Rev. Michele Morgan, Rector
On April 30, 2017, the Rev. Michele H. Morgan was installed as the 12th Rector of St. Mark’s Capitol Hill. It was a joyous celebration, officiated by the Right Reverend Mariann Budde, Bishop of Washington.
Michele was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the seventh of nine children, where she learned her love of hockey and baseball. 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 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. The work of parish ministry speaks to Michele’s soul. Not shy—in fact, possessing what she herself calls a “screaming extrovert” personality—she loves to connect people and help those within the parish, as well as those without, live into creating a deeper sense of community by doing justice work for all people.
Michele lives with her wife Michelle Dibblee and their rat terrier mix in Northeast DC. Her best day ever is to ride her bike while listening to her beloved Minnesota Twins as she dodges traffic, getting home in time to see the final couple of innings.
Rev. Scott Lipscomb, Assistant Rector
The Rev. Scott Lipscomb is a newly ordained transitional deacon from the Diocese of Maryland. He graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 2014 and went on to pursue doctoral work in philosophical theology at the University of Virginia. While continuing his academic work, however, he realized God was calling him to ministry rather than the academy, and so in 2015 he began discerning a call to ordination.
Scott spends his free time playing (and watching) soccer, running, reading, playing board games, wasting too much time on his computer, and spending time with his wife Anne and his daughter Magdalena (Maggie).
Anne and Scott met at Seminary, and Anne is currently serving as Associate Rector of St. James’s Parish in Lothian, Maryland.
Rev. Cindy Dopp, Vocational Deacon
The Rev. Cindy Dopp was ordained on Sept. 30, 2017, at the National Cathedral, along with four other deacons. They are the first “class” of vocational deacons to be ordained in the Washington diocese, with more to follow over the next few years. A vocational deacon is a “permanent” role and not a step toward becoming a priest. Cindy’s part-time vocational work at St. Mark’s is unpaid and is carried out in tandem with her career as a chaplain. Cindy tells it (from an e-Gospel article in 2017):
“I work as an inpatient hospital chaplain at George Washington University Hospital. In addition, I am a chaplain for an outpatient palliative care clinic through an organization called George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWIsh). GWish promotes the integration of spirituality and health care in various ways, including research studies, international conferences, and medical school education and training.
I graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2011 with a Masters of Divinity. I am now in the midst of earning a Doctor of Ministry degree at Wesley.
I have been an active member at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in northwest DC for the past 27 years. While at St. C’s, I participated in a variety of ministries, including lay eucharistic ministry, healing, reading, adult education, and Stephen Ministry training and leadership. I also served on Senior Ministries and Pastoral Care committees and as a diocesan lay delegate.
I have been married for 31 years to my husband, Michael. We have three children (James, Carolyn, and Peter) who are 30, 28, and 24 years old. They live in China, New York City, and Denver respectively. We also have a highly anxious but loving dog named Benny.
I look forward to meeting all of you and to being part of the wonderful community of St. Mark’s.”
Andrew Arakawa, Seminarian
Andrew is a candidate for Holy Orders from the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi. He is in his second year of studies at Virginia Theological Seminary and began his year as Seminarian in September 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature and European History from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Andrew has taught U.S. history and Hawaiian history at the Kamehameha Schools (a school for Native Hawaiian children).
Before moving to Virginia, Andrew was a partner in his wife Kimberly’s PR, marketing, and development firm and served as a chaplain for Hospice of Hilo in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. He was also in Waiolaihuiʻia, which is the Diocese of Hawaiʻi’s local formation program that is part of the Iona Initiative, for individuals seeking ordained ministry. Andrew holds a black belt in the Japanese martial art Aikido and served as one of the instructors at his dojo in Hawaiʻi. He and Kimberly have been married for 23 years and have an 11-year-old son named Liam.
Jeff Kempskie, Director of Music
Jeff Kempskie has served St. Mark’s as Director of Music and organist since the fall of 2010. 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 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. In addition, Jeff has music-directed or played keyboard for nearly 60 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. Jeff 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, Director of Youth & Family Ministries
Caroline McReynolds-Adams joined St. Mark’s in August 2015. She came 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 nonprofit 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 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 Schans, Finance Manager
Patricia began as St. Mark’s Finance Manager in November 2015. Contact her for help with making a pledge or a donation or any aspects of the church’s finance system.
James Rostron, Parish Administrator for Programs and Facilities
James is very happy to be making St. Mark’s the home of his new, second career after teaching middle and high school mathematics for 23 years at schools in D.C., Maryland, California, and Brazil. He has been involved with the Episcopal Church in various capacities for more than 25 years, including five years exploring a monastic vocation at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York, until December 2016. James enjoys hiking, traveling, music, and discovering new things. He is glad to be back in DC, near family and friends, and combining his love of the church and of keeping things organized.
As Parish Administrator, James handles space use contracts and reservations, keeps the parish calendar updated, prints the weekly bulletins and announcements, and manages office-related accounts payable and the office equipment.
Katherine Parr Philipson, Bulletin Coordinator
Katherine grew up in Oregon and has lived in D.C. for seven years. She has worked as an advocate and organizer for peace, economic and racial equity, and climate stability. When not at St. Mark’s, Katherine manages a house for the Church of the Brethren Volunteer Corps, sings in a social justice a cappella choir, and seeks to become more healthy and aligned with divine purpose.