Rev. Kara grew up in Washington, DC, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in math and English. While teaching math in Cape Town, South Africa, Kara felt called to build and bridge communities of faith, and she came home ready to pursue ordination in the United Methodist Church. She earned her Masters in Divinity from Yale Divinity School, where she most enjoyed studying environmental theologies, global sacred music, and pastoral care with refugee populations. Kara is a competitive runner and triathlete who also enjoys cooking, board games, and gardening. She served as the associate pastor at Bethesda UMC for five years before coming to Glenmont in 2018.
Justin is passionate about music and believes in its innate ability to bring us together and to heal hearts. He is an actor and cabaret performer. He began playing piano for church services when he was 13 and has been a church musician ever since. He’s excited to be joining with the faith community of Glenmont UMC to make music together - loving God, each other, and our neighbor.
Originally from Japan, Naoko has been the organist at GUMC since December 2017. She performs frequently at major venues in the DC metro area; a recent highlight was playing for Haydn's "Creation" with choir and orchestra in June. Naoko is a member of the Friday Morning Music Club and the National Guild of Piano Teachers, and she is a founder of MEL Music. She also composed for the 2018 short film "Goyo Pine Bonsai." Naoko enjoys running, swimming, and bicycling, and she cares for a delightful array of pets: her dog/soul mate Jazmine, and a rabbit, guinea pig, gecko, fish and water frog.
Scott was born in New Zealand and raised in Sydney, Australia. A Montgomery County resident for many years, Scott attended the University of Maryland, College Park, as an undergraduate student and the Johns Hopkins University as a graduate student. Scott comes from a Methodist/Episcopal background and enjoys being a Lay Servant at Glenmont UMC. He served 14 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve and retired from his civilian employer, Bloomberg BNA, in 2015. Scott just celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with his spouse, Stephanie. Their daughter, Brianna, is a third-year student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Scott spends his leisure time with his family, which includes two cats named Violet and Truffle.