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Parishioners of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church have selected the Reverend Charles de Kay, the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Aurora, to be the new Rector of their historic church, beginning on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011.

“I am drawn to St. Matthew’s,” Rev. de Kay said, “in the belief that we share core values. We appreciate the importance of creative and meaningful worship, the power of education to construct meaningful lives, the call to radical hospitality in God’s name, the honest fellowship that issues forth, and the growth that stems from living as a community of hope and joyful service to the world. We do this together.”

Rev. de Kay joins St. Matthew’s as the church celebrates its 135th anniversary of mission and history this year. He succeeds the Rev. Canon Jane P. Henderson, who retired in December after serving as Rector for 14 years. The Rev. David P. Jones served as Transition Minister since then.

The church, 2120 Lincoln St., boasts traditions and community service that date back to Evanston’s first century, with the first services taking place barely four decades after the first pioneers from the East settled on the North Shore. Today there are hundreds of communicants.

Back then, only a dozen people were entered on the earliest mission register. From its earliest days, this church, like the town growing around it, was a place for activists, diversity and the devout.