The Rev. Lex Breckinridge
Lex was called to serve as Rector of St Thomas in 2009. Lex came to St Thomas from Austin, TX where he served as a parish rector, as well as a high school chaplain and teacher of religious studies at an Episcopal school. Prior to ordained ministry, Lex was a practicing maritime and commercial trial lawyer in New Orleans for 16 years. A life-long Episcopalian, Lex had always felt a call to ordained ministry in the Church. It just took him a while to get to it. After growing up in Beckley, West Virginia, he attended St. Paul’s School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Tulane University School of Law, and the Seminary of the Southwest (Episcopal). Lex and his spouse, Zonnie, have three wonderful kids who are starting to bless them with grandchildren. Lex loves to hike and ski, so life here in the Pacific Northwest is just right for him. He also enjoys cooking, travel, literature, opera and jazz. Mostly, he loves being with people and sharing all the joy and sadness, the laughter and tears, of real life. It is there, after all, that we’ll meet the Risen Christ.
The Rev. Karen Haig
Karen received her Master of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2010, and joined the St Thomas staff at that time as a transitional deacon. She was ordained to the priesthood at St Thomas later that year and has made this her home ever since. She now serves as the Associate Rector. In her previous life, Karen was a business management consultant to small businesses and non-profits, and co-founder, business manager and director for a non-profit scientific institute engaged in climate change research. Karen is married to Jim Friedrich, an Episcopal priest serving the wider church as liturgist, teacher, blogger, filmmaker and writer. She has one son, Simon, who teaches history and coaches Varsity Baseball at Bainbridge High School. Karen loves her work and the community that is St Thomas, and she delights in her family and friends. When she’s not at church, you’ll likely find her kayaking, cooking, gardening, walking in the rain, reading or writing.
The Rev. Steve Best
Associate for Couples and Family Life
Steve, a native of the Seattle area, joined the St. Thomas Staff in 2002 and has served in a variety of ministries. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and Seattle Pacific University’s professional counseling program. He has a special interest in the integration of spirituality and healing, pre-marital counseling, pastoral care, and adult formation. In additional to serving as a parish priest, Steve is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. He is married to Jannie who also serves on staff and they have a daughter, Rachel, who is studying at Gonzaga University. In his free time, Steve enjoys Jannie’s fabulous cooking, the live theater, movies, skiing, the great out-of-doors, all things Franciscan and spending time with friends and family.
Chief Operating Officer
Greg joined the staff as Chief Operating Officer in 2014. He has been a member of the parish since 1992 and has served in many volunteer roles including Chairman of Project Outreach and Senior Warden, as well as serving as the Project Manager for the Ebsworth Life Center. Greg holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University and Master of Science degree in Music from Indiana State University. He was also a Fellow at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Non-Profit Leadership. Before joining the staff at St. Thomas, Greg’s professional experience included more than 20 years leading non-profit community schools and an encore career as a residential general contractor. Born in Houston, Texas, Greg and his wife Debbie have 3 children and four grandchildren, Greg enjoys cooking, building furniture and spending time standing in a river waving a stick - a.k.a. fly fishing.
Executive Assistant to the Rector
Laura joined the St. Thomas staff in November 2009. She manages the flow of information among parishioners and staff, maintains the church website, produces the Sunday bulletin "wrapper," and the weekly all-Parish email. She also keeps the church calendar up to date, coordinates facility use, manages the columbarium, and produces most of the St. Thomas print publications. Laura earned an MBA in 1979, is a Seattle native, who with her husband, Robert Gidley, worships either at St. Thomas or at Church of the Holy Cross (Episcopal) in Redmond. When at home, she reads, plays all kinds of music, and sews Aloha shirts for Robert.
Associate for Youth Ministries
Brian joined the St. Thomas staff as the Associate for Youth Ministries in June 2011. He has lived in Seattle his entire life and loves the Pacific Northwest, especially the summers which are the best kept secret in the country. Brian attended Seattle Pacific University, double majoring in Educational Ministry and Theology. He completed his M.Div. at Seattle Pacific in 2015 and is currently a postulant for holy orders in the Episcopal Church (meaning he is pursuing ordained ministry). Brian has been involved in youth ministry as both a volunteer and a paid staff person since 2004 and loves the privilege of helping youth discover God’s presence, grow in their faith, and live out the Gospel in the world. When not at St. Thomas, Brian loves to play golf, read, and spend time with his wife, Kelly, and daughter, Ellsley.
Director of Community Connections
Carey joined the St. Thomas staff as the Associate for Community Life in October of 2015. Her professional background is in non-profit stewardship, volunteer engagement, events and regional community-building. Carey has produced hundreds of special events across the US; some great (with multi-million dollar budgets) and some small (Taco Tuesdays for $20!). Carey is passionate about creating thoughtful programs and for helping volunteers be successful and satisfied with their service endeavors. She's a native of Monterey, CA and is always happy to share stories about her work and life at Stanford University, The Naval Postgraduate School , and The Pebble Beach Company. Carey loves to cook, read, sing (especially with the St. Thomas Choir!) and to spend time with her husband, Eric Schwager, their sons, Luke and Zachary and their Landseer, Paisley.
Director of Music and Liturgical Arts
Doug has been playing the organ since the age of 12, beginning with study at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olympia, Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music from Indiana University, and Doctor of Sacred Music from the Graduate Theological Foundation at Oxford University. Doug has held several organist positions in the Episcopal Church, including Church of St. Michael and St. George in St. Louis, MO; Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, Indianapolis, IN; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Evanston, IL; and he most recently served Plymouth Congregational Church, Seattle. Doug is the recipient of first-place awards at the Ft. Wayne National Organ Competition and the American Guild of Organists National Youth Artists Competition. Along with serving as the Director of Music and Liturgical Arts at St. Thomas, he is the John Delo Faculty Fellow in Organ at the University Washington School of Music. His responsibilities at St. Thomas include directing our choirs and helping design our liturgies. Doug enjoys hiking in the mountains, cross country skiing, and cooking. He is married to Catherine, Director of Development and External Relations at Hedgebrook – a writing colony for women on Whidbey Island.
Director of Youth Choirs
Tim has been directing the Chorister program at St. Thomas since 2015. He received his bachelor's degree in Music Education with a choral emphasis from the University of Washington, and is an active singer in the Seattle area. In addition to his work at St. Thomas, Tim is the vocal music teacher at University Preparatory School, where he teaches singing to students grade 6-12 and music directs the school musicals.
Godly Play Coordinator
Lisalynn joined the St. Thomas staff in August of 2016. Lisalynn served as a Children’s Formation Director in Episcopal churches for nine years prior to coming to St. Thomas and has been involved with children’s formation in churches and schools for more than 15 years. Lisalynn serves as the Godly Play Coordinator for children ages 4-2nd grade at St. Thomas. She brings a deep love of Godly Play, great organization and teaching skills, and lots of excitement about working with a committed team of volunteers and the families of St. Thomas.
Kids' Club Coordinator
Kathleen joined the staff at St Thomas in August of 2016 but has worked with children for decades. Kathleen is the founder and director of the Eastside Girl’s Choir, is active in several national music teacher’s associations and has worked as the music specialist for Medina Montessori School. Kathleen is a passionate music teacher and a passionate Kids' Club leader for our 3rd through 5th graders. She delights in the children and loves the Kids' Club curriculum that uses everything from cooking to computer labs to open minds and hearts to the riches of God’s great stories.