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Staff News

New Associate Rector appointed

By February 18, 2024February 21st, 2024No Comments

Dear friends,

I want to share with you the very happy news that The Rev. Matthew Oprendek will join our staff as Associate Rector. He will begin his ministry with us on Palm Sunday, March 24. Matt brings a depth of priestly experience, having served in the context of parish ministry and on a diocesan staff. For the past 8 years, he has been Priest-in-Charge at St. James Church, Fordham. His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Baylor University, a law degree from the University of Texas, and a Master of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary.

After the search committee and I met with Matt, it was clear that we would be blessed by the gifts he brings to ministry. I’ve known Matt these past 6 years as a trusted colleague in the Diocese of New York, and I am delighted that we will have the opportunity to serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ together at St. James’. He will have responsibility for shepherding our adult formation opportunities, ministry with newcomers, and our worship life.

Please join me in giving thanks to God for Matt’s call to serve with us. Matt and his husband, Eric, already call Manhattan home, but keep them in your prayers as they settle into this new chapter with us.

Thank you for all the ways you continue to support St. James’ Church! This is a season of renewal and hope in our shared life.

Yours in Christ,

A note from the Rev. Matthew Oprendek

Dear Sisters and Brothers of St. James’ Church,

I am delighted to share the news (at long last) that I have embraced with enthusiasm the call to serve at St. James’ Church.

I already know some of you from our shared ministry at St. James Fordham’s Food Pantry.  I met many of you when I facilitated the parish-wide conversation at the beginning of St. James’ rector search.  Also, St. James’ Church hosted several “continuing education” opportunities for priests from around the country, and I’ve been honored to participate in those times of learning on the St. James’ campus with many friends and colleagues, including my dear friend Zack.  In some ways, I almost feel like I’ve been a part-time member of St. James’!

 I’ll never forget thinking to myself after your parish-wide conversation, “What an extraordinary church!”  As I’ve met with the search committee, wardens, and with Zack, I kept hearing myself say,  “I would love to spend more time with these amazing people!”  And now, to announce that I will be joining you in order to do the kind of ministry I truly love to do —  the lyrics from a Georgia Mass Choir song seem to capture my thoughts, even in this lenten season:  “Joy, joy, God’s great joy/ Joy, joy, down in my soul/ Sweet, beautiful, soul-saving joy/ oh, joy, joy in my soul!”

I look forward to sharing God’s great joy with you as we love and serve together in the coming days and years.


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