New York bishop, bishop coadjutor-elect launch New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union

New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union (NYEFCU)
Posted May 23, 2023

Support for new credit union is one of three ‘healing initiatives’ expected to form the pillars of incoming Bishop Matthew Heyd’s episcopacy, which also include reparations and creation care

Launch includes release of promotional video that features Miguel Escobar, author of the award-winning book The Unjust Steward

On Ascension Day, just days before the consecration of Bishop Coadjutor-elect Matthew Heyd, the New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union (NYEFCU) was officially launched at the campus of St. James Church, Fordham. The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche, the 16th Bishop of New York, and The Rev. Matthew F. Heyd launched the credit union and ceremonially opened the first accounts, marking a major milestone in enhancing financial inclusivity for the Diocese’s marginalized and unbanked populations, and signifying a new chapter in the church’s mission to promote justice and compassion in the world.

The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche, 16th Bishop of New York said: “It is fitting that on the celebration of Ascension Day, we have gathered to bless the opening of the New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union. This credit union is not just another financial institution—it’s a lighthouse in the storm for those who have been left adrift by conventional banking systems. It’s our shared response, a tangible reflection of our faith in action. Through this credit union, we, the diocese and people of God, are transforming our faith into impactful deeds, providing everyone with the means to financial empowerment, regardless of their economic background. In doing so, we uphold the inherent dignity of each person, manifesting the love of God through our actions.”

The Rev. Matthew Foster Heyd, Bishop Coadjutor-elect said: “We’re dedicated to economic justice and equity for all New Yorkers.  Our faith teaches us that we’re to share our abundance with our neighbors. The new Episcopal Federal Credit Union represents an important way that we dedicate our resources for justice. It represents a heartfelt embrace of the under-banked, offering them not only a place in the financial world, but a fair shot at economic prosperity.”

Despite the national under-banked rate standing at 4.5% in 2021, New York State’s figure was higher at 5.9%. Households falling into this category lack access to conventional banking facilities such as checking or savings accounts, often resorting to alternatives like payday loans or check cashing services. The establishment of the New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union (NYEFCU), governed independently by an elected board of directors, represents a significant stride towards addressing this financial need, and sets a significant tone for the forthcoming consecration of Bishop-elect Heyd.

The first branch of the NYEFCU is located next to St. James, Fordham in a new mixed-use development (St. James Terrace) that will house 102 affordable apartments, half of which are allocated for formerly homeless individuals. In its inaugural year, the credit union aims to cater to the specific financial needs of its low- to moderate-income members by offering an array of services. These include basic savings and lending facilities such as share accounts, unsecured emergency loans, share draft accounts, and share certificates. Additional services like direct deposit, online access, cashier’s checks, and money orders are also part of the plan, demonstrating NYEFCU‘s commitment to economic inclusivity.

The establishment of the credit union is a testament to the collaborative efforts of many dedicated individuals, committees, and activists who have worked tirelessly to lay the foundation for its creation. Bishop Coadjutor-elect Matthew Heyd, along with fellow leaders in the diocese, played a significant role in nurturing the credit union from its early stages as a diocesan start-up ministry to its realization as a fully functioning institution of service and hope. As the incoming Bishop Coadjutor, Heyd is set to be consecrated this Saturday, May 20, 2023, at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. He will ascend to be the 17th Bishop of New York in the following year, with a vision that includes the newly-launched credit union as alongside two other vital ‘healing initiatives’ – reparations and creation care as part of the foundation of his episcopacy. These priorities exemplify Heyd’s commitment to address systemic challenges, foster positive transformation, and embody the principles of Christian love and justice in a meaningful and community-centric manner.

The Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, Bishop Assistant, said: “As a diocese, we are committed to making a meaningful impact on the lives of those who have traditionally been marginalized and underserved. That’s why the establishment and launch of our diocesan credit union is such a pivotal moment for us. It’s not just about providing financial services, it’s about creating an inclusive space where everyone, irrespective of their financial standing, can feel valued and supported. Through the Moses Commission, our commitment to reparations for slavery and its aftermath is being carried forward, and through our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, we are taking a stand on environmental justice. These initiatives are more than just programs or ideas, they are a call to action, a call to embody the love and grace of God in the world.”

The Rev. Matt Oprendek, Priest-in-Charge of St. James, Fordham, and co-chair of the Credit Union Task Force said: “As a member of the inaugural board of trustees and co-chair of the Diocese’s credit union task force, I am thrilled to see the New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union open its headquarters and first branch here in the Bronx. It’s a testament to our commitment to the local community and our mission to serve everyone in our field of membership, regardless of their financial circumstances. The existing banking system often neglects the needs of those who are underserved and overlooked, and that’s why we’re excited to offer a financial institution that prioritizes the well-being of all its members. We look forward to empowering our neighbors in Fordham and throughout the Bronx, as well as the entire Diocese of New York, with the tools and resources they need to achieve financial stability and thrive.”

Miguel Escobar, who wrote the award-winning book The Unjust Steward, and who is featured in the promotional video for the launch of the credit union, said: “Stewardship goes beyond wealth management; it is about using our assets to empower and support those in need. Through the New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union, the diocese has an incredible opportunity to alleviate debt, walk alongside marginalized communities, and foster economic development. The Bible teaches we all have a moral imperative to help liberate people from poverty and economic bondage. We can use money as a tool for justice, and thus fulfill our calling to be faithful servants of God, not servants of wealth.”


As an integral part of the vast tapestry of The Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, theEpiscopal Diocese of New York weaves a vibrant thread through a diverse landscape. From the thriving urban vitality of The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, through the serene beauty and splendor of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, the Diocese embraces a lively community of faith, fellowship, service and spiritual commitment across almost 200 congregations and 50,000 members. At the heart of the Diocese, within the borough of Manhattan, stands the majestic Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, a house of prayer for all people, an instrument of church unity, a center of intellectual light, and the seat of The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche, the 16th Bishop of New York. On December 3, 2022, the Diocese elected The Rev. Matthew Foster Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor, who will be consecrated on May 20, 2023 and is set to assume the role of the seventeenth Bishop of New York in the following year.

The journey towards establishing the NYEFCU began in 1990 when the Diocese of New York committed 10% of donations to its endowment funds to economic justice efforts and created a task force to recommend projects. Despite initial discussions and resolutions in 2003 and 2004, the credit union’s development was slow. It wasn’t until 2014 when the diocesan convention voted to “authorize the establishment of a task force to prepare a charter and solicit initial grants and deposits to establish the Episcopal Diocese of New York Credit Union.”

The task force submitted an application for a federal charter to the National Credit Union Administration in December 2020, and spent 2021 and 2022 addressing the federal agency’s requests for more information and revisions before finally receiving approval. The credit union was launched with an initial investment of $500,000, with $250,000 from the diocese and another $250,000 from Trinity Church Wall Street. An ongoing fundraising drive aims to secure an additional $300,000 to cover the first five years of operating expenses, including staffing, office supplies, and computer technology. After this period, NYEFCU aims to have enough members to sustain itself without further external funding.

The NYEFCU headquarters will be located on the campus of St. James Church, Fordham in the Bronx, with additional branches in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and at Trinity Church Wall Street’s Trinity Commons in Lower Manhattan. In addition to its three locations, NYEFCU will also provide access to a national online network for basic banking functions and plans to establish a physical presence in Ulster County to serve the northern part of the diocese. With the launch of the NYEFCU, the Diocese of New York is continuing to fulfill, with God’s help and the support of God’s people in New York, its commitment to economic justice and community empowerment.

As a federally chartered credit union all member deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to at least $250,000. For more information about the New York Episcopal Federal Credit Union, please visit