5450 Massachusetts Avenue | Bethesda, MD 20816 | (301) 229-2960



  Jeffrey B.  MacKnight, Rector

 I've always been a ponderer...wondering why the     world is the way it is, where life comes from, and   what my purpose is in the world.  I also ask why  there is such evil and suffering.  And I'm a story  addict - I read and listen to all kinds of stories and  mine them for meaning and insight.  

 Having grown up in the Episcopal Church, I  discovered that others have been asking the same  questions for centuries.  I also came to discover a  loving God who gives meaning to our days, and  invites us always to journey in greater and greater  love.  I realized that Jesus shows us how to live a  purposeful and joyful life, taking the suffering with the blessings as part of the package of creation, and always finding new life after experiences of death.    

After college I went to seminary (theological school) to test my call to become a priest.  I felt God's affirmation for that path.  I've been rector (priest) at St. Dunstan's for 15 years, and served churches in Nebraska and New Jersey before that.  I enjoy creating joyful worship, building community in the church, and exploring our faith in small groups.  My wife Leslie and I have two children in their early twenties.  All four of us love music and find much joy in it.  We live in a home ruled by two Golden Retrievers and a brown tabbycat, through whom we experience an unconditional love that can only be Godlike.

 The Ven. L. Sue von Rautenkranz, Formation Coordinator & Deacon

My role at St. Dunstan’s is primarily to assist the people of the community to seek a deeper and wider relationship with God and each other in Christ.  Really I just want everyone to come to know Jesus so well that they are compelled to love as he loved and reach out to others in that love.

I am a child of the upper Midwest and a life-long Episcopalian.  I was raised in Wisconsin and through experiences with other youth in my church and summer camp decided that I wanted to be a youth minister.  I have served churches and bishops in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Carolina before coming to St. Dunstan’s over 2 years ago.  

As a young adult I began to answer an even deeper call and was eventually ordained a deacon in The Episcopal Church.  Deacons serve directly under their Bishop (shepherd), the person who has authority over a number of congregations in a geographical area.  The deacon’s role is to represent the servant hood of Christ and empowers the members of the community they serve to go out and do Christ’s ministry in the world.  In my favorite shorthand, the priest (pastor and teacher) invites people into community for feeding and nurture while the deacon pushes you back out into the world to do mission.

When I am not at the parish, I enjoy being outside with my dog, Zeke, an aging golden retriever. When not responding to his constant demand to be touched, you might find me watching classic movies or football, working on my latest sewing project or reading.

Michael Austin, Director of Music

I serve as Music Director and Organist at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church. Prior to coming to St. Dunstan's, I served as Director of Music and Arts at Hope United Church of Christ in Alexandria, VA. I have previously served as music director, organist, and/or pianist at several churches across Texas and Missouri; I have been involved in church music since I joined the preschool choir at my hometown church as a 4-year-old.

I am also Assistant Professor of Media, Journalism, and Film at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where I teach courses in audio production, sound design for film and video games, and music technology. I received a BM in Music Composition from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a MM in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D., specializing in Arts and Technology, from the University of Texas at Dallas.

As an active composer/arranger/sound artist, I have written for chamber ensembles, choirs, soloists, film, new media, museum exhibitions, and sound installations. I also perform semi-professionally as tenor, countertenor, and accompanist, and I periodically sing as a tenor substitute in the professional choirs at the Washington National Cathedral.

My husband Paul and I are native Texans; we have been married since 2010 and live in Northwest Washington, D.C. with our cats, Pangur Bán and Wilberforce. I have been at St. Dunstan's since August 2014.

Kimberly Matthews, Parish Administrator

I began my tenure as parish administrator in November of 2014. I was born in North Carolina and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I came to the area to attend Howard University where I earned a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation I started a career in non-profit management. I have worked for a variety of organizations in the area and held a variety of positions. I like to think of myself as a “Jill of all trades” when it comes to administration. I look forward using my creative and organizational skills to serve the people of St. Dunstan’s and to further the churches mission.

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