This Week at Trinity, Tuesday, October 5, 2021
The Challenge of Hurts and Disappointments
Dear fellow travelers at Trinity,

On Friday, we heard Ann Duggan’s answer to the question of what makes Trinity unique, which guides the first of the “holy conversations” on Friday evening. Saturday morning’s conversation is a bit more challenging: It addresses “hurts and disappointments,” times when we wish things had gone differently. The biggest challenge can sometimes be really listening to a difficult answer and letting it sink in.

The questions we address go something like this:

1. What have been the most painful sad, angering, or difficult moments for you in your life at your congregation? (A fill-in-the-blank prompt can help flesh out an answer.)

When ___________ happened, I saw ___________ , I heard ___________ , I thought ___________ . I did ___________ .

2. Hurts and disappointments can become “stuck places”, making it impossible to move forward spiritually, emotionally and functionally. What is the hardest part of choosing to leave the paralysis of anger, sadness, hurt, disappointment, etc.? What might you be able to do if you become unstuck from it?

I invited Jennifer Ould to answer these difficult questions to get us started. Her response is below. I’m grateful for her trust in us, honesty and willingness to share her answer.


P.S. If you haven’t done so already, please click through to the Google form to RSVP—that will help with creating groups and ordering food. Thanks! BC
Recalling a Difficult Time

Question 1: When congregants and lay leaders were writing letters to the Diocese asking to get a new rector, I saw and heard frustration on all sides, impatience, entitlement, inappropriate speech and action, and a refusal from some to work towards a better relationship even within the mediation process. I thought about leaving the church. I did express my sympathy and regret about what was happening to our rector, and I did respond to those who expressed frustration with him to me by pointing out the inappropriateness of what they were saying and encouraging them to talk to the rector rather than about him, and I did pull back from serving on the vestry again.

Question 2: The hardest part is deciding whether to stay in a dysfunctional community and work towards healing and health, or to step out of the situation and community. There’s not one answer that’s always right. My personal tendency is to stay and persist, but I’m learning that sometimes that means I’m committing to a persistently abusive situation that I should be leaving instead. Along with that, it’s extremely hard to discern how to either leave *well* or stay *well.*

Becoming “unstuck” can give me freedom to better discern God’s leading both for me personally and for the community.

Jennifer Ould
Getting Practical about Paths Forward

I have received a few requests to be more specific about the practical steps each of the three forward paths for Trinity might entail. Here is my attempt at fleshing out initial steps:

1. Pursue a near-term call of a rector (within 12-18 months)
  • Notify the diocese of decision and ask for a search facilitator
  • Select and commission a search team no later than the annual meeting, perhaps earlier
  • Take the CAT survey, which provides a picture of the current congregation’s self-understanding
  • Determine with the interim rector what concrete steps need to be taken to prepare for a new rector, for example, rectory repair and renovation

2. Anticipate closure on 150th anniversary
  • Notify the diocese of the decision to end Trinity’s ministry as a congregation
  • Request assistance from Bishop and Trustees to create a process for reviewing assets and ownership
  • Convene a working group to determine a new location for the columbarium and TriCon
  • Convene a working group to explore new church options for Trinity’s members and engage in conversation with other churches

3. Extended interim/transformation
  • In conversation with the diocese, determine who to call as priest-in-charge and how to select that person
  • Create a job description for that role with a focus on church growth and community engagement
  • Establish “metrics” by which to judge success (for example, Sunday attendance, pledging, community engagement), ways to measure them, and ongoing review process
  • Create a three-year budget roadmap that prioritizes growth and likely includes deficit spending
Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Last week we talked about how arguing with Jesus or with a text of the Bible can be way to discover how God is speaking now. Did you have any good arguments with Jesus this week? (You can read last Sunday’s homily below.)

Next Sunday we hear the story famous story of the rich young man, who wanted to follow Jesus, but couldn’t do what Jesus asked and give up his possessions. Is there anything that holds us back from following Jesus more closely. (You can read Sundays readings at the link below.) Our retreat facilitator, Rev. Mary Slenski, will be our preacher on Sunday.
Community Concert, October 30 at Trinity

On Saturday, October 30 at 7 pm, Trinity will host the Artemis Chamber Orchestra and conductor Diana Economou for a free community concert.

Titled “Dance!” the concert will feature music by Antonin Dvorak, Aaron Copland, and the world premiere of composer Ari Fisher’s “Three Jewish Dances.”

Trinity’s Ann Duggan will serve as concertmaster on the violin, with Mike Duggan also performing on cello. Invite your friends! Free will donations will benefit Curt’s Café, which helps young adults develop work and life skills. It is also a great place to eat.
Formation and Fun with our Episcopal Friends in Deerfield

About eight “Trinitarians” traveled to St. Gregory’s in Deerfield recently for the first of our “Tell Me the Truth about Racism” series. Our next meeting will be at St. Gregory’s on October 17. Trinity will host the conversation on November 21 and January 16. (More on that later!)

Those meetings are part of this year’s “Building a Beloved Community” series, which includes a series of “Sacred Ground” conversations about racism beginning on September 28 and convening every two or three weeks until March 15, and a discussion of the book Just Mercy (time TBD). These direct us toward a civil rights pilgrimage open to all ages to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, March 21-23. St. Gregory has provided a brochure which will be available at the back of the church; you can also find the information by following the link below.

St. Gregory also invites members of Trinity to join them for some October social events related to their annual “pumpkin patch.” If you didn’t get your pet blessed on Sunday, St. Gregory’s will be welcoming pets next Sunday afternoon at 4 pm, with an animal-music themed concert no less! Follow the link below for the list of events.
Opportunities for Worship
Thursday Morning Prayer

Please join us on Thursdays at 10 a.m. for our Zoom Morning Prayer.
  • attend via Zoom
  • attend by telephone: (312) 626-6799
  • Meeting ID: 930 0814 5876
  • One-tap mobile: +13126266799,,93008145876#
Sunday Services, Oct. 10

Invitation to the Twentith Sunday After Pentecost:

  • 9 a.m. CDT -- in-person service with communion. Weather. Guidelines.
  • 11 a.m. CDT (4 p.m. UTC) -- online service set up as a recurring Zoom meeting (login link and information below remains the same every week).
Print by Philips Galle and
Maarten van Heemskerck;
published by Theodoor Galle (16th century).
In the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
To attend by telephone, call
(312) 626-6799 at 11 a.m. CDT

Meeting ID: 948 1489 8440

One tap mobile:
"Sunday Paper Junior" is a handout in the .pdf format that Trinity makes available to our parish children during the Sunday service. The Sunday Paper Junior, to which Trinity Episcopal Church has a paid subscription, is forwarded / posted with permission of the author / illustrator, Gretchen Wolff Pritchard. © Gretchen Wolff Pritchard, The Sunday Paper, 19 Colony Road, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, All rights reserved. This is copyrighted material and should not be further forwarded or distributed.

Did you know...

Links to Trinity's online Thursday and Sunday services are also available on our website,
Interim Rector, Trinity Church
(773) 786-6803 (mobile)
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