Who We Are
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church is an Anglican, traditional, and inclusive faith community.
Our mission is to be a vibrant, Christ-centered church, witnessing God’s love for all people, through worship, education, stewardship, outreach and pastoral care.
We believe that God calls us to live our lives as Christians, not just as individuals, but as a community — part of the larger body of Christ. We are called to witness God’s love for people everywhere, nearby and afar.
We believe God does not want us ever to be comfortable and complacent, but rather to be vibrant … “vigorous, lively, and vital.”
St. Alban’s Vestry
The St. Alban’s Vestry are a dedicated group of elected volunteers who lead the parish and help to define, articulate, and sustain the St. Alban’s mission.
The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church’s mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances.
A peaceful corner of the church property has been set aside and consecrated for the purpose of receiving the cremains of St. Alban’s congregants, families and friends.
The St. Alban’s Vestry has approved this Emergency Plan to address emergencies that we can reasonably expect in our neighborhood and here at church, such as fires, tornadoes, floods, and others. This plan will help us prepare before emergencies strike, and help St. Alban’s to be a shelter and refuge for our neighbors in case a disaster should affect the local community.
In addition, the plan includes contact phone numbers for the various vendors who maintain our physical plant systems.
Clergy & Staff
The Rev. Jeff Shankles
Father Jeff first joined St. Alban’s in 2005 as Assistant Rector, and since September 2013 has served as Rector.
Father Jeff has served at St. Alban’s since 2005, first as Assistant Rector, then Associate Rector, followed by Priest-in-Charge and now, since September 2013, as Rector.
Ordained ministry is Fr. Jeff’s third career. He served in the US Army Intelligence and Security Command for eight years as a Russian linguist in West Germany in the 1980’s. After leaving the Army he worked for the next fifteen years in the corporate world as an IT specialist, programmer, system administrator and data center manager.
In 1998, Fr. Jeff was ordained to the permanent, or vocational, diaconate in his home parish of St. Stephen’s, Boise, in the Diocese of Idaho. His diaconal ministry was focused on establishing and leading his church’s participation at the local soup kitchen in Boise. After discerning a call to the priesthood, Fr. Jeff packed up his family and moved to northern Virginia in 2002 to attend Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. After graduation from seminary Fr. Jeff was called to serve at St. Alban’s.
Fr. Jeff and his wife, Kate, have two adult children: Audrey and William. In his spare time Fr. Jeff likes tending the grounds of the rectory which Kate likes to call the “deer’s snack-bar.”
The Rev. Paul Moberly
Father Paul joined St. Alban’s in 2017 as Assistant Rector and in 2018 became Associate Rector.
Father Paul grew up in Minnesota surrounded by Lutherans and lakes. He was first introduced to the beauty and grandeur of the Anglican tradition as a ten-year-old, in Hawaii, when his dad taught a Bible course in an Episcopal Church. His favorite childhood author, Madeleine L’Engle, was a devout Episcopalian, and as a teenager he read many of her religious-themed journals and memoirs. From an early age, he was drawn to the music and liturgy of the church.
Fr. Paul is an alumnus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1997. And yes, he did sing in one of the choirs. He spent much of his twenties living in San Francisco, where he worked as a bartender and freelance copy editor. In his thirties, he exchanged the West Coast for the East, and lived in Vermont for half a decade.
Fr. Paul’s spiritual quest led him to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in 2009, in Brattleboro, VT, where he quickly joined the choir and began serving in various other lay ministries — and began to grow deeply in Christian faith and Anglican identity. It was at St. Michael’s that he began to actively discern a call to ordained ministry.
The Diocese of Vermont admitted him as a Postulant for Holy Orders in 2014, and Fr. Paul relocated soon thereafter to begin theological formation at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. He gained a great deal of liturgical knowledge and invaluable experience as a Seminarian at St. Paul’s Church, K Street, in Washington, DC from 2015 through 2017. He received his Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary in May of 2017.
Fr. Paul was ordained to the transitional diaconate in the Diocese of Vermont at St. Michael’s Church, Brattleboro, Vermont on January 7, 2017. He was ordained as a Priest eight months later at St. Alban’s Church, Annandale, Virginia, on September 8, 2018. The Right Reverend Thomas Ely, tenth Bishop of Vermont, conferred both ordinations by the laying-on-of-hands and presided at both liturgies.
Paul and his husband, Gerardo, live in Annandale, Virginia. They were married at St. Paul’s, K Street in Washington, DC, in Eastertide of 2017. Together, they enjoy cooking and (perhaps especially) baking, and travel whenever time and resources permit them to do so.
Adam Detzner joined St. Alban’s as Minister of Music and Organist in August 2021.
Adam Detzner joined St. Alban’s as Minister of Music and Organist in August 2021. In this position, Adam oversees all things musical at St. Alban’s, including our Adult Choir, Bell Choir, and Boy and Girl Choristers, as well as our Muldoon Concert Series. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (M.M. in Organ Performance and Literature) and Stanford University (B.A. in Music). His teachers include David Higgs, Robert Huw Morgan, and Christian Lane (organ) and Elaine Thornburgh (harpsichord).
Adam’s passion for church music began between college and graduate school, when he served as the inaugural recipient of the Association of Anglican Musicians Gerre Hancock Internship, working as Organ Scholar at Trinity Church, Copley Square, in Boston. While there he was involved in all aspects of the parish’s renowned music program, including working with the boy and girl choristers enrolled in its large Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) program. In September of 2022, Adam launched a RSCM program here at St. Alban’s – please visit our music page for more details, including how to enroll your child(ren). Adam is passionate about working with children and believes that musical education in a liturgical context is a powerful way to build lifelong disciples.
A dedicated performer, Adam has played for national conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM). Live recordings of his playing have been featured on the nationally syndicated Minnesota Public Radio program Pipedreams. In 2022 and 2023 Adam was a semifinalist in the International Schnitger Organ Competition in Alkmaar, North Holland, the Netherlands. He was the only American admitted to compete during both cycles and had the opportunity to play a number of important historic organs, including one from 1511. (Coincidentally, Alkmaar is the birthplace of John Leek, who built the organ at St. Alban’s!)
Adam lives in Silver Spring, not far from where he was raised. His partner Karl Robson is also an organist and church musician, serving as Interim Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in McLean. He and Karl have frequently collaborated for special worship services and are excited to do so with the choirs of St. Alban’s and St. John’s. In his spare time, Adam enjoys watching TV, listening to classical music on vinyl, and walking and running. He is also an avid crossword puzzle solver, with a 12’ 53” average for the New York Times Saturday puzzle.
Amelia is a native of the Dominican Republic, has a law degree from APEC University, and moved to the US to pursue her calling to the priesthood at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Amelia Bello was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from APEC University. While completing my studies, she gained practical experience through an internship at the Chamber of Deputies in the Dominican Republic and following that, worked as an Executive Assistant for the President Judge of the Superior Land Court in Santo Domingo for four years.
Ameila is part of the third generation of Episcopalians in her family, and she actively participated in the Episcopal Cathedral of the Epiphany in Santo Domingo. As an altar server, she had her first encounter with my spirituality and felt a calling to the priesthood. This experience deepened her involvement in the Church’s activities, including the Sacraments, and fostered a strong devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
In the summer of 2021, Amelia wholeheartedly embraced her profound desire to prioritize the pursuit of God’s kingdom in all aspects of her life. Consequently, in 2022, she moved to United States to pursue her Master’s degree in Divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary. She is currently in her middler year and finds great joy in being part of the St. Alban’s community.
Chris was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Massachusetts, and obtained a degree in Business Management. She is pursuing her MDiv at Virginia Theological Seminary and also working towards the chaplain candidacy program as a future Air Force military chaplain.
Chris Leung is a Jamaican and Cantonese hobbyist musician who was born in Hong Kong. After moving to the States, she finished her Primary and Secondary Education in Massachusetts and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Originally a Seventh Day Adventist by birth, Chris eventually rediscovered her spirituality in the Anglican traditions and sought confirmation. After several months of spiritual discovery and discernment through different parish ministries, Chris applied for postulancy in the Diocese of Western Mass and has continued that journey as a Seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Chris is currently a part of the VTS Dean’s Task for Diversity and Inclusion, The Task force for General Convention on Imagining a Church grounded in Social Justice, while also working as the Dean’s Office Assistant and hosting several guests on campus. Chris is also working towards the chaplain candidacy program as a future military chaplain in the United States Air Force. On her down time (if she gets any!), you can find Chris reading something interesting, riding her motorcycle, at the beach, or playing video games.
Alex Swain provides administrative support for the clergy, staff and church.
Alex grew up in Michigan and studied Biology at Hope College (’16) and then went off to study neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. In the Fall of 2017, he stumbled into Calvary Episcopal Church and felt like he had found a home. During that time, it became increasingly clear that he might actually want to be a priest, not a researcher. He obtained his Master’s in 2018 and joined Beloved in the Desert Episcopal Service Corps in Tucson, Az in July 2020.
During that time, he learned a lot about what church-life looked like, and felt an even deeper calling into the life of the Church through his time at St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church. He stayed in Tucson, began working at The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona as their Volunteer Services Supervisor, and went through the Formal Discernment Process, and is now a Postulant from the Diocese of Arizona. He moved to Alexandria in August 2022 to begin studies at Virginia Theological Seminary. He hopes to be ordained a priest in 2025- 2026. He is also exploring Benedictine vows, and is a novice in the Canon Orders of St. Benedict.
Alex loves to read (high fantasy, sci-fi, theology, history, and poetry), bike, hike, and chat. He has two younger sisters who both live in Michigan.
Merissa Martignoni Driscoll
Merissa Martignoni Driscoll is Vocal Coach for the St. Alban\’s Youth Chorister Program.
Merissa Martignoni Driscoll has been working with young people in the Arts for over 15 years. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition with a minor in Classical Voice and Choral Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. After relocating to Northern Virginia, Merissa received her teaching certification from George Mason University and spent seven years in Prince William County as an Elementary Music Teacher.
Throughout those years she also developed a professional presence in Northern Virginia’s Musical Theater community. She has a creative home at The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA where she regularly can be seen music directing mainstage shows and cabarets, as well as performing original music. Currently Merissa is embarking on a career as a full-time musician and educator. Her position as Vocal Coach for St. Albans Youth Chorister program is another step in engaging with her community and bringing the love and discipline of the arts to young people and their families.
Sue Mairena, CPA, CGMA