The Rev. Deborah White, PhD, Rector
Rev. Deb was sponsored for ordination by Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda. Deb previously served as the Interim Co-Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, which is a large urban parish in San Francisco, and as the Associate Rector of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley, a Rite I congregation. She is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of California, the Beloved Community Creative Ministry Initiative, the Faith Advisory Committee of the Martinez Homeless Coalition, and a Crisis Line Counselor at San Francisco Night Ministry. Deb previously served as Secretary of the Executive Council of the Diocese of California and as a member of the board of The Episcopal Impact Fund.
Deb hails from the northeast. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Theatre and Dance, a Master of Social Work degree, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She has worked in broadcasting, with chronically mentally ill people on the streets of Baltimore, in the California state prison system, for the Departments of Mental Health in Massachusetts and California, and as a forensic psychological expert witness. Deb is married to Gary Spenik, a Project Manager and retired U.S. Coast Guard officer, and has two children and a dog, Riptide, who often accompanies her to work at Grace.
The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Deacon
Deacon Walter has been at Grace since September of 2017. Ordained with the Rev. Deb in 2015, he has served at The Church of the Advent in San Francisco and St. Michaels and All Angels, Concord. Deacon Walter describes himself as an Anglo-Catholic, but loves worshipping at Grace. He has two children and four grandchildren (all of whom attend Grace too). Rev. Walter also serves on the Nominations Committee of the Diocese of California.
Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator
Sarah has been at Grace since the beginning of the pandemic, meaning that she has been able to sit at her desk at Grace once! Sarah works part-time at Grace and spends her other work hours at our sister parish, St. Clement’s in Berkeley.
Sarah has a Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California at Berkeley, with a specialty in gerontology. She is an elder at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, and volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America. She is married with two talented and kind sons.
Marj Leeds, Volunteer Treasurer
Marj is retired from the Shell Company, where she served as the first female Vice-President at a major oil company. She has a number of roles at Grace, including head of our Godly Play children’s education program, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, and member of the choir. Marj is also a member of the Executive Council of the Diocese of California. She has also served on Grace’s Vestry and brings a wealth of expertise to her role as Treasurer of Grace. Marj is particularly known for her lemon bars!
Dru Grissom, Volunteer Facility Use Manager
Dru was born and raised in the Bay Area and has attended several Episcopal churches, starting with St. Michael’s and All Angels in Concord. She was confirmed at the Church of the Resurrection in Pleasant Hill and landed at Grace Episcopal Church while in high school. Both of Dru’s parents were very involved in the church. They both sang in the choir and led Human Growth groups in the 60’s. Dru is a widow who raised two daughters and now has five grandsons. She is a Registered Nurse with a specialization in Labor and Delivery, who recently retired after almost 40 years, mostly at Kaiser Walnut Creek. Dru likes having more time to spend with her family, attend Grace church more regularly, and become more involved with parish life. She enjoys reading historical romance novels, crocheting, baking, and traveling (not necessarily in that order). Dru’s no-drama personality is a welcome asset to the nerve center of Grace.
Arthur Omura, Music Director
Arthur comes to us with experience in directing choirs in both the Presbyterian and Episcopal traditions. He is a graduate of the prestigious University of Southern California Music program and an accomplished harpsichordist and composer.
Columba Salamony, Field Education Student
Columba Salomony describes himself as, “Brother Columba of the Joy Unspeakable, n/OCDA. He is an apostolic member (i.e., a friar) of Episcopal Carmel of Saint Teresa, the Carmelite community in the Episcopal Church. He is a postulant for holy orders from the Diocese of Maryland and is entering his second-year at CDSP. He lives in Berkeley with his three cats, Bodhi, Royce, and Harriet.
Columba holds a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, and a Master of Theology in religion, literature, and culture from the University of Glasgow. He is especially interested in contemplative spirituality, anti-racism work, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Outside of studying, one might find Columba knitting, reading, watching films, or hiking around the Bay Area.
Assisting the Rector
Riptide is the White-Spenik family dog. You can often find him in the Rector’s office or wandering the campus during the week. He considers his primary ministries to be pastoral care and chasing the trains away.
Class of 2021
- David Kennedy
- Christina Reich
- Stephanie Zichichi
Class of 2022
- Amelia Brooks
- Chandra Damele
- Jane Ramsey
Class of 2023
- Liz Charlton
- Amy Eudy
- Sally Hanson
Contra Costa Deanery Delegates:
- Barbara Brooks (Deanery Treasurer)
- Pat Hambly
- Jennifer Sabroe
- Jane Ramsey (alternate)
Deanery representative to Executive Council: