Late in January 2017, the vestry voted unanimously to call The Rev. Michele H. Morgan to be the 12th Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill. Michele served as St. Mark’s Interim Rector from June 2015 through January 2016. This new call followed a period of an additional year during which Michele served the parish as Priest-in-Charge. Learn more about the steps leading up to this call in a special letter from the Vestry to the parish.
Michele was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the seventh of nine children, where she learned her love of hockey [Canada’s national pastime] and baseball [the Morgan children could field their own team]. After growing up in a family that moved frequently, she made her own move to Minnesota to attend the College of St. Catherine. Following a long stint in retail management, she went to The General Seminary of the Episcopal Church in NYC. Arriving in New York in late August 2001, her call to serve the people of God was formed by many things, but most notably the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Michele has served successfully in a number of churches in Minnesota, including Stillwater, St. Cloud, and Minneapolis, as a Transitional Rector helping congregations choose and live into new leadership. As a screaming extrovert, the work of Parish Ministry speaks to her soul; she gets to help people live into creating a deeper sense of community by doing justice work for all people and she gets to connect people together.
Michele lives with her wife Michelle Dibblee and their rat terrier mix Rosie, the thug princess, in NW DC. Her best day ever is to ride her bike while listening to her beloved Minnesota Twins as she dodges traffic, getting home and see the final couple of innings.
The Reverend R. Justice Schunior, “Justi,” grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM and Annapolis, MD, as well as Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Before ordination, Justi worked in China as an English teacher and then in non-profit fundraising in Atlanta, GA. Her passions include social justice, environmental stewardship, good liturgy, and good preaching.
Justi served as a clergy resident at Christ Church, Alexandria, before accepting a call to St. Mark’s in 2011 as assistant rector. Her title was changed to Associate Rector in June 2012. When she is not at church Justi enjoys reading — especially good fiction and every page of the New Yorker magazine — politics, practicing Spanish, Bikram yoga, and Carolina basketball.
Jeff Kempskie has served as Director of Music and organist since fall of 2010. There he directs the Chancel Choir, oversees the Boys & Girls Choir and Teen Choir, and manages all other aspects of the music program. In addition to his responsibilities at St. Mark’s, Jeff accompanies the University Singers at George Washington University, is a regular substitute countertenor at the Washington National Cathedral, sings with the Cantate Chamber Singers, and maintains a small piano studio.
Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Jeff taught choral music at the Eaglebrook School and Quabbin Regional Middle/High School while also serving as Organist or Director of Music at a variety of churches of different denominations – Unitarian Universalist, Catholic, Episcopal and Presbyterian – in Massachusetts and New York. He has been piano and organ accompanist for choirs at the Eastman School of Music, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Additionally, Jeff has music-directed or played keyboard for nearly sixty musical theater productions.
He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying conducting with Dr. E. Wayne Abercrombie. He also earned a Master’s degree in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Dr. William Porter. Other significant teachers include Larry Schipull on organ and Kevin McGinty on piano.
Caroline McReynolds-Adams joined St. Mark’s in August 2015. Caroline comes to St. Mark’s from Nashville, TN where she served as Assistant Youth Minister at West End United Methodist Church. In Nashville, she also worked as Assistant Director of Programming at a non-profit retreat center where she curated an art gallery and wrote liturgy for a weekly Vespers service. She has an undergraduate degree from Belmont University and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University where she also earned a certificate in Religion and the Arts in Contemporary Culture.
Caroline really enjoys playing board games and eating too many pupusas. She mildly enjoys keeping her dog, Lola, from eating all the squirrels in Lincoln Park. She does not enjoy scary movies at all.
Her main responsibilities include recruiting, convening, supervising, and contributing to teams of parishioners who plan and execute youth activities, events, outreach, and Sunday School classes; serving as St. Mark’s liaison to youth leaders in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; completing administrative duties such as maintaining youth budget accounts, maintaining an online calendar of family and youth events, and tracking which parishioners and staff have completed diocesan sexual abuse prevention training.
Patricia began as St. Mark’s Finance Manager in November 2015. Contact Patricia for help with making a pledge or a donation, or any aspects of the church’s finance system.
Diana Church, Parish Administrator for Programs and Facilities
The most recent addition to the St. Mark’s staff team, Diana Church serves as the Parish Administrator for Programs and Facilities. In that role, she manages the St. Mark’s calendar, produces the weekly bulletins for church services, and manages the office-related accounts payable and office equipment. With a professional background in philanthropy and fundraising, she is eager to use her project management, customer service and organizational skills. In addition, Diana continues in her role as capital campaign consultant for the Episcopal Church Foundation. Prior to joining St. Mark’s and ECF, she managed a government grants portfolio for a faith-based humanitarian aid organization and served as program officer for a family foundation. A lifelong Episcopalian, Diana is an active volunteer in her home parish of Christ Church Capitol Hill and the Diocese. In her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, she served on the search committee for the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Kentucky. She holds a BA from Sweet Briar College and an MSc from the London School of Economics. When she has free time, she enjoys competitive swimming, knitting and all things DIY.