st thomas episcopal church, amenia union


The Reverend Dr. Bob Flanagan has been a priest for more than fifteen years, having been raised to the priesthood by Christ’s Church Rye, New York. After completing his M.Div. at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in 2003, he first served as Associate Rector at St. Matthew’s Church Bedford, NY. He then served for five years as the School Minister and Chair of the Theology Department at Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, where he was also a dorm parent for forty boys each year and coach of medal-winning crews at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association championships. Since 2013, Bob has worked as an interim priest in the Diocese of New York, helping five parishes in Westchester and Dutchess Counties through successful transitions. He also completed his doctor of ministry degree at VTS in 2018 and will begin to teach at General Theological Seminary in January 2019. Bob is an author as well, and his latest book Growing a Sustainable Soul (St. Mark’s Press) is an award-winning devotional book.

Bob’s wife Lanie often attends services where he serves. Their children Caity and Dan are both college graduates, pursuing careers in health and wellness and software development respectively. When they are in town, they will join Lanie in the pew at St. Thomas.​

John at the organ with Maestro Hector Olivera. 

It is a pleasure to introduce St. Thomas' new organist, John Gagliardi.  John hails from LaGrange, New York. He began his musical studies at age 11. By age 16, John was serving as a pianist at a Methodist church and subsequently became the organist. John has studied piano and organ with Dr. Peter Muir, Music Director at Grace Episcopal Church, Millbrook.  He is presently under the tutelage of Maestro Hector Olivera, and Peter Krauss. John is also co-owner of New York Beef Company,  a family operated farm that specializes in raising grass-fed Angus beef cattle. 

John comes to us with great enthusiasm and love of music and the organ. He has a deep sense of the importance of music in the context of worship.  In a recent conversation I had with John about liturgy and the role of music, this is what John shared with me: 
"I love playing organ music. But people shouldn't come to church just to hear the music. They need to come to hear the message.  That's your job, Rev. Betsy.  My job is to create an atmosphere of welcome and to inspire people as they worship." Wise words from a young man. I couldn't agree more!

​John Gagliardi, Organist

The Reverend Dr. Robert D. Flanagan