by Jeremy Sierra
Trinity celebrated Ascension Day on Thursday, May 17 with a noonday Eucharist and the announcement of the 2012 Transformational Fellows.
Ascension Day marks the 166th anniversary of the church building’s consecration. Long red, yellow, and blue banners hung from door to ceiling in the church, and the church was full of parishioners and guests.
Stephen K. Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, United Kingdom, preached. “Today is the day of The Ascension and we live in its light and its hope,” he said. “Hope based on an assurance that we’re not here by chance…and that we have a purpose in our lives.”
The Rt. Rev. Joana Ranarivelo, the presiding bishop of the Malgasy Episcopal Church, announced the 2012 fellows in a video message. “The Fellows Program is a valuable opportunity for the Malagasy church to support people who are active in social transformation– to broaden their vision and to develop their potential abilities; to expand their skills and field of knowledge, to be effective in social change,” he said
Each of the four 2012 Transformational Fellows ministers to youth living in extreme poverty in Madagascar, a nation where half of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.
Mamitiana Andriamanaly is a lay worker in the Anglican Social Department of the Diocese of Antananarivo. She has been working with impoverished children and families for over ten years.
Jimmy Fridel is a teacher who opened a school and feeding program to serve disadvantaged children in the city of Toamasina. He has been working without pay.
Felicien Rakotoarisoa is a youth minister in the Diocese of Fianarantsoa, who has shown determination to bring change to the community.
The Rev. Velontsara Jules Gaston runs a parish in the Diocese of Mahajanga. They have recently built a school to serve the children in the impoverished community.
“The fellowship recognizes the good hard work that we’re all called to do,” said the Rev. Dr. Jim Cooper, rector of Trinity Church, “and recognizes that following hard work there is a time of refreshment.”
The fellows are awarded a one year, self-directed sabbatical for rest, renewal, and continuing education.
The 2011 Transformational Fellows attended the service as well, ending their sabbatical year. The 2012 Fellows will visit Trinity on Ascension Day 2013.
Jeremy Sierra is Managing Editor for Trinity Wall Street.