Staff

The Right Reverend Gretchen M. Rehberg, Bishop

Bishop Gretchen Rehberg, Ph.D., D.Min. was ordained and consecrated March 18, 2017 as ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane.

She is passionate about proclaiming the inclusive love of God and equipping the people of God for transformation and growth. Christian formation for all ages is of vital importance to Gretchen, and she stresses the need for both rigorous engagement and the need for openness and humility in learning. She served as the Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity from 2006 to 2017, after having been elected bishop in 2016.

She has served as the Chair of the Commission on Ministry, a Canon for Regional Mission, and a trainer for the College for Congregational Development. In these ministries, she combined her passion for equipping people for ministry and assisting congregations in becoming more faithful, healthy, and effective communities of faith. She has a M.Div. from General Seminary, a D. Min. from Wesley Seminary, and Ph.D. in Chemistry. Previously she was a professor of organic chemistry, and served her community as an EMT/firefighter.

The Very Rev. Bill Ellis, Dean of the Cathedral

Bill Ellis became Dean of the Cathedral in October 2006. Before coming to Spokane, he served as Rector of Trinity Church in Bend, OR for 14 years.

Bill was born and raised on the west side of the Cascades in Oregon, and upon graduating from high school in Ashland he began attending the University of Oregon in Eugene, graduating with a degree in History in 1976. He enrolled in Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 1978, and earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 1982. On October 8, 2009, the seminary awarded Bill an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

He started his ordained ministry on the Oregon coast where he worked as the curate at Emmanuel in Coos Bay and the vicar of St. Mary’s in Reedsport/ Gardiner. Following two years in that work he spent eight years as the vicar of St. Bede’s Episcopal church in Forest Grove, OR before being called to Bend.

Bill and his wife Beth are the parents of two grown daughters, Rachel and Karen.

The Rev. Nic Mather, Curate

Nic graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in the spring of 2015 and St. John’s Cathedral is his first call, beginning in August of 2015. Nic graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Political Science in 2008.

Nic and his wife Krista are both native to the Northwest; he grew up in Moses Lake, WA and she grew up in Walla Walla, WA.

Nic’s passions include (but are definitely not limited to) soccer, pop culture trivia and music. In the church he is most passionate about evangelism, youth and young adult ministries, and finding the intersection between our online presences and faith.

If you would like, you can follow Nic online at the following: twitter @MatherNic, instagram @fathernic, tumblr @fathernic.

The Rev. John Hay, Assisting Priest

A very active retired priest, John contributes his services to the Cathedral in a number of ways. He leads the weekly Wednesday 10am Eucharist in All Saints Chapel, and the weekly Wednesday 10:45am Bible Study. John is our primary link with Cathedral members who are no longer easily able to leave their homes, visiting them often for conversation, prayer, and Eucharist.

John served in the Pacific Theater of WWII. After graduation from Williams College and the Episcopal Theological Seminary of Cambridge, Mass, he served as as Vicar of Episcopal Churches in Madison County, Montana, and then served as Rector of St. James, Dillon, MT.

In the early sixties John entered the Peace Corps as Deputy Director for Kenya, and then served as a regional director of Citizens Corps for Volunteers in Service to America.

John came to the Diocese of Spokane as rector of St. Stephen's Church in 1968 and served there until retiring in 1990. John and his wife Marj are parents of Michael, Jennifer, and Julie.

Deacons

The Cathedral is blessed with the committed service of Deacons who assist the priests in worship and pastoral care. These persons, though unpaid, are essential to the life of the Cathedral.

The Deacons currently connected to St. John's are:

  • The Rev. Barbara Novak
  • The Rev. David Walker

Dr. Timothy Westerhaus, Music Director

Tim Westerhaus, Music Director, also serves as the Director of Choirs and Vocal Studies at Gonzaga University, where he has been on faculty since 2010. He is music director of Music Ministry Alive, a sacred music institute for young adults, and he serves as Northwest chair of University Repertoire & Standards for the American Choral Directors Association.

Tim completed his doctorate in choral conducting at Boston University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in liturgical music from the University of Saint Thomas and a master's degree in choral conducting from Boston University. In addition to conducting and educating, Tim performs as a tenor with the Oregon Bach Festival and as a pianist and continuo keyboardist.

A native of Minnesota, Tim is an avid runner and enjoys the natural beauty of the Northwest. He joined the Cathedral staff October 2014.

Dr. John Bodinger, Organist

John Bodinger, Organist, most recently has been the Director of Music at Manito Presbyterian Church and is an adjunct professor at Whitworth University. He joined the Cathedral staff in October 2014.

John earned his Doctor of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is an active member of the Spokane AGO.

John and his wife are the parents of three school-age children.
 

Billie Severtsen, Saturday Evening Music Director

In addition to choosing the hymns and playing the piano for the weekly Saturday 5:30pm worship service, Billie (PhD, RN) is Associate Professor of Nursing at the WSU Spokane College of Nursing. A graduate of Walla Walla, WA High School, Billie also enjoys singing in the Spokane Symphony Chorale.

Dr. Stan McDaniel, Handbell Choir Director

Dr. Stan McDaniel began serving as director of the Cathedral Handbell Choir in January 2015. He also sings in the Cathedral Choir as bass choral scholar.

Stan holds a M.M. in vocal performance and choral conducting from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a D.M.A. in sacred music from the University of Southern California. As a professional singer, Stan has performed in both oratorio and opera. He is a published composer of choral, instrumental, and handbell music. In addition to a 45-year career in church music, Stan taught for eight years as an adjunct professor of sacred music and choral literature at East Carolina University. Here in Spokane, he was founder and conductor of the Westminster Chamber Orchestra. He has been actively involved in handbell music since 1975, directing both church and community ensembles. 

Tamara Schupman, Junior Choir Director

Tamara Schupman, Junior Choir Director, is a Developmental Music Specialist in District #81. Her experience includes Artistic Director of the Spokane Area Children’s Chorus, the Oak Park River Forest Children’s Chorus, and the Holy Name Cathedral Children’s Choir and Women’s Schola. She has served on the Washington State American Choral Directors Association Board and the Board of Connoisseur Concerts, functioning also as Gunther Schuller’s Choral Assistant.

Tamara holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Oregon and an Artist Teacher Certification from the Association for Choral Music Experience. She performs extensively, including singing with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Opera, Allegro, Zephyr, the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, The Modern Theater, and the Connoisseur Concerts. 

Michelle Klippert, Children & Youth Ministries Coordinator

Michelle has been active at St. John's Cathedral for many years, joining the paid staff in October 2000. She has a background in early childhood education, a passion for youth, and a love of creatures great and small.

Michelle has three grown children: Thomas, Timothy and Lynley.

Rosie Banta, Financial Secretary (email: rbanta@stjohns-cathedral.org)

Rosie started working at the Cathedral in July of 1990 coming from a background in the banking industry. Born and raised back east, she moved here the year after Mt. St. Helens decided to blow its top.

Her responsibilities at the Cathedral include managing the finances, database, computer system, and other various administrative duties.

Joan Sulser, Secretary

Joan began working at the Cathedral in April 2009. Among other duties, she oversees calendars, bulletin boards, and communications, including this website and the monthly print newsletter, The Chimes.

A native midwesterner, Joan lived in New England and Wisconsin before moving to Spokane in 2008. She and her husband Kurt are the parents of a grown daughter. In her other life, Joan is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ.

Richie Parsons, Maintenance

Richie joined the Cathedral staff in spring 2011.  A wizard at making the floors shine, Richie keeps the building clean and in good working order. Before coming to St. John's, he worked in construction, plumbing, electrical and roofing.

Richie is the parent of two school-age children: Savannah and Ricky.