New leadership at Glenview Community Church

A new leader is looking to settle on the North Shore – and at the Glenview Community Church.

The 81-year-old church, 1000 Elm St., will welcome a new senior pastor, the Reverend James Matarazzo, during its annual Rally Day service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 11.

The service will include the release of Acting Senior Pastor Reverend Kent Ulery back from retirement and the release of Associate Pastor Reverend Elizabeth Hartung to his new position as Senior Pastor at Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, Glenview Community Church said in a press release.

Matarazzo was ordained in 2005 at the Alliance Church in Boston. He lived for 12 years in London, Glasgow and Oxford, and obtained his doctorate in theology at the University of Oxford.

For nearly 20 years, Matarazzo has worked in a variety of roles, including as a senior adviser at Christian Aid in London, as a consultant for the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, agencies within the United Nations and other international organizations, he said on Tuesday.

During his work and studies, “Jim” Matarazzo said he visited 94 countries. After all these trips, he sought more stability both professionally and personally.


“I was looking for a stable, that is, permanent ministry,” said Matarazzo, 54, who will attend Glenview Community Church from Wilmette, where he now lives with her husband, Tom.

“Its congregational size, vitality, and location on Chicago’s North Shore were very appealing,” he said.

“It seemed like a really nice place to settle down as well, as a family unit.”

Matarazzo’s background includes experience in teaching, social justice, public health, and congregational leadership.

The new senior pastor comes to Glenview after recently serving as the acting senior minister of First Congregational Church in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

“I’m interested in what an expression of Christianity looks like in the 21st century. It seemed like the Glenview Community Church was the perfect place to explore that,” Matarazzo said.

“Additionally, as an academic theologian, Glenview has a history of academically-leaning pastors, which has also made it attractive.”

He quoted Paul Tillich, the late Reverend of the United Church of Christ whose last teachings came at the University of Chicago. Matarazzo said Tillich primarily taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where Matarazzo earned a master’s degree in divinity.

The Glenview Community Church also announced that School Resource Coordinator Chris Calandra will serve as Director of Children’s Ministry. The Reverend Sarah Lohrbach, director of communications and marketing for the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, will join Glenview as director of youth ministry.

Ulery, an Arlington Heights resident and Indiana native, took over as interim successor to retired Reverend Charles Mize on November 1, 2021.

Hartung, a social studies teacher at Elmwood Park High School for nearly 14 years before joining Glenview Community Church as director of youth ministry, will leave the congregation after 15 years. For the past seven years, she has been associate pastor of the church.

The Glenview community is invited to join the 9/11 Rally Day service, which will be followed by a picnic.

The official installation service for Matarazzo as senior pastor of Glenview Community Church is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, under the direction of the Metropolitan Association of the United Church of Christ. This service is also open to the community.

Norma P. Rex