Clergy, Staff, and Interns
The Reverend Daniel Vélez-Rivera, Vicar
Fr. Daniel’s passion is to help make the Episcopal Church relevant and accessible to all people in their spiritual and life journeys. He is committed to nourishing and strengthening communities by raising multigenerational and multiethnic leaders to be Christ’s ambassadors inside and outside the walls of the church.
Fr. Daniel's ministry began as a church planter; he established a Hispanic ministry at Grace Church and then founded the bilingual congregation of St. Peter's ~ San Pedro in Salem, MA. He served as Interim Rector at St. Michael and All Angels in Baltimore, MD, and he consulted for the Office of Hispanic/Latino Ministries of The Episcopal Church Center.
Fr. Daniel was appointed by the Presiding Bishop to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee in the last triennium and he is currently the personal representative for the President of the House of Deputies on the Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism. Fr. Daniel has a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Englneering and a dual master’s degree in Divinity and Social Work from Boston University. One of his most gratifying achievements was to help found Esperanza Academy, a tuition-free Episcopal middle school for girls in Lawrence, MA.
In his free time Fr. Daniel likes to be with friends and family; he enjoys cooking and eating, running, playing golf, listening to music, dancing, and learning.
Contact information - Office: 703-293-0070, Cell: 571-293-0070, Email: Fr.Daniel@saintgabriels.net, Twitter: @PadreDVR.
The Reverend Holly Hanback, Deacon
The Rev. Deacon Holly Hanback, was appointed by the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Diocesan Bishop of Virginia to Saint Gabriel's in Advent, 2016. Deacon Holly's ministry at St. Gabriel's includes serving our bilingual community and the people in greater Leesburg and Loudoun. Her secular vocation is as pastoral as is her clerical vocation, she works for the Loudoun County Public School as a Parent Liaison. Deacon Holly also serves on the board of Mobile Hope, a non profit that serves precariously housed teens. Her service ministry includes Grace to Go, a ministry for the food insecure in Leesburg.
The word “deacon” derives from the Greek work diakonos meaning “servant” or “minister.” The deacon’s service is a sign or sacrament of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve. The ministry of a deacon is to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as a servant of those in need (especially the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely), and to assist bishops and priests in the proclamation of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments; at St. Gabriel's Deacon Holly proclaims the love and Spirit of Jesus in English and Spanish!
In the Episcopal Church, a deacon is one of four orders of ministers: lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons. There are two types of deacons: transitional deacons, and vocational deacons. Transitional deacons are those who serve for a specific period (typically six months to one year) prior to ordination as priests. Deacon's such as Holly are called to a lifetime of Diaconal ministry.
Holly and her husband Clint are the parents of four beloved children. Meet Holly and you will know that you are in the presence of a spirit filled and beloved child of God. You can reach Holly at email@example.com or by calling the office at 703-770-3616.
Peter N. Schweitzer, Music Director
Peter Schweitzer has been involved in music at St. Gabriel's since the initial launch in 2002, playing flute and piano, and singing. Currently he leads the choir and provides piano accompaniment, in addition to choosing the music in our English language worship services, keeping a history of our musical life together in a web-enable database. In the Spanish-language service he plays the flute and sings with the choir, with occasional piano.
He was a member of the choirs of St. James' before the launch of St. Gabriel's, is a graduate of EFM, and has led numerous small group studies at St. James' and at St. Gabriel's.
By day Peter is an earth scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey.
Peter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David (Dj) Gunning, Jr., Parish Administrator
David "Dj" Gunning is a Baltimore native and currently resides in Frederick, MD. Dj is an Aspirant to Holy Orders (Priesthood) in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Organist/Choirmaster at Grace Episcopal Church in Brunswick, MD and sings in the Sunday Evensong choir at St. Paul's K Street on K Street in Washington, DC. He has also recently transitioned from a 15-year career in Broadcasting and Journalism, having worked at radio stations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and locally at 92.5 WINC FM.
Becoming involved in the day to day operations at St. Gabriel's is a big step in transitioning his life's focus to service to the church. Dj is an avid connoisseur of music of all types, wine, food and locally produced microbrews and spirits. He also enjoys taking his 8 year old chihuahua/better half, Chloe on adventures to local state parks and beaches, and spending time with friends and family.
Kurt Aschermann, Lay Pastoral Associate
Kurt Aschermann is semi-retired and dedicates his time to providing probono consulting services to nonprofits through his consulting firm ka6consulting. His career of over 40 years was primarily in marketing and resource development; he was the Chief Marketing and Development Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he was a civil servant for the government, and was a school teacher.
Three years ago, Kurt founded Community Table of Loudoun a successful ‘elegant sit-down dinner’ for the food insecure in northern Virginia which has served over 2500 meals since its inception. CTL involves more than 20 different faith communities in providing this free program to anyone who wishes to attend.
Kurt created a small group ministry for adults program called followHim. This adult formation program gives Christians a sense of community, and it helps participants understand what Jesus calls us all to do and how to be better disciples. Kurt has formed followHim groups in Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic faith communities, because one of his values is integration and authentic inclusion which is why he fits so well at Saint Gabriel's! Kurt lives in Leesburg, Virginia, has three children, and two grandchildren.
Kurt is a Companion of Our Lady of the Holy Cross where he gets spiritual fulfillment. He also assists the brothers at the Trappist Monastery in Berryville, VA as spokesperson for vocations and with fund raising programs. He has developed a series of retreats called Monastic Immersion Weekends, providing lay men and women the opportunity to pray and retreat in silence with the monks, praying in choir, and learning on monastic practices.
Kurt can be reached at email@example.com or by calling the office at 703-770-3616.
Darren Steadman, Seminarian
Darren comes to St. Gabriel´s from Richmond, VA via Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria where he is a second-year seminarian. He has served as a youth minister and teacher for many years and worked at the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia´s Shrine Mont summer camp for thirteen summers, most recently as the Explorer´s Camp Director. Darren is also a graduate of Virginia Tech.
Part of Darren´s vocational formation will take place within the dual language congregation of St. Gabriel ~ San Gabriel; the congregation is honored to participate in his clerical formation!
“I am presently so thankful that God has carried me this far, and has now led me to the good people of St. Gabriel’s. I aim to share great worship, learning and all of life’s adventures with you all.”
Darren loves playing guitar and singing, cooking and playing almost any sport. For fun Darren can be found throwing a frisbee, playing board games, and laying in the grass staring at the clouds.
You can read and see his recorded sermons on this website.
Contact information - firstname.lastname@example.org.