Rev. James C. Rhodenhiser » Rector
Office: (734) 662-2449 ext. 201
Cell Phone: (734) 709-6993
James has been Rector/Senior Pastor of St. Clare’s since 2003. James loves to help people grow in faith, service, and leadership. He believes we do this by encountering God more deeply, and learning and thinking about how to claim the faith for ourselves with others seeking to follow Christ. Each person has unique gifts God has given you to serve God in your life. Discovering and using our gifts with God helps us flourish as persons beloved in God. James loves to teach, to pray with people, and to encounter and serve Christ together. It excites him when diverse people who may not have found a welcoming, accepting church home join St. Clare’s, and bring their minds and passions with them.
Prior to coming to St. Clare’s, James served parishes in California and Maine, and was the Youth Missioner of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. Raising up teen leaders is an abiding passion for him. Prior to attending the Yale Divinity School, James taught U.S. and World History, and earned a Masters from the University of Virginia, and did his undergraduate degree at Duke University.
James also loves sailing, camping, hiking, reading books about science, and playing Bridge. He sings in the Michigan Choral Union, and the St. Clare’s Adult Choir. The book he is most intrigued by at present is The Science of Fear, by Daniel Gardner. His favorite magazines are Discover, and The Economist. James is married to Jayin, and has five children. If interested, you can see his family photos on Facebook.
Rev. Jessie Gutgsell » Assistant Rector
Office: (734) 662-2449 ext. 202
Cell Phone: (812) 606-5855
Jessie has been the Assistant Rector/Pastor of St. Clare’s since July 2016. She comes to Ann Arbor, MI from New Haven, CT where she received her Master’s of Divinity from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale Divinity School in May 2016. Jessie has long felt called to serve God’s people and creation through the Episcopal Church, and she is thrilled to begin her full-time ministry at St. Clare’s.
Before entering seminary, Jessie served in several churches, focusing her work on creation care, interfaith initiatives, and youth ministry. She also worked as a professional harpist in Kentucky, Ohio and Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music in harp performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
When not engaging in ministry, Jessie enjoys biking, hiking, cooking, knitting, making music, contra dancing, and spending time with friends and family. She was born and raised on a horse farm outside Lexington, Kentucky, and she remains an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan (go Cats!).
Jessie lives in Ypsilanti with her husband Joe Dodson, an occupational therapist, and their wonderful dog Sloan.
John Goodell » Music and Technology Ministry
Office: (734) 662-2449 ext. 204
John was born in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory in 1998 with degrees in economics and piano performance. He completed a master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan in 2003. He started his musical adventures at age 5 studying piano and composition, and was singing professionally as a boy soprano at age 8.
John joined the St. Clare’s family in 2007, and is also the Artistic Director of The Music Project, a non-profit he founded in 2009 empowering young people to create emotionally engaging and intellectually relevant artistic presentations delivered through multiple channels including live performance. He is Director of Orchestras at Greenhills School, has served as Music Director and Conductor of The Life Sciences Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Youth Orchestra, and has worked with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Civic Orchestras and other ensembles in the US and abroad. As a choral conductor, he has worked with the Boychoir of Ann Arbor (7 years) and with numerous local and regional opera companies. He maintains an active teaching and coaching schedule, and is managing partner of Post Communications, LLC, a web services company specializing in communication tools for non-profits around the world. He recently served on the Standing Commission on Communications and Information Technology for the Episcopal Church.
Karen Slagell » Parish Administrative Coordinator
Office: (734) 662-2449 ext. 203
Karen joined St. Clare’s staff as Parish Administrative Coordinator in 2011 and loves working with this energetic and visionary group. Karen also serves as clerk for the Vestry, edits the parish newsletter, and gets to go on the youth mission trip each summer. You’re most likely to find Karen in the office on Tuesday (afternoon only), Wednesday, or Thursday.