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 Reverend Heather VanDeventer, Dean

The Very Rev. Heather VanDeventer has served as Dean of the Cathedral since August 2018.

Heather most recently served as Associate Rector at Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia. She has led adult faith formation and pastoral care; overseen children’s and youth ministries; been the clergy liaison for hospitality, newcomer welcome, and two stewardship campaigns; participated in two strategic planning efforts; and had a full share in presiding at worship and preaching.

Heather previously served at Episcopal High School in Alexandria and St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Wilmette, Illinois. She is a graduate of Yale University and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.

She is married to the Rev. Dr. David Gortner, and they have two school-age children. Having lived in the Midwest, West Coast, and East Coast, they are excited to be in the Inland Northwest and participate in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement in Spokane.

The Reverend Arlen Farley, Priest Associate

The Rev. Arlen Farley began at the Cathedral in September 2019.

Arlen was born in Massachusetts and grew up around the Northeast before his family settled in Ohio. He graduated from Walla Walla University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, completed training for church ministry and church planting with the Vineyard Institute, and helped to start and pastor an interdenominational church in the downtown South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco.

He is a graduate of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest and ACPE hospital chaplaincy training programs in Austin, TX and Portland, OR. He was ordained a priest in the diocese of Olympia.

Arlen is married to Andrea, Canon for Discipleship in the diocese of Spokane, and they have three school age children. He loves music, the outdoors, and good vegetarian food. He is passionate about the mission and unity of the body of Christ and is excited to serve the Cathedral and the Inland Northwest.

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

Elaine Patrick, Youth Minister

Elaine Patrick joined the Cathedral staff as part-time Youth Minister in January 2019. We are sharing Elaine with St. Stephen’s, where she serves as Formation Minister. Elaine served on staff at Camp Cross in the summer of 2018 and has moved to Spokane, having served for ten years as director of youth and family ministry at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg, FL. Elaine’s primary responsibility at the Cathedral is to lead the regional Senior High Youth Group, providing planning, programming, and support for the 15-22 youth who gather weekly, as well as to recruit and train adult volunteers for the youth group. Elaine also leads the regional Middle School (Junior High) Youth Group, which meets at St. Stephen’s on Sunday afternoons. Elaine can be reached at youth@stjohns-cathedral.org

Dr. John Bodinger, Organist

John Bodinger, Organist, most recently was the Director of Music at Manito Presbyterian Church. 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.
 

Andrea Olsen, Director of Music Ministry

Andrea Olsen began as Director of Music Ministry in May 2020, following a year as the Cathedral's Interim Choir Director. She holds a B. M. in Voice and a M.A. in Music. Andrea serves on the music faculty at both North Idaho College and Spokane Falls Community College and has served as music director at First Presbyterian Church in Greeley, Colorado and Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane Valley. Andrea has performed as guest soloist with the Spokane Symphony, Spokane Opera, CDA Opera, OperaPlus, Bach Festival, Northwest Sacred Music Chorale, Spokane Choral Artists, and Spokane Kantorei. She is a frequent adjudicator and clinician for music festivals in Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana. Andrea is CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music) certified and in her free time enjoys performing in local professional musical theatre. Her notable roles include Christine (Phantom), Fantine (Les Miserables), Jane (Jane Eyre), Witch (Into the Woods), Patsy (Always, Patsy Cline), Lily (The Secret Garden).

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 began 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. 

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. Helen's 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 young adult 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.