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Mary Sulerud New Interim Rector


Please welcome Mary Sulerud!

The Wardens and the Vestry are delighted to announce that the Reverend Canon Mary Sulerud of the Washington National Cathedral has accepted our call to be the Interim Rector of Immanuel on the Hill for the next year as we search for a new leader. Mary — whose last name is pronounced su-le-ROOD — will help us discern who and where we are as a parish and what we desire in a leader. She will also keep us moving forward and help us get "in ship shape" to call our next Rector.

The Wardens and Vestry are grateful to Bishop Shannon Johnston and Lindsay Ryland, the Diocese's deployment officer, for their ongoing advice, help and support in locating such a proven leader with a strong background in preaching, worship, stewardship and pastoral care. We especially appreciate that the Bishop and Lindsay sought candidates who would  understand the unique ties that this church has with the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Mary, who describes herself as "an Energizer bunny," says that ICOH feels like returning home for her and for her husband, Peder, an architect. The two relocated from Minneapolis to Alexandria when Mary attended VTS, fully expecting to return to Minnesota. But after graduating in 1988, Mary first served as a chaplain at St. Agnes School (now SSSAS) and as an Assistant and later Associate Rector at Grace, Alexandria before accepting a call as Rector at Church of the Ascension, Silver Spring.
Once daughter Emily finished at T.C. Williams, the Sulreuds moved across the river to downtown Silver Spring, where they still live today. So now Mary will reverse the commute she once made across the District!

Since 2002, Mary has served the Diocese of Washington in sveral roles, as canon for deployment and vocational ministry and as cannon or stewardship. Currently she is the Interim Director of Worship at the Cathedral where ICOH's own Frank Wade is Interim Dean while a search for a new dean i underway. She also consults nationally in the areas of congregational development and stewardship — another plus, as we have a capital campaign underway. As for her VTS ties, she has served as a spiritual director and as a co-trainer of seminary supervisors in the field education office.

As a former deployment officer, Mary understands parishes in leadership transitions and the new opportunities for growth during the search process. And, on other side of the coin, Mary is sensitive to the questions priests have in determining whether a congregation is a good fit and a healthy place for them. Finally, having been abruptly displaced for months from her work and worship space by last August's earthquake damage to the Cathedral, Mary is empathetic to loss of Seminary Chapel in our community.

Mary's first day with us will be Monday, April 30. Please plan to attend a forum hour and festive reception to meet Mary and learn more about her ministry with us on Sunday, May 6th.

The stars have aligned, the Holy Spirit has done her work, as Corry Weierbach assured us would happen when we set out
on this leg of the journey. Thanks be to God!

February 22, 2012
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