Staff Page

Rev. Dr. Philip Hemke,
Pr Hemke graduated from the seminary in 1970 and was sent to Niagara Falls, Canada, as a Mission Developer. 

In 1975, the Hemkes took a call to Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Florissant, (St Louis), MO.  After two years as Associate Pastor, Pastor Hemke was called as Senior Pastor. All of their children attended there and graduated from grade school. These years were marked with two milestones in their lives. Pastor Hemke earned his doctorate from Christ Seminary Seminex and his wife, Joan entered University of Missouri and completed her undergraduate teaching degree as a magna cum laud student.

In 1989, the Hemkes received a call to Beautiful Savior in Bloomfield Hills, MI. They served for over 19 years. These years were marked with growth, moving the parish from 260 on Sunday to over 400.  A Stephen ministry program was developed that trained over 100 Stephen ministers.  Small groups were developed in the parish as a way of connecting people and guiding ministry. 

In 2008, Pastor Hemke was called as the first full time Director of Church Relations at Lutheran Social Service of Michigan (Samaritans).  Pr Hemke served in this role and as the “Organization Pastor” until July of 2016.

The Hemkes reside in Rochester Hills , and both he and his wife have a passion for the growth of the church in both width and depth.  In retrospect, they both feel that each place they have served was a blessing and they feel that they were able to bring a new and exciting future to that place.

Pastor Hemke enjoys walking seven miles a day, golfing, and reading. The Hemkes love to travel and have been leading tours since 1983. In September of 2018, they are leading a River Boat trip on the Rhine.  In addition, they are helping with nine grandkids that make their life joyous and full. 


Claudia Karpinskas,
Administrative Assistant

Claudia has been a church worker for almost 20 years in a variety of different ministries, with the most extensive training and most longevity in Youth and Family Ministry. In addition Claudia currently is also on SEMI synod staff as the Practice Discipleship Coach, assigned by the synod Bishop Kriess.
Claudia and her husband, Bruno, were married at Good Shepherd over 30 years ago. Two of their three daughters were baptized at Good Shepherd and Claudia herself was baptized at Our Savior Lutheran Church now merged with Good Shepherd.  She grew up in Madison Hts. graduating from Lamphere High School.
Claudia and her family love to spend vacations in northern Michigan, loves to golf, read, cook, and learn new things. She and her husband live in Troy and are very happy to be “home”.
Michael Canales – Composer - Conductor
Minister of Music

Michael Canales has received major grants from organizations such as The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and the Nevada Arts Council for his work as a composer and conductor. He has composed works in the major Classical Music genres including Operatic and Symphonic repertoire. As a conductor his specialty is Opera, wherein he has conducted the works of the four great opera composers, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner, as well as the other important works in the standard repertoire. Maestro Canales is also an accomplished Classical Guitarist, as well as competent Pianist, Organist, and Percussionist. 

Most recently, Michael answered a request from his friend, a church music director in the Chicago area.  An instrumental prelude was needed for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Cello and Harp to celebrate All Saints Day services.  Michael quickly composed a new piece on Monday, and had the piece to him on Tuesday.  Here is the beautiful composition he created in less than 24 hours!

Sandy Isaacs
Director, Beacon of Hope Food Pantry
Sandy worked several years in a Lutheran church as a Marketing Assistant and Secretary and as a Public Relations Manager for a food pantry/emergency resource center. During that time, she served as Trinity Lutheran Church-Davison’s Co-Coordinator for Family Promise of Genesee County. Sandy has over 14 years of office management experience and is also a substitute teacher for grades K-12 in various school districts.

Sandy graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Oakland Community College. She plans on attending Wayne State in the Fall.

Sandy lives in Troy with her daughter, Logan. Her older daughter, Lindsey, lives in Kalamazoo and attends Western Michigan University. Sandy’s engaged to be married to Adam, but they have not set a date yet. She and Adam both grew up in Troy and graduated from Athens High School. In her spare time, Sandy does animal rescue, and enjoys volunteer work, photography, graphic design, writing, and gardening.