music from Eastman School of Music.

Lyn Ganschinietz, Minister of Operations x104
Lyn, a member of St. James, also volunteers on the Altar Guild and is a vital member of the Women of St. James’s yearly White Elephant Sale. She moved from Virginia to California when she retired as the Director of Government Relations for Cox Communications in Northern Virginia in 2008. She has a B.A. in Journalism and International Relations from the University of Arizona.

Amy Lajiness, Pastor for Youth Ministry x120
Amy Lajiness has served since February 2011. She became an Anglican during her time at Wheaton College, from which she graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology,  and minors in Theology and English.  Amy loves working with children of all ages and seeks to lead youth into the fullest expression of who they are as God’s beloved children.  She looks forward to continuing ministering to the youth of St. James as they grow in their faith and the life of the church.



Dr. Alison Luedecke, Assistant Organist

Dr. Alison Luedecke,    Assistant Organist

Dr. Alison Luedecke, Assistant Organist
Organist and Harpsichordist, Dr. Alison J. Luedecke has performed across the US, as well as in Canada and Europe. She completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance at the Eastman School of Music Her church ministry includes positions as Director of Liturgical Music for the diocese of Rochester, New York, and San Diego, at the cathedral and parish level. She is currently Associate Organist at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Alison has performed at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Hymn Society, and the Organ Historical Society. She is a founding member of the Millennia Consort, a premiere “organ plus” ensemble in California and the U.S. presenting chamber music offerings.



Gabrielle Strickler, Director for Children’s Ministries x108

Gabby comes to us with 21 years of high-end retail experience and a diverse background in Theater arts, clothing design, and fashion/art history.  As a wife and mother of 3 children, the development of Children’s  Ministries is of deep and great importance to her personally.  Feeling a call to serve, Gabby started teaching Sunday School in 2013 and has learned much about herself and her faith in that year.  As Director of Children’s Ministries, she hopes to build on new and existing relationships here at St. James and looks forward to seeing her ministry grow and thrive.





Steven Townsend, Pastor for Music Ministries x109
Steven was born in Southern California and received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and his Master of Music and Master of Sacred Music degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  Before coming to La Jolla, he held positions in Santa Barbara, California. He celebrated this 20th year with St. James-by-the-Sea in September of 2012.



The vestry is an elected body, who, with the rector and the wardens, makes decisions for the functioning of the church, the finances, the building and grounds, and makes plans for the parish. The members hold three-year terms.

Name Term Expiration Email Contact
Chris Christopher, Senior Warden (2016) cchristopher@dardenbrothers.com
Marvie Norris, Junior Warden (2015) mmknoriss@att.net
Clare Friedman (2015) eclarefriedman@gmail.com
Will Griffith (2016) wtgriffith@mac.com
Martin Imhof (2015) martin@kennedyinsurance.com
Lisa Johnston (2017) johnstonl@bishops.com
Thomas Kuhn III (2016) tckuhn3@yahoo.com
Heather Lattimer (2017) hlattimer@sandiego.edu
Gary Poon (2015) garyppoon@gmail.com
William Purves (2016) wpurves@compuserve.com
Laura Lee Skillman (2017) lauralee.skillman@gmail.com
Bart Taylor (2017) ebtaylor@mitre.com
Maryl Weightman (2016) maryl@marylweightman.com
Michael Wood (2015) my95flstf@aol.com

Appointed Officers of the Vestry

Pamela Bandyk, Clerk