Beloved Friends-

I am delighted to share that from Friday June 23 through Friday July 15, I am turning this blog spot over to our Director of Music and the Arts, Chelsie Cree to share a little bit about the growing “soundtrack” and music ministry at Trinity. As we head into these summer months and afford the choir and section leaders a well-deserved time of sabbath, I thought this might be a good time to invite Chelsie into this space to share a little bit about this vibrant ministry. Please welcome our much beloved Chelsie Cree…

May you never forget that you are loved,


Hello, my friend!

My name is Chelsie Cree, and I am the Director of Music and the Arts here at Trinity Episcopal Church. I am delighted to be a guest writer on Lisa’s blog for the next four weeks, where I am tasked with writing about the music program here at Trinity. Today, I’d like to first offer you my musical history with Trinity, and what lead to our shift in perspective from music first to community first, music second.

I received a call in the summer of 2018 offering a position as a Jobst Choral Scholar here at Trinity Episcopal Church. As a recipient of a Master of Music degree, the job itself was incredibly familiar (a staple job as a young classical singer.) However, being hired at non-progressive churches in the past and growing up a gay kid in them, it suffices to say that I was apprehensive and guarded walking into Trinity day one. Wonderfully, I learned very quickly, from our “Welcome Regardless” mats, our pride flag on the organ loft, walking in the pride parade, and our strong stance on Black Lives Matter that I was in a safe, good place.

As I continued to work as a section leader, I was moved by the services I was graciously asked to be a part of. The language used in our services moved me in a way that felt current, real, relatable for the first time, and still sacred. Many times, Lisa has confronted difficult and painful passages used to harm people and shared the truth behind them, shining light onto the meaning of the words written, giving way to healing, and the beginnings of hearing the whispering of an eternal truth that is not dependent on time, space, or specific language. 

At that time, our music department was divided in this way: a Director of Music and the Arts, the Jobst Scholars were separate musicians hired for Sundays only, creating a Scola for services, our community choir, and eventually a high school program was added. This setup allowed for a high caliber of music, something Trinity celebrates and invests in, with the ability to be flexible and adaptable to different musical styles. We made beautiful music together, and that helped us to connect.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the music department responded by recording music in our homes for services, allowing us to become versatile in new ways as musicians. Eventually the scholars were able to record in the same space, with sound booths separating us in the chapel. 

In 2021, there was a shift in personnel, and I moved into a temporary choir director position. At this time, we were still all so separated. The music making together was gone, and we needed something to help us stay together. It’s something funny that happens in music groups.. you play or sing with people all the time, for years, and sometimes never get to truly know anyone around you. 

I knew we needed to change that. I wanted to know what made music special for them, what made Trinity special for them, what they found to be beautiful, and to be there to support them no matter where they were in their life.. to move beyond just a music making group and into a community who makes music. So, we did just that. We allowed our relationships and community to become our primary focus and the music we made to be the vehicle for our sacred community. The roles of the scholars were rewritten to become section leaders, and our choir grew not only in numbers, but most importantly in depth and meaning.

Coming back in person, though difficult and scary at times, was a huge moment for the choir. To be able to hear your friends singing music they enjoyed all together, in the same room.. literally making a joyful noise? That was a wonderful morning that I will never forget, filled with tears, and not just my own. 

So here we are, in 2022- I’ve taken on the full responsibilities of Director of Music and the Arts, we’ve just ended a wonderful choral season, a concert series, and have plans for the summer to enhance our music while the singers are away.  I am looking forward to honoring our rich tradition of music while simultaneously creating new expressions as we move forward.. to continually work to amplify that whisper of eternal truth. 

You are loved. 


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