Diocese welcomes Matthew Townsend as Communications Missioner
The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester has hired Matthew Townsend as Communications Missioner. He begins work on Friday and will be present at Diocesan Convention on Nov. 10.
Townsend has worked as a journalist and web developer. As a journalist, he has written for The Living Church and served as a managing editor at a business journal in Florida, Townsend\'s home state. He earned his bachelor\'s degree in Mass Communications - Magazine Journalism from the University of South Florida.
For the last four years, Townsend focused on developing web sites for nonprofit and religious clients. He has worked with several parishes and consulted with the Diocese of Central Florida since 2008. From 2010 to this summer, he worked at Pixo, a creative firm in Urbana, Ill., where he helped serve clients including the American Library Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and Patch Adams, MD.
While in Illinois, Townsend attended the Chapel of St. John the Divine in Champaign. He served as Parish Warden in 2011 and assisted with the campus ministry to the University of Illinois. He also volunteered regularly at Empty Tomb, an ecumenical organization that provides home repairs, furniture and clothing free in Jesus\' name. He has been Episcopalian since 2006.
'I am grateful for the discernment that has led to calling Matt to our leadership team and am equally grateful for the patience and the thoughtfulness of the Search Committee and all of the saints of the diocese,' Bishop Prince Singh said.
Townsend said he feels God has brought him to Rochester for a reason. 'In my discernment process, I came to feel strongly that I needed more than a job in my life, that Christ has been calling me to more. I feel that call being answered here,' he explained.
The Very Rev. J. Brad Benson, rector of St. Thomas in Bath and Search Committee member, said the committee considered many talented candidates - but he was glad the group kept the door open until Townsend arrived. 'Matt sees evangelism and communication as synonymous and will teach all of us how to revel in the Spirit and then tell others,' Benson said. Townsend can be reached at email@example.com beginning Tuesday, November 13.