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. 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.
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. To read more about Carey's work, click here to read her Personnel Profile.
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.
Executive Assistant to the Rector
Natalie joined St. Thomas staff as the Executive Assistant to the Rector in August of 2017. Originally from Lubbock, TX, Natalie has traveled the United States as an active soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. Natalie holds Bachelor and Master degrees in flute performance from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Washington, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Flute Performance at the UW School of Music. Additionally, Natalie is active as an event coordinator both at the University of Washington and in the Seattle area. She has directed and assisted in organizing multiple concerts, presentations, and symposia featured at the UW School of Music. Natalie serves as the American Guild of Organist (Seattle Chapter) Housing Chair for the AGO National Convention to be held in Seattle the summer of 2022. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Flute Society as the Membership Chair. Natalie is a certified Spiritual Director through the Sustainable Faith program due to her deep love of hearing and sharing stories of faith and this messy, beautiful life we live. She enjoys reading, practicing Bach, drinking tea, and spending time with her 14-year-old cat, Bella.
Associate for Youth
Ashley joined the St. Thomas staff to serve as the Associate for Youth in January of 2018. Most recently from Durham, North Carolina, Ashley brings several years of experience working with youth in a wide variety of settings. Her most formative experiences include serving as the Interim Youth Director at a church just outside of Asheville, NC in the fall of 2017, and working as both Hiking Staff and later Support Staff and Assistant Director at Wilderness Trail, a backpacking and adventure ministry in Virginia, for six summers. Ashley has two bachelors degrees from Western Carolina University in Sociology and International Studies, and in May 2017, she received her Masters in Divinity from Duke Divinity School. She is most passionate about the intersection of youth ministry and sustainable development, both at the ecclesial and wider local community level. Some of Ashley’s favorite activities include drinking coffee, hiking and camping, snowboarding, baking, and friendly-forcing all her favorite people to listen to all her favorite music.
Interim Associate for Pastoral Care
Long-time St. Thomas parishioner, Sunni Bannon, joined our staff in November of 2017. Sunni felt called to serve St. Thomas during our searches for a new Associate Priest and Youth Minister by offering her hard-working program manager gifts and her heart for pastoral care of all ages. Prior to lending us her talents, Sunni managed programs and led teams in the field of education culminating in four years as MBA Admissions Director at the Foster School of Business at the top-ranked University of Washington.
In the past few years, Sunni has been a full-time parent and active community volunteer and has maintained her professional association with UW as an MBA Admissions Associate.
Sunni and her husband, Patrick, have two children, John and Clara, whom you'll see singing in the St. Thomas Choristers program and otherwise entertaining parishioners with their instruments and good humor. The Bannon Family has two Yellow Labs, lovingly known as the Sisters of Perpetual Destruction: Beatrice and Millie Mae.