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. The book he is most intrigued by at present is The Anatomy of Peace. 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.
Suzanne Di Piazza » Missioner for Children, Youth and Families
Office: (734) 662-2449 ext. 202
Suzanne Di Piazza joins St. Clare’s staff having most recently served with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, MI. A military spouse for 25 years, the Nashville, TN native has called many other locales across the country home, including Bowling Green and Lexington (KY), Midland, Muskegon, and Gross Pointe Farms (MI), Yuma (AZ), San Diego (CA), Honolulu (HI), Quantico (VA) and both Carolinas.
She’s served as the Director of Religious Formation for faith communities in six of those aforementioned cities. For nine years she directed a program that doubled in size and included hundreds of children and teens at the Episcopal Cathedral in Nashville, Tennessee. Besides working and volunteering in churches since she was a young adult, Suzanne has volunteered or worked in elementary and middle schools, remedial reading programs, with Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Red Cross, and the Humane Society.
Suzanne lives with her husband, Kevin, and dog, Ruby. Kevin is an Air Force veteran who works for the VA hospital in Detroit. She has family in Scottsdale, AZ, and Ann Arbor, Muskegon, and Walled Lake, Michigan. Her daughter, Carly Southworth, resides in Nashville. Her son, Matthew Southworth, her daughter-in-law, Heather, and her 3 delightful grandchildren live in the Kalamazoo area. Her step-daughter Cydney and her husband Jeff live in Canton. Besides children and dogs, Suzanne is devoted to the Trinity, family, friends and social justice issues. She enjoys reading, painting, scrapbooking, organizing, and nature walks.
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 coordinates office and church school volunteers, edits the parish newsletter, and manages many of the details of sharing space with Temple Beth Emeth and others. You’re most likely to find Karen in the office on Tuesday (afternoon only), Wednesday, or Thursday.