The Trinity Charter Society
Last night, two dozen people had dinner in Trinity Church. This was the first time such an event had been held inside the church since 1996, as part of Trinity’s tercentennial celebration.
The reason for bringing tables and chairs and delicious food inside Trinity this time was The Trinity Charter Society. We were celebrating the current members and welcoming new members as well.
Trinity Wall Street formed The Trinity Charter Society in 2010. The Society is open to all. Its members declare their support of Trinity’s future ministry and mission by remembering Trinity Wall Street in their estate plans.
The Trinity Choir sang some glorious musical selections and the co-chair of the Society, Chuck Royce, remarked eloquently about the importance of planned giving to Trinity. The guests truly reflected the diverse character of Trinity today.
Everything you see and hear around you at Trinity Wall Street is the result of a gift, or bequest. Those gifts began with the grant from Queen Anne in 1705, and through the faithful stewardship of succeeding generations, we are blessed to carry these gifts forward. Generosity is at the core of who we are.
Gifts continue in our time: the bequest of Charlotte Scott, for instance. Ms. Scott’s gift made a new neighborhood center possible – Charlotte’s Place – which has already had a huge and growing impact on Lower Manhattan. Without Charlotte’s Place, the parish would not have been touched by the Hour Children music camp, community arts projects, Family Movie Nights, Shakespeare, and math tutoring for local children. We would not have had Charlotte’s Place without her bequest.
Gifts given to institutions that move in the rhythm of the holy spirit grow in ways that are often beyond our imagination.
Those interested in learning more should contact Willem Brans, Trinity's Fund Development Counsel.
Ascension Day at Trinity is a wonderful occasion. Not only do we celebrate the consecration of our iconic church building in 1846, we continue the tradition of rewarding and honoring Trinity Transformational Fellows
The Trinity Fellows – who now number more than two dozen – are nominated by their peers for their transformational work at the community or grassroots level. Fellows, be they from Manhattan or Madagascar, share a number of characteristics: they engage in difficult work, they are focused on deep and lasting change, and their efforts are often unrecognized. Through Trinity’s financial support, and the collegial support of other fellows, the Trinity community is glad to play a role rewarding and recognizing the efforts of such people in New York and across the world.
This year’s fellows are from Zimbabwe: Margaret Chidzonga of the Diocese of Harare; Freddy Creven Matonisa of the Diocese of Matabeleland; Martin Nyaundi of the Diocese of Manicaland. We look forward to meeting them on Ascension Day 2014, as we have enjoyed and grown from our time with the 2012 fellows from Madagascar, who visited New York City this week.
The suggestion to bring the Fellows program to the international level was made by parishioners. I can’t tell you how important it is that we hear the voices of parishioners, staff, and other members of the Trinity community in relation to the Vision and Planning report found here
. The deadline for feedback has been extended to May 15. Your input is truly hoped for and valued.
The Steadfast Ring of Hope
This week, I rang the Bell of Hope on behalf of the Trinity community for all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing. It was a rainy Monday, and many gathered after this week’s Bach at One service to participate and offer their prayers. Before the ringing, I had spoken with Sam Lloyd, the Rector of Trinity Church Copley Square, in Boston. Sam was grateful for our thoughts and prayers. He had some folks in prayer in the church as we were gathered at St. Paul’s, and they were aware of our observance here.
The Bell of Hope is a gift from the City of London to the City of New York – given in solidarity after 9/11. We ring it in prayerful support of victims of terrorism the world over. Moscow, Mumbai, London…and now Boston. Sam told me that Trinity Boston was in the lock-down area, so last Sunday they worshiped outside and in a Synagogue.
Our lives hold joyful moments and moments of pain. Our lives hold times of ease and times of challenge. God is with us through all, in steadfast and everlasting companionship.
As a tentative spring becomes more bold, the Trinity churchyard is blossoming and blooming, inviting one and all to come forward into its embrace of dogwoods, cherry trees, and tulips, and green grass. Come, the churchyard somehow says. Come here and be still. Know creation is full of many and wondrous works.
Episcopal Service Corps, Theological Education, Stravinsky
Last night, Trinity was honored in Chicago by the Episcopal Service Corps
(ESC), a nationwide group that gives young adults the life-changing opportunity
to engage in communities serving others for one year
. It’s an amazing, and successful, young program. The group received nearly $1.2 million in Trinity grants, and the attentive guidance of staff member Erin Weber-Johnson, over the past four years. ESC leaders said that Trinity’s participation was crucial to their growth. They are on the verge of great things
, and we are grateful to have helped.
Today, on Trinity’s theological education front, Trinity Institute announced to its national and international partners details on its 43rd Annual Conference. Institute director Bob Scott described the conference this way:
The theme for the 43rd Annual Trinity Institute National Conference grows directly out of last year’s conference, where Joan Chittister posed the challenge and the opportunity: “In a world shaped by evolution, the God of creation becomes the God of ongoing creation, of life intent on its own development, and of life involved in contributing to its own emerging form.”
As with last year, the conference will be held over a weekend to encourage wider participation. Learn more here
. Registration opens soon.
I am also looking forward to this weekend’s Stravinsky Festival at Trinity Church
. Julian Wachner will conduct the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, and other musical guests in Igor Stravinsky’s sacred works. Much of the material is rarely performed – in part due, I am told, to the complexity of the material. Festival proceeds will benefit Trinity’s work in music education in local public schools
A Prayer Following a Terrorist Attack
As a community near the site of the World Trade Center that prays for peace every day, we offer the following prayer.
Lord our God, in whom and by whom this world was made in its goodness, we pray for all those affected by terrorism. We pray particularly today for those in Boston, where your people were killed, maimed, and scarred on April 15, 2013, in an attack we will forever fall short of understanding;
We pray for the families of those who died, that they may feel your unceasing love;
We pray for the first responders: civilians, emergency medical personnel, policemen, and firefighters, who rushed to help, bravely facing what they had never faced before;
We pray for doctors, nurses, surgeons, administrators, and all those who make hospitals function in saving lives;
We pray for the nearby churches and other houses of worship and all those who will be relied upon to offer comfort in the days and months ahead;
We pray for the media as they encounter the details of the story over and over;
We pray for all those who suffer fear after learning of this act;
We pray for all those who will suffer ongoing trauma and endure physical recuperation;
We repent of violence in thought, word, and deed;
We pray for the repentance of those who so violently break your law of love with incomprehensible malice, and that we may work toward forgiveness as you see fit.
A New Opportunity to Work Together
Trinity has announced its “Wildcard Grants,” a new initiative that will give Trinity and others the opportunity work together to recognize and encourage the creative, sacred work in the world around us.
These grants seek to reward beyond-the-bell-curve work that inspires positive change. The one-time awards will be offered to organizations whose leaders have an amazing idea that lacks only money to help get it off the ground. We expect these grants will recognize innovative ideas that continue to have an impact well into the future.
We’ve also launched a new series of videos and an information page about our partners in Panama
, and Fr. Mark takes on a new round of challenging questions
in his ongoing pastoral advice series. The New Yorker
magazine also published a remarkable review
of our Lenten musical offerings.
A New Ministry for Fr. Heyd & Holy Week Photos
This week, Fr. Matt Heyd, Director of Faith in Action, was called to be Rector of the Church of the Heavenly Rest here in Manhattan. Matt has brought his leadership to bear in exciting ways on the life of Trinity. He is a priest who believes profoundly in the capacity of the Church to nurture leaders, and as Matt prepares to leave the parish, the leaders he has supported stand ready to deepen their many ministries. We will miss Matt and his entire family, but we share a certain joy as well as Matt enters the next chapter of his ministry.
As we enter further into the season of Easter, please enjoy these Holy Week photos
taken by our staff photographer Leah Reddy and longtime Trinity collaborator Leo Sorel. They convey in beautiful ways the vibrancy of our community and the deep meaning of this liturgical time.
Holy Week, Death, and Resurrection
We began Holy Week waving our palm branches as we marched down Broadway, from St. Paul’s Chapel to Trinity Church, in a joyful procession on Palm Sunday. That evening the Choir of Trinity Wall Street sang Bach’s St. Matthew Passion to a full church, leading us into the darker story of death and life we will observe throughout the week.
The story of Holy Week grapples with the reality of death, as we must.
On Monday, long-time, and very beloved, Trinity parishioner Lina Lowry died. Lina was active in the Trinity community for more than four decades. Her son, Ralph, and those who have prayed, knitted, laughed, and worshipped with her mourn her loss.
In a recent issue of Trinity News, Lina said her favorite verse was John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
These are comforting words from Jesus as we approach Good Friday. The journey of Holy Week does not shy away from the crucifixion and death, but we are blessed to walk it together, and to know that it ends with the hope of the Resurrection.
Looking to the Future, from Canterbury
This was a week of renewing friendships and looking forward to the future.
I am in Canterbury, where the Rev. Canon Benjamin Musoke-Lubega and I hosted a dinner for Trinity’s African partners
who are gathered here for the enthronement of Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canturbury. We are looking ahead on the financial sustainability aspect of our work together. We had fond remembrance of the first gathering of U.S. and African partners at the Walking to Emmaus
consultation in 2007 and the many wonderful seeds that were sown from that time.
We find communion in community. We find common ground when we meet face to face, believer to believer.
The streets of Canterbury are lively and full, particularly the Old City, which is designated a pedestrian area. From this bustling locale, I wish to congratulate all those who have worked so tirelessly in securing the rezoning bid that will contribute so much to making Hudson Square its own bustling locale in the future. Thanks to the hard work of Trinity staff and partners, the rezoning bid was this week unanimously approved by the City Council and forwarded to the Mayor for final approval
A lively 24/7 neighborhood will energize and give more creative spirit to this great city; it will be a center of life in which thousands are employed by imaginative and growing companies, and thousands more make their homes. I believe that in a city like New York, real estate can both fund mission and be mission
Congratulations also to those securing seats after the 2013 Congregational Council elections
, and to all those who stood for election and participated in the process. Your service to Trinity is a gift.
What's in a Name?
A quiet anniversary was observed outside our church doors this week.
360 years ago, the leaders of the Dutch colony erected a fortification – a wall – along its northern boundary creating what is now known as the iconic Wall Street. This was back when New York was New Amsterdam, a small but bustling port city of merchants, seafarers, traders, and the occasional pirate. So before Wall Street was synonymous with the center of the financial industry, Wall Street was, well, Wall Street – the street that had the wall on it.
Since the recession and housing market crisis, I sometimes hear uneasiness about the association of “Trinity” and “Wall Street.” One response to that would be to look at another aspect of history.
As the Christian Church grew and was shaped worldwide, churches were referred to by their geographical location—“The Church in Corinth,” or “The Church in Rome.” Note the preposition. Trinity is the Church in Wall Street, the Church in the Financial District of New York City. It is not the Church of Wall Street. We are not formed by, nor do we share an essence with, banks and brokers. We are a force for Christian spirituality and way of life here, in this geographic locale.
As Trinity Wall Street, just as if we were St. Gregory’s by the Sea or any other church in the world, our role is to diminish the walls between people in the name of a reconciling God. From time to time, we will challenge Wall Street, as we will challenge ourselves to grow more fully in the image of God.
Let’s also remember that neighborhoods change, sometimes rapidly. In the past ten years, Wall Street has become quite residential, and many of the businesses that call it home are now in the creative industries and tech start-ups. Who knows? In three hundred years, Wall Street might be shorthand for New York City’s center of technological innovation and invention. And Trinity will continue to be here, the church in Wall Street, for inspiration.