Dear Members of Holy Trinity,
We are now well into the transformation that was struck by your 2017 strategic planning process. You brought forth the initiative for a new way of being as a community, as a church, and as a presence to all whom you serve. It is a very exciting time and I know that many of you can feel a different type of energy swirling at Holy Trinity. You have opened your doors to what is possible, and that is a wonderful moment to join you in. I am grateful for this openness as I begin my time with you, looking at what we can do together to be more of who we truly are, together.
These short months have been an exciting and expansive time at Holy Trinity. We were privileged to coordinate interfaith partnerships for a Climate Justice multi-faith vigil in September, bringing together diverse voices and faiths in support of climate strikers. We have continued this work on our interfaith partnerships over the fall, through welcoming a LGBTQ led Buddhist Sangha, and a Muslim Jummah prayer group to our spaces and into our community life. We have additionally refined the use of building #6. We settled in Toronto Urban Native Ministry, who will soon be joined by our new tenant, Rittenhouse: A New Vision, who work on restorative and transformative justice practices with community groups like Toronto Community Housing and others. We would like to continue to develop this in the vision set forward for #6 to be a space of reconciliation, to which I think we are well on our way.
It is also important to mention that the work of our Refugee Committee continues to be stellar, only exceeded by their fundraising initiatives. Their participation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge 5k run and walk raised more money than previous years, and brought together lots of different faces in our community. This was followed by our Chris Lind Moral Economy Symposium, which was very well attended and will continue its work supporting changing our vision of a just society. We hope that it will continue for years to come.
We have also added to our daily welcome program, expanding the role of Elizabeth Cummings to full time as our Open Hours Program Coordinator. She has been working diligently with our People Presence team and their lead to create a safe, creative and lively welcome for our friends from the street and around the world. We have been also working on retreat and workshop programming for the spring to extend a place of oasis in the heart of our city to all of Toronto and beyond. Holy Trinity has special gifts to offer in the depth of its spirituality and wisdom that I feel should be shared, and our welcome can be extended to all who are seeking to find a path of creativity, love and justice to guide their journeys.
Much of these moments of growth have been thanks to the dutiful work of our dedicated volunteers, to whom I am deeply thankful. Their contributions are the life of our Parish and they each deserve garlands of honour. I am especially thankful to our Vestry Executive members who underline the importance of following through with the ambitions outlined in your strategic planning process- especially the big ideas that came forward from our membership. Visions of how we can better celebrate the gifts of our congregation and the work that we do in the world.
I am very thankful to each of you who contribute to the financial sustainability of Holy Trinity, and I know many of you have made long term commitments to this Parish. It is not lost on me the immense generosity in stewardship that each of you provide. I know that these donations are not made lightly and that you are investing directly in the well-being of your community. You are investing in Holy Trinity as it represents your heart and your intentions in the world.
Over the next year, we hope to bring forward the shape of your hearts in our action, through thoughtful deployment of your donations into sustaining and growing the meaning and the reach of Holy Trinity in the world. I am hopeful that through working together and with wise investment we can start to paint a renewed vision of Holy Trinity over this and coming years.
This year is direction setting, and listening to the beat of your heart. I encourage you to reach out to me, find me in my office, call or write to me. I am always happy to hear what is meaningful to you, where you believe we should be going and what you would like to accomplish. It is helpful to continue to steer a shared vision and direction for the future, and I will work to make sure you thoughts and desired are included as best I can.
Peace today and all days,