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September Pastor's Note

The constant summer question, “Where has the summer gone?!” is now in the rearview mirror. However it happened, summer went! Though the official start of fall will happen later this month, the seasons of our lives often move to rhythms that are far more powerful in marking transitions than the dates on the calendar.

For many of us, one way or another, the start of a new school year is a significant shift into a new season. It’s a time of big transition. I’m aware of just how many transitions are happening within our community right now, both big and small. Some are entering new grades, or starting at new schools. Others are on one side or another of transitions to college for the first time, or transitions during the college years to new, and perhaps yet to be revealed ventures. Some recently retired teachers will not be returning to classrooms this fall, and at least one in our community has returned to the classroom for a season.

Gwen Carr’s career has often found her in classrooms of various kinds, and she left the classroom at the end of 2020 in order to start her position at Trinity. We’re so grateful she did! Gwen has been such a wonderful gift to Trinity during these past few years, and she has nurtured us through many transitions here, too. Gwen helped keep us connected as we continued to gather virtually, and helped us through the transition to returning to in-person worship and activity, and finding our new normal. She has accompanied members in health-related transitions, and entered the sacred space of the transitions that accompany the deaths of dearly loved ones. She provided stability and leadership during the summer of my sabbatical, when we also had a few transitions during Victoria’s parental leave. What a gift!

This past year has brought huge transition to her life, too, in the death of her parents - beloved founding members of Trinity - just a couple of months apart. That led to the unexpected transition for Gwen and Margaret to purchase their home, and though the closing date was in July, the transition continues. In the midst of all of this upheaval, Gwen was approached by a former colleague with an invitation to teach in a brand new school in Fishersville. After prayer and discernment, she accepted a position and started a few weeks ago. While she would love to continue working alongside Trinity, this is the right step for her in this particular season. We wish her all the very best in this transition, and offer our deep gratitude for the many gifts she’s shared in her time with us.

This means transition on our end, too, and the Personnel team will be seeking a new Pastoral Care Associate. If you have suggestions or know of individuals who might be the right fit, please reach out to me or to Larry Barber, chair of Personnel. We have been so blessed by those we’ve had in this position, and we trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to be at work to call the right person here for this new season.

From our founding over 60 years ago, Trinity has always trusted that God is at work, doing a new thing, and we have been attentive to the Holy Spirit in discerning how we are being called to respond, in this season and in this place. This month we will have our annual House Church and Marks Group Closing Sunday, and at the end of the month, our calling Sunday. If you’re totally unclear on what those words mean, the Matthew 25 Committee, chaired by Nancy Hopkins-Garriss, is ready to help explain and help discern God’s call for you, and for us, today. They will lead the Nurture time on September 3rd to talk more about all of that. If you feel that God is calling you or us to a particular mission, or a group that is more focused on building community, or one studying together, we are here to partner in discernment with you.

Transitions are difficult, but can also be a real gift. God is doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it? Let us hold each other in mutual prayer and support through this next season, at which point we’ll look at each other and ask once again, “Where did the time go?”

Grace and Peace,


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