Church Staff

Find emails for our staff, or fill out the form below to contact St. Luke's or email directly to rector {at} stlukesferndale.org.


 
 

Clare L. Hickman

Rector

Though “the vicar” finds such biographical data a bit dull, she will admit to an M.T.S. in New Testament from Harvard Divinity School (’92) and an M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (’98).  After graduating from Seabury, she returned to her home state of Michigan to be ordained and to begin a 10-year position as Associate Rector at Christ Church, Dearborn. She now lives in Canton with her husband, Brian; sons, John and Peter; and (as often as possible) her step-children Samantha, Ian, and Alexandra. Despite not being able to live within the city limits, she loves Ferndale and has been enjoying herself immensely as Rector of St. Luke’s since January of 2008.

Brought up in the Church of England, Clare immigrated to the States with her family at age 10.  She is, therefore, what is known as a “cradle Episcopalian.” In fact, her maternal grandfather was an Anglican priest in South Africa during the 1940s, so one might say the calling is in the blood.

Of her ministry at St. Luke’s, Clare says, “It’s a rare joy to minister in a community that is so open, relaxed and playful in their faithfulness. This place has a deep and grace-filled acceptance of human imperfection, which makes it a truly warm and healing place to be.”


 
 

Sandy Toms

Choir Director

Sandy has been our choir director for thirty years, but her involvement in the church and in music extends far beyond that. Her devotion and willingness to lend a hand have led her to teach church school, assist with a wide variety of mission & service projects, and just generally pitch in wherever needed. Musically, she not only directs, plays and sings in church (and at church parties!), she has made a career teaching piano, violin and guitar. When she’s not teaching, she’s directing the Bel Canto chorus, or performing with local choirs and orchestras (most recently joining the Spectrum orchestra as a second violinist). Other passions include knitting, reading, quilting and entertaining.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Sandy immigrated to Detroit with her family at age five. Her education and training include an education degree from Central Michigan and one in Vocal music education from Wayne State. She and her husband Jack have two grown sons.

David Nisbet Stewart

Organist

David is a composer/pianist/organist and retired businessman. Before 1979 he was a college professor of music theory, composition, and electronic music at Eastern Michigan University and Kent State University. His career then changed to computer systems and consulting for some years. He has been a church musician most of his adult life and is greatly enjoying his time as the organist/accompanist at St. Luke’s, which allows him to showcase his fine classical training, his own compositions, and also his love of gospel, spirituals, and the occasional boogie woogie!

David was born 1941, in Miami, Florida, and has a B.Mus. degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, 1965, and a M.A. degree from Smith College, 1969. He and his wife have two grown children (one of whom is also in the church biz, as senior pastor at First Unitarian Universalist in Worcester, MA) and three grandchildren.

 

Ron Grimes and Brenda Thompson

Senior and Junior Wardens

The Senior and Junior Warden are elected each year from among the vestry (governing board) of the parish. According to canon law, the Senior Warden is the chief liaison between the people (the laity) and the clergy (the priest), and the one with final responsibility for the temporal affairs of the parish. According to tradition, the Junior Warden has similar responsibilities, but with special focus on the building and grounds. Together with the Rector they form the core leadership team of the parish, working to assist the vestry in doing the business and guiding the mission of the parish as a whole.

Our current Senior Warden, Ron Grimes, has been a member of St. Luke’s since marrying Marilyn (Burns), a lifelong member of the church, in 1985. Our Junior Warden, Brenda Thompson, has been a part of the community for a little shy of ten years, and also got married at St. Luke’s: she wed her partner of 20 years, Pam, on Memorial Day weekend, 2017. Both wardens have logged more hours than they can count in sweat equity and administrative attention to the parish, during their respective decades of attendance.

 

Contact

Fill out the form below to contact St. Luke's.

Name *
Name