Rev. Rich Ajer
Interim Pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church & School

Allow me to introduce myself. My full name is Richard Douglas Ajer (Ajer rhymes with “major”) but most people call me “Pastor Rich.” 

I was born and raised in the Badger state of Wisconsin, graduating from the U.W. Madison in 1979. I began seminary studies two years later at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and received my Masters of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1985. Since that time, I served as a regularly called pastor in congregations in Michigan, New Mexico and California. In 2011 the bishop asked me to consider being trained in intentional interim ministry and serving as an interim pastor, where congregations (like Our Savior’s) are in between called pastors. I received some extra training for this work and now am about to begin with you my tenth interim journey. My interim assignments have included four in California, three in Colorado and one in New York. Suffice it to say my wife and I are always open to new adventures! Each interim has been a gift to me in different ways, and each has had its own unique challenges and special blessings. I look forward to meeting you and working with you in the development of a ministry site profile and then the formation of a call committee. I have heard wonderful things about your congregation. 

On the personal side, I am married to my spouse Margy who is a Deacon in the ELCA. She is presently serving a congregation in Riverside as an interim minister. You will not see her much, as she is leading worship and other activities in that setting. We presently live in San Bernardino but are looking to move to Oceanside. We have three adult children and two grandchildren. They all bring us much joy. My hobbies include travel (local and beyond), walking, reading, and collecting things like postcards and license plates. You might find me on a Saturday morning at a local garage sale!

I look so forward to getting started with our work together on November 1st! Thank you for asking me to come and serve among you.

Pastor Rich


Bob Cooper
Director of Youth & Children's Ministry

Bob was raised in the church and is a lifelong follower of Jesus, Before being called into youth ministry Bob toured the country as a singer and guitarist, a skillset that comes in handy in his position as youth leader. Bob also owned a telecommunications company that he ran for 25 years. Upon becoming the youth director for Our Savior’s Bob earned a certificate in Youth and Family ministry from Vibrant Faith Ministries and Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA.

As the Director of Youth and Family Ministry Bob provides vision, leadership and coordination for ministries of faith formation and discipleship for youth and their families within the congregation and intentional outreach to youth in the community. The core of this ministry is building and strengthening relationships between young people and Jesus, their peers, significant adult mentors and parents. Bob loves to play the guitar, build classic cars and hot rods, and he simply cannot get enough pizza.


Gay Bemoll
Church Secretary & Bookkeeper


Karen Skipper
Director of Music

Karen Skipper, Director of Music, grew up making music. As a child, she played her toy piano for her dog and went on to play violin and viola in school orchestras and sing in both school and church choirs. She graduated from California Lutheran University with a degree in music. After graduating from CLU, Karen felt led to use her music to help people. She earned an equivalency in music therapy from Arizona State University and began her career as a music therapist in Orange County in 1980. She has maintained a thriving private practice for over 25 years.

It was while working at her first music therapy job that Karen was given the opportunity to share her musical gifts at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. She started by reviving the adult choir which had been inactive for several years. In the 37 years that she has been at Our Savior’s, she has continued to direct the adult choir, has directed the children’s choirs, has been a worship leader and has taught music at the church’s schools.

Karen’s motto comes from the Psalmist, “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.” Psalm 104.33

Art Ortiz 
Contemporary Worship Leader/Accompanist Pianist

2020 - 2021 Council Members

Connie Lawrence

Vice President


M'Liz Kelly

Charles Simon
Building and Grounds

Roberta Wall
Christian Education


Collette LaClair

Heidi Works
Social Outreach

Ed Fox

Karen Fox
Worship & Celebration

Kelly Mathiesen

Bonnie Little
Financial Giving Secretary