Clergy and Staff

The Rector

The Rev. Robert Fruehwirth     robert@stmatthewshillsborough.org

Robert Fruehwirth was called to be the new rector at St. Matthew’s effective July 28, 2019. He served as Associate Rector at St. Michaels in Raleigh from 2016-2019.  Prior to  St. Michael’s, he ministered at a parish in Norwich, England while earning a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Counseling. He was also the director of a spirituality center next to the shrine of the great saint, Julian of Norwich. Before that, he spent 20 years as a monastic in an Episcopalian Religious Order. He is an author with two published books: “Words for Silence” and The Drawing of this Love: Growing in Faith with Julian of Norwich.” He is particularly interested in how following Jesus makes us different from the world around us, inviting us to live in a way that pushes back against the assumptions of our culture. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife Jane, a Professor of Economics at UNC, and their two children Corinne (7) and Sebastian (5). He also loves poetry, reading, running, and gardening. He looks forward to getting to know this new community.

Associate Rector
The Rev. Lisa Frost-Phillips    
lisa@stmatthewshillsborough.org

Lisa Frost-Phillips first came to St. Matthew’s as a parish intern in the ordination process in 1992. She completed her studies at Duke Divinity School along with a Certificate in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1996 and was ordained to the priesthood that same year. She also holds a B.A. in British History from Sewanee. She lives in Carrboro with her husband, Dickson, and their three children, Jonathan, Abigail, and Emmaline. She enjoys being with her children, baking, traveling, reading, running, and hiking.

Priest Associates

The Rev. Liz Dowling-Sendor

Liz Dowling-Sendor has served at St. Philip’s in Durham and at Holy Family and the Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill. She was Associate Director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies and Spiritual Formation Group leader at Duke Divinity School. Liz also served as co-chair of the Commission on Ministry and on the Diocesan Pastoral Response Team and is a retreat leader and spiritual director. A former newspaper and magazine journalist, she is an editor and writer and contributed to Wide Open Spaces: Women Exploring Call through Stories and Reflections.  Liz is a graduate of Harvard University and, after an Anglican year at Virginia Theological Seminary, received the M.Div. from Duke Divinity School.

The  Rev. Carl Edwards

Carl Norris Edwards retired in 2001 from 21 years as Rector of Immanuel Episcopal Church in Glencoe, Maryland.  Since moving to Orange County in 2001 he served successively as Interim Priest at St. Paul’s in Louisburg and then Vicar at St. Bartholomew’s in Pittsboro.  In 2011 he joined the team of Priest Associates at St. Matthew’s.

The Rev. Dr. Peregrine Kavros

Peregrine Kavros was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1991. She provided pastoral care to several parishes in New York, helping them develop programs, serve minority communities, and shore up church physical and spiritual infrastructure. Peregrine is also a licensed psychologist and a certified sex therapist, with advanced degrees in business and neuropsychology. Her private practice in Hillsborough is devoted to assisting individuals and couples maximize their potential and enhance their personal and professional relationships. //peregrinekavrosphd.com 

The Rev. Dr. Bruce Lawrence

Bruce B. Lawrence, in addition to being an Episcopal priest, is also professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus at Duke University and adjunct Professor at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakf University, Istanbul. He has written extensively on the Muslim world and Islamic scripture, including The Qur’an – a Biography (Grove/Atlantic, 2006), Who is Allah? (UNC/EUP Press, 2015), and The Koran in English – A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2017). 

The Rev. Canon Jean Parker Vail

Jean Parker Vail brings to retirement at St. Matthew’s a love of preaching.  She holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching, has taught homiletics and is the author of “In the Name of God: Exploring God’s Love in Prayer and Pulpit.”  Her experience of parish ministry in the dioceses of Chicago and Minnesota focused on leading congregations of varying sizes from mission to cathedral and seminary through the challenges of transition between seated vicars, rectors or deans.

Rector Emeritus

The former Rector, Rev. Dr. N. Brooks Graebner, retired from St. Matthew’s on September 30, 2017, after 27 years of faithful service. 

Acting Director of Music & Organist

Dr. Jason A. Wright  
music@stmatthewshillsborough.org

Dr. Wright comes to St. Matthew’s with 24 years of experience as a director of music and organist in the parish setting.  He has earned degrees with high distinction in sacred music, liturgical theology, organ performance, choral conducting, music education, and higher education administration.  He is an alumnus of East Carolina University, UNC – Greensboro, Indiana University, University of South Carolina, and University of Notre Dame.   In addition to his service to the church, Dr. Wright has held academic teaching positions where he has taught children in kindergarten through the collegiate level, including at a flagship university.  He is a published musician with articles in Oxford’s Grove Music Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the Choral Journal, the Journal of the Anglican Association of Musicians, and The Organist’s Companion.  He and his partner live in Raleigh with their two Mini-Schnauzers Lady Adeline and Sir Windsor.  In his free time, he is a collector of model ships and seascape acrylic oil paintings, both antique and modern.  To learn more about Dr. Wright, please visit his personal website www.jasonawright.com.

Director of Christian Formation

Kim Powell Cox 
kim@stmatthewshillsborough.org

A native of Oklahoma City, Kim graduated in 2014 from Oklahoma Baptist University with degrees in Anthropology and Biblical Languages.  During her undergraduate work, she traveled abroad to China, France, and Morocco where she worked primarily with immigrant populations and university students.  Although raised Southern Baptist, she joined the Episcopal Church in 2014 and was confirmed Easter 2016. In 2019, Kim received a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School with a certificate of Theology and the Arts. She studied abroad in Durham, England as part of her Masters program, an experience which gave her a greater depth and love for the Anglican faith tradition.

Her current academic interests include sacred space, Christian spirituality, and iconography. In her free time, Kim enjoys traveling, running, playing piano, gardening, knitting, reading, and drinking tea. She is also a lover of period films and an avid fan of all things Harry Potter, Jane Austen, and Lord of the Rings.

She worked as Interim Youth Minister during the fall of 2019 here at St. Matthew’s and was excited to work with the youth at St. Matthew’s and walk alongside them in their own faith journey.

Parish Administrator

Mary Rocap  
welcome@stmatthewshillsborough.org

Singer/songwriter, quilter, chronicler of the life & travails of her flock of backyard chickens, bookkeeper, and former restaurateur, Mary Rocap brings her varied skills and experiences to the task of being Parish Administrator of St. Matthew’s.

 Verger

Bob Shelton  
verger@stmatthewshillsborough.org

Bob is a “cradle” Episcopalian. He has served as an Acolyte, Lay Reader, LEM, Junior Warden, Senior Warden in his local churches. In addition, Bob has served at the Diocesan level as a member of the Diocesan Council and the Standing Committee. He is now a “Fellow” in the Verger’s Guild of the Episcopal Church. 

More about the position of Verger.

Financial Secretary
Sara Brewer  
sarastmatts@gmail.com

Caretaker for Buildings & Grounds

Pelham Jacobs  
pelham9@gmail.com

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