Click a tab below to view our Staff and Members of the Vestry and Leadership:
- The Very Rev. Fran Gardner-SmithRector
One of the things you might notice right away about Fran is that she’s got a few tattoos. OK, maybe six is more than a few! Each one speaks to something that’s true about Fran and the faith that grounds her life. You should definitely ask her about them. The one on her upper right arm is one of the Chinese characters that denotes friendship. It loosely means friendship in community. What Fran loves most about being the Rector at St. Thomas is that it’s a church grounded in friendship lived out in Christian community.
From the moment she first interviewed at St. Thomas, Fran recognized that this was a church where she felt called to serve. At St. Thomas, people are authentic in both their love for one another and in how they live out their faith. She’s been here for more than five years and continues to delight in the ministry she shares with everyone here. Fran’s ministry is grounded in the belief that it is our baptism (and the promises we make or that are made for us) that give each of us ministry. Fran’s passions are outreach, evangelism, stewardship, and education for all ages. And Jesus. Fran is passionate about Jesus.
Some fun facts about Fran: She’s a native New Englander, which means that fall leaves, real maple syrup, fresh seafood, hot dogs and baked beans, the Boston Red Sox (and disdain for the NY Yankees) are all essential elements of who she is. She taught herself to read at the age of four – and has read voraciously ever since. Her twelve years managing an independent bookstore in Greenfield, MA was the second-best job in the world. (In case it’s not obvious, being the Rector at St. Thomas is the best one!) She enjoys reading good cozy mysteries, fantasy novels that create realistic alternate universes, and contemporary fiction. Fran also reads extensively about US history and race in America, as she tries to live an anti-racist life. Lastly, during the pandemic, Fran taught herself to crochet – and it’s become her favorite way to create. Counted cross-stitch, knitting, and photography are also activities that Fran enjoys. Her goal is to work on a creative project every day, and most days she succeeds.
Fran shares her life with her spouse (The Rev. Dr.) David Smith, a retired pastor. They met on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2010. Each of them believes that their marriage is one of the greatest gifts God has given them, and they thank God every day. Together they love to cook and travel. Over dinner, they have nerdy conversations about the Bible, theology, and the Roman empire. Their poodle is named Jasper. Jasper wants you to know that he is a very good boy.
Fran has been a priest for 17 years, serving in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Northern New Hampshire (including serving as a member of Bishop Gene Robinson’s staff), the Bay Area of California, and the northern Shenandoah Valley before coming to St. Thomas in early 2018.
Fran’s a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, MA where she earned a BA with a double major in Religion and History and then a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) in Early Childhood Education. She received her M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 2006.
- The Rev. Will DrososAssociate Rector
The Rev. Will Drosos was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent most of his time while growing up. After high school, he attended the University of Georgia and double majored in Religion and Finance. While there, he discerned a call to ministry and decided to attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University. During his time at Candler, Will served as a seminarian at the Cathedral of St. Philip and St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. Will also served at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. as a Candler Advantage scholar. In May 2022 he graduated with his M.Div. and was ordained to the priesthood in June 2022.
Will and his partner, Sarah, live in Falls Church and enjoy the many walking trails and great food in that area. Will also likes to play strategy games, drink tea, visit cemeteries, hike, and travel.
- Rishabh BajekalParish Administrator
- Lori LindMinster of Music
A native Floridian and lifelong Episcopalian, Organist and Choirmaster Lori Lind earned the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The Catholic University of America, and the Master of Music degree from The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists, and The American Guild of Organists, from which she received a scholarship for advanced organ studies. Her numerous accolades for her singing include multi-year artist grants from The Gerda Lissner Foundation, and a nomination for artist of the year from the prestigious Richard Tucker Foundation. She has since turned her attention to conducting and stage directing, and in 2015 founded Shakespeare Opera Theatre, for which she remains Artistic Director. She lives in Haymarket with her two dogs, Quimby and Romeo, and together they enjoy the four seasons of the mid-Atlantic. Dr. Lind is delighted to serve as Minister of Music at Saint Thomas!
- Joshua WaitsMinister of Evangelism
Joshua is a native of the mountains of Northwest Georgia, where he spent 8 years as a licensed minister in the Baptist Tradition. He attended the University of West Georgia where he earned his bachelor's in education, and a MA of History with a focus in American Religion and Archives/Museum Management. After being received into the Episcopal church by the Bishop of Atlanta, Joshua discerned with his parish a call to seminary. This brought him to Virginia Theological Seminary, and after one year of study he was hired to be the seminary's archivist. While working full-time and attending classes part-time, Joshua served as St. Thomas' seminarian. In April of 2023, Joshua agreed to continue to serve St. Thomas as the Minister of Evangelism.
Joshua will finish his MA in Christian Formation at VTS in May of 2024, and plans to pursue a PhD in Church History. In his sabbath time he enjoys playing the ukulele, singing Southern and Bluegrass Gospel music, theater, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy.
- Nicole WargaCribbery Caregiver
Nicole lives in Reston with a spoiled cat named Hampton. She enjoys spending time with her two beautiful nieces Avery (5 years old) and Emery (2 months old) who also live in Reston. She has an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
- Mary CyrusBookkeeper
Mary has 7 siblings and was raised in Bethesda, Maryland. She received a BS degree from the University of Maryland while working for a CPA firm. She has over 20 years of experience working for a variety of non-profit organizations as an accountant, finance director, and business manager. Mary and her husband Rod have two teenage children and live in Vienna.
VESTRY & OFFICERS