St. Thomas Staff

Pastor Adrianne Meier

Pastor — The Rev. Adrianne Meier
Pr. Adrianne Meier joined the St. Thomas staff in September 2020.  She is happy to return to her home Hoosier state after serving congregations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  A graduate of Capital University and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Pr. Adrianne is passionate about creating space where people can experience God’s radical welcome, deepen their relationship with God, listen for God’s call, and participate together in God’s creative and redeeming work.  She loves to read, write, and knit.

Pr. Adrianne lives with her spouse, Matt, two daughters, Hope and Lucy, and dog, Finn McCool, in Ellettsville.

Pastor of Youth and Christian Nurture — The Rev. Lecia Beck
Pr. Lecia Beck joined the St. Thomas staff in January 2021. She is a graduate of Malone College and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Before becoming a pastor, Pr. Lecia spent many years working for the YMCA of Central Ohio, creating spaces where individuals were encouraged, diversity was embraced and all children could thrive. She comes to us after serving as pastor of another congregation in Indiana. Pr. Lecia believes that youth are not just the future of the church, but an integral part of the church today and hopes that together, we can create space where every person knows how deeply God loves them.

Pr. Lecia is married to Arthur and together they have a dog Lola. The three of them enjoy hiking and exploring new places together. Pr. Lecia also enjoys reading, cooking, listening to podcasts and exploring spiritual practices. 

Pastoral Intern — Vicar Amy Bartleson

Vicar Amy Bartleson Balcam and her family have been members of St. Thomas since 2017, She is originally from the Upper Midwest, making her appearance on this earth a number of years ago to a Norwegian-American Lutheran family. She has lived in Bloomington for 23 years. Amy graduated from Augsburg University with a B.A. in Psychology, from St. Mary’s University with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, from Indiana University with an Ed.S. in School Psychology, and is currently finishing up her M.Div. at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Amy discerned a call to ministry in 2016 and currently works as a hospital chaplain at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. She completed a chaplain residency last year at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Amy holds licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has been a therapist working with children, adolescents, and families for almost 30 years in outpatient counseling, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and school settings. 

Amy is married to her husband, Drew, and their blended family consists of three young adult children: Tate is 22 years old, Andrew is 21 years old, and Quinn is 19 years old. They are blessed with these smart, cute, funny young adults as well as two adorable and demanding cats. Amy enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, anything that has to do with winter, reading, knitting, and spending time with her family.

Amy is completing a year-long internship at St. Thomas, which will be completed in August 2023. She is working toward ordination as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, with the intention of continuing to work as a hospital chaplain while also being involved in the church.

Parish Administrator — Erica Whichello is a native Michigander who moved to Bloomington in the year 2000. She is a member of the Unitarian Universalist church here in town. In a previous life Erica studied library science, and later worked at IU in graduate education. She and her husband Chris live in town and enjoy hiking, cooking, gardening, and playing board games.

Director of Music and Organist — Matthew Benkert

Matthew Benkert received both his B.M. and M.M. in Organ Performance from Central Michigan University, where he studied with Dr. Steven Egler. As a church musician, he has served Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal denominations, including historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint, Michigan. As a performer, he has given recitals throughout Michigan and participated in numerous masterclasses. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Music degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as a student of Dr. Christopher Young. A Lutheran since childhood, Matthew grew up in the farm town of Hemlock, Michigan. While not creating music, he enjoys cycling, gaming, and caring for his pet axolotl, Levi.

Adult Choir Director — Kathryn Davidson
Kathryn Davidson received a B.M.E. in Choral Music Education and B.M. in Flute Performance from the University of North Texas. Kathryn is currently pursuing a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In her time at UNT, Kathryn was a featured vocal and flute soloist in multiple works, including national and international premieres. While in Dallas, she engaged with the Dallas Choral Festival, Highland Park Chorale, and Christ the King Singers. In church music, Kathryn has served in Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopal churches as a staff singer and conductor. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys hiking, studying German, and cooking.

Children’s Choir Director — Melissa de Graaf
I am delighted to be taking on the role of Children’s Choir Director at St. Thomas. I have a long and varied musical background. as a music professor at the University of Miami, as a youth choir director, and leading a music and movement program for preschoolers at a former church in Florida. I am now a stay-at-home mom, as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. My husband, Justin Rust, and I have two daughters–Sophia and Mary. I enjoy working with the young singers of St. Thomas to praise God, have fun, and learn some things along the way.

Church Council

  • Ashley Ahlbrand, President (2021-2024)
  • Mike Witt, Vice-President (2022-2025)
  • Randy Nye, Secretary (2022-2025)
  • Sam Eichmiller (2022-2025)
  • Kari Esarey (2020-2026) term limited
  • Sarah Fogleman (2021-2024)
  • Kaye Hill (2022-2025)
  • Frank Nierzwicki (2021-2024, second term)
  • Justin Rust (2023-2026)
  • Tim Smith (2021-2024, second term)

Constitution and Bylaws