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Ten Minutes with Terry Elsberry

A man of the Lord



Photo by John Rizzo

Terry Elsberry recently retired as rector of Bedford’s St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church after 23 years of service. He took a somewhat circuitous route to the ministry, having had an illustrious career in publishing at Better Homes & Gardens and Apartment Life before moving into corporate communications for a commercial real-estate company in Atlanta. A fifth-generation Iowan, Elsberry is married to Nancy Olds and has four daughters and nine grandchildren. 

What was your religious epiphany?
God got a hold of my life when I lived in Atlanta. I had emotional problems and was truly tormented. I tried everything but nothing helped. Then people started praying for me, and I was completely healed. It was a true miracle, and I knew then that I needed to put myself in God’s hands. There are times when you get the feeling that God is somehow extra present, where you can almost feel the air turning into a kind of liquid gold. It doesn’t get better than that!

When did you decide to become a minister?
I never thought I would—I was actually quite a hell-raiser. Although the ministry came quite naturally to me, I needed a lot of convincing to take that step. One day, the rector of my church told me I should be ordained. So, I asked God: “If this is what you really want me to do, give me a sign.” The very next day, a woman from the congregation that I didn’t know well, says, “Hey, Terry, you should be a minister.” Then I asked God that if he really wanted me to do this, to have someone in a high position in the church tell me. I went to a diocese convention and ended up sitting next to a bishop who told me—you guessed it—that I needed to be a priest. I entered the Virginia Seminary in 1981.

Where was your first assignment?
I spent three years in Alexandria, Virginia, working across the street from the White House at Saint John’s Lafayette Square. 

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment at St Matthew’s?
When I started at St Matthew’s, the capital campaign raised enough money to double the size of the parish house, restore the interior of the church and the exterior of the rectory. Several years later, we raised money for a church addition, including a new sacristy and a multi-purpose altar-guild room. I’m also very proud of our pre-K school, which opened in September 2010.

What was the most unusual service you led?
In 2004, we held a worship service as it would have been in 1804 as part of our bicentennial celebration. People got into the spirit and dressed in Federal-period clothing and arrived on horseback or carriage. We used the 1798 Book of Common Prayer for the service.

What’s best part of retiring?
Getting time to spend with my wife. After all, I’ve worked nearly every weekend for the past 23 years!

What’s next?
I will be helping out at Christ Church in Greenwich as a part-time associate. I also plan to write some books. The Bible in 60 Minutes is written, but not yet published. Another in the works is A Closer Walk With God, and I’d like to do a book for new ministers.

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November 2017

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

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Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Calling all tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science club members, authors, artists, students, entrepreneurs, crafter, and makers of any kind—join us this November for the...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
varies
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The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
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The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
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More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
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Cost: Free

Where:
HSS Stamford Outpatient Center
1 Blachley Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: HSS
Telephone: 203-705-2956
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The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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View map »


Website »

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Show More...
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Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

914INC. will host its annual Women in Business Luncheon, to be held in conjunction with the magazine's Q4 issue, showcasing leading area businesswomen...

Cost: $85

Where:
DoubleTree by Hilton
455 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Westchester Magazine
Telephone: 914-345-0601
Contact Name: Jen D'Ambrosio
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Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Music on the Hill presents a concert in tune with the changing seasons, performed by 12 pro singers with Ellen Dickinson, conductor, David H. Connell, piano, and Carolyn Engle, cello....

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door; students free

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Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
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The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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More information

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Cost: Free with admission

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Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
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Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel Looking to get your hands dirty and learn how to use the potter’s wheel? Try Clay...

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Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
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Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

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Sponsor: Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
Telephone: 914-875-9088
Contact Name: Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
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The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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