January 18, 2017
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is our great pleasure to announce to you that Bishop Ian Douglas has appointed, with a unanimous vote of affirmation by our Vestry, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Montgomery (Jenny) as the Priest in Charge (PIC) for Trinity Church, effective March 1, 2017.
The Holy Spirit has truly been at work in this call. Jenny is uniquely qualified to lead Trinity at this time and guide our parish towards God’s future for us. She was raised in Virginia and is currently serving there at St. Andrews’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA. She feels called to a new challenge, to Trinity specifically, and she and her husband Joe are excited to relocate to Connecticut. Jenny’s first service at Trinity will be on Sunday, March 19, 2017.
Over the last several months, your Wardens and Vestry have worked very closely with the ECCT and with Lee Ann Tolzmann, Canon for Mission Leadership. Lee Ann explained the PIC process during the January 8th forum. Normally the Bishops and Canon would have waited for the Rector’s departure before introducing the PIC process to the Vestry, but given the many changes Trinity has had in the last year, they felt there was cause for moving more quickly. Thanks be to God that the Church and the Holy Spirit moved with such efficiency in this situation.
Your Wardens, Executive Committee and Vestry have worked and prayed diligently through the last two months. Throughout this process, we felt the Holy Spirit’s presence at each step along the way. We are extremely grateful to the entire Vestry who gave so generously of their time over the month of December so that we could affirm Jenny’s appointment, by Bishop Ian, without delay. We were able to do this and reach an agreement with Jenny late last week.
The presentation from the January 15th Annual Meeting is on our website, with more details about Jenny and a video of introduction. Please take the opportunity to view these on our website: www.trinitynewtownct.org
Please mark March 19th on your calendar and plan to join our entire parish family, along with Bishop Ian, as we welcome and celebrate Jenny, our new Priest in Charge.
Should you have any questions, or want to discuss any details further, please do not hesitate to call either of us. We are very happy and excited to discuss the process and our future with Jenny.
With joy, excitement, and anticipation, we look forward to welcoming Jenny as our Priest in Charge as we continue to Follow God on the Journey. God is good!
Ellen Melville & Forry Weatherby
Please know how deeply grateful I am for the privilege of being your priest and Rector for these 20 years; you are a blessing that I will carry on my heart and in my life and ministry forever. My heart is full of thanksgiving for your love shared with me and my family and particularly for your gifts to me in these last weeks among you and in our gathering for worship and celebration on the 18th. Looking out in worship at your loving faces and sharing in worship even as we said words of the ending of our pastoral relationship was gift and grace. Our evening together was spectacular!
Thank you for surrounding me with love, laughter, memories, music, loving gifts and your love offering. I am so deeply touched and humbled by your love, thank you! You have shined the light of Christ into my life and I will be grateful for your trust, faithfulness and care all my days. I will continue to shine the light of Christ everywhere I go as I think of you with cherished memory and know you will do the same as God continues to call you to ever new ministry and mission with Christ.
I want to thank the planning team, dinner team, clean-up team, entertainers, local dignitaries and interfaith friends, staff, wardens, gift trackers, attendees, and our fabulously entertaining master of ceremonies. It was truly a fabulous time together and celebration of our ministry! Thank you from the depths of my being. May God bless and keep you always.
To all God’s beloved at Trinity,
I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace given to us by God in Christ Jesus; I rejoice at every moment we have seen and see Christ in one another and in every person we meet and seek out in Christ’s Name. I give thanks for the times we endured and listened to Christ among and within and when we dared to go to places only God could lead us. I am humbled by the privileges of pastoral and priestly invitation and trust you have given me at tender moments in your lives. I am gladdened by the fellowship and care we have shared in this community and in the world. I am made better by you and the shared ministry God has called us to in these 20 years and I am deeply grateful. You are very dear to me.
I will say more as the weeks unfold and particularly as we gather on December 18th. I want to thank our wardens, parish leadership including our Visioning chairs, Management Team and staff for their unwavering and steadfast commitment to God’s call and to all of us. There is more ahead and they are embracing it with faithfulness, trust and excitement for what God is calling this community to as it follows God out into the neighborhood.
You will read in the ECCT Leaving Well Policy that “the wellbeing of the priest and parish require that we work together to bring closure to all relationships (this includes seeking healthy closure to relationships that have been life giving as well as those that have been challenging)”. I pray that we will seek to do this in ways that honor Christ in each other and leave gladness, gratefulness and healing in our hearts. It also reads that I cannot, in any way, participate in the selection of my successor. I have NO desire to do so and I will not engage with anyone in such conversation. Additionally the policy states that after the departure date, I will no longer function in any way as a pastor or priest to those affiliated with Trinity. Specifically I am not permitted to officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals for any person(s) who are affiliated with Trinity or stay in touch by any means including social media. It is when these policies are ignored that the health of the departing priest, the parish and the new priest is harmed and I would never want that for us. There is much more in this document that speaks to my leaving well and leaving you well and ready to invite a new pastor and priest into your lives as you have so graciously done for me and the 24 rectors and countless curates before. I am so glad that you will have The Rev. Salin Low with you as supply priest to walk with you through this transition time, care for you, share sacrament, worship and weekly life among you until your next priest is called to have the holy privilege of being your priest and pastor.
As you transition, I will be transitioning as well. I leave in late December to become the priest, pastor and provost for the people of God who are the congregation at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis. It will be because the Dean before me and the people of the cathedral congregation ended their pastoral relationship well that I and they can become the community God is calling us to be and that I can fully be their priest and pastor as I have been to you.
I will hold you dear always, cherish all that God has done among and between us, and carry with me the extraordinary gifts you have given into my life and the lives of Shep, Sarah and Myles.
I look forward to our conversations, hugs, liturgies, and celebrations in these next weeks and give thanks to God always for each and every one of you.
In Christ’s love,
Liturgical Farewell on Sunday, December 18
During our 9:30 a.m. Church Service, we will be saying our Liturgical Farewell using the “Liturgy for the Ending of a Pastoral relationship”. We urge everyone to attend and be a part of this service. Later this same day, we will be holding our Farewell Party – more details will soon be forthcoming but we urge everyone to set this afternoon aside so that you can be part of this festive celebration of Pastor Kathie’s time at Trinity. While Kathie will be serving on the altar on both December 24th and 25th, these days will not be the time to say goodbye as the focus will be on the birth of Christ.
If you would like to assist in the planning of Pastor Kathie’s Farewell Celebration, please contact one of the wardens directly.
Visit by the Cannon for Mission Leadership on Sunday, January 8
The Rev. Lee Ann Tolzmann, the Cannon for Mission Leadership, will be with us during our 9:30 a.m. Sunday Service to explain the Transition Process and to answer any questions you might have during a meeting after the service. She will also be with us for the Adult Formation hour, after the service, to explain more details and to answer questions. Please make every effort to attend this day so that you can hear directly about the process. For those of you who have been through a Rector Search in the past, it will be interesting to find out how the process has changed and streamlined and what alternatives the ECCT might suggest to a lengthy search process.
Some of you have expressed an interest in being a part of the future Discernment Process or Search Committee. We are deeply grateful to you for your interest in being part of the future life at Trinity Newtown; no decisions about the process will be made until after the January 8 meeting.
Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 15
Please join us for our Annual Meeting during the 9:30 a.m. service as we affirm our life together and begin to more fully reimagine what is next for us as a Parish.
Greetings to our Parish Family,
We have all had a few weeks to absorb the news of Pastor Kathie’s acceptance of the call to be the Provost at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. We know that you, like us, are overjoyed at this new adventure and place that God has called Kathie and Shep to. We are, at the same time, concerned about what God is calling Trinity to moving forward and how and when this will unfold. The ongoing life at Trinity Newtown will continue and God will certainly bless us abundantly during this time of transition!
As your wardens, we met with our Bishop and the Cannon for Mission Leadership at the ECCT to discuss the Transition Process. We want to update you about what we learned and what is planned over the coming months. First and foremost, Pastor Kathie is our Rector until her departure at the end of December. Over the coming weeks, please take the time to individually share a few last words with Pastor Kathie and to tie up any outstanding concerns you might have with her. However, please also understand that this will be an extremely busy time for Pastor Kathie as she prepares to move and schedule any meetings accordingly.
On the back of this sheet, please note some upcoming dates and mark your calendars for these very important events related to Pastor Kathie’s departure and the Transition Process itself.
Beginning Sunday, January 1, The Rev. Salin Low will be serving as our Supply priest. We came to know and care for Salin when she served during Pastor Kathie’s sabbatical and we are gladdened to have a very familiar face with us during the time of transition.
Over the coming weeks as you have questions, your Wardens will be available in the front of the church after Sunday services to answer them. Or, if you would prefer, please contact us directly so that we can speak with you. We will keep you updated as we know anything more.
Lastly, we have enclosed a copy of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut’s Leaving Well Policy. Please take some time to read this as it is important that we all establish and maintain new boundaries during this transition process. There is also a great deal of other information contained on the ECCT website about the Transition Process.
We believe that God is calling Trinity to a new and exciting journey as we follow Him into our neighborhood! (or should we say Journey) We look forward to sharing this journey as it unfolds with all of you.
Forry Weatherby and Ellen Melville