Beloved Friends,
As many of you know, since April we have been engaged in a process to craft and implement a 10 year vision for Trinity. A compelling, inspiring, strategically sound and documented narrative of who and how we believe God is calling us to be and become over the course of the next 10 years.
Now, 8 months into the process, I can say that it is both the hardest and probably most important work I have ever committed to do in a congregation. It is about letting some things die, dreaming with God about what is yet to be, and all the while- courageously committing to an unknown future trusting a process and a group of people brought together for a time who dare to open themselves wide to the possibility of disappointing some while carving out a faithful path with God’s help.

Last Saturday, our staff and vestry participated in another workshop focused on our 10-year Vision. Our time together was spent learning a process called “Bottom Line Change.” It was not a time working on the vision itself, but rather an intentional process of discerning who needs to hear about this work, how do they want to be communicated with, what kind of feedback will we be asking for as we share draft versions of the vision, and after all of that is complete, then and only then will we be ready to share the final 2030 Trinity Vision and begin living into it together. Thanks to all who spent time together working on this part of the process.

Currently we have a fairly lengthy 2nd version of the 2030 Draft Vision and a number of people are working through a process of providing initial feedback, suggesting edits and re-writing sections. We are learning a lot as we go, including: the process is going to take as long as it takes, we will make mistakes and learn as we go, we will respect some will opt out of the work at times trusting there will be others always willing and able to step in and, perhaps more than anything, we are learning that our bright future is like a cocoon just waiting to be born. This feels like a time of incubation as we try out new ideas and listen carefully for the Holy Spirit.

When we gathered as a whole community for the first workshop in June of this past year I shared a story I have heard Zingerman’s founder Ari Weinzweig tell when teaching about the importance of remembering how important our belief in this process is to its success. It goes like this:

There once were three bricklayers all working on the same project.
A traveler came upon these bricklayers one at a time as they were working. -He asked the first one what they were doing and they said they were laying bricks.
-He asked the second the same question and they said they were engineering a construction project.
-When he got to the third and asked what he was doing they said they were building a cathedral.
In the end, to look at the work on the surface each were doing the very same thing.
And yet, because of how they approached their work and what they believed in they had completely different perspectives:
The first one had a job.
The second one had a career.
The third one had a calling.

So, as we continue this work of praying and writing and editing and listening to each other, I pray we can do it with the conviction and trust that comes from the belief we are answering a deep calling. I pray we learn more and more everyday how to trust and believe with our whole hearts that we can and will make a difference together.

We may be laying bricks every day, but if we can envision the cathedral and move through our days with intention and passion, I believe we can and will bring out the best we have to offer for Trinity, the Episcopal Church, our beautiful city of Toledo and our many communities and for God!

Come home this Sunday as we celebrate the end of our liturgical year. We will set a place at God’s table for you and anyone you feel inspired to welcome home to Trinity- where all are truly welcome and wanted.

May you never forget that you are loved.

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