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Nineteen Months

The Rev. Dr. William Rich
January 10, 2019

On Monday, we were all bursting with excitement about the call of Morgan Allen to be Trinity’s next Rector.  I was seeing spiritual directees in NYC, and when I told one – a faithful Episcopalian – the great news, she asked: “How long did the process take?”  Nineteen months, I replied.  “Ah,” she said, “That’s how long a mother elephant is pregnant with new life.”


These past nineteen months, we – together – have been the womb of new life here at Trinity.  We gathered a circle of dedicated doulas to help guide us in the process, in the person of our Profile Committee in the fall of 2017, and then in the person of the Search Committee throughout 2018.


The Profile Committee helped us listen to our own souls, and to speak about the hopes (and inevitable anxieties) that are part of expectant motherhood.  The Parish Survey and deep conversations with one another in the Circles of Hope allowed the formation of a magnificent Profile of who Trinity is, where the Spirit has been at work among us, and what sort of leader the parish needs.


The Search Committee spent months of deep work together, forming bonds of affection and trust, before they ever received the Profile that allowed them to search out and speak with the many priest who expressed interest in leading Trinity.  And then on our behalf, they spent countless hours, poring over applications, looking at and listening to sermons online, praying and listening to the Holy Spirit and to one another, interviewing by Skype and then face-to-face the most exciting candidates that the Spirit raised up.  As in any process of giving birth, the hardest work came at the end, with the deep breathing in of Holy Spirit, and the powerful pushing through to the joyful moment of birth: the agreement that Morgan Allen was the right priest to lead Trinity into its next chapter of mission and ministry.


As with any birth, right now the most natural thing in the world is for us to rejoice, to give hearty thanks (to God and to the Profile and Search Committees), and to breathe a sigh of relief.  And yet, the coming-into-being of Trinity’s new life of ministry is not fully done.  New-born elephant calves need to be nursed for three years, I am told.  The welcoming of Morgan Allen and his family, their integration into Trinity’s life and the life of Boston, will take time.  These early months of welcome and getting to know one another will be as important as the time of gestation.  Just as parents naturally want to be gentle with a new-born – and yet struggle to maintain patience in the face of changes that are part of a new life in their midst – so we will want to be gentle and patient.  The same Holy Spirit that powerfully guided us during the last nineteen months will be with us in these coming months, enlightening us and opening us up to join our hearts and hands to nurture the new life that will keep unfolding among us.


Thanks be to God for the Profile and Search Committees, and thanks be to God for Morgan Allen, Trinity’s new Rector! Thanks be to God for the new life that is ours in Christ every moment, and especially in this exciting new moment of Trinity’s life. 


Bill Rich

Interim Rector


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