Rev. Jason Micheli, the pastor at Annandale United Methodist Church, plans to carry on the spirit of community engagement embraced by the former pastor, Rev. Clarence Brown, who left in June after serving at AUMC for 10 years. Brown was reassigned to a church in Yorktown, Va.
Brown is a former chair of the Taste of Annandale Planning Committee, and AUMC is continuing that support, as a Gold-level sponsor of the fourth annual Taste of Annandale, Oct. 13, on Tom Davis Drive.
Micheli’s wife, Ali, a tax attorney, is starting a running group, and plans to participate in the Taste of Annandale 5K. They have two sons; Alexander, age 15, is a student at Woodson High School, and Gabriel, 12, is at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Micheli, who previously served at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, says he hopes to bring more stability to AUMC. Other than that, “I’m still learning the lay of the land and learning about the community,” he says.
One project on his agenda is figuring out how the church can make better use of its adjunct building on Heritage Drive. “I want to know that community better and brainstorm how we can maximize that building and be as strategic as possible,” he says. AUMC currently uses it for service projects and it is used by other churches and organizations, such as Edu-Futuro.
Micheli brings a unique perspective to his vocation, as he has been living with an incurable disease, mantle cell lymphoma, a form of bone marrow cancer, since 2015. His book, Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Serious Chemo, confronts mortality with faith and humor, and his blog, “Tamed Cynic,” offers a thoughtful exploration of theology, spirituality, and life.
As a result of his illness, Micheli says, “I am free to enjoy my job. The little things don’t bother me. I know what’s important.”