Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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The Reverend Jon StrandThe Reverend Jon C. Strand, Rector
The Reverend Jon Strand was called to be Holy Comforter’s Rector in March, 2018. Prior to coming to Holy Comforter, he was the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Natick, Massachusetts for 16 years, following 3 years as Priest-in-Charge there. Before coming to St. Paul’s, he served for 6 years as Canon Resident at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland, Maine.

Jon received a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 1992, along with a certificate from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and a certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He also holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Wichita State University, where he was a Gore Scholar.

During his time at St. Paul’s the congregation grew from fewer than 100 members to about 500, including a flourishing youth group and extensive outreach activities. In a brief online autobiography he lists his areas of ministry focus as church growth, organizational development, preaching, music, youth ministry, hospice work, and street ministry to the homeless.

As a trumpeter, Jon has given recitals throughout New England, often in collaboration with his father, who is a church musician and retired professor of music. Jon is also an avid runner, kayaker, and an amateur telescope builder. He and his wife Beth, a nurse practitioner specializing in oncology, have three children, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mark. Both daughters are currently attending college, while their son is in 9th Grade.

The Reverend Ann GillespieThe Reverend Ann Gillespie, Senior Associate Rector and Director of the Center for Wellness and Spirituality

Personal Ministry Statement: Live light. Travel light. Follow the light. Spread the light. Help others to find their own light. Grow in the Light. Hold all in the Light. Be the light.

The Rev. Ann Gillespie arrived June 1, 2019 to serve as our Senior Associate Rector and the Director of the Center for Spirituality and Wellness. Ann brings to parish ministry a 23-year career as an actress in television and theater and 18 years as a yoga teacher. Ann’s acting career included many guest-starring roles. Some may remember her recurring characters as “Kelly’s mom” on Beverly Hills, 90210 and the second iteration in the 2000’s called ‘90201’and Nurse Jabara on Star Trek’s Deep Space 9.  Eventually the call to the altar and the pulpit won out.

After graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2007, she served as Senior Associate Rector for 11 years at Christ Church, in Alexandria. During that time she also got an MFA in Creative Writing through Seattle Pacific University’s low residency program. She is passionate about the ways her work as priest combines the ritual and pageantry of theater with the healing and transformation of yoga. She designed her own brand of yoga, meditation and God, called Finding God in Your Body that has been offered in multiple church and diocesan settings.

Just before coming to Holy Comforter, she spent a year as Consultant for Ministry and the Arts at VTS and continues to help them with special projects. She believes art and God are inextricably entwined.

The Reverend Jacqueline ThomsonThe Reverend Jacqueline C. Thomson, Pastoral Associate
The Reverend Jackie Thomson is serving as Interim Associate Rector while the search for a Senior Associate is underway. Re-joining the staff at Holy Comforter is definitely a happy homecoming for Jackie. She and her husband Barney came to Holy Comforter in 1971 and soon added four children to the ranks—Matt, Kerry, Suzanne, and Kristin. Before joining the staff as Director of Christian Education in 1982, Jackie served as a high school Sunday school teacher, as secretary for the ECW, and on the Vestry. In addition to her work in the parish, Jackie served as chair of the diocesan Committee on Education and as Provincial Partner for Province 3 to the Episcopal Church Center. 

“It was out of this community that nurtured my adult faith and out of this work in Christian formation that a call to ordained ministry emerged,” she notes. In 1995 Jackie left Holy Comforter to attend Virginia Theological Seminary. Following ordination Jackie served as Curate at St. Alban’s in Annandale from 1998 to 2000 and then as Senior Associate Rector for Pastoral Care and Adult Formation at St. Anne’s in Reston until she retired in 2013. In the Diocese she served as chair of the Commission for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct, a member of the Executive Board and President of the Standing Committee. She also enjoyed her work mentoring seminarians both as a field education supervisor and as a Colloquy mentor at Virginia Seminary.

Jackie graduated from Simmons College in Boston with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and secondary education. She and Barney met at Trinity Church in Copley Square and moved to the DC area where he worked as a civilian naval architect for the Navy and she taught high school English. 

In retirement Jackie has lived out her priestly calling serving as supply clergy in a number of churches in the area and as a volunteer chaplain at INOVA Fairfax Hospital and at the Washington National Cathedral. She enjoys time spent visiting her twelve grandchildren and hosting them for Camp Grammie in the summer. She also enjoys gardening (though outsmarting the deer is growing more challenging!), walking in her neighborhood, swimming and trying to improve her bridge game.

Brynn PacittiBrynn Pacitti, Director of Children's Ministries
Brynn has been working as the Interim Director of Children’s Ministries at Holy Comforter since the fall of 2018 and has been teaching children (ages 3–14) for over twenty years. She began her teaching career in Upstate NY as an elementary classroom teacher after completing her BA degree from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY in Psychology, Elementary and Special education.

After moving to Virginia, she earned a master’s degree in reading from the University of Virginia and was a classroom teacher and literacy coach to other teachers in several Fairfax County Public Schools, including two Title I schools, where she was nominated for the Fairfax County Teacher of the Year award. The real reward, she believes, was watching the incredible growth and achievement of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and in coaching both teachers and parents. 

Brynn works as a consultant to parents and teachers empowering them to raise children who happily live to their God-given potential. She feels a calling to empower parents to mentor their children by fostering the development of the 7 research-based skills that lead to school and life success. (Focus and self-control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, self-directed, engaged learning.)

The greatest inspiration comes from Brynn’s husband John and their four children ages 2–14. Together they love to play games, ski, watch the Caps, and play in the backyard!

Dr. David KelleyDr. 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 MillerPeggy Miller, Parish Administrator and Treasurer
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.



Tom GadellTom Gadell, Facilities Manager
Tom came to Church Of The Holy Comforter from Saint Timothy Parish in Chantilly where he was the Facilities Manager of five buildings and 18 acres. He is the seventh of ten children and has lived in Vienna over 50 years. He and his wife Marty have five children and six grandchildren. Tom enjoys spending time with family, golfing, fishing, and cooking. He feels very blessed to be part of the Holy Comforter community.


Liz BleichLiz 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.




Elys McLeanElys A. McLean, Communications Designer, 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, produces, and coordinates communications and promotional products for other Episcopal churches, as well as for local and national organizations. Elys and her husband are the parents of a son and daughter—one in college and one college-bound this fall.


Patti BoergerPatti Boerger, Director of Childcare
Patti joined Holy Comforter in April 2019. After a rewarding career in public relations and marketing at major corporations and trade associations, she reflected on her life and knew she wanted to work with children in her next career. Children and animals have always been drawn to her and she to them. She loves laughing and talking with children and youth and to see their eyes light up when they understand what they have just learned. She wants the Holy Comforter nursery to be a safe, warming and inviting space that young children get excited to spend time at during service and other activities.

Patti has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in Public Communications from American University. As a past chairman and board member of SCAN of Northern Virginia, an organization dedicated to preventing child abuse, she worked to raise visibility about positive parenting skills as well as raise funds for the organization.

She spends her free time with her husband, a daughter who is in college and her spoiled dog.

Linda MeyersLinda Meyers, Director of Holy Comforter Episcopal Preschool
Linda Meyers was born and raised in Stockton,California. She has been an educator for 27 years in California, Indiana, and Virginia. Her undergraduate degree in Multidisciplinary Studies was obtained at Santa Clara University. She earned her K through 12 Teaching credential from UCLA and Masters in Professional Leadership and Administrative credential from the University of San Francisco. Linda began teaching in San Rafael, California, in a 4th Grade classroom and then went to kindergarten. Upon moving to Indiana, she discovered the wonderful world of preschool and began teaching the three and four-year-old classes.

Linda began teaching at Holy Comforter Preschool in 2006. She has taught the Threes and Pre-K classes and spent the last 6 years as the Kindergarten teacher. This is her first year as director at Holy Comforter Preschool and Kindergarten. Linda values being a part of Holy Comforter as it is a place of love, worship, and joy for her on a daily basis. Each and every day with the children is a blessing and one she treasures and thanks God for daily!

Linda has been supported and married to her wonderful husband, Chip Meyers for 30 years. They have 3 beautiful daughters, Analisa, Alexandra, and Christiana who make them proud each day.

Victor HernandesVictor Hernandes, Sexton