Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Staff

Lyndon Shakespeare    

The Reverend Lyndon C. Shakespeare, PhD, Interim Rector
The Reverend Lyndon Shakespeare serves as the Interim Rector at Holy Comforter. As Interim, Lyndon works together with the Vestry and staff to assist the parish as it enters a season of transition and renewal. He is active in the full liturgical, pastoral, and administrative life of Holy Comforter, while helping to organize and coordinate specific parts of the transition process.

A graduate of Virginia Seminary, Lyndon has served parishes in Washington, DC, Virginia, New Jersey, and Long Island. From 2011–2013, Lyndon was the Director of Program and Ministry at Washington National Cathedral. As a scholar-priest, he teaches and publishes in the areas of theological anthropology and ecclesiology. His thesis on the church as the body of Christ, written while as a member of the Archbishop's Examination in Theology, is being published in the Veritas series of Cascade Books. He currently serves as chair of the Society of Scholar-Priests.

A self-professed coffee snob, Lyndon roasts his own coffee and enjoys a few double-shots of espresso each morning. Caffeinated or not, he welcomes time with his family and the pleasures of well-written books of theology, political theory, and sociology. His Australian accent might be waning, but his love for Australia Rugby League keeps him engaged throughout the year.


The Reverend Valerie Hayes    

The Reverend Valerie J. Hayes, Senior Associate Rector
The Reverend Valerie Hayes was called to serve as Associate Rector at Holy Comforter in August of 2013. In her role as Senior Associate Rector, Valerie is responsible for congregational and pastoral care, including oversight and collaboration with lay leaders of the Stephen Ministry, the Healing Team and monthly Healing Service, the Addiction and Recovery Care Ministry, Eucharistic Visitors, the Prayer Chain and Prayer List, and the Prayer Shawl Ministry.  Valerie also coordinates Adult Formation, including Sunday Adult Forums, Adult Inquirer’s class, small group offerings, Education for Ministry, Advent and Lenten quiet days, retreats, and other Bible and book studies. She also works in collaboration with other churches in Region V and in Vienna, Virginia to foster shared ministry and outreach. She is fully involved and engaged in the worship and fellowship life of the parish. 

Before coming to Holy Comforter, Valerie served for four years as a hospital chaplain. She completed a one-year residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Georgetown University Hospital and then served as Staff Chaplain at the Clinical Research Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Valerie’s experience as a chaplain gives her unique and exceptional experience and skills for pastoral care as well as a compassionate heart and strong, non-anxious presence. While a chaplain, she served as Priest Associate at All Saints Sharon Chapel Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

Valerie earned her Master in Divinity in 2009 from Virginia Theological Seminary and also holds a Master of Education (1989) and a Bachelors of Business Administration (1987) from the University of Georgia. She has two college-aged sons, Will and Jonathan. In July of 2014, she married Jim Wolfe, a professor of business at George Mason University who has two young-adult children, Avery and James. Valerie loves to be outdoors whether it is walking, hiking, cycling, or sculling on the Occoquan—all the better when done with family—and also loves to read, watch movies, and play games. Three things she knows with absolute certainty: God loves us more than we can possibly imagine; God can heal and transform any wound or suffering; and a sense of humor is absolutely essential to life, including a life of deep faith. 


The Reverend Margaret Peel    

The Reverend Margaret E. Peel, Associate Rector
The Reverend Margaret Peel was called to serve as Assistant Rector of Holy Comforter in October 2014. In addition to sharing full liturgical and pastoral duties in the parish, Mother Margaret focuses on Student Ministries where she works with Youth and Young Adults. She was ordained a deacon in June 2013 and a priest in December 2013. Mother Margaret brings thirteen years of experience working with youth in the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Schools as well as serving as a leader for a youth outdoor adventure program.

She graduated from Sewanee, The University of the South with a Bachelor’s in English, in 2001. Several years later, in 2010, she went on to receive her Master’s in Education, with a focus on Nonprofit Leadership, from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Mother Margaret completed her Master’s in Divinity in May 2013 from Virginia Theological Seminary. She is delighted to be serving in Northern Virginia with the incredible staff and people of Holy Comforter.


David Kelley    

Dr. David Kelley, Minister of Music
David Kelley was appointed Minister of Music at Holy Comforter in May 2011, where he serves as organist and director of a full choral program affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music. David holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, as well as professional certificates from the American Guild of Organists. David has served as Dean of the Delaware Chapter AGO, as a member of the AGO’s Regional Nominating Committee for Region III, and on the faculties of the RSCM summer training course in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the AGO’s Pipe Organ Encounter in Delaware, and the Potomac Organ Institute. His compositions are included in The Crowning Glory and the Delaware Organ Book, and he has published articles in The American Organist and The Diapason.


Peggy Miller    

Peggy Miller, Parish Treasurer and Office Manager
Peggy Miller has been a parishioner at Holy Comforter for 27 years. She has been Holy Comforter's volunteer treasurer for 18 years. Peggy joined the church office staff in 2010. Prior to working at Holy Comforter, Peggy spent 33 years in banking. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in History.


Elys McLean    

Elys A. McLean, Communications Designer and Editor
Elys Mclean joined the Holy Comforter staff in June, 2008. She began her communication career at USA TODAY where she worked for 15 years as an Illustrator and Informational Graphics Specialist. Additionally, she designs and produces communications for other Episcopal churches, as well as local and national organizations. Elys and her husband Chris Coker are the parents of teenagers Kyle and Kora.


Liz Bleich    

Liz Bleich, Office Assistant
Liz Bleich has worked in the office of Church of the Holy Comforter since 2001. She holds a BA from Virginia Tech. She currently resides in Reston, Virginia with her husband of twenty years, Larry, and their two children, Joseph and Laura.


Carole Hamric     Carole Hamric, Director of Childcare
Carole Hamric joined the Holy Comforter staff in 2003. After graduating Colgate University, Carole spent 18 years in business development and marketing. She returned to school at Marymount University to study elementary education, and worked for Arlington County Public Schools in special education. Carole loves working and playing with Holy Comforter’s youngest parishioners, and is always happy when her “graduates” return for visit and a hug! Carole lives in Oakton with her husband, Clay, daughter, Emily, and her furry children, Shiloh and Fenway.

     

Susan Gosline, Director of Holy Comforter Episcopal Preschool
Preschool Director, Sue Gosline, has more than 34 years experience in early childhood education. Together with the preschool board, she has staffed the school with enthusiastic and loving teachers. All lead and assistant teachers receive continuing education in early childhood development.


     

Victor Hernandes, Sexton