Clergy & Staff
The Rev. Rick Stravers
After the end of the 14-year tenure of the Rev. Brian Coleman in December 2022, the Rev. Rick Stravers began serving the congregation as our priest-in-charge. He is glad to be able to share in our life together until a priest comes to join as an interim rector.
He is a member of St. Martin of Tours in Kalamazoo. For 20 years he served as Executive Director of Open Doors. Open Doors helps individuals and families gain housing and build lives that work for them. He retired from Open Doors in 2019.
He married his wife Laurel in December 2018. Between them, they have six adult children and seven grandchildren.
Before graduating from General Theological Seminary in New York City in May 1987, he worked as chief of staff for a Michigan State Senator in Lansing. He served as rector at St. Timothy's Church in Richland for ten years.
Meditation is an important part of Rick's life. He learned to meditate from practitioners of Zen Buddhism. He supported a group of meditators at St. Martin of Tours last fall and they hope to gather for weekly meditation again this spring. "I am profoundly grateful for this practice," he said.
He loves to walk in the woods and watch the seasons unfold. He enjoys savoring poems—from the poems of ancient classical Chinese poets to contemporary English and American poets.
"I look forward to exploring life and spiritual practice with you," he said. "Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to have a conversation."
You can contact Rick at email@example.com or leave a message for him at the parish office.
The Rev. Trish Harris
The Rev. Trish Harris is an ordained deacon for The Episcopal Church and is serving the St. Thomas parish and Battle Creek community. Trish is passionate about exploring the obstacles that face women and children in our society, and partnering with women and men, inviting them to embrace their divine feminine spirit.
Deacon Trish leads a Spiritual Chat and Compline group on Thursday nights via Zoom. She believes that poetry has the capacity to “open” our hearts in a way that can deepen our relationship with God and with one another. All are welcome to attend – no experience required!
Deacon Trish finds deep meaning in prayer and recognizes that the prayer rituals that are meaningful for one person may not make sense for another. The beauty of prayer is that God is with us even when we stumble and don’t quite know how to say what’s on our hearts. Trish is keen on the Psalms and prays them several times each day.
Social justice has been a part of Trish’s life for over three decades. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University, and has lived the life of a grass roots social worker; in the “thick of it all” is where she thrives! Trish currently teaches a weekly Life Skills class at the Battle Creek Share Center and works at Ministry with Community in Kalamazoo each week, connecting with the people who are seeking comfort and safety. Trish strives to see the face of Christ in each person and asks us all to do the same. We will never be perfect at this and need community to lovingly remind us of what God asks of us.
Ordained a deacon in 2022 by Bishop Prince Singh, Deacon Trish is serving St. Thomas, a parish that she loves and where she finds great joy. Trish is married to Cary Mannaberg, a boat-builder, Hebrew teacher and extraordinary life partner. They delight in their children, grandchildren and spirit-filled pets.
Trish can be reached most easily by phone/text: 269.274.6180 OR email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Stephen White, Director of Music
Stephen G. White, Ph.D. is Director of Music at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Battle Creek, Michigan where he oversees the parish music ministry, conducts the graded choral program (RSCM), and plays for all parish liturgies.
He has served parishes of various denominations in Michigan, Florida, Kentucky and Texas, coordinated the music for the consecration of the IX Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan, and has served on both public school and university music education teaching faculties.
Dr. White is also active as a recitalist having performed at the Cathedral of St. Paul (Detroit), St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Port Huron), Grace Episcopal Church (Holland), St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Louisville, KY), First United Methodist Church (Midland, TX), St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (Evanston, IL), as well as Coventry, Bristol, Southwark, and Truro Cathedrals in the United Kingdom.
Dr. White is an elected member of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM), serving on both its Professional Concerns and Development and Gerre Hancock Fellowship committees, is Dean of the Southwest Michigan Chapter of The American Guild of Organists, is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the College Music Society (CMS). He is a Fellow of both the Fraternity of St. Cecilia and the Guild of Musicians and Singers, and holds degrees in Music Education from Florida State University (PhD), Northwestern University (MMus), and Michigan State University (BMus).
You may reach Dr. White at music@StThomasBC.org.