The Church of the Ascension, Patuxent Parish is in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Our mission is to respond to God’s love for us through Jesus Christ. We do this by joining together for Worship in the Anglican tradition, Prayer, Study of Holy Scriptures, Social Outreach, Pastoral Care, Christian Education, and our Music Ministry.
The church’s motto expresses its love and hospitality, which is “All are welcome here!” We are a diverse community representing many theological positions from traditional to evangelical which is held together by the faith of this community and its dedication to express its love for one another and to encourage each other in our various ministries and vocations. Our community is a broad cross-section of all ages from young to old. This is a church that expresses God’s Agape love for one another and to reach out into the community by both in word and action.
Our church has an active Sunday School Program for all ages, Acolyte Program, and Youth Groups. The welcoming nature of this community includes new members rapidly into its parish life and seeks ways to invite others. We reach out into the community by serving the poor in our Social Outreach ministries. We are concerned for evangelism and take the Christian formation of our children seriously. We foster fellowship among our members by having Foyer Groups.
The Diocese of Washington built the church in 1952 as a mission to the new community of Lexington Park and the new Naval Air Station at Patuxent River. Many of our families have close ties with the base by serving in the active military, or being retired Navy, government workers or contractors. Yet we also have many who work in the community as educators, lawyers, dentists, farmers, raising families, probation officers, electricians, etc.
Our Rector Emeritus, the Rev. Charles Daugherty, started this parish as a mission in 1952. The Rev. Rona Harding served as our Rector from 1989 and retired in 2010 where she faithfully guided our parish for over twenty years. The Rev. Caron Gwynn was our Interim Rector until July 2011 and was invaluable in guiding us though the search for our new permanent Rector. The Rev. Sherrill Page was our vibrant Rector from July 2011 until her untimely passing on January 28th, 2015. The Rev. Melinda Artman was selected as our new Priest In Charge on May 4th and began her ministry with us on June 15th, 2015.
Pastor Melinda filled the void of Sherrill’s passing and guided us through the discernment with St. George’s on how to develop a long-term plan for Ascension. With her leadership and pastoral care, she helped to guide the Joint Executive Committee of the Collaborative Ministry to develop a yoking plan with St. George’s. As of April 1, 2017, The Rev. Greg Syler became the rector of Ascension and St. George’s in a shared pastoral ministry. We are grateful for Fr. Greg’s initiative to take on two parishes.
You can find additional information about the Church of the Ascension on the following pages: