September 16, 2020

The mission of Trinity Church is to share Christ's love and grace in a vibrant community whose joyful spirit empowers people to do God's work.

Trinity celebrated the 61st anniversary of the official opening of our current church building last Sunday.
According to Pattie Pavalansky Cooke’s History of Trinity Episcopal Church 1877-2001 (2001), the formal opening for new Trinity Episcopal Church occurred at 5 PM on Sunday, September 13, 1959, led by Dr. Robert Shaw, Rector. The first service actually held in the building, still under construction at the time, was Easter Sunday 1959.
According to Cooke’s History, three former rectors, a Bishop, an Archdeacon and other Episcopalian and protestant clergy and the Rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom all attended the formal opening. The building cost $180,000. The former Trinity church building on Prince Edward Street is now the home of the Fredericksburg Full Gospel Fellowship church.
Our current Trinity bell, bought in 1881 (Cooke, p. 122), moved with the parish to the new site, as did other elements from the Prince Edward Street building. Some furniture and some of our current stained glass windows also came from the former building.
I talked with Waldo Beck about the move, since he was on the Vestry in 1959 when the change occurred. For those of you who do not know Waldo, he is now 97 years old and has the best memory of anyone in the parish. He has been a parishioner since he and his late wife Moonie were married in 1944 and he joined her church. He and his wife Joanne are still active and a part of the vibrant life at Trinity.
Regarding the decision to build a new church, he recalls the need for more space and the Diocesan wish that we could be nearer the UMW campus to serve students and faculty there. Space was so cramped in the former building that the Vestry meetings were held in a Sunday school room and Vestry members crouched on children’s chairs for the duration of the meeting. He also recalls hard financial times during the earlier years and says “we were so broke one year” that a previous rector, Rev. Frank Moss, actually volunteered to forego his salary one month to make the budget work. By the time the parish moved to the current location, finances were more secure and there were, according to Cooke’s History, about 300 parishioners.
Waldo says most people were excited about the new church, though a few of the older parishioners resisted the change. One concern was protecting the two large trees at the front of the new property. He and Duval Dickinson (Harry’s father) were particularly vocal and he remembers Duval actually placing himself between the trees and the bulldozer to protect them. The trees are still standing today.
Beautiful choir furniture, no longer in use after a later renovation of our building, and the stained glass window over the monk’s door came from the earlier building. The communion table in the Ida Beck chapel and that stained glass window were also a part of the old site church.
Waldo commented on the various ups and downs through the years and the differences in the church based on who was Rector at the time. He recalls traditional oyster dinners as very enjoyable fund-raisers and cooperative youth group activities with St. George’s and The Presbyterian Church.
Right now Waldo appreciates the efforts to keep Trinity alive and well during the Covid19 pandemic. He said, “The virus makes us realize [and appreciate] what we have” and he gives great thanks for the leadership of Rev. Bambi Willis.
So we’ve gone from the discomfort of children’s chairs for Vestry meetings at the old site to current meetings by Zoom. Anyone care to venture a guess as to what God has in store for us next?!

Claire Curcio, Senior Warden
Trinity Discernment Prayer

O Everlasting, Omniscient, and Loving God
We confess that our daily worries and concerns often blind us to your voice and guidance in our lives. We thank You for this time of change, may it be an opportunity to grow together more closely as followers of your son Jesus Christ as we work to discern your path forward for our congregation. We pray that You will watch over the Bishop, diocesan transitional ministry team, the parish clergy, members of our vestry, and the other leaders of our church as they lead us on a new path for our parish. We pray for the members of the discernment committee as they endeavor to do Your holy work in calling a new rector for Trinity. We pray for all the members of our parish family during this time of transition that we come closer to You and feel your presence in our hearts. AMEN.

The Vestry appointed a REGATHERING COMMITTEE to consider all aspects of regathering -- indoor worship, outdoor worship, live-streaming and the technology required, altar guild requirements, role and training of ushers, and other pertinent areas. They will also study the multiple guidelines sent to us by the Diocese to be sure any plans made fit those requirements. Members of the committee are Barry Holliday, Val Folden, Harry Dickinson, Rosemary Arneson, David Stokes, and Mike Frye, with Bambi Willis and Claire Curcio as ex officio members.

It’s sneaking up on us! Our Annual Stewardship Campaign. 

We Episcopalians are notorious for our dislike of talking about money, but it’s that time of year when I try to come up with some magical way to make talking about making a financial commitment to Trinity interesting, inspiring and innocuous!  I sincerely thank you all for continuing to give throughout this most interesting year.  This year of No Vicar, Virus and Violence has accentuated the strength of Trinity. We’ve not only held it together, we continue to thrive despite being unable to worship together in person. Bambi, the Staff and the Vestry continue to find ways for us to remain connected.  When I make my contributions, I count my blessings that I am a part of such a strong Congregation. 

I appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Vestry and as Treasurer. Val Folden
Virtual Coffee Hour - On Sunday September 20, we will continue our virtual coffee hour at 9:30 a.m. The Zoom meeting ID # and password will be distributed by email. We ask that everyone mute their microphones when we start the Zoom meeting to minimize background noise. You can unmute when if you want to speak. We look forward to seeing you for quick updates. It’s been so long and we miss you.
Families with children are invited to join us for ONLINE SUNDAY SCHOOL this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for a 30 – 40-minute Sunday school lesson on Zoom.  Our time together will include a few minutes of social (gathering) time, a few songs we all know, some prayer time, a story, and an easy craft response to the story.  This will be geared for children ages 5 through fifth grade, but older and younger people are welcome too.  Each child/person will need a pencil, a few sheets of paper, and some crayons or colored pencils.  I will email some additional materials to everyone on Friday.  If you have not received emails in the past with the information to join the class meeting and would like for your child to participate, please contact Sam Burton at

CLUB 45 – Calling all 4th and 5th graders! Club 45 will have a meeting this Sunday, September 20th, by Zoom.  We will meet from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. to catch up with each other and to play games.  Parents, I will send an email to you on Friday with the login information and some handouts for games.  If you would like your child to participate, please send an email to Sam Burton at by Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

The next YOUTH GROUP meeting will be Sunday, September 27th.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY- Holy Scripture informs us of the creator God’s knowledge of each of us, both in this life and even before. This knowledge helps me to be secure in my relationship with the Lord. Such a sense of security however waivers in regard to how I am known by friends and acquaintances. Let me explain. I’m having a recurring experience some others of you may have had as well. I am not currently, nor have I ever been, on Facebook. Yet, I repeatedly hear from Trinitarians that they have seen my posts and that the entries just do not sound like me. Furthermore, it appears some of you have had ongoing exchanges with “me.” Apparently we are not acquainted as well as I thought. The Randall Clingenpeel you see on Facebook and I are not one-in-the-same. I’m trusting God to know the real me and in the end that’s the Good News.

PRAYER FOR OUR PEOPLE - Responding to a request from Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, Trinity is delighted to announce the establishment of a prototype prayer initiative for the Fredericksburg Region named PRAYERS FOR OUR PEOPLE. Using a web-based form found on this link (, individuals can request prayers for their needs or the needs of others. The initial phase of the pilot will be staffed by members of Trinity and Bishop Brooke-Davidson has extended an invitation to participate to the other churches in the region via the Fredericksburg Region leadership.

CAMPUS MINISTRY has begun its regular semester meetings online on Tuesdays from 5pm – 7pm! We would like to invite all college students (no matter which college!) to gather with us by Zoom. A Zoom link may be found on our church website,, or find the event on our Facebook page .

During this time when we cannot be together physically, let’s keep in touch virtually.  Please check out the TRINITY FACEBOOK PAGE for information, inspiration, and some things to make you smile. Messages from Bishop Curry and from our Bishop Susan Goff are posted as they are received. Don't forget our follow Instagram page and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


A Meditation for the 15th Week after Pentecost, "Forward to Church" by Bishop Goff can be found here.

Good Trouble for a Healthy Planet: 2020 Faith-Based Organization Consultation on Climate Emergency. The Episcopal Church, in collaboration with a coalition of interfaith partners led by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will offer a virtual webinar on “Good Trouble for a Healthy Planet” on September 24, 10:00am-1:00pm EDT. It will address the impact of human activity on the planet and the urgent need for action to obtain sustainable and resilient communities globally and develop strategies for moving forward to address climate change. Access descriptions of the workshops here. Register for virtual event here. Registration Deadline: Close of business on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. For more information, click here.

Episcopalians are invited to join churches around the world in celebrating the Season of Creation; a time for people of faith to renew their relationship with God and all creation through celebration, prayer, and action. The Season’s roots rise from the Orthodox Christian tradition; the World Council of Churches was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from September 1 until St. Francis Day, October 4. The Episcopal Church Office of Creation Care offers Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Resources to help plan. 

The Episcopal Church continues to offer new resources for congregations interested in following the Way of Love as a way of life by starting small group ministries. New resources include the Building an Intentional Small Group Ministry information packet, an infographic, video compilations, and social media graphics. These resources are available in English here, Spanish here and French here. For more information and resources visit or email
Wednesday, September 16
2:00 pm Goals Team for Task Force to Plan "Dismantle Racism" online
6:30 pm Daughters of the King online

Thursday, September 17
11:40 am School Children Feeding Program

Friday, September 18
8:30 am Micah Breakfast Delivery
11:40 am School Children Feeding Program

Saturday, September 19
Anniversary of the Consecration of
Trinity Church
10:00 am GEMS Micah Drop-Off

Sunday, September 20
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
9:30 am Virtual Coffee Hour
10:30 am Sunday School online
2:00 pm Club 45 online

Monday, September 21
11:40 am School Children Feeding Program
7:00 pm Forward Day by Day Discussion online

Tuesday, September 22
11:40 am School Children Feeding Program
12 Noon Knaughty Knitters online
5:00 pm Campus Ministry Online
Wednesday, September 23
11:40 am School Children Feeding Program

Thursday, September 24
10:00 am Task Force to Plan "Dismantle Racism"
11:45 am School Children Feeding Program

Friday, September 25
11:40 am School Children Feeding Program

Saturday, September 26
8:00 am Brotherhood of St. Andrew online
10:00 am Labyrinth Walk

Sunday, September 27
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
9:30 am Virtual Coffee Hour
10:30 am Sunday School online
2:00 pm Youth Group online
(540) 373-2996