We serve all of our neighbors: the affluent and those experiencing homelessness; queer, straight, and transgender; cradle Episcopalians and wandering atheists; kids, retirees, and everyone in between. St. Margaret’s is a warm place to renew faith in God, care for one another, and thrive in a diverse and inclusive community.
We are inclusive and celebrate diversity. Everyone is warmly welcomed and has a place at the table.
An inclusive expression of belief in God’s work and love.
We express our beliefs about God–Source of all being, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit–and affirm our identity as beloved children of God in worship. In our worship, we take seriously the words we use to describe God and God’s people, recognizing that neither God nor humans are constrained by masculine, feminine, or binary identities. When encountering God in worship, we are formed and transformed to deepen and practice our faith.
We Seek Justice
Standing with those who are marginalized.
We speak up with those who are marginalized. We stand up for justice and equality so that we might thrive, together, as a community.
Inviting challenging questions about faith and purpose.
We invite people to bring their questions, yearnings for the holy, and hunger for meaning and purpose in life. We keep it conversational, relevant, and gentle to include life-long church attenders or someone new to the faith journey.
Serving our neighbors and community.
We love our neighbors and our communities through our actions, attitudes, and words. We actively engage the most vulnerable among us through service, solidarity, and generosity.
Women are a hallmark of St. Margaret’s witness. Sophia Little, locally famous for her “independence of judgement,” was the parish’s earliest champion. The Rev. Dr. Vienna Cobb Anderson became the first woman to serve as a Rector of a parish in the Diocese of Washington. And while the early Vestry was all male, women played the most forward-looking role in the young parish’s development, raising money to buy land and build a parish hall in defiance of vestrymen who declared it impossible.
In the 1960s, St. Margaret’s took its call to witness for justice seriously. The parish poured its resources into the Adams Morgan neighborhood by paying community organizers’ salaries and rent, plus hosting summer programs, jazz workshops, and freedom schools. One priest was hauled before a congressional committee and interrogated about his work and association with Black Power activists.
In the 1980s, St. Margaret’s embraced Dupont Circle’s burgeoning gay community, then struggling in the midst of the AIDS epidemic. Practical, day-to-day support led to spiritual renewal for the church and for the LGBT Roman Catholic organization Dignity, which began meeting at St. Margaret’s. The parish committed to reflect, and support, the surrounding neighborhoods that have become bastions of ethnic, economic, cultural, and sexual diversity.
In 1990, St. Margaret’s began serving a hot, homemade meal of rice and beans every Tuesday and Friday. Word spread among our neighbors experiencing food-insecurity and homelessness. Today Charlie’s Place, named for one of its founders, the Rev. Charlie Gilchrist, dishes up housing, social and medical services, clothing and of course food, five days a week.
From traditional missionary work in the 19th century to international outreach in the 21st, St. Margaret’s looks beyond national boundaries. Early parish ledgers show significant gifts to support work abroad, planting churches, and educating clergy. A century later, Episcopalians had laid the (often flawed) groundwork for such projects as St. Margaret’s support of medical care in a rural Honduran village. Dozens of parishioners travelled to the small town of Protección to build and repair buildings there.
Clergy & Staff
The clergy are the ordained ministers of the Church.
Richard was first called to St. Margaret’s as Associate Rector in 2017 and was later appointed priest-in-charge in 2019, when our former Rector, the Rt. Rev. Kym Lucas, was elected bishop of Colorado.
In his first four years of leadership, St. Margaret’s attendance, giving, and pledging units have grown; volunteer and formation engagement has increased; we navigated ministry during the pandemic by becoming a hybrid (online and in-person) church; we reimagined a more than 30-year-old cardinal homeless ministry program; and the parish has gone from years of consecutive deficits to three consecutive years of surpluses.
In his ministry, Richard draws upon more than a decade of non-profit, communications, fundraising, and church-related experience, including an eight-year tenure at Washington National Cathedral. Fluent in Spanish as a second language, Richard has worked with Latino congregations in D.C., Atlanta, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.
Richard was conferred a Master of Divinity degree by Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he also graduated with a certificate in Anglican Studies in 2017. Richard earned an M.A. in Arts Management from George Mason University in 2006 and returned there to teach public relations and marketing for the arts as an adjunct faculty member in 2013. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., Richard’s background is in vocal performance. He is currently a member of the Cathedral Choral Society and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.
Richard lives with his partner Alban, a journalist and social worker, and their two teenage sons, who they adopted from Colombia in 2022. Their family is passionate about helping other families who are considering adopting older children.
She loves language and studied English and French at Johns Hopkins University. Through all these things, her joy comes in helping others find new and old ways to talk to God. As Associate Rector, Diana serves the people of St. Margaret’s in the areas of formation, pastoral care and anti-racism development. She loves to preach, and would love to chat with you about your spiritual life or St. Margaret’s.
Prior to her ordination as a priest, Diana was a print and new media journalist. She has a daughter who works in Hollywood and a son who is a linguist in Sweden. She and her husband Tom live with their little dog Lola in Cleveland Park.
It is little wonder that attending an Easter Vigil and getting sprinkled with the waters from the baptismal font drew her into the Episcopal tradition. Rachelle’s calling to be a priest grew out of her formative experiences teaching and working with students in Episcopal schools.
She currently serves as the Associate Dean of Strategic Implementation and Priorities at Virginia Theological Seminary and adjunct priest at St. Margaret’s. She helps lead worship services and overall pastoral care. Rachelle lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.
Francisco was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States in 1998. Raised as a Roman Catholic, he was received into the Episcopal Church in 2006 after congregating at St. Mateo/St. Mathew’s in Hyattsville. It was under the leadership of Rev. Vidal Rivas that Francisco discerned a call to the ordained ministry.
Rev. Francisco serves as a pastoral presence at St. Margaret’s Charlie’s Place homeless program and leads Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan homeless outreach, as well as regularly serving in Sunday worship. And currently he works 8 hours a day at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School as Faculty & Staff, and he does everything for the Glory of GOD and the good of others.
Additionally, he serves the parish by updating the website, managing all church communications and volunteers. He has been with St. Margaret’s since 2017 and lives in Washington DC.
The very first time Reggie walked through the doors of Charlie’s Place it was as a client having recently lost a long time job and experiencing homelessness for the first time ever in his life in 2013.
He knew right away this was a special place as it was infectiously welcoming. Reggie knew he wanted to be a part of it. First starting as a volunteer, he eventually joined the staff as floor manager and then grew to program manager. Today, he serves as the Executive Director.
Charlie’s Place energizes him because serving others is an amazing and rewarding experience. He especially loves working with the guests who always express gratitude and are so appreciative of the work at Charlie’s Place.
Reggie currently resides in Northwest Washington D.C.
Damon was confirmed at the Washington National Cathedral in 2021. While a Pittsburgh native, Damon has resided in Washington DC for 42 years. He currently lives in Northeast DC.
She completed a chaplaincy residency with specialized training in trauma-informed spiritual care. Her other interests include yoga, writing, painting silk scarves, and learning languages. (Ask her about Papiamentu!) Mandi lives in Alexandria, Va., with her husband David, their cat Fig, and a few dozen plants.
A member of the Order of the Daughters of the King®, Jen has served in various capacities for many years with this ministry. Jen lives in Frederick, Md., with her wife Lisa, their dog Maximus, and their two cats, Buster and Casper. Aside from family, science, and church, Jen’s other love is lacrosse. She has played, coached, and umpired the game for more than thirty-five years.
The Vestry is an elected body, consisting of 12 parishioners and the Rector, who serve as the legal representatives of St. Margaret's. Supporting the church’s mission by word and deed, they ensure effective organization and planning and manage the church's resources.
A majority of our photography has been generously provided by Bob Connelly.