Transition & Discernment at Episcopal Church of the Advent

September 4, 2022

A joyful announcement

It is our great joy to announce that the vestry has called the Rev. Tim Johnson to serve as Advent’s next rector. Rev. Tim currently serves as rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in College Park, MD and as the Episcopal Chaplain at the University of Maryland. He previously served as rector of Christ Church, La Plata MD which was yolked with Christ Church Wayside. Prior to that he served as Chaplain and religion teacher at Washington Episcopal School.

Rev. Tim earned his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA and is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry in Liturgy and Preaching from Sewanee: The University in the South.

Of all the wonderful rector candidates that the Discernment Committee interviewed, Rev. Tim best fit what you indicated on the CAT survey that you want in your next rector–an entrepreneurial priest, a warm and joyful pastor, a spiritually grounded preacher and teacher, a change facilitator, and a strategic leader.

Although Tim’s experience, skills, and education make him a great candidate on paper, he’s even better in person. Tim is faithful, warm, joyful, a great listener, perceptive, smart, funny, and kind. The 12 members of the discernment committee recommended Tim unanimously to the vestry. The vestry voted unanimously to call Tim as Advent’s 19th rector.

The wonderful part is that Rev. Tim feels the same way about Advent. He is excited to begin his ministry partnership with us on November 20th. He is looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you and to working with you to share God’s grace with the community beyond our walls. Rev. Tim was impressed with the way we’ve been keeping Advent running without a rector or interim priest. Credit to Stuart Davis, Senior Warden and Dave Scott, previous Senior Warden for their excellent leadership; and to everyone who has contributed in ways large and small.

Please thank the Discernment Committee members for their faithful commitment and the many hours they devoted to interviewing, reviewing materials, watching sermons, calling references, and prayerfully discerning. The saints that said yes when Sally asked them to serve are as follows: Jose Colon, Stuart Davies, Emma DiPace, Andie Hall, Jay Hummel, Bill Hutchins, Trish James, Meredith Jankov, Jaclyn McCabe, and Steve Verget.

We have exciting work to do to prepare for Tim’s arrival so keep your eye on the Advent Weekly for announcements and ways to get involved and help. In the meantime, pray for Tim and his family: spouse, Kevin O’Brien, and sons Victor, and Omar. Pray for Advent’s parishioners, that we may be open to this next chapter in our life together. Pray for our siblings in Christ at St. Andrew’s College Park, who are learning this morning of Rev. Tim’s departure. And pray in thanksgiving to God for being with us throughout the discernment process, and for sending Rev. Tim our way and calling him to Advent.

Stuart Davies, Senior Warden
Sally Palic and Kim Hoeschel, Discernment Committee Co-Chairs



"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

MATTHEW 18:19-20 



Dear Lord, Be with us on this new day. Thank you for hearing our prayers. We ask for wisdom and guidance as we vibrantly work to call our new pastor to Advent's congregation. Help us daily to commit our trust in You. Amen



Lord, as we walk to call a new rector to our congregation, may we have patience in discerning the gifts we seek and see those gifts clearly in the candidates you send to us. May the Holy Spirit be with us on this journey. Amen



Almighty God, we thank you for our church community. Fill us with your grace and love that we might seek to hear, understand, and support each other during the discernment process. Fill us with your grace, so we can be gracious to each other. Amen


Daring in Faith

Gracious God, we thank you for your goodness and care. Come into our hearts so that we may be bold, brave, and daring in our faith as we prepare for the future of our church. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen



Loving God, bless every member of the Advent community with your grace so that we may follow Jesus' example of extending loving kindness to each other. Help us to see ourselves as we individually discern the qualities of a candidate being sent by you. May we be led by Christ into acceptance of your will. In Christ's name we pray. Amen



Gracious God, remind us not to worry during the call process, but instead, to trust that you will lead the best candidate to our Advent community. Lord, we will honor you by being joyful always and giving thanks for all you do. Amen


Our Future

Most heavenly and gracious God, give us a vision of the new situations in which we live out our faith in Jesus. As we work to call a new pastor to our congregation, may we welcome the one you are sending us to lead us in the new days ahead. May we go forth with faith knowing your hand is leading us and your love is supporting us. Amen.

Any Day

Almighty God, Giver of every good gift. Look graciously on your church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP)

Any Day

Most heavenly and gracious God, we thank you for all the blessings you have given to us. Help us to discern the needs and gifts of your Advent community. Give the leaders wisdom and guide our contemplation and prayer during this time of transition. We ask this in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Check out archived communication on the Clergy Transition


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Timeline of Our History

The Episcopal Church of the Advent was born

May 1, 1882

Cornerstone laid


First service held


New entrance & steeple built, plus parish house erected 


New land acquired on North Broad and Fairthorne


Cornerstone of new building laid


Services began in new building


May Fair Event
raised funds for kneeling cushions


Episcopal Church of the Advent Celebrates Centennial


Patio & garden
dedicated to the right of Advent entrance


Major renovations


Additional renovations


Memorial Garden Creation