The Rev. Javier Garcia Ocampo, Priest in Charge
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Javier Garcia Ocampo is from Mexico City. He began his ministry at Ascension in the Summer of 2014 after serving in the Diocese of Mexico City as a Vicar of the Church of La Santa Cruz for ten years. He grew up in a little town in Morelos State, Mexico, called Jojutla and moved to Mexico City to study at the Saint Andrew’s Anglican Seminary and the Theological Community of Mexico where he received a degree in Divinity.
As a cradle Episcopalian, Javier has been working for the Church in Mexico for many years. When he was at the Seminary, with a group of seminarians they planted a new church called “Cristo Rey”. He started his ministry working with the youth group and children. He was part of the OPAJUV (Young Adult Diocesan Committee). He was working also in Cursillo and Happening.
He was ordained as a Deacon in September of 2001 and as a Priest in October of 2002.
He is fascinated by languages, having studied English and Sign Language (in Spanish) and studying different cultures. For fun, he enjoys bike riding, physical fitness, reading books, travel, going to the movies and listening to music.
The Rev. Nancy Hildebrand
I am a second career priest having started my ministry life as a social worker and
social activist on behalf and with people with disabilities. At some point in this
wonderful work, I sensed God’s call to ordination and I answered that call 17 years
ago. Nearly eleven years ago, I was ordained as a priest in the Diocese of
Washington. I received my Masters in Divinity in 2006 at Wesley Seminary, my Post-
Graduate Diploma in Anglican Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary in 2007 and
am now in the dissertation phase of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Wesley
Seminary. Six years ago, I had the privilege of being the assistant rector at Church at
the Ascension, so it is with special joy that I re-joined you in ministry late in the fall of
2017. As your pastoral associate, I am supporting the pastoral visitors and
Eucharistic Visitors of the Church, and am assisting Fr. Javier with worship services.
I am the proud wife of Dr. Peter Hildebrand who is a retired climate change scientist
who was the former Director of Earth Sciences at NASA Goddard and, who, now, is a
busy climate change activist. We are the equally proud parents of three adult
children who chose wonderful in-law children for us to love and cherish as our own
and who obliged us with four amazing grandchildren. God is good, all the time!
The Rev. Eugene Wright
My name is Eugene Wright and most people call me Gene. In my secular life, I have been a Restaurateur, from Bus Boy to Director of Operations. I have also worked as a Real Estate agent selling, and leasing Residential and Commercial properties.
In the church, I have been through all aspects of Church Life. As a young man, I went to Sunday School, was in the choir, and a member of the youth fellowship. As a grown–up, I have been a member of the Vestry, Junior warden, Senior warden, led weekly prayer meetings, Chaired the Stewardship and Evangelism committee, been a Lay Eucharistic Minister, Lay visitor and been part of the Diocese’s delegation to a Project Resource Conference learning about stewardship. In continuation of my ongoing spiritual journey, I finished my training as a Deacon and was ordained on the 22nd of September 2018.
Andrew Kullberg, Minister of Music
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Andrew Kullberg began his ministry at Church of the Ascension in September 2018. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and developed an interest in music at a very young age. Through musical opportunities in his church and school, Andrew developed his musical abilities and learned to play multiple instruments fluently. He attended Eastern University outside of Philadelphia and majored in music education with a concentration in piano. While attending undergrad, Andrew grew as a church musician by singing in various choirs and playing piano and organ for numerous worship services in and out of state.
After graduating, Andrew returned to his hometown to start a career in teaching for Montgomery County Public Schools and working part-time at Colesville Presbyterian Church. At Colesville, he served various music positions for six years including Children’s Choir Director, Director of Contemporary Worship, Organist, and eventually, Director of Music.
Andrew currently teaches a diverse population of over 400 students at Meadow Hall Elementary School in Rockville and is the Conductor of the Montgomery County Central Honors Chorus. Additionally, he serves on occasion as Piano Accompanist for Bet Aviv, a Reform Jewish Congregation in Columbia, MD. Andrew lives in Bethesda and is currently working towards his Masters of Music in Education at University of Maryland.
Lin Keene, Parish Administrator
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Lin joined the Church of the Ascension staff as the Parish Administrator in August 2017. Lin brings a background of experience in accounting and office management to the parish. Originally from New York City, she is a Navy veteran, and earned her degree in Accounting while the family lived in the Hampton Roads region in Virginia.
In addition to supporting the day-to-day operations at Church of the Ascension, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and riding her motorcycle as much as the weather allows.
Lin and her husband relocated to Maryland after they retired from the Navy in 2013. She is a proud mother of two children, Paul, who resides in Boston, MA, David, who resides in Richmond, VA, and two fur babies (dogs), Chaucer and Miss, that reside in Clarksburg.
Jesse Velazquez was born in the city of Washington DC. His family is originally from El Salvador, a small country in Central America. Jesse has been a member of the Ascension Church since the summer of 2017. He has served as a choir director in various churches. Jesse has proudly served as a director of the Latin choir in St. Gabriel Church in Washington DC, St. Michael Episcopal Church in the city of Hyattsville MD, as well as The Episcopal Church of Our Savior in Hyattsville MD and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hyattsville MD. Jesse oversaw the social networks of St Matthew’s Episcopal Church and was the technical director of the St Matthew’s Radio Station. Now he currently runs the social networks for the Ascension Church. Jesse has started to develop his knowledge in music from an early age with private teachers. He learned to play a variety of different instruments including the piano, bass, guitar, etc. Currently, he and his wife Yanira Servano proudly serve in the Ascension Church in Gaithersburg MD as the choir director and member in the Spanish service. He and his wife have three sons that are very happy to be with them. He is now very happy and joyous to be serving at the Church of the Ascension.
Parish Officers and Vestry
Senior Warden: Zadinga Ogada
Junior Warden: Kristen Keating
Clerk to the Vestry:
Treasurer: Gary McLaughlin
Adoma Gerty Baffoe
Ruth Anna Skowronski
Mission Area Leaders
Christian Formation for Children: Megan Didavi
Christian Formation for Youth: Angie Hight-Walker
Christian Formation for Adults: Peg Ruppel
Facilities: Randall Adams and Ted Bedell
Finance: Gary McLaughlin
Health and Wellness: Danielle Allen
Mission: Paul Boynton
Outreach: Eugene Wright
Parish Life: Janet King
Pastoral Care: Javier Ocampo
Personnel: Kristen Keating
Race, Equity & Social Justice: Laurie Yelle and Richard Chasdi
Worship: Curt Lindsay
Youth Group: Angie Hight-Walker
Delegates to Diocesan Convention
Mardia Dennis, Ruth Anna Skowronski, Sue Snay
Alternate: Fredy Diaz