News and Events at
Trinity Anglican Church
A traditional Anglican church with a heart for the world God lovesQ
News and Events at
Trinity Anglican Church
Dear Trinity Family,
I am deeply grateful to be serving as the new rector of Trinity Anglican Church. When my wife and I first learned of the opening and throughout the entire process we felt that God’s thumbprint was on it all. I was overjoyed at the turn out on my first Sunday here and every Sunday since. I have enjoyed getting to know many of you and look forward to serving God with you in serving our neighbors. I have been blessed by your enthusiasm, commitment and good nature. On behalf of my wife, my son Francis and I (and the rest of my family), thank you for such a warm welcome.
As the first “official” letter from your new pastor to the parish I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some highlights of the past few months as well as share with you some thoughts about our walk together. First the highlights.
This has been a most eventful last six months for us. Busy to say the least. Our family began packing and preparing to move last February. Once we determined that we would rent out our home in Fairfield, CT I began to do some needed repairs and sprucing up. I continued some of that work after I began my first week here in April, traveling back and forth to Connecticut while my son finished school there and my wife packed up the house. Inger did an amazing job getting our house ready and she deserves all the praise. Then there was the move itself in the end of June followed quickly by Inger’s trip to Norway. No sooner did she get back than I had to run St. Luke’s Camp. Some people worried that I got roped into it so early, but it was wonderful. Diane Jones was, as always, indispensable and great to work with, and my two sons, Mattias and Francis carried so much of the burden. Dn. David Koller was a great help too, inspiring what we called “the great watermelon challenge!”. Once we finished camp (and recuperating!) we then left for my daughter’s wedding in Atlanta. I walked her up the isle and then performed the ceremony. She looked amazing. Our whole family was together and it was a truly blessed event. After all of that it was time for a little R&R, so once I got back home I got on my motorcycle and went motorcycle camping throughout Vermont, exploring some of the best riding roads and most scenic views. It was great! The only problem is that it unleashed my inner vagabond and I was half ready to keep riding all the way to Patagonia (Argentina)! Thus concludes a season of major life changes for us – new job, moving to a new state, first married child, last child graduating from high school, etc. Wow!
On top of all of these changes there were several things I have been able to accomplished at church. What is most apparent is that from my first Sunday we have begun using the Anglican Missal service and have used incense at the Sung Mass at 10am. Within the first few weeks of my getting here I also completely overhauled and redesigned the church website, adding more and more features as the weeks progressed. Recently I added the capacity to accept donations online and my recorded sermons can be found on our website, as well as on our facebook page. You can also subscribe to our channel at Podbean.com. I have cultivated new relationships which have resulted in new people attending church and others returning to church. In July I took a few of our kids to Soulfest in order to signal my commitment to our kids and build relationships so that we can work towards a starting a youth group. I have also attended a few meetings on drug prevention sponsored by Goodwin Health as I begin to network myself into the addiction community. I have performed two graveside services and 1 (and one half - Charlotte) baptisms! St. Luke’s camp was also a major responsibility (which was greatly eased by the efforts of Allan Wylie). All the reports back from the camp this year was that it was an overwhelming success! It seems I shall have no choice but to direct it again next year! J I have also been happy to meet with several people pastorally to provide comfort and guidance.
Of course, it is not only my family that has been going through changes, Trinity has been going through a season of change as well. Just as I have spent the last few months closing one chapter and opening another, Trinity has been going through the last few years closing one chapter and opening another too. And while the beginning of my tenure here marks the close of one chapter, it also marks the beginning of another chapter and more change. As you have already come to see, I am very different from my predecessors here at Trinity. In that vein I would like to share some thoughts with you.
One of the most important parts of keeping relationships healthy is the proper management of expectations. The pastoral/parishioner relationship is no different. We all have expectations of what each thinks the other should do. Some of these expectations are sort of obvious but others often go undisclosed, some are never even clearly thought out. Parishioners often expect that clergy should do visitations, preach a great sermon each week, maintain good relations in the community and be good administrators. Pastors often expect people to follow through with responsibilities and commitments, give faithfully, and behave in a way that represents the church well to the community. So that we can set some clear expectations, here are some guidelines to help:
Finally, I have lots of plans for the future. In October we will begin hosting a “Home Group”. A home group is an informal context for Bible study and personal growth. I have led groups like this for many years and am convinced that it is one of the most powerful means of discipleship and transformation. We will study the Bible together, share our lives together and learn to pray together.
As the leaves fall from the trees, our focus will simply be on the holidays and continuing to find our stride. After that, for 2017, I am still prayerfully planning several initiatives including; a weekly program for those struggling with life-controlling problems, a Lenten Retreat, Re-4m Seminars on various topics, and more. There will be a lot of communication through facebook and our website. Check those often.
I look forward to the coming year and this new beginning for all of us. As we move forward together let me encourage you to stay positive, to be prayerful, to be generous of spirit towards each other, and to be prepared to get involved. We are not here for us alone, but for others who need to encounter the love of God, to be reconciled to the Church, and to be strengthened by the depth of the entire catholic tradition. Spread the Word! Be evangelists! Be Christ-bearers!
Fr. Matt Mirabile+