Parish Hall from Patterson Ave.

New Rector job description has been posted

We're now accepting applications for our new Rector. If you would like to share this information with a possible candidate, feel free. Interested clergy are invited to login and view the complete document on the Diocesan website: should direct any questions or apply with a cover letter, resume, and OTM Profile to


Community Ministry Portfolio for St. Matthew's Episcopal Church


Name of worshipping community: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

Diocese: Virginia

Current Status: Receiving names

Order of ministry required: Priest

Position Title: Rector  

Receiving Names until: January 22, 2018  

Weekly Average Sunday Attendance (ASA): 226

Number of Weekend Worship Services: 2

Number of Weekday Worship Services: 1

Number of Other per Month Worship Services: 0

Institution Phone: 804-288-1911 

Institution Email:

Institution Address: 1101 Forest Avenue, Richmond, VA  23229

Contact Name: Vernon Plack – Search chair

Contact Email:

Contact Phone 1: 804-334-3257 

Contact Address: n/a


Current Annual Compensation: N/A 

Cash Stipend: N/A

Cash Stipend Detail: N/A

Housing / Rectory Detail: N/A

Utilities: No

Utilities Detail: N/A

SECA reimbursement: Yes

SECA reimbursement options: Full 

SECA reimbursement details: N/A

Compensation Available for New Position: _(private)_, subject to our assessment of past success, gifts, skills, and potential, as well as experience.  

Negotiable: Yes

Additional Compensation Note: N/A

Housing Available for       0       persons:

Pension Plan: We are in compliance with CPF requirements. 

Healthcare Options: Full Family

Dental: Yes

Housing Equity Allowance in budget: No

Annual Equity Amount: N/A

Vacation Weeks: One month, including 5 Sundays 

Vacation Weeks Details: N/A

Continuing Education Weeks: 2 Weeks

Continuing Education Weeks Details: N/A

Continuing Education Funding in budget: $1001 - $2000/year 

Sabbatical Provision: Yes

Travel/Auto Account: Yes

Other Professional Account: N/A

Comments: N/A



Name:  Reverend Mario Gonzalez de Solar

Position Title:  Interim Rector

Date Begun:  07/2017

Date  Ended:  n/a


Name: Reverend Chuck Alley 

Position Title: Rector 

Date Begun:  08/1994 

Date  Ended:  06/2017


Name:  Reverend Tad deBordenave 

Position Title:  Rector 

Date Begun: 05/1980 

Date  Ended: 01/1993


Church School: Sunday School  

Number of Teachers/Leaders for Children Sunday School: 18

Number of Students for Children Sunday School: 36

Number of Teachers/Leaders for Teen/Young Adults Sunday School: 5

Number of Students for Teen/Young Adults Sunday School: 20

Number of Teachers/Leaders for Adult Sunday School: 4

Number of Students for Adult Sunday School: 20


Day School: Pre-K

Number of Students for Day School: 85

Number of Teachers for Day School: 13

Number of Total Staff for Day School: 14

Notes: St. Matthew’s Preschool serves children, ages one through five, of the parish and community.  This outreach ministry of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church provides an early childhood program, Monday through Thursday. The Preschool has made a significant impact on the community and the parish since 1985 through its outreach, developmental and Christian formation curriculum, and ministry to families.


In our baptism we promise to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ, seeking and serving Christ in all persons. You are invited here to reflect on your ministry by responding to all of the following questions. You may answer in more than one language, if appropriate.

Describe a moment in your worshipping community’s recent ministry which you recognize as one of success and fulfillment.

For about 25 years, St. Matthew’s hosted CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond To Assure Shelter), an organization that provides effective, permanent solutions to individuals and families dealing with the crisis of homelessness in the Metro Richmond area.  In the mid-2000s, we could no longer host CARITAS due to the lack of enough functioning bathrooms at the church, but continued to give our support by pairing up with a Methodist church in the inner city of Richmond. In 2015 the church successfully met a challenge of raising $196,000 to construct new bathrooms in the parish hall and renovate non-functioning bathrooms in the basement. This allowed us to invite CARITAS to return to St. Matthew’s. In 2017 more than 50 volunteers served our CARITAS guests and continued this ministry.

Describe your liturgical style & practice. If your community provides more than one type of worship service, please describe all:

St. Matthew’s is a traditional worship community. We have two services each Sunday, an 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist service (without music) and a 10:30 a.m. service, alternating Holy Eucharist and Morning Prayer. We also have a 9 a.m. Morning Prayer service every Tuesday. Our liturgical style leans to the low church form but retains a formal character. Rite I is used from Advent through Lent. Rite II is used from Easter through Pentecost.

The children perform a Christmas pageant on the last Sunday of Advent during the main service.   Christmas Eve services are held at 10 p.m. and a special family service offered in the afternoon. Holy Communion is celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Day.

A Feast of Lights service is held on Epiphany. Ash Wednesday services, with the imposition of ashes, are held at 7a.m., Noon and 7p.m. Holy Eucharist is celebrated on Wednesdays throughout Lent at 5:30 p.m. Lent ends with the Maundy Thursday service (with the traditional stripping of the altar). The Good Friday Liturgy is celebrated at 7 a.m. and with a Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. On Easter Sunday, there is a full choir and Festival Eucharist held at both the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. service.

How do you practice incorporating others in ministry?

St. Matthew's members and our visitors are encouraged to become involved in our outreach and missions to use their talents for Christ. Visitors are greeted and receive a gift bag of information and opportunities the church provides. Our new website is user-friendly and provides great information about the church and how to become involved.  Our preschool community and Vacation Bible School serve as an outreach for families and provide volunteer opportunities within the church.

Our most effective way to incorporate others is by word of mouth and personal invitation. Each Sunday, trained lay people minister to the congregation as crucifers, torch bearers, readers, ushers, choir members, sound technicians, Sunday school teachers, children’s church leaders, children’s homily and greeters. We have nurseries available, children’s programs each Sunday (children’s church, Godly Play, children’s sermons) and a youth group that serves our youth and the community.  We encourage people to join the many Bible studies, Sunday school classes and committees. Congregants are encouraged to attend the many community events we host throughout the year to serve as witnesses to the community.

As a worshipping community, how do you care for your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being?

The foundation of our worshipping community is Sunday morning, with other opportunities for spiritual and community nourishment throughout the week and during special events. Our 10:30 service is enhanced by the Director of Music and an inspired choir. We also provide children’s church and homilies weekly for younger worshippers. There are Christian Formation classes for adults, children and youth on Sunday mornings and a Youth Group meeting on Sunday evenings. During the week, Bible studies open to all are hosted at St. Matt’s and around the community. Groups dedicated to building community and missions activities include quilters, circles, crafting groups, a Wednesday night fellowship group and a Friday morning men’s breakfast group. Groups created to meet the needs of parishioners include Feed My Sheep Ministry which delivers meals in times of joy, transition and grief, supper club, movie and game nights, and Wednesday night dinners during Lent. We celebrate a Fall Festival with the community and offer multi-generational programming during Advent and Easter.

Describe your worshipping community’s involvement in either the wider Church or geographical region.

We are involved in many ministries in the Richmond area and across the world. Our local influence is quite wide with some members traveling more than 30 miles to attend a worship service or participate in small group Bible studies, etc. We believe one of our most effective local area programs is our preschool.

Our Mission Committee equips and provides opportunities for all members to be involved. Besides overseeing short-term mission trips (such as a trip to Cherokee, North Carolina with Mission to the World), the committee also serves as our liaison to CHAT (Church Hill Activities and Tutoring), which equips inner-city youth with the skills and con?dence to make transformative life decisions, and Anglican Frontier Missions. We also have been involved in mission trips to New Hope Children’s Home in Peru and Langano Harvest Foundation in Ethiopia.

We are a giving church. A portion of our annual budget is allocated to our Outreach Committee, which provides financial resources (with Vestry approval) to more than two dozen missionaries and organizations on an annual basis. Our Endowment Committee also allocates funds annually to organizations outside of St. Matthew’s. 

How do you engage in pastoral care for those beyond your worshipping community?

St. Matthew’s emphasizes community care and outreach near and far. We house the St. Matthew's Preschool, a developmentally-based, Christian-centered early childhood program. We participate annually with CARITAS by providing a week of meals, housing at the church, and transportation to shower and laundry facilities for guests. We partner with Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) by serving as tutors and mentors throughout the year. We also provide lunch to about 150 youth and staff during their spring break and summer camps. St. Matt’s cares for the broader world too. We have established a meaningful relationship with New Hope Children’s Home in Arequipa, Peru and sent our first mission team there in July of 2017. We have also sent parishioners and support to the Langano Harvest Foundation in Ethiopia. St. Matt’s houses the office of Anglican Frontier Missions and provides support to its missionaries as they seek to bring the gospel to unreached people.

Tell about a ministry that your worshiping community has initiated in the past five years. Who can be contacted about this?

In 2014, at the urging of a couple new to St. Matthew’s, we embraced an opportunity to financially support New Hope Children’s Home in Arequipa, Peru.  This couple’s parents had opened the Home in 1995 in response to their concerns for the number of children living on the streets of Arequipa.  In the summer of 2017, St. Matt’s sent 10 members to Arequipa to serve for a week.  The team worked on several main projects; remodeling the common living space and gardens, providing materials for Godly Play, and spending time with the children. Many who could not travel supported the efforts financially and in prayer. New Hope has benefitted from the physical work and has been encouraged by the love of the St. Matt’s community.  The St. Matt’s Mission Committee hopes that our relationship will continue and that every two years we will send a team to New Hope. Contact: Search Committee Chair.

How are you preparing yourselves for the Church of the future?

The mission of St. Matthew’s is to know Christ and make Him known through the power of the Holy Spirit. The church considers itself a “sent community,” commissioned to spread the gospel. We work to develop both knowledge and application of biblical teachings, providing ways to share time, talent and treasure, making visible the mission and ministries of St. Matthew’s. During the past 50 years, we have evolved from a young parish that initially sought location convenience into an aging parish committed to traditional theology. It’s a strength, but we also need to attract younger families. Our Christian Formation programs, including Godly Play between Sunday services, Wednesday evening intergenerational meal and discussion groups, and Children’s Sermons during Sunday worship services target these issues. Our use of technology draws on its advantages without negating our values and our worship experience. Our web-site is evolving; our pictorial directory and weekly newsletter are available online as well as in print; notices are updated on screens in the Parish Hall; and our Hearing Loop sound system helps those with severe hearing loss.

What is your practice of stewardship and how does it shape the life of your worshipping community?

The goal of our Stewardship Committee is to encourage members to give of their time, talent and treasures.  Our stewardship drive occurs each October. Last year, the average pledge amount was approximately $4,000, with total pledges representing over 91 percent of the 2017 operating budget. To ensure that we are good stewards of the financial gifts provided to us, the Finance Committee meets monthly to review the financial reports and to advise the Vestry.

Many opportunities are provided for members to share their time and talents to carry out our mission statement, “To know Christ and make him known.”  These activities include summer mission trips, small-group studies, local mission programs that provide services to the homeless and under-privileged children and families, and assisting with children’s education and weekly church services.  For 2017, the Vestry approved 10 percent of revenue to be designated for missions and programs outside of our parish.

One of our goals at St. Matthew’s is to see clergy, lay leadership and members of the congregation encourage each other to expand our volunteer activities and to increase the giving of our time, talents and treasures.

What is your worshipping community’s experience of conflict?  How have you addressed it?

Although St Matthew’s has experienced no major conflicts in our recent history, some conflict is natural in any community of diverse backgrounds like ours.  We address this through open discussion, thoughtful prayer and regular communication about major decisions. A few years ago, some parishioners were concerned about poor transparency regarding certain vestry decisions. To address this, a focus group was convened to understand and address their concerns. This resulted in the vestry implementing numerous procedures to improve the flow of information, which continues to this day.

A recent example of how we use communication to avoid potential conflict is with this very search process for a new rector. Since the committee was formed there has been weekly communication to the congregation about our progress and the next steps to be taken. The communication has been via our weekly newsletter, from the interim rector on Sundays, weekly emails, surveys and phone calls from committee members to parishioners.  We want everyone to feel part of this critical decision.

What is your experience/leading change in the church?  When has it gone well?  When has it gone poorly? What did you learn?

We have experienced many changes since 1948. Often these were minor changes due to fluctuation in membership, stewardship and areas of interest, resulting in temporary cuts to staff or elimination of ministries in favor of new programs.  Though we express our feelings openly, we also know how to pull together and weather such changes successfully. On three occasions in our history we’ve made successful transitions to new rectors, who throughout long tenures remained loyal to St. Matthew’s and maintained the support of the congregation without major controversy. We are optimistic about this fourth transition.

Not all changes have been smooth, however. In the late 1980s, the leadership of the church recognized a need to replace our original organ. Leadership did not understand the emotional attachment the organ had for some members of the church, nor the degree of anguish such a change could cause. We implemented a more transparent process including wider input from the congregation, resulting in the installation of a beautiful Létourneau organ in 1993. From that experience, we learned that we must be sensitive to and account for the emotions that change can provoke.

Please provide words describing the gifts and skills essential to the future leaders of your worshipping community.

The three most important gifts/skills of our next rector are: preaching; a vision and demonstrated track record of member growth (in particular, young families and youth); and a relational leader.

Preaching:  We understand our strengths as a strong community of conservative, creedal, orthodox parishioners. Our weekly worship services, including our traditional choir and music offerings, are our most important program. We seek a rector who can preach well, which we define as a sermon that is Scripture-based, applicable to everyday life, and provides spiritual nourishment so that we can go forth and make God known to others. 

A vision and demonstrated track record of member growth: We are an aging parish (an estimated 75 percent of active members are older than 50) and seek a rector who can assist us with attracting and retaining younger families and youth. While we believe it is critical that we care for our current parishioners, the area that we would like to see change the most at St. Matthew’s is a vision for growth.  

Relational leader: We desire to be led by a people person. Our next rector needs to be personable, caring, compassionate, honest and sincere.


Your worshipping community's website: 

You may provide the media links to your worshipping community):

You may provide links here to other sites where you might be found: N/A 

Languages significantly represented in your worshipping community: English

Please indicate the total percentage of your Average Sunday Attendance that worships in a language other than English: 0%

Approximate number of people:  703 

Provide worship or classes in the following languages: English 



Bishop Name: The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston

Bishop Contact Information: 804-643-8451

Diocesan Transition Minister Name: The Rev. Mary Brennan Thorpe and Mr. Edward Keithly

Diocesan Transition Minister Contact Information: 804-643-8451 ext. 1013, ext. 1015

Current Warden/Board Chair Name: Louis Allin

Current Warden/Board Chair Contact Information: N/A

Previous Warden/Board Chair Name: Sue Rickman

Previous Warden/Board Chair Contact Information: N/A

Search Chair Name: Vernon Plack

Search Chair Ministry: Chair

Search Chair Contact Information:; 804-334-3257  

Local Community Leader Name: Anna Hardin, LCSW  

Local Community Leader Relationship: Director of Shelter Operations, CARITAS

Local Community Leader Contact Information: ahardin@caritasva.irg; 804-887-1595