I love Ash Wednesday, as it holds a very special place in my heart and life. Ash Wednesday of 2016, in Trinity’s chapel at the evening service, was when God laid on my heart that Trinity was my family’s new church home in Massachusetts. It was clear as day! After having been received into The Episcopal Church at St. Pete’s in Northern Virginia in 2011, David Scott (who was baptized into the church then) and I spent the next five years worshiping in an extraordinary church environment that welcomed us into their family. Then, after getting the news that we would be in the North Central Massachusetts area on a permanent basis, it was time to look for a new church home. After months of visiting several Episcopal churches in our region but not finding the right fit, the search expanded in concentric circles until it included the reaches of Chelmsford and Concord. I liked both churches and met with both priests but was torn—until that Ash Wednesday evening service seven years ago.
Today I am honored to serve as your new senior warden and humbled at the trust placed in me by the Nominating Committee and Trinity’s parishioners. I will work hard to live up to the high standards and expectations of our community. And what a time of excitement and new opportunity this is! We have a new vestry; a revived post-sabbatical Rector who is ready for her next five years; a “new” Associate Rector—well-earned and well-deserved; the Rev. Julia Freedman, our minister to youth and families; numerous outreach opportunities in which to live out our faith; and a resounding return to in-person worship, communion, and fellowship! We as parishioners, lay leaders, lay ministers, and rectors stand on the shoulders of giants here at Trinity, and with this foundation and these opportunities, we look toward the next five years.
Trinity’s vision statement posted on our website says that we are “following Christ [and] living our faith.” Am I? Are we? Our mission statement says that we invite everyone to experience the transforming love of God; that we provide a nurturing environment for our children and youth; that we promote a safe environment for all who seek God’s love; that we value the contribution of every generation; that we nurture our own spiritual growth even while we respect the spiritual journeys of others; and that we reach out to others in love and service. Do I? Do we? How do we as individuals and families and lay ministers and lay leaders and rectors live out Trinity’s vision and mission, and what will this look like in the next several years? As we move into a new season here at Trinity, I leave you with these questions to ponder: What is God calling you to do? What is God calling us to do in the next year? In the next three years? In the next five years? And, like Isiah of the Old Testament, are we ready to say, “Here I am, Lord, send me?” May God’s peace be with you and with us all.