Our Rector, Staff & Vestry


Rev. Mark Van Sant

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As St. Matthew's goes through a transition, we will be celebrating with Rev. Mark Van Sant the rest of 2018, and a newly appointed rector will be joining us in January, 2019.

Jim Douglas, Director of Music Ministry

A New Jersey native, Jim Douglas enjoys an active career as a church musician, professional singer, keyboardist, conductor and composer/arranger. He was recently appointed Director of Music Ministry at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Pennington, NJ, where he serves as parish organist, director of three choirs and will continue to oversee the development of a graded chorister program for children and youth, an expansion of regular liturgical offerings and a sacred music internship.

Prior to his appointment at St. Matthew’s, Jim was Director of Music and Organist at St. James’ Church, Long Branch, NJ, where he served as parish organist, choirmaster and cantor. There he established a high school choral scholar program, reestablished a children’s choir and coordinated a highly-regarded recital and concert series.

Jim received his initial musical training at Saint Thomas Choir School in New York City and he became head treble chorister in the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys under Gerre Hancock, singing five weekly services and more than 400 choral pieces each season. He performed with the likes of Carly Simon and Jessye Norman, and can be heard as a treble soloist on the recording “Christ the Fair Glory.” He studied multiple instruments and played and conducted for weekly chapel services while in high school at Saint James School, Hagerstown, MD, studying voice with Corey Rotz and keyboard with Susan Gable and Barbara Wischmeier. He studied sacred music, organ, piano, voice and conducting at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, and was a soloist in several of the school’s renowned ensembles. Conducting, vocal and keyboard studies were with James Jordan, Thomas Faracco and Eric Plutz.

Jim has performed under such renowned conductors as Robert Spano, Neeme Järvi, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Lorin Maazel, Harry Bicket, Joseph Flummerfelt, Joe Miller, Andrew Megill and John Scott, among others, and has performed, recorded and toured with numerous ensembles, including the Saint Thomas Choir, Trinity Wall Street Choir, Vox Vocal Ensemble, Kinnara Ensemble and the Westminster Choir, among others. He has also performed in American premieres of choral works by John Tavener and Tarik O’Regan.

He has served on the Bishop’s Advisory Commission on Music for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey and is an active member of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) and the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) in America. He has served on the music facutly of the RSCM America King’s College Course since 2010 and will serve as Director of the 2018 Diocese of New Jersey Summer Choir Camp in Cape May, NJ

Cheryl Watterson, Interim Director of Children's and Family Ministries

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Cheryl Watterson is very excited to be the newly appointed Interim 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.

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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.

Click here for Vestry Meeting Minutes

William Compton, Senior Warden, wwcmail@gmail.com

Debbie Linthorst, Junior Warden, dlinthorst@comcast.net

James Benton, Vitality/Kairos, Preschool, bentonje@gmail.com

Brogann Sanderson Bowden, Pastoral Care, brogannsanderson@gmail.com

Diana Drake, Youth & Local Outreach, drakeink@aol.com

Mitchell Friedman, Communications, mrf0901@gmail.com 

Matthew Hill, Hospitality/Ushers, hillmatthew.6416@yahoo.com 

Al Krokowski, Property, alexkrokowski54@gmail.com

Mark Lederer, Clerk and Mission Trips, markalederer@gmail.com

Lynn Lorenz, Stewardship, justmultiples@yahoo.com

Amanda Morrison, Fellowship/Outreach, amandamorrison2008@gmail.com

Bob Thick, Music and Worship, rjdmask@earthlink.net

Joan Verplanck, Adult Education, joan@joanverplanck.co

Bruce Weise, Finance, bruce.weise@verizon.net