Our Leadership

Rev. Sari Ateek

The Rev. Sari Ateek began his journey with St. John’s as its rector in the fall of 2010. A Palestinian Christian, born and raised in Israel/Palestine, and the son of an Episcopal priest, Sari brings a rich experience of faith and life to his ministry.

He earned his undergraduate in Business Management from Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Alabama) his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA), and a certificate in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary (Alexandria, VA).

One of the many gifts Sari brings to the church is his conversational preaching style. He believes strongly in “talking to people, not preaching at them,” and has a deep passion for communicating the word of God in a way that makes a difference to daily life and experience. Sari is also a gifted singer-songwriter, and the founder of Sacramentum, an emergent Eucharistic service that aims to bridge the gap between ancient liturgy and the “now” through the art of music, media, and setting.

Married to Tanory Ateek, and the father of two beautiful children, Naeem and Mariam, Sari’s greatest enjoyments are family time, travel, reading, music, sports, and experiencing the world through the eyes of his children. Read Sari’s blog.

Associate Rector Elizabeth Tesi
Rev. Elizabeth Tesi

Elizabeth serves as St. John’s Associate Rector, sharing in sacramental and preaching responsibilities with the Rector, and overseeing a number of ministries in our church.

Elizabeth is an experienced priest and chaplain with a strong background in pastoral care and Christian Education. Her pastoral specialties include grief work, post-traumatic and acute stress, and women’s issues. She is deeply energized by the work of developing engaging liturgies for worship as well as preaching and presiding over the Eucharist.

She is a 2004 M.Div. graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, and a 2007 M.S. graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She has held her certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains since 2010, and is trained in the use of Prepare/Enrich and the Enneagram.

Elizabeth is married to Martin Tesi, a museum professional who works for the National Archives. They both do triathlons. Elizabeth’s favorite is the bike leg. She is a very avid cyclist, and enjoys organizing rides with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. She also knits. During football season, it’s Oregon Ducks all the way, and whoever is playing from the Tesi Joint Fantasy Football Team.

Pamela Terry

St. John’s Children’s Chapel Minister, Pamela Terry, leads our children in worship each Sunday at 9 or 10 AM, helping them see God’s blessings in their lives and the world around them.

Pamela holds a degree in Music and Communication Arts from an educational institution committed to the cultivation of the spiritual life (Indiana Wesleyan University), and she offers a strong background in both theological study and children’s ministry. In addition to having served as the Director of Christian Education at Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, which she counts among the most fruitful and rewarding of her life, her experiences in religious instruction, volunteer management, and programming equip her to create a vital worship experience for the children of St. John’s.

Anne Timpane

As full-time Director of Music Ministries, Anne serves as our organist and pianist, leads three vocal choirs of all ages and a hand bell choir, works with volunteers on the Christmas pageant and youth musicals, and coordinates our concert series.

She is a magna cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College and holds a master of music degree in organ performance from Manhattan School of Music, where she was awarded the Bronson Regan Award for outstanding accomplishment in organ performance.

Anne began her career in church music as the Lee Hastings Bristol, Jr., organ scholar at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey. She has served several parishes in the New York area, including The Brick Church in New York City, Christ Church in Greenwich, and Christ Church in Bronxville. She also served St. Columba’s in Washington, DC.

Anne enjoys working with musicians of all ages and encourages you to join one of St. John’s choirs. All are invited to make a joyful noise to the Lord.

Nancy Derr

As Church School Director, Nancy Derr manages the Sunday morning classes for children and young adults from three years old through twelfth grade. She oversees the teen programs, both the Youth Group on Sunday evenings and the three teen classes of the Journey to Adulthood program on Sunday mornings.

Nancy has produced over twenty plays and musicals with the children and teens since she started in 1998, including the annual Nativity pageant by the youngest children in the church school. Church school attendance has grown nearly 600 percent in these years, to about 250, one of the largest in the area. Nancy leads a significant volunteer ministry of 28 teachers: they focus each Sunday on community, character, creativity, and Christian ritual.

A member of St. John’s since 1987, Nancy’s previous experience includes directing a small private school, grades 7-12; leading many trips with teens; working with special populations; and teaching a wide range of subjects. Nancy is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds a Ph.D. in American Studies.

Anne Derse

As St. John’s Community Life Coordinator, Anne works to create a strong, welcoming, caring and giving community. She connects parishioners and newcomers to our church’s groups and ministries, helping people find the best ways to give their gifts of faith, talent, life and professional experience to serve God; to help each other and our neighbors; and to deepen in spiritual development, discipleship and community.

She comes to St. John’s after a 31-year career as a diplomat, living abroad in Trinidad, Singapore, Korea, the Philippines, Belgium, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Lithuania. She studied French and Linguistics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, completed an MA in International Relations at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and joined the Foreign Service in 1981. She settled in Bethesda with her family in 2012, after retiring from the State Department.

Anne can be reached any time at aderse@stjohnsnorwood.org. She can meet on Monday and Thursday, and warmly welcomes ideas on how to strengthen the community of St. John’s.

Roxy Wolfe Wyand

Roxy Wolfe Wyand serves as Senior Warden of St. John’s. She leads the Vestry, the group that manages the corporate life of the church, and serves as the lay partner with our Rector in helping the church fulfill its mission and vision, managing day-to-day operations, finding and nurturing leaders, and empowering the congregation to get involved.

Johnna Story
Johnna Story

Johnna serves as St. John’s Junior Warden. She assists the Senior Warden in leading the Vestry, and is also responsible for the upkeep of the church property. Working with the Senior Warden, the Vestry and the Clergy, she helps keep parish operations as smooth, efficient and effective as possible.

The Vestry and Officers

The Vestry is St. John’s 15-person governing body, and is responsible for the corporate life of the parish. The Vestry establishes the budget, oversees finances, plans and authorizes parish activities, coordinates fundraising, oversees building and grounds planning and maintenance, and makes personnel decisions. Members include the Rector and 14 lay people who serve three-year terms and are elected by parishioners at the church’s annual meeting.

Current Vestry members, their terms, and St. Johns’ Officers (also elected at the annual meeting) include: Senior Warden Roxy Wolfe (2015-2017); Junior Warden Johnna Story (2015-2017); Vestry members Tom Hebert (2014-2017), Meredith Myers (2015-2018), John Stewart (2015-2018), Lee Walsh (2015-2018), Kevin Kehus (2015-2018), Carol Bartholomew (2016-2017), Beth Campbell (2016-2017), Jessica Snyder (2016-2017), Stefanie Bollock (2016-2019), Gary Dean (2016-2019), Ellen Miles (2016-2019), Alex Schmandt (2016-2019); Secretary Pat Cascio; Treasurer Scott Cotter; and Chancellor Craig Ulman, J.D.

Diocesan Convention Delegates

St. John’s Diocesan Convention Delegates are parishioners who represent our congregation at the annual convention of our Diocese (the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, comprised of 88 parishes including ours). We elect the delegates at St. John’s annual parish meeting. They are: Kurt Ellison (2014-2017), Liz Everhart (2015-2018), John Ross (2015-2018), Jay Mallin (2016-2019), Sue Rohan (alternate 2014-2017), Toni Hartman (alternate 2015-2018), Tom St. Clair (alternate 2015-2018), Julia Andrews (alternate 2016-2019).

Cynthia Grimes

As Director of Youth Ministries, Cynthia leads St. John’s Youth Group in fellowship, fun and service projects. She plans the highlight events of each year, including the groups’ annual beach trip, January ski trip, and week-long summer service project at Camp Joy in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, where St. John’s teens repair homes for the needy. Cynthia attends the University of Maryland; her professional experience includes social work at the Regional Institute of Children and Adolescents and serving as a volunteer EMT with the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department.

Karen Berry

Karen Berry is our Parish Administrator, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the church. When she is not busy directing building maintenance and keeping our computers working, she manages the master calendar, subs for our organist, backs up the Parish Secretary, and much more.

Liz Luck

As St. John’s Parish Secretary, Liz Luck is usually the first person to help parishioners and visitors who call or come to the office. She assists the Clergy, prepares bulletins for our worship services, and backs up the Parish Administrator when she is away from the office.

Jesus and Dora Antayhua

Jesus and Dora Antayhua are the Sextons at St. John’s, keeping our building in working order and helping us set up for events.