Dean Miller, Rector
Dean Miller loves a good story: your story, novels, movies, plays, graphic novels, sports drama, and especially God’s Story. Much of Dean’s story can be organized in two’s:
- Attending two Southern California undergraduate schools for college (Claremont McKenna College and Azusa Pacific University)
- Loving two stints with InterVarsity (one before, one after seminary)
- Loving two stints in business (one with a small company specializing in New Testament travel packages, one in sales with Apple)
- Loving two Anglican parishes (The Falls Church Anglican, and since 2014 The Church of the Ascension.
That said, there are other significant numbers in Dean’s story. Dean graduated from one graduate school, Regent College, in Vancouver, finishing in 1999 as the Board of Governor’s Recipient in Proficiency for the Master of Divinity degree. Dean has three wonderful children (two boys, one girl).
And Dean is the honored husband of one wife, Mary Ellen.
Want to share your story with Dean? He can be reached at through our contact form.
Want to keep up with his story? He can be followed at @deanhmiller.
Morgan Reed, Assisting Priest
“Since the age of 14 I have felt called to pastoral ministry and at age 20 I left behind my beloved homeland of Northern California to attend the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, in 2006. There I began a B.A. in pastoral ministry.
Halfway through that program I was blessed to marry the love of my life, Ashley, who was waiting for me back in Northern California. After a short hiatus in 2008 so that Ashley and I could get married (and so that she could finish her schooling), we moved back to Chicago so that I could finish my degree. At Moody, I began to study Greek and Hebrew and felt called to become a professor, so we moved to Dallas in 2010 so that I could pursue a ThM in Old Testament. While in Dallas, the study of Syriac literature led me into the study of the Tradition of the Church (patristics) and I began attending the Episcopal Church in Dallas in 2011. In 2012 I transferred to the Catholic University of America where I earned an M.A. in Syriac and Hebrew. I am currently a PhD candidate in Syriac and Hebrew literature which means that I am currently writing my dissertation.
We have lived in Arlington for five years and love the community here. I was ordained as a Deacon in May 2016 in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and a priest in June 2017. My pastoral passion is helping people experience God’s transforming grace through the life of the Church (both now and historically) and therefore I’ve often joked about being the cleric with a thurible in my right hand and a tambourine in my left. When I am not working, you will probably find me cooking something delicious, enjoying craft-roasted coffee and conversation, or riding a bike alongside Ashley on one of many bike trails in Northern Virginia or in D.C.”
Andy Zipf, Music Director
Originally from the Midwest, I planted roots in the D.C. area in 2000. I’ve been a touring singer/songwriter for the past twelve years, and recently released my latest album ‘Name The Fear’. My wife Miriam and I have been attending Ascension since 2012 and we have a brand new beautiful baby boy named Aiden. One of my favorite sounds is a group of people singing a chorus together at the top of their lungs.
Judi Deatherage, Children’s Director
I’m originally from Anchorage, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest, which definitely shaped my longing and appreciation of outdoor magic and majesty. I earned a math education degree from John Brown University in Arkansas, and while teaching met and married my husband Todd. We’ve been married for 27 years. We moved to Northern Virginia in December 1996, after Todd got a job with a U.S. Senator.
We have been at our address in Annandale growing a family and working on community for most of the last 20 years. We have 4 children: Abby, just out of college and currently living/teaching in the UK; Zach, a junior at James Madison; William, a freshman at Virginia Tech, and our youngest Anna, an 8th grader at Trinity in Fairfax.
As the kids have grown I’ve done a variety of jobs outside the home including substitute teaching, independent contracting, and retail. I love to hike and walk/run outside, am usually game for any fun adventure, and enjoy community theater. I’m also part of a fantastic book club.
I’m very much looking forward to coming alongside the staff and body of Ascension in loving and growing the littlest members. I love the light and possibilities that our little “image bearers” bring and my hope and prayer is that each child would feel loved, welcomed, and connected as part of a broader family.
Meagan Casselberry, Parish Administrator
Meagan hails from Florida and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). She served in Campus Ministry with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) at her alma mater- UF, the University of Georgia, and finally the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, China where she met Ryan, her husband of almost seven years.
They spent their first two years of married life in Atlanta, Georgia where Meagan continued with the Regional Leadership Development Team at Cru training campus ministry interns and new staff. Since Ryan was offered a position as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State in 2012, they’ve spent time between D.C.; Shenyang, China; and their most recent posting- Yangon, Myanmar. In Yangon, Meagan served as the Embassy’s Community Liaison Officer welcoming new staff to the Embassy and designing events and programs to encourage high morale among the American staff and their family members.
After two exciting years in steamy Myanmar, Meagan is very much excited to be back in the U.S., enjoying seasons like Autumn and Spring again for the first time in a while, and being reunited with her Ascension family. The Casselberrys are also looking forward to welcoming their first child in October.
The Parish Council is the primary leadership body of our church, composed of both clergy and elected lay members. The lay members serve three-year terms, and take up specific responsibilities for the administration and leadership of Ascension.
Luther Weber, Senior Warden
Born the son of a minister of a large congregation in a small midwestern town, there was much expectation that my vocational path would follow my father’s footsteps. However at a young age, my interest in art, planning and construction took me down another path. After obtaining a degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati and working in several major cities, I settled in Washington DC, worked for one of my architectural heroes and eventually set up my own residential design practice. I was also blessed to meet my lovely wife Becky and raise two boys.
I am a sinner by birth, and a saint by God’s grace. I first met Jesus in my Baptism…then my mother’s loving arms and in the cool soft folds of my father’s vestments enveloping me as I hugged his legs after services with the sun pouring through tall stained glass windows displaying powerful images of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have known Jesus and felt His presence in my life as long as I can remember. A grateful beneficiary of the Great Exchange, I consider it no small miracle that Jesus sought me in the womb, washed me in the waters of Holy Baptism, raised me to new life by the power of the Holy Spirit, taking my sin to the cross in exchange for Christ’s own perfect righteousness, liberating me from the tyranny of the Law and bondage of sin. Over 50 years later, this still takes my breath away. When life’s circumstances, my own sin and Satan, attack my faith…when my success pulls me toward selfish pride or my failures send me sliding toward self pity, I go deeper into the passion of Christ and that simple Gospel truth through prayer nourished by Word and Sacrament. My spiritual growth has not been about needing the cross less, moving beyond it, or graduating from it…but rather letting the Holy Spirit drive me to the foot of the cross daily, allowing me to see my own sin more clearly, so that I might depend on the finished work of Christ more thoroughly…with faith like a child.
I see Ascension as a thriving congregation living under this Grace for His service in the church and our vocations. We are full of educated, talented folks who are well versed in Christian teachings, care deeply for one another and are very involved in sustaining our various ministries. We have a heart for worship, local service and global mission. We also have many young growing families who are attracting more young growing families. I believe our challenge continues to be nurturing within, while reaching out. That is, nurturing faith rooted in scriptural understanding at many ever changing age levels while seeking and serving those who have never experienced the love of God or heard the Good News of Christ’s saving work on our behalf. My prayer is that the proclamation of the Gospel remains at the center of it all, so that ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’.
Corrie Paeglow, Peoples’ Warden
A proud native of upstate New York, Corrie moved to Washington in 2011 and has been attending Ascension pretty much ever since. She teaches public health at George Mason University, and strongly encourages you to wash your hands and get a flu shot. She loves travelling, reading and cold brew coffee and despises closed toed shoes.
Kelly Barrow, Treasurer
Kelly Barrow and her husband Chris have been attending Ascension since the fall of 2013. After growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, Kelly moved to Greenville, SC where she attended Furman University. In 2012, she left South Carolina to attend the Trinity Fellows Academy in MD. Her time there was foundational for her Christian walk and served as her first introduction to Anglicanism (a shift from her non-denominational and Presbyterian background). Kelly is now a Financial Planner at TIAA in DC and serves as the church Treasurer. She, Chris, and their son James reside in Del Ray where they enjoy the friendly neighbors, goofy dog parades and an only mildly annoying commute. Kelly also loves cooking, travel, filing taxes and most importantly, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jordan Everett, Secretary
Jordan came to Anglicanism through a series of rabbit trails that began with experiencing the Coptic church in Egypt, and has been involved with Ascension since June 2012. Originally a native of Pittsburgh, Jordan has lived in Northern Virginia for over six years. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, Anglican-ing, and shamelessly cheering on the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates.
Katrin van der Vaart, Member at Large
Born in Germany with a German father and English mother, Katrin was educated in England. She met Bert, her husband of 38 years, at Oxford where she failed her organic chemistry exam. They made the last of their 15+ moves 2 years ago and those moves and ministry trips to the DR and South Sudan have given her a heart for the newcomer, the international and ESOL ministry. Home-schooling their 4 children on 3 different continents has helped her recognize the importance of training each child in ‘the way he should go’ and rekindled a delight in children’s literature. Visiting a friend’s incarcerated son 8 years ago began a chapter of prison correspondence and finding ways to contribute donated books to prison libraries. Working through their own family problems with the help of the church, Katrin experienced the power of healing prayer. She continues to be involved in prayer ministry. When the pile of non-fiction reading gets too stolid she loves a good detective novel to speed through. Book recommendations ( adult and children), and donations for prisons (adult) always gratefully received.