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Clergy & Staff

BURKARDT, The Rev'd Leslie; Rector.jpg
MERRITT, Mrs. Kathleen; Office Manager.jpg

The Very Rev. Leslie Burkardt, Rector

Leslie’s family moved to the Rochester area in late August of 2015 from Corpus Christi, Texas. Jay, her husband, is the Assistant at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on East Avenue. They have a teenage daughter, Norah, who is fabulous, and two dogs, Bear, & Eleanor who are an important part of their family.

Leslie’s professional experience is both broad and deep. She served as an associate in parishes in Corpus Christi, TX and Greensboro, NC, and served as Rector in North Carolina and Interim Rector in Texas. She has formal training in: Interim Leadership, Meditation and Reconciliation in Family Systems, Appreciative Inquiry and Stewardship Formation. She is passionate about Preaching, Teaching, Spiritual Formation and imaging creative ways people of faith gather, grow and serve the world.

Spiritual practices such as yoga and running are key to her health and life with God. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, volunteering in their daughter’s classroom when possible and spending time outside.

Leslie is excited to be here at St. Thomas’. She looks forward to getting to know you throughout the next year.

Phone 585-442-3544 ext. 103

Email Amma Leslie:

Dr. Robert Ferris, Choirmaster & Organist
Dr. Robert Ferris plays a supportive role as Assistant to the Rector. His administrative duties keep the wheels of St. Thomas’ running smoothly. Since 1978, he has been the organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas’. Dr. Ferris is a native of Detroit, where he began his early organ studies with Ray Ferguson of Wayne State University. He was graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan School of Music, from which he later received a master’s degree. He was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1984 from the Eastman School of Music. Before coming to Rochester, Rob Ferris served as organist at the First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Michigan, and as musical director for the Black Sheep Repertory Theatre near Ann Arbor.

Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 102

Email Rob:

Deacon Andrea Stridiron, Deacon
Andrea is retired from teaching with the Rochester City School District. She is a 1976 graduate of West Chester State University, West Chester, PA with a B.S in Elementary Education. Her M.Ed in Elementary Education/Reading was obtained in 1998 from SUNY Brockport. Andrea has been a member of St. Thomas’ for 40 years. In May 2009, Andrea was ordained to the Diaconate after participating in the Rochester Deacon Formation Program.

Email Andrea:

Kathleen Merritt, Office Manager
Kathleen joined the staff at St. Thomas’ in October 2003 as the Office Manager.  She previously worked at Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in the town of Greece, NY, as the Parish Secretary/Bookkeeper. Kathleen graduated from St. John Fisher College in 1981 with a B.S. degree in Business Management.  She and her husband, Ralph, have a daughter and a son, and two granddaughters.

Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 101

Email Kathleen:

Paula Gitlin, Children & Youth Coordinator

Paula is a long-time member of St. Thomas’ and a recently retired High School teacher. She loves God, St. Thomas’ and desires that our children and youth grow up surrounded by the love of our parish family.

Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 104
Email Paula:

David Grantham, Property Manager

David comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He is a brother Episcopalian as well. David joined the staff in February 2021. 
Email David:

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