St. Mary Magdalene

at Rector/Priest-in-Charge
Location Aspen Hill
Date Posted September 13, 2022
Category Washington (Robert Phillips)
Job Type Half Time
Setting Urban
Compensation 62,000
Diocesan Compensation Info
Health Benefits Clergy + 1
Housing None
Is there a rectory? No
Equity Allowance No
Communicants in Good Standing 310
Average Sunday Attendance 85
Budget 242,550


Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.

Includes housing, cash stipend, and SECA

Liturgical style and practice

Broad Church, Rite II


There are several moments over the last several months of transition that might apply, but the one that resonates and has given many moments of joy is the 8:00 am worship service community morning greetings to each other. The 8:00 am worship community could have been described as small & mighty even before we began digital worship at the beginning of the pandemic. After a few weeks last November of holding in-person services that we broadcast to those not there, the community determined to remain together in a digital worship space and we have a faithful 15-20 who join each week. Some do so via a phone; others come on video. Between 7:40 am and the start of worship at 8:00 am, individuals and couples join the service and greet each other. Some are long-time “regulars” at our 8:00 am worship, others are new to the community since we have been online. Most notably, a parishioner who is a caregiver at the Arc Montgomery County has a group of 4-5 who join us each Sunday. The joy of being together, of connection despite the physical separation and of community is a wonderful way to start a Sunday morning.


The last several years have been difficult but there has not been significant conflict as we have bonded together to support Rev. Sarah in her illness and then each other as we go through transition and went six months without clergy before Rev. Anne became our Interim Rector. One ongoing conflict is between maintaining old traditions and holding onto items that honor and reflect the work of those now gone and wanting to update and make changes. The dossal has been hanging for more than 20 Community Portfolio Information 6 years and is in need of replacement or repair as it is faded with candle smoke but Altar Guild members resist its removal. Finances is a tension as resources are limited and different priorities exist on when and how funds are spent to make repairs and improvements. Often our management of this and other similar conflicts is to avoid making a change. Open, candid conversation is key and we will continue to problem-solve together and be transparent about the decision-making process.


One experience leading and addressing change in the church dealt with the illness and resignation of the last rector. The process to inform the congregation was difficult. The aim was to keep the parish informed yet protect the rector’s privacy and her desire to maintain a sense of normalcy. The pandemic was a silver lining as it extended the length of time the rector could continue to lead worship. Under normal circumstances, she would have had to go on full-time disability much earlier, but because of technology and remote worship her time was extended. The news of the rector’s decision to resign was the final communication in a series of updates provided by the rector and the wardens. The impact of the news was very hard to process. Accepting the fact that our beloved rector had to resign was very difficult for the entire parish. Communicating with the parish was vital to being transparent while at the same time not causing major concerns regarding the future of the parish. We learned that communicating difficult information should be balanced with honest information along with the steps/plans to address and deal with the change.

Contact Information

The Rev. Canon Robert T. Phillips

(202) 441-8400