Pastor Karen Thistlethwaite

Pastor of Education


As Pastor of Education, Karen has a real passion for bringing people of all ages to God and spreading the good news of God’s never ending grace and love.  On any given Sunday, Karen can be seen giving the Simple Gospel, working with the children and youth, preaching and/or assisting in worship.  Karen  also enjoys leading the Young Adult Fellowship group, teaching, dreaming about the future with the elders and deacons, improving various information systems and working on St. John’s media presence.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Karen graduated with a Business and Economics degree from Westmont College and a Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister in the Prsebyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Prior to coming to St. John’s, Karen interned at Myung Sung Presbyterian Church in Seuol, South Korea, and Broadmoor Presbyterian Church in Daly City.  Karen has also served as a Chaplain Intern at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco, while completing one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Karen has also served on the Presbytery of San Francisco’s Partnership Working Group.

Karen, along with her husband, Bryan, and two young children, Siena and Colin enjoy swimming, exploring, playing board games and spending time with family and friends.

Contact: Rev. Karen Thistlethwaite at or (805) 845-6830.