105 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ  |  (201) 652-2350  |       

Clergy & Staff

Father Thomas E. Mathews

Fr. Tom was recently called to Christ Church following a 10 year Rectorship at St. Luke’s Church, Phillipsburg and a 4 year Assistant Rector position at Grace Church, Madison. He is a “cradle Episcopalian” who attended St. John’s in Boonton where he and his wife, Tanya, developed a vibrant youth ministry and where Fr. Tom also served on the Vestry before seminary.

He grew up in Parsippany, and graduated from The College of NJ with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Psych, opening the door to work for four years in both Fragrance and Oncology research. From 2000-2003, he attended Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA (now EDS @ UTS), where he graduated with Honors for his M. Div. Thesis on the Apostle Paul.

He enjoys all aspects of parish ministry and administration, and feels especially called to the formation of community and church as a “family.” In his pastime, he and Tanya love to spend time with their smart, funny and caring daughters, Ava and Elyse. He enjoys pop culture and reading, watching football, attending concerts and biking.

The Reverend William Coats
Assistant to the Rector for Adult Formation

Fr. Bill served as rector of church in Pittsburgh, PA and Hawthorne, NJ. Now retired, Fr. Bill serves at Christ Episcopal Church in saying Mass, leading the 9am Adult Education Forum, providing pastoral care, and organizes the Old Retired Men's Group for Mass and Breakfast once a month.

He is married to Debby, a clinical social worker. Their children are grown and so they enjoy the spending time with friends and family, traveling, and watching the L.A. Dodgers.

William (Bill) K. Trafka
Director of Music and Organist

Bill is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he was a student of the legendary American organist and teacher David Craighead and was awarded the Performer's Certificate in Organ Performance. He arrived in New York City in 1985 to serve as the Associate Organist at St. Bartholomew's Church, where he was appointed Director of Music in 1995.

At St. Bartholomew's, Bill directed music for three diverse services each Sunday and oversaw a choral program which includes a professional choir, a volunteer choir and an extensive program for boy and girl choristers. For 22 years, he directed St. Bartholomew's Summer Festival of Sacred Music, offering great mass settings for 13 Sundays as part of the 11 A.M. Eucharist. He was also the Artistic Director of The Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation which presented Great Music at St. Bart's, a concert series which included performances by St. Bartholomew's Choir, a host of guest artists and ensembles, and, in association with the Gotham Early Music Scene, a weekly noonday series of free concerts of early music.

Bill will be onsite two times per week in addition to Sundays, and he looks forward to joining Christ Church's community. When not at work, Bill enjoys spending time with his Lab/Border Collie rescue "Booster," checking out dog runs and exploring the caverns of the city. He is also an avid reader of contemporary fiction and has never turned down a good Pinot Blanc!

Marlene Whittemore Pillow
Director of Youth Music Ministries

Marlene is a professional soprano and choral conductor, holding a Bachelors degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Masters degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Marlene shares her talents by providing music for the JOY! Family Service, and the Celtic Service as well as conducting the Jubilation Youth Choir, the Handchime Choir, and the African Drumming Ensemble. She produces a yearly musical, creates dramatic presentations of scripture, and encourages youth to perform on Sundays. Additionally, she directs the Vacation Bible School Musical every summer.

Marlene is a highly respected music teacher in the Ridgewood School System, and she has a private studio for voice and piano lessons. Marlene and her two children enjoy movies, books and music.

Kristen Lee
Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries

Mother of 3 gifted and athletic college students and wife of Gerry, Kristen loves sharing her joy and devotion to God and family with the parish. Kristen holds a degree in early-childhood education.

Her many talents have been instrumental in creating sacred space for our children and youth to grow in their faith.

Kristen coordinates the Nursery, Sunday school, J2A, Youth group, Confirmation class, JOY Worship, Christmas Pageant, Easter Egg hunt, Summer Sunday school and assists clergy in a number of other areas related to families with children. Kristen also assists Marlene with our annual musical and musical theater VBS.

Cori Sheffield
Interim Communications Director

Louise Rode
Parish Administrator

Louise worked as an administrator/office manager for many years in New York City and decided it was time to come back home. She lives with her husband in Closter, NJ.

Pawel Bajon
Sexton and Building Maintenance

Lauren Hirsch

Marge Singer
Emeritus Finance Secretary

The Vestry
Elected lay governing board

The Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church in Ridgewood, NJ is the legal, canonical (church law), and fiduciary "board of trustees" for the church.

The Rector is chairman of the Vestry. Wardens, elected for up to three consecutive two-year terms, are the lay chairs of the Vestry, and have canonical authority for the parish when the rectorship is vacant. Members are elected for up to two consecutive three-year terms. Governed by national and diocesan canon law, New Jersey State Religious Corporation law, and our own by-laws, the Vestry leads the parish in setting policies and goals, maintaining the buildings, and raising financial support for the mission of the parish.

For questions about the Vestry or to contact individual members, email the Parish Administrator, Louise Rode, or call (201) 652-2350 x13.

The members of the vestry are:

Lucy DiMaulo

Tom Martin

Kent Blair

Jim Morgan
Finance Chair

Kenny Cook

Troy Eggers

Julie Hamon

Nancy Jacoby

Jamel Shimpfky

Matt Bodino

Julie Berry

Laura D'Alessio

Barbara Hemink

Frank Piraino

Lara Ziccardi

Lyle Hatch

Jeff Hamon