Community Lutheran Church exists to let other people know they matter to God, as we let them know they matter to us. We share in Christ’s love for the world through our worship and learning, and seek to reach out in His name with witness and service to all people. We believe the Holy Spirit calls us to be an inviting, caring community.
If you’re interested in what we did in 2015, take a look at our annual report: 2015 Annual Report
We are a congregation of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the Evangelical Church of America. The ELCA includes the District of Columbia and the Maryland and the Virginia suburbs, from upper Montgomery County south to the Quantico Marine Barracks, and from the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay out to the foothills of the Blue Ridge. There are about 35,000 of us in 80 congregations.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Vought
A native of Pennsylvania, The Rev. Dr. Joseph M. Vought received a Masters of Divinity degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary and Washington Theological Consortium in 1983 after graduating from Gettysburg College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy.
Ordained in 1983, Pastor Joe served Second English Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD as Associate Pastor, with an emphasis in Youth and Christian Education. In 1987 he was called to serve as Pastor-Developer of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Richmond, VA. He was responsible, along with lay leaders, for building the membership, program ministries and buildings of the congregation. During his pastorate at Our Saviour, he supervised four interns. He served as pastor/counselor to Petersburg Work Camp, a “Habitat for Humanity-like” summer camp for Senior high youth. For six years he served as a volunteer chaplain on Virginia’s “Death Row” at Mecklenburg Correctional Center and provided pastoral care to seven men before and during their executions. He has spoken publicly on the Death Penalty and has published several articles on his death row experiences.
From 1997 to 2008 Pastor Joe served as Senior Pastor of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, VA. During his eleven years the congregation’s membership grew, program staff was added and new ministries began to serve the community, such as an After-School Program for latchkey kids, an Ecumenical Lectionary Study with Pastors and an Ecumenical Campus Ministry serving James Madison University. Congregational Mission work began in West Virginia and New Orleans as well as a Missionary relationship with Rwanda School Project in Rwanda. Several capital campaigns and building projects were also undertaken. An advocate for ecumenical and interfaith affairs, Pr. Joe served as President of the Harrisonburg Interfaith Association and represented the Virginia Synod for over 20 years to encourage denominational cooperation in service, dialogue and full communion partnerships.
Pastor Joe received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Wesley Seminary in the area of Ecumenism and Reconciliation in 2005. He served as a Board Member of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, and was a volunteer Hospice chaplain.
Pastor Joe is married to Debra Swenson, who works for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health as a Case Management Specialist. They have two grown children, Kristin, who works in Development for Lutheran World Relief and Jonathan, who works as a Wellness Director for the YMCA. Pastor Joe and Debra enjoy physical exercise and have always been members of a health club. They also enjoy movies, reading and traveling.
Pastor Joe started his ministry at Community Lutheran Church in Sterling, Virginia on October 20, 2008 and spoke to us from the pulpit as our pastor for the first time on October 26, 2008. We look forward with joy to serving and building up the Body of Christ with Pastor Joe.
Pastor Joe can be reached by email at PastorJoe@communitylutheran.org or by calling the Church Office.
The Rev. Annabelle P. Markey
The Rev. Annabelle P. Markey was born and raised just over the Potomac River in Maryland. As an undergrad, Pastor Annabelle studied German, Medieval Studies, and Global Studies at Hood College and studied abroad in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. After college, she worked in the travel industry for three years while discerning a call to ministry.
She then attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and graduated with a Concentration in Theology and Public Life focused on Christian-Jewish dialogue. She also completed a Certificate in Ecumenical Studies through the Washington Theological Consortium and spent time living in the Collegium Oecumenicum, an ecumenical community in Munich, Germany. She is fascinated by Biblical Studies and the languages of Scripture.
Pastor Annabelle loves diving into the rich stories of the Bible and exploring with others what they mean for our lives today. She also enjoys pop culture and seeing how movies, music and television speak about God and the life of faith. An extrovert by nature, Pastor Annabelle relishes spending time with others, hearing what God is up to in their lives, and walking with people as they journey through life.
Pastor Annabelle began at Community Lutheran Church on October 6, 2013 and is excited to discover where God is leading the congregation!
On a lighter note, she is also passionate about tacos, travel, learning languages, singing, reading, puppies, hiking, soccer and crafting. Annabelle is married to a wonderful fellow named Jeff, has an awesome pup named Charlotte, and looks forward to meeting you!
Pastor Annabelle can be reached by e-mail at PastorAnnabelle@communitylutheran.org or by calling the Church Office.
If you are interested in or have questions about any of the following, please schedule anappointment to meet with the Pastor(s) by calling the office: (703)-430-6006. We are happy to work with you on planning and scheduling, but we must have advanced notice due to the worship schedule.
Baptism one of the sacraments of the church. It is a joy and a gift of God, one that we continue to live out throughout our lives as we participate in the community of faith and live as disciples of Christ. If you are interested in having your child baptized or being baptized yourself, the Pastor(s) will schedule a meeting with you to begin catechesis (baptismal instruction). Once we have met, we will work on scheduling a time that works with the church calendar as well as your family’s schedule.
Holy Communion or Eucharist is the other sacrament of the church. In bread and wine, Christ is present, forgiving us, filling us with his grace, and strengthening us to go out and serve in the world. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion at Community Lutheran. We normally instruct 5th Graders in First Communion, but if you feel your child is ready to receive, please schedule a meeting with the Pastor(s). Remember, your child must be baptized before receiving Holy Communion.
We are happy to help you plan your wedding here at Community Lutheran or offsite. Should you wish to be married, please contact the Pastor(s) at least six months in advance to check their schedules before you set the date and reception. Pre-marital counseling sessions must be completed prior to marriage. In addition, the wedding coordinator and accompanist would be happy to assist you in planning your big day.
When someone you love is dying or has passed away, we at Community Lutheran are here to provide spiritual support. The Pastor(s) and trained Stephen Ministers are trained and available to support you in this time. Please be sure to contact the Pastor(s) when a loved one has died, especially before making any plans with the Funeral Home/Director and family for a service date. Whether you need a Pastor to help plan the funeral arrangements, a Stephen Minister to comfort you in your grief, or food provided by Congregational Nurture, we are here to walk with you and provide care and support.
Marie was hired in 2014 and is excited to be a part of the action at CLC! She has a long administrative background and most recently was employed at a church in Colorado before moving back to the DC area. She enjoys ministering to others with a welcoming smile and compassionate heart, as well as getting her work done! When not at the office, you can find her walking her pup, baking, reading, and meeting friends for coffee. She and her husband enjoy a good movie and good food together.
Roberta came out of retirement to join us as helper to Marie. With her education and administration background she feels right at home but has discovered that she will have to enroll in classes for “quick wit” in order to keep up with her co-workers. She is delighted to have the opportunity to greet and chat with all those who come through our doors. The rest of Roberta’s time is spent volunteering where she lives, enjoying activities with her family and friends and exploring our fascinating area.
Ms. Kim is honored to be the Director at Community Kids Christian Preschool. She is a native of Sterling, Virginia. You might hear the word “ya’ll” slip once or twice due to being in Dallas, Texas until 5th grade. She has personally achieved the Educational/Experience Qualifications as a Program Administrator/Director position with NAEYC requirements under the Alternative Pathways. Ms. Kim is certified in MAT, CPR, First Aid, Daily Health Observation, and Child Abuse and Neglect.
Ms. Kim’s true calling from God is working with children for over 30 years. She is passionate about seeing every child succeed and helping families. Her go-to activities range from being in a safe environment to preparing a child for school with social and academic skills. She loves seeing every child’s huge smile and excitement on their face after accomplishing something. She loves to give and receive hugs every day! She is a proud mother of two boys; Joey is in his senior year at the College of William and Mary and Tommy is in his freshman year at James Madison University. You might see her around town watching Tommy play soccer or Joey acting or directing plays.
Jennifer Quiñones and her husband, Giovani, live in the Sterling area with their two boys Gabe and Eli. She is passionate about uplifting this community through music. Before becoming the Director of Music at Community Lutheran Church, Jennifer has been an active performer and conductor, as well as a church musician for over 25 years. It is Jennifer’s passion to illuminate the beauty and appreciation for the sacred arts in every future musician she meets. Jennifer is committed to instilling a goal of excellence through music. She believes in raising the self-esteem of every musician to overcome personal fears by education and practice. Jennifer is genuinely excited about joining the Community family, and is excited to see what things we will build together.
Becca Shelor was raised in the Shenandoah Valley and called Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center in Fort Valley, Virginia home for nearly fifteen years. Her father, Rev. Wayne Shelor was the Executive Director there and it gave her a very nontraditional “Pastor’s Kid” upbringing.
She attended Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana where she studied Theatre and was a member of Christ College (Valpo’s Honor College program). She worked a bizarre collection of campus jobs – dishwashing, transcribing alumni interviews, Resident Assistant, Costume and Set shops – and even took a semester off to study and work at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Post-grad, Becca moved to Florida to continue working for the Mouse, ending up working as a Custodian on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom – a job that was as joyful as it was stressful, but one that she now remembers fondly, despite the inherent grossness. In 2014 she moved to Sterling where she worked jobs that pay while discerning her call to ministry.
Becca started working at Community in 2014 doing Children’s Church during the summer. She returned to the program again in 2015 and, after many cups of coffee with Pastor Joe, applied for the Youth Ministry position at Community in September 2015.
Growing up steeped in the Lutheran church, Becca has taken all of her various experiences of camp ministry, synodical Lutheran Youth Organization membership, Lutheran college, Disney minion, and pastor kid and put them in a blender to pull the best of her learned skills to work as a youth leader. Currently, Becca is attending Youth Ministry Certification School at Gettysburg Seminary to learn to better organize and focus her skills for Youth Ministry.
Becca is a huge bookworm, Harry Potter nerd, and compulsive crafter. She devotes her free time to singing Broadway show tunes, watching movies, finding weird adventures, and putting stickers on things.