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Staff

       
The Reverend Jon Strand    

The Reverend Jon C. Strand, Rector
The Reverend Jon Strand has been called to be Holy Comforter’s new Rector. For the past 16 years he has been the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Natick, Massachusetts, following three years as Priest-in-Charge there. Before coming to St. Paul’s, he served for six 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 has grown from fewer than 100 members to about 500 today, 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 eighth grade.

Jon will start work at Holy Comforter in mid-March, with his first Sunday being March 18, two weeks before Easter.


Brynn Pacitti    

Brynn Pacitti, Interim 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!


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.


Tom Gadell    

Tom 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 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.


Elys McLean    

Elys 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 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.


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.

     

Linda Meyers, Director of Holy Comforter Episcopal Preschool


     

Victor Hernandes, Sexton