O beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.
At this time of year, even as the days grow shorter, we experience new beginnings. For some, a new school year begins, for others, it is the start of a new program year. Right now our diocese is in the midst of a new beginning of its own. For almost a century, Trinity was under the oversight of the Bishop of London. After the American Revolution, the Episcopal Church was founded right here in Philadelphia, and our first American bishop was the Right Reverend William White. Another two centuries on, we are now happy to welcome the sixteenth Bishop of Pennsylvania, the Right Reverend Daniel G. P. Gutierrez. Bishop Gutierrez comes to us from his native New Mexico, and will be visiting Trinity as part of his diocese-wide pilgrimage on Monday, September 12 at 1:00 pm.
Thanks to the hard work of Bishop Clifton Daniel, diocesan leadership and the search committee, there was a palpable sense of unity at Bishop Gutierrez’s consecration that I have not experienced since coming here seven years ago. There is a lot of work that we all have to do together, and we should not expect our new bishop to magically heal old wounds and make everything “good”. However, we should rejoice that through prayer, discernment, and the work of the Holy Spirit, we have an able and gifted shepherd among us.
Please join me in welcoming our new bishop with open arms. One way to do this is to join your parish family for kickoff Sunday (details below). Our church is blessed with many families with children and youth of various ages. One of the challenges this presents is competing schedules. We understand that not everyone can be in church every Sunday, but attendance is vital, both to our church as a whole and to your spiritual life. So I encourage you, as we make a new beginning as a diocese, to make a new beginning on a local level. If you’ve never missed a Sunday, that’s fantastic! If you can only be here every other Sunday, we love to see you! However, I think now is a great time to consider how much your presence at worship means to the greater community. We are one body. If you need a ride, just let someone know! We miss you when you’re not here, and it is not a bother to pick you up.
I don’t have to tell you what a special place Trinity is, not only in the lives of its members, but in the community as a whole. Let’s use this new beginning to make a new commitment to our diocese and ourselves!
With Trinity Sunday comes the end of another program year, and what an eventful year it was! In addition to the usual slate of programs and ministries, a great deal of effort was expended on the redevelopment project. It seems like so long ago that we began thinking seriously about the future of our stewardship of the church campus and buildings. Our process has been slow and deliberate. Sometimes I wished that we could just hurry it up and get on with things, but in the end, I think we can all agree that we have taken the time to make the best possible choices for the long-range future of the church. And I have the additional grey hair to prove it! Finishing touches are under way in the new office space, and I can tell you that the central air conditioning is positively decadent. We continue to work with our developer and city leaders toward the ultimate goal of redeveloping our Rising Sun Avenue frontage.
I am very grateful to the wardens, vestry, committee members, and everyone who has played a role in this vital re-imagining of our future. In addition to property redevelopment, we are also re-thinking the makeup of the vestry and the various committees that flow out of it. What are your interests or talents? History? Gardening? Outreach? Education? Hospitality? Whatever they are, there is a place for you to serve, so be ready—we will be looking for you. I am also pleased to announce that Trinity’s chapter of the Girls’ Friendly Society will be revived under the leadership of Emily Geliebter and Kaitlyn Prete. We now have an impressive new generation of girls (and boys) at Trinity, and we will be looking for ways to engage and incorporate them into our common life.
I hope that everyone has a safe and fun summer!
Fr. Richard Robyn, SCP
318 years ago, our forefathers brought forth in Oxford Township a new church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. On this, our feast of title, we gathered together to celebrate another year of ministry in this place. Father Richard's sermon may be found here. Highlights included the US premiere of the hymn "Smoke Soaks the Sanctum" with hymn text by Fr. Giuseppe Gagliano, set to the ancient tune Rouen. Fr. Giuseppe is a friend of Father Richard's and priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. At our annual picnic, we honored Mary Sampson for 20 years of service as organist & choir master!