Clergy & Staff
The Reverend Rob Merola
I am so glad you are considering worshiping with us at St. Matthew's. We think church is a great place to be! I mean, first of all: God is there. I know he's everywhere, but the point is, everywhere else we're usually too busy doing a hundred other things to give Him the focused, intentional, singular attention He deserves. Sure, I can worship God on a trout stream. But I don't. I'm thinking about big beautiful fish instead....
The Reverend Joe Gann
Associate of Pastoral Care
The Rev. Joseph Gann (Joe) and his wife (Roz) have been living in Reston for the past year. They came to Northern Virginia to help their son and grandson. Joe is an Ordained Elder (1969) in the United Methodist Church. He served churches in Oklahoma and Ohio for more than thirty-six years before retiring in 2004. Joe received his Master of Theology Degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. His undergraduate work was done at The University of Tulsa.
He spent many years serving inner-city congregations in the Cincinnati area where he worked cooperatively with community and faith groups. For twenty-nine years, The Rev. Gann produced an interfaith radio program, “Genesis,” on Cincinnati stations. He has also served as co-spiritual director of the Greater Cincinnati Emmaus (Cursillo) Community and led more than twenty teams.
Joe is looking forward to getting to know the people of St. Matthews.
Greetings! I’m Elliott Smith, the Associate Pastor and Youth Minister here at Saint Matthew’s! I was born in Oakland and grew up in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in the dry California hills and on the delta marshes. After high school I attended Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada and earned two different bachelor degrees, one in Outdoor Education & Leadership Development, and another in Christian Studies with a minor in Philosophy. This is also when I became involved with the Anglican church for the first time. During college I was a white water raft guide outside Glacier National Park in Montana and Denali National Park in Alaska, and was a wilderness EMT and swift water rescue instructor.
Following college I returned to northern California where I was a Youth Director for a Lutheran congregation, and I remained in that ministry for a little less than four years before leaving to pursue my lifelong dream of attending seminary.
I began my three year seminary graduate program at Duke University in the fall of 2013, running a year-long leadership development program with undergraduates and holding numerous pastoral positions in various church and parachurch organizations. My main areas of concentration during seminary were Pauline studies, Black Church theology, and Domestic Violence advocacy. After graduating seminary I moved to DC to be with my wife, Jessi, who is herself an experienced lay pastor, preacher, and accomplished musician.
We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Saint Matthew’s community. After all of our many varied travels Jessi and I can both say that Saint Matthew’s is truly providing a unique and powerful church experience. We are so excited and honored to be a part of the ministry here, and we hope you’ll choose to partner with St. Matt’s as we continue to bring the news of God’s grace and love to the diverse communities here in Sterling.
Miriam and her family have been members of Saint Matthew's since August 2004. She joined us as the Office Manager in June 2008. In addition to her work at the church, Miriam also teaches in the Travel Department at Northern Virginia Community College. She enjoys reading and cooking when she isn't working or chasing her boys around. Miriam lives in Sterling with her husband, Mason, sons, Mason II and Christian and her mother-in-law, Kathie.
Minister of Music
Kevin moved to the DC area in 2010 to puruse his PhD in music education. While here, he has sung in the choirs at St Paul's K Street, St Andrew's College Park, St Margaret's (Dupont Circle), the National Cathedral, and various other professional choirs in the greater DC region. Most recently, he has served as the Director of Musical Activities at United Christian Parish in Reston, Virginia.
Before his transition to the east coast, Kevin lived in Denver, Colorado where he enjoyed all that the outdoors has to offer. While there, his work in the public school system consisted of teaching general and choral music to all ages, Arts Coordinator for the school district, and principal of an Arts Integrated School. Additionally, he conducted the children's choirs at St John's Cathedral in Denver where he also served as a section leader in the adult choir, as well as staff singer at St Andrews and St Martin's Chamber Choir.
Kevin is originally from near Nashville, Tennessee where his parents and family continue to reside. It was there that he was confirmed into the Episcopal Church.
Children's Ministry Coordinator
Ashly has been attending and singing in St. Matthew’s Choir since 2009. What was originally meant to be a limited singing engagement for the Christmas season in 2009, turned into a long-term love and passion for the people and mission of St. Matthew’s. After graduating in 2006 with her Master’s in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, Ashly taught general music to elementary students for 8 years for Fairfax County Public Schools. During those 8 years, Ashly taught 600+ students annually, created and directed concerts, orchestrated activities, and worked with local communities to positively impact children through music.
In 2014, Ashly left teaching and pursued alternative opportunities, but never lost her passion to teach children. She is now the proud co-owner of B.Mingled Weddings & Events, a planning and floral design business serving Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Greater Washington D.C. areas.
Ashly, her husband Keith, and their two dogs, Lexi and Shilah live in northern, VA.
Church Office Assistant
Sue has been a member of Saint Matthew’s since 1993. In 2013, she retired from almost forty years as a civilian employee of the Department of Defense. Sue also served 16 years in the Air Force Reserve and was called to active duty during Desert Storm. In retirement, Sue has been able to pursue her other interests to include helping Miriam out in the church office. She enjoys reading, sewing, knitting, singing in the church choir and with the Loudoun Chorale, and spending time with her pets.
Ixhale "Lollie" and Ejona Alibali, Andrea Melvin