Deep in the bowels of Trinity are a number of rooms that are and have been used for different purposes: the room where AA meets every weekday at noon, the wood-paneled room complete with fireplace that was once the youth room, and the large space where Trinity’s Next-to-New resale shop was housed until the COVID pandemic changed everything.
Heather Meyer, Trinity’s Director of Operations, gave me a guided tour the afternoon of the day I met with the Vestry about serving as your Interim Rector. Since my memory of the space was blurred, I ventured back to the lower level of the church this week to remind myself.
In the Next-to-New space, Lynzi Miller, who served as manager, had posted a timeline of key events in the life of Trinity. Interspersed on the timeline were national events that provide context, for example, the assassination of President Kennedy. I’m told that one Sunday, after mining the parish archives, Lynzi hosted a coffee hour where people could view the timeline along with a photo album she’d created that contained decades of images.
In interim work, we call an event like Lynzi hosted a “heritage event.” Search Committees need to know the parish’s heritage so they can share it with candidates for rector.
What do I mean when I talk about heritage? It’s reviewing how the congregation has been shaped and formed. The congregation’s heritage, both corporate and individual, is the foundation upon which the present rests. Paying attention to heritage means encouraging and hearing all of the stories about the congregation’s past, and embracing the rich variety that makes up this particular congregation. The Annual Meeting this Sunday following the 10:00 am service will be Trinity 181st Annual Meeting. That’s a lot of heritage!
Soon the Search Committee will be scheduling “listening sessions” to hear your stories about your time at Trinity. In March a specific “heritage event” is being scheduled to help us all know about the ways Trinity has been molded.
What do you know about Trinity’s history? Whether you’ve been attending for thirty years or thirty minutes, I hope you have a hunger to learn more about our heritage as we move through this time of transition. And, if you ever want to take a field trip to the “bowels” of Trinity to see the timeline, I’d be happy to be your guide.
See you this Sunday at church and at the Annual Meeting following.