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Meet the Clergy & Staff


The Rev. Richard Kukowski
Interim Rector

The Rev. Richard “Rich” Kukowski is originally a native of Minnesota where he was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest and served for five years. He has been an Episcopal priest for the past 45 years. After a year as an affirmative action officer in Manhattan, he has served parishes in New Jersey, Massachusetts and as Rector of Transfiguration Church in Silver Spring for 27 years. In our Diocese, he has served on Diocesan Council, the Southern Africa Committee, the Disciplinary Committee and the Racial Reconciliation Committee. Since retirement, he has been Chaplain to the retired clergy and their families, adjunct clergy at Washington Cathedral, and team priest at two parishes in Southern Maryland. He also serves as Provincial Coordinator for the Health and Wellness Office of the Church Pension Group in New York City.

The Rev. Amanda A. Akes-Cardwell
Associate Rector for Community, Formation and Outreach

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell began her ministry with Grace in August 2013. As Associate Rector, Amanda primarily engages with children, youth, and their families. She is passionate about young people, collaborative ministry, and creative ways to participate in God’s mission.

Before her ministry at Grace, Amanda was Assistant Rector for two years at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Glastonbury, CT, where she focused on youth and adult formation. Prior to her ordination, Amanda engaged in mission work through her involvement in the Office of Women’s Ministries at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City and as a Young Adult Service Corps missionary in Cape Town, South Africa. She earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Women’s Studies from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and her M Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Amanda loves music, reading, and exploring the greater Washington area with her wife, Sarah.

Kevin Antonio Smallwood
Associate Rector for Families and Youth

Kevin Antonio Smallwood began his ministry with Grace in July 2019. As Associate Rector for Families and Youth, Kevin Antonio brings together his passion for cultivating fruitful relationships with God, each other, and self, that embodies the love of God in Christ Jesus. His devotion to serving children, youth, and family is rooted in his own journey in faith that began in the Diocese of Washington as a youth leader and continues in formation within the Diocese of Western Massachusetts as a postulant for Holy Orders.

Prior to his ministry at Grace, Kevin Antonio was a seminarian at the School of Theology at The University of the South: Sewanee, where he received his M Div. for study, training, and discipline in the Episcopal tradition. While at Sewanee, Kevin Antonio, along with three of his colleagues, began an annual Women’s Lecture that aims to empower the voices of women in ministry. His interest in the communal good of sharing stories was also made known during his time as a seminarian-intern at Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Tennessee. Before his journey to seminary, Kevin Antonio served as an Episcopal Service Corps member by interning at Lawrence House Service Corps program in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Kevin Antonio enjoys time outside, hiking, dancing, reading and writing poetry, attending cultural festivities, and spending a lot of time with his family and friends. As a native to the D.C./Maryland/Virginia metropolitan area, Kevin Antonio currently resides in Bowie, Maryland with Tamiko, his mom, Mahndel, his dad, and Espeana, his sister, who will be attending Boston University in the coming Fall semester. There is also Montana, their husky, Pebbles, their mix breed, and Legend, their Sphynx cat.

Ms. Jean Cotting

Jean Cotting is a seminarian at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and a postulant for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Southern Ohio, where for many years she has been involved as a lay volunteer in adult faith formation, street ministry, various liturgical ministries, and interfaith dialogue. She also loves to sing and for several years was a chorister and cantor. Since starting seminary she has developed strong interests in biblical Hebrew, missiology, and women’s prison ministry.

Prior to discerning a call to ordained ministry she worked in the financial services industry and continues to hold a CPA license with the State of Ohio. Her undergraduate degree in Accounting is from Northeastern University in Boston which is where she is originally from, although she has lived most of her adult life in Columbus, Ohio.

She now lives in Alexandria on the VTS campus with her son Jack who is a college student. When Jean is not studying, she enjoys music, reading, spending time with her classmates exploring the DC area.

Ministry Staff

Director of Music Ministries:
Heather Adelsberger

Heather Adelsberger maintains an active career as an organist, choral conductor, and music educator in the Washington D.C. area. Hailing from a family of church musicians in Trenton, NJ, Heather has always found her calling in sacred music.

Most recently, she served as Director of Music at St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville, MD where she remains Artistic Director of the St. Louis Concert Series.

Heather earned her BM in Piano Performance at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and her MM in Collaborative Piano at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Collaborative Piano may be described as “playing well with others”.)

In addition to her work in music ministry, Heather works extensively with young people, maintaining a private piano studio in Alexandria, Virginia and an affiliation with the Children’s Chorus of Washington.

Heather lives with her husband (Andrew) and cat (Charles) in the Sligo Woods neighborhood. She is delighted to join the vibrant faith community here at Grace Church.

Administrative Staff

Fiscal Officer: George “Gib” Baily, Jr.

Interim Parish Administrator: Tracy Holmes

Grace Episcopal Day School: Jennifer Danish, Head of School

Pennyworth Shop: Jewell Little, President

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Grace Episcopal Church
Grace Church Road, located off of Georgia Ave. in downtown Silver Spring, near the intersection of Georgia Ave. and 16th Street.

The church office will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. After hours you may leave a message on the answering machine, which will direct you to individual voice mail boxes for members of the church staff.

Telephone: Parish Office: 301.585.3515; Parish Fax: 301.585.4309

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1607 Grace Church Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 585-3515