Our Rector, Staff & Vestry
Rev. Ophelia Laughlin
After a thorough and thoughtful search process, we are excited to announce the Reverend Ophelia Laughlin as our new Priest-in-Charge. Rev. Laughlin grew up in the area and has deep personal and family ties to Pennington and St. Matthew’s! Most recently, Ophelia was the rector at St. George’s by the River in Rumson, NJ. She and her husband Eric live in Ringoes, NJ. She celebrated her first Eucharist with us on February 3rd.
Director of Music Ministry
Mark Dolan, our newly appointed Organist and Music Director, is responsible for recruiting, training, and directing our three music ensembles: The Adult Choir, The Pennington Ringers, and The Junior Choir. Mark concurrently serves as Choral Director for Newtown Middle School, Council Rock School District, where he leads the Young Men’s Vocal Ensemble, the Newtown Choraliers women’s choir, the auditioned Middlemasters mixed choir, and the CRAFTPlayers theatre program.
An active member of the American Choral Director’s Association, Mr. Dolan is a past chair and conductor of the Plainfield Area Children’s Choir Festival and is the founder and current chair of Vocal Thunder, Eastern Pennsylvania’s premiere choir festival for middle school boys.
Mr. Dolan enjoys work as a concert organist and accompanist, having given programs on both US coasts and in the UK. Most recently Dolan was organist for Cantus Novus’ performance of the Duruflé Requiem under the direction of Mr. Edward McCall in Bucks County, PA, and in a performance of the Fauré Requiem under the baton of Craig Jessop, Conductor Emerita of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, at Carnegie Hall, NYC.
Mr. Dolan earned his Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he studied with Gavin Black, Christa Rakich, Dr. Frank Abrahams, and others. Mr. Dolan also holds Masters’ degrees in Architecture and Human Resources Development from Tulane University in New Orleans and SUNY at Stony Brook, NY, respectively.
A native of New Jersey, Mark lives in Hopewell Boro with his cats, Tchoupitoulas and Vacherie! Be sure to stop by his house on Halloween for extra treats, or drop by his annual crawfish boil on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
Cheryl Watterson, Director of Children's and Family Ministries
Cheryl Watterson is very excited to be the newly appointed Director of Children’s and Family Ministries at St. Matthew’s! She has been an active member of the church since moving to the Pennington, NJ area with her family in 1999, serving on the Mission Committee, attending mission trips to Camden, NJ and Honduras, and assisting with many annual church fundraisers. She is the mother of four children, two girls and two boys, and all have grown up in this church. The youngest is still attending classes here on Sundays in the Kairos Sunday school program. Cheryl has taught in the program and is looking forward to the opportunity to help this wonderful ministry continue and grow.
Cheryl is a former social worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She also holds a BA in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Richmond where she met her husband, Scott. Cheryl worked as a social worker in Atlanta, GA before moving to Chapel Hill, NC and then Pennington, where she stayed home with the children for sixteen years. She has been happily teaching in the Two’s class at St. Matthew’s Preschool for six years and has been the school’s Kids’ MusicRound-trained teacher for the past four years, working with all of the children in the school. Cheryl recently earned her CDA (Child Development Associate) certification for working with young preschoolers. She plans to continue teaching in the preschool every morning throughout the school year.
Cheryl has always wanted to work with children and feels fortunate to be able to oversee the Kairos program for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. She is also looking forward to interacting with our wonderful teachers, clergy, and parents throughout the year! You can contact Cheryl by email by clicking here: Kairos@stmatthewspennington.org.
Pam Worthington, Parish Administrator, began in July 2017 at St. Matthew's.
The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. The number of vestry members and the term of office varies from parish to parish. Vestry members are usually elected at the annual parish meeting. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. There are usually two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings. A treasurer and a secretary or clerk may be chosen. These officers may or may not be vestry members.
The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church's mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances.
Rev. Ophelia Laughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Compton, Senior Warden, email@example.com
Debbie Linthorst, Junior Warden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Drake, Youth & Local Outreach, email@example.com
Mitchell Friedman, Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Hill, Hospitality/Ushers, email@example.com
Al Krokowski, Property, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Morrison, Fellowship/Outreach, email@example.com
Brogann Sanderson Bowden, Pastoral Care, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Thick, Music and Worship, email@example.com
Bruce Weise, Finance, firstname.lastname@example.org