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Matthew Cimorelli

Senior Pastor

Phone:

732-229-9180

Email:

Fun Fact:

I like to cook many types of fine food – mostly because I love to eat!

Pastor Matt was raised in a Roman Catholic family as one of six children.  Because his father was in the Air Force, the family lived in several places, including Trier, Germany.  His family was very musical, and played music at a folk mass at the chapel on Fort Dix, NJ for three years in the early 1970s.  As a young boy he had a strong sense of call to the priesthood, but also felt called to be a husband and father.  After graduating high school in 1982, Pastor Matt worked a number of jobs, including HVAC technician, and technical school teacher.  Music and faith have been strongly connected throughout his life.  He was a volunteer church musician at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic church in Willingboro, NJ, for 8 years.  In 1984, he met Karen, the daughter of Pastor C. Paul and Dolores Strockbine.  Karen and he married on April 12, 1986, and were blessed by the birth of their daughter, Jillian, on March 2, 1994.

 

Pastor Matt, still a Roman Catholic at the time, was certified in youth ministry in 1984, and participated in many forms of ministry, from youth and prison ministry to teaching bible studies and writing, performing, and recording contemporary Christian music with Karen and others.  During this time he realized that his understanding of the faith was not what was taught by the Roman Church, and he discovered a theological home in the writings of Luther and Melanchthon, as well as a worshiping home at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Tabernacle, NJ.  Under the mentorship of Pastor David Jones, Pastor Matt served as High School Youth Director at Lord of Life, and was heavily involved in the Music Ministry.

In September, 1991, he first inquired about becoming a Lutheran pastor.  He then completed an Associate of Arts Degree at Burlington County College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Thomas Edison State College, studying part-time while working two jobs.  Starting in 1999, in which year he was also a voting member at the Churchwide Assembly, Matthew attended The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia full time, from which he graduated in 2003.

Karen earned her Masters Degree in Psychological Rehabilitation Counseling in 2013 and is the Coordinator of Disability Services at a community college. She was awarded the 2010 Direct Service Provider of the Year Award from the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey.

 

Jillian, is a social media personality and actor. She manages her own social media consulting firm. She graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in West Hollywood, CA as a member of the class of 2014.

 

Pastor Matt was called as Senior Pastor of Reformation on July 25, 2010 and began serving in October of the same year. He served on Synod Council until 2014, served on the Synod Executive Team, was trained as the Synod Partner in Worship, served for nearly a decade as a member of the Synod Assembly Planning Team, is a member of the Synod LGBT Task Group, and the Executive Director of the NJ State Diakonia Program. He served as a member of the ELCA Presiding Bishop’s Roundtable on Student Debt from 2008 – 2010, and as a member of the Board of the Flemington Area Food Pantry.

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Amy Ortiz-Whitehead

Secretary

Amy Ortiz Whitehead provides clerical and administrative support as the church's secretary.  She assists Pastor Matt with the day to day operations of the church and serves as a point of contact between the church and the community. 

Leslie Reis

Cleaning Service

My family and I have been members here at Reformation since the mid-1990's. I have been a Sunday school teacher as well as a Youth Group Advisor and liaison to the Lutheran Home for Children in Jersey City. 

In 1997 I took on the job here as custodian. Twenty-seven years and an enormous addition later, local community congregations are experiencing God's gift by utilizing our wonderful church building. Plugging away at my duties here at Reformation, alongside such dedicated staff and volunteers, is both humbling and gratifying. 

 

My greatest joys are my two daughters, their spouses, my partner, and mostly my five wonderful grandchildren!

Lorraine Cotter

Musician

Lorraine Cotter has been a member of Reformation Lutheran Church since 1988. She grew up being part of Reformation’s music ministry— first with the cherub choir and handbell choir, then adult choir with her parents and playing her flute during service. In 2003, she met her husband Kevin and introduced him to the music ministry and he has been part of our church since that moment. 

Music is an integral part of who she is and it led to a BM in Music Education from William Paterson University in classical flute. During her tenure, she performed with the High Mountain Symphony, Flute Ensemble on Bass and Alto Flute, Opera Workshop, Chamber Singers and performed as a soloist with the Jazz Nativity. In 2016, she completed her Master’s Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia concentrating in Liturgical Music. Her studies included conducting, soloing with gospel choirs, cantoring, organ, and analysis of hymn texts which culminated in a Hymn Festival. 

In 2019, Lorraine became the musician for Reformation. She performs on piano, organ, flute and voice during service, accompanies choir anthems and helps to organize musicians during the year. She also volunteers as the Director of Sunday School and helps to organize and set up lessons for the Pre-K through 2nd grade class.

Lorraine lives in Neptune with her husband,  Kevin, and their three children Michael, Maggie and Elizabeth.

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