SMST is an outreach- and community-focused congregation, in New York City, composed of committed persons that are monolingual and bilingual, multi-racial and multi-cultural, aging, diverse in terms of sexuality and gender identity, and many of limited financial means.
Photo from Parish Trip December 2018.
The Rev. Carla E. Roland Guzmán, PhD, Rector /Rectora, email@example.com
Mr. Chris Bell, Interim Sexton
Mr. Paul McAllister, Administrator
Ms. Santana Alvarado, Evangelism Coordinator
Mr. Rafael Felix, Maintenance Assistant
Mr. Ariel González, Maintenance Assistant
Mr. Gary Cooper, Maintenance Assistant
Wardens: Pam Soden & Carol Kornfield
Class of 2021: Dilma Loboa, Silvia Moreira, Jim Roberts.
Class of 2022: Tony Cooper, ______, _______
Class of 2023: Nancy Ortiz, Marisol de la Cruz, Carlos Mena
picture from 2019
A congregation born of fire, mergers, and the language of the people.
Through a series of mergers and fires, as the population of Manhattan has moved uptown, so has our church: Zion English Lutheran Church (1797, Mott/Park Streets, destroyed in 1815 and rebuilt; then in 1851 moved to Madison/38th St., merged in 1880 with Atonement), St. Timothy’s (W. 54/56th St. destroyed in 1890), Zion and St. Timothy’s (merged 1892, W. 56th Street, destroyed in 1921), and St. Matthew and St. Timothy’s (merged 1922, W. 84th Street, razed in 1965, rebuilt in 1969).
Our congregation has also been characterized by a need to worship in the language of the people. At Zion, services in German gave way to services in English, which led Zion to join the Episcopal Church in 1810. From the 1950s to the present, services in Spanish and English have defined our worship. Currently, there are people from more than a dozen countries in our congregation. In this diversity, we are united by our desire to contribute to our community and our need to explore the Christian faith and live out the baptismal covenant.
We say that “We are a joyous and diverse community in New York City, seeking to reflect God’s love through word, sacraments, education and service.” For over two centuries, regardless of location, all our churches have had a commitment to the community. Our legacy includes many programs and organizations that have come out of this congregation. St. Matthew’s Church was integral in the late 19th century to St. Ann’s Church for Deaf—a congregation which continues to this day. Under the leadership of the Rev. James A. Gusweller (1956-1973) and Rev. Jay H. Gordon (1973-2002) the church addressed the needs of the community through a Neighborhood Center and a Housing Corporation. In the early 1980s, the church contributed to the founding of the Jericho Project, now a highly successful non-profit that helps transform the lives of homeless persons. The Center and the Corporation addressed the substandard housing conditions and violence related to drug dealing in the West 84thStreet neighborhood and gave children and youth a place off the streets and programs to enrich their lives. The Housing Corporation owns a 72-unit apartment building, the Saint Timothy Apartments, renovated in 2008 which provides affordable housing. The Neighborhood Center, now part of Goddard Riverside, includes a tutoring center, pre-school age programs, and a program for seniors, which delivers 500 meals a day. In its longstanding tradition of excellent music, in 2005 the church helped start the Phoenix Concerts.
In addition to our worship and educational programs the congregation puts great effort into the Sunday Meals program, the Angels Basketball Program, and the Fishbowl Offering. The Meals Program is completely volunteer run and serves around 70 meals every Sunday. The Angels Basketball Program offers support to youth in a variety of ways, while enjoying the game of basketball. The Fishbowl Offering, a loose change offering collected at every service, funds outreach programs at the church and around the world. From its inception in 2006 we have raised over $17,000 through the fishbowl and have supported the Carpenter’s Kids, Nets for Life, Seamen’s Church Institute, the AIDS Walk, our Sunday Meals Program, our scholarship fund and the youth, the New York-Haiti Project, Meeting God on the Mountaintop (hurricane relief), and more.
Although with us since 2004, from 2007 the Reverend Carla E. Roland Guzmán leads the congregation. Our current Music Director is Mr. Jae Lee, and our Composer-in-Residence is Elaine Romanelli. We are one congregation of over 75 active members that worships in two languages. In 2015 and again in 2020, we have taken intentional time to strengthen the interfaith bonds with our neighboring synagogue Rodeph Sholom, especially given their hospitality immediately after the 1965 fire. In 2019 we celebrated forty solid years of faith and service in this building home. In 2020 we celebrated 210 years of ministry in this Diocese.
As all faith communities, we have changed and adapted during the Covid19 pandemic. In 2022, we have much to look forward to as we celebrate the centennial of the St. Matthew and St. Timothy’s merger—stay tuned for events related to this anniversary.
Researched and written by Ms. Winnie Stone in 2007 and 2010.
Edited by Mo. Carla in 2021.
"This is the House of God.” Jesus said that in his Father’s House were many mansions – enough room prepared for many. Our church serves as a shelter for all God’s people wherever they are on life’s path or a faith journey. Inside this house is a place for learning, serving, and praying throughout the day.
The clergy are not in the office regularly because we want to spend our time with you, our parishioners, our community, and our City. The best way to reach is us through email or by phone.