DUNDALK — After 25 years as the beloved rector of Dundalk’s St. George’s & St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, the Reverend Jansen String has announced his retirement, effective May 5.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, the Reverend String did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He earned an M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and an M.S. in clinical pastoral counseling from Loyola University Maryland. After his ordination to the priesthood, he served Episcopal parishes in North Carolina and Florida before accepting a call to become rector of St. George’s and St. Matthew’s in 1994.

During his long ministry in Dundalk, the Reverend String baptized, married and buried hundreds of faithful souls. He also led the parish in capital campaigns that enabled construction of an elevator to accommodate the handicapped and renovation of the church’s beautiful stained glass windows.

Under his leadership, St. George’s and St. Matthew’s welcomed many local organizations for weekly gatherings, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Right Turn of Maryland. A faithful contingent benefitted from his weekly Wednesday night Bible study.

Known for his endearing, spiritual and poignant sermons, the Reverend String earned a reputation as a compassionate pastor, trusted counselor and insightful teacher. He recently published a book, My Beloved Son, The Meaning of Baptism: Keeping the Faith in a Secular Age, that drew on his many years of theological study and reflection. He plans to publish another book later this year.

The Reverend String is an avid skier and now looks forward to spending more time on the slopes enjoying his favorite sport. He is married to Conni String. They have five children and five grandchildren with whom they plan to spend much happy time in retirement.

The Reverend String commented, “Conni and I have enjoyed being a part of the Dundalk community all these years. We have seen many changes, but this community’s enormous heart and resilience are enduring.” He recently wrote his congregation, “I hope that between now and May 5, I will have the opportunity to say goodbye to each of you. Serving you has been the best part of my life.”

All are welcome on May 5, at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate the Reverend String’s last Sunday at the altar.

St. George’s & St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is located at 2900 Dunleer Road, on the corner of Dundalk Avenue and S. Center Place in Dundalk. www.stgandstm.org. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Conni String, connistring@gmail.com