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 Reverend Canon Kristi Philip, Interim Vicar

On the evening of July 6, 2017, the Cathedral Chapter took the decision, with the Bishop’s assent, to call the Reverend Canon Kristi Philip to be the Interim Vicar of the Cathedral.

Canon Philip brings a wealth of skill, experience, energy, and creativity to the role of Interim Vicar. She has a long and deep history in this Diocese and particularly with the Cathedral.

She will possess the same administrative, pastoral, and liturgical authority as a permanent Dean. She will be supported in her work and ministry by the Churchwardens and the other officers of the Cathedral Corporation.

The Rev. Nic Mather, Priest Associate

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.

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.

McKenzie Lamb, Handbell Choir Director

McKenzie Lamb will begin serving as director of the Cathedral Handbell Choir in September 2018.

Being inspired by the influences of music, McKenzie Lamb has dedicated herself to fostering strong communities through this powerful medium. After concluding her musical studies at the University of Idaho in 2014, she continued her education at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College studying music therapy. McKenzie is currently working towards completing her internship at Willow Song Music Therapy Services, playing percussion in the band Crooked Kilt, and continues to perform with various other groups such as the Chorale Coeur D’Alene.

McKenzie’s past experiences include teaching percussion, aural skills, and theory. She has worked for productions such as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, been co-captain of the University of Idaho’s drumline, and performed in ensembles which vary in scope from West African drumming and dance, jazz, to music from the British Isles.

In her free time McKenzie treasures the moments spent with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys hiking, reading, learning to play new instruments, and the occasional woodworking project.

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. 

Lucas Kulhanek-Arenas, Children & Youth Ministries Director

Lucas began serving the Cathedral on July 1, 2017.

Lucas, a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, grew up in Wenatchee where he was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. For the past three years, Lucas has been Youth Minister at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Spokane, serving as a youth and children's formation coordinator. He has also served as Assistant Director at Camp Cross for three years. Lucas has been a leader in organizations focusing on social justice and inclusion. 

He is married to Gabriel Kulhanek-Arenas.

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.

Mbale Katumbi, Custodian

Mbale began working at the Cathedral in February 2017. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mbale has made Spokane his home for the past few years. He has primary responsibility for the kitchen and assists in other areas as needed.