- Parish news
Christmas Worship Updates and New Staff Welcome
*Update as of 12/21/21
All Christmas Eve services are at capacity. There are still a few seats left at the 10 am Christmas Day service. Please note there will not be a livestream for the Christmas Day service. Registration for Christmas Eve and Day here.
Dear Trinity Church and Friends,
Grace and Peace and Advent greetings! I hope this message finds you well.
I write with exciting updates about our Christmas worship and the welcome of new staff members joining our Trinity team.
Grateful for the ongoing leadership and counsel of our Regathering Task Force Co-Chair, Dr. Niven Narain, we will hew closely to our Christmas worship plans, as announced. Last Sunday afternoon we welcomed more than 600 – approximately half our seating capacity – to our Concert of Handel’s Messiah. We reached that attendance figure with the combination of a vaccination requirement, masking, and social distancing reinforced by a strategy to ticket by section. With these same standards in place, we look forward to Candlelight Carols on December 18 and 19. If you have not made your plans to join us for these special occasions, a few tickets remain available for the 7 pm service on December 18.
Given attendance limits, we have added a fourth service to our Christmas Eve schedule. As published, we will gather for worship on Friday, December 24, at:
. 2 pm (Pageant);
. 4:30 pm (with the Choristers, our children’s choir); and
. 8 pm and 11 pm (both with the Trinity Choirs and trumpets and timpani).
The 4:30 pm service will be livestreamed on Facebook and our parish website. Pre-registration will be required for all in-person worship. Mindful of the Omicron variant’s emergence, each service’s attendance will be capped at 450, and masking will be required at all times for all worshipers. Given these numbers are higher than our Sunday custom through this fall, we will reinforce best-practice social distancing by cordoning pews in a checkerboard pattern throughout the nave and galleries. This pattern will remain in place at least through:
. Christmas Day, at 10 am
. Sunday, December 26, at 10 am (Morning Prayer)
. Sunday, January 2 (returning to our customary 9-11-5 schedule)
. Sunday, January 9 (farewelling of the Rev. Dr. Bill Rich)
Registration for Christmas Eve and Day services is now open here. While we will not require attendees’ vaccination (indeed, the Diocese of Massachusetts prohibits such a requirement for worship), we ask all to think not only of their own wellness, but of others’. Therefore, we encourage you and yours to consider seeking a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the service you will attend, and, of course, to stay home if you have even a sniffle.
Further Pandemic Notes
With Omicron data still accruing, the full implications of the new variant remain unknown. Early metrics suggest its transmissibility rate exceeds that of the Delta variant, across both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. More reassuring, rates of severe disease remain low.
Given these dynamics, our prohibition of large-group eating and drinking indoors remains. This applies to all Trinity-sponsored events, whether on our campus or off-site, through at least the end of the year. Following the holidays, we will reevaluate what emendations the pandemic circumstances require or allow. Should new-case incidence in the Commonwealth rise above a daily average of 7,500, changes may be required.
Welcoming New Staff
As we deck the halls for the joyful season ahead, I am delighted and honored to welcome two new members of our staff: Rob Hess, as our Chief Financial Officer, and Lonsdale Koester, as our Interim Director of Stewardship.
Rob began ministry with us last month, and in the CFO role he will steward our financial operations, receiving much of the portfolio previously tended by Joan Mansfield Roberts. As you will read of his professional history, Rob brings rich executive experience, and he will also provide Trinity with important administrative leadership. A lifelong Episcopalian and a former Warden at Saint John the Evangelist parish in Hingham, Rob has arrived with a capable, generous spirit, eager to serve.
Many in the parish will know Lonsdale as a companion in the pew and as a Stewardship leader here at Trinity. As our Interim Director of Stewardship, Lonsdale will provide essential ligature between the parish offices and the Stewardship Committee, all in support of our congregation’s greatest generosity. At present committed through our second “Trinity Sunday of Giving” next June (of 2022), Lonsdale will also bring to us the expertise of a consultancy, helping us optimize our Stewardship systems, drafting job descriptions, and building congregational capacity for our 2023 campaign.
I give thanks to God for these fresh partnerships and for the opportunity to learn from these exceedingly gifted colleagues. Please read below their letters of introduction, and – along with the Rev. Kit Lonergan, whose first Sunday as our Priest for Welcome and Care will be December 19 – please join me in welcoming these friends to our Trinity team!
See you Sunday,
The Rev. Morgan S. Allen
From Rob Hess, Chief Financial Officer
I am proud and energized to join the Trinity Family as CFO. I arrive here after a long financial services career including fifteen years at Fidelity, where I served as both CFO and COO for different technology divisions. I am lucky to have experienced two amazing years living with my family in Bangalore, India where I served as CFO of Fidelity India. I have also been involved with the Wellspring Multiservice Centers in Hull as a director and Fidelity’s Boston PRIDE group as an ally for the LGBTQ community. I am lucky to follow a leader like Joan into this role, and I look forward to serving Trinity’s Treasurers, Committees, and Vestry as financial steward.
I am a proud Episcopalian at St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, where I have served six years as a warden and many more on parish stewardship and finance committees. I am an active lay reader and was brought up in Michigan under a strict “spit-shine” acolyte regime. My wife Sue is an active member of St. John’s Outreach Committee and has led the parish’s annual support of the Diocesan BSAFE summer program in partnership with St. Stephens in the South End. We live in Cohasset with our daughter Sophia, a junior at Thayer Academy, and Pooja, our India Street Dog rescue. Our son Sam is a freshman at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.
From Lonsdale Koester, Interim Director of Stewardship
For many of you, mine may be a familiar face in a (somewhat) familiar role. It is my joy and honor to lend a helping hand once again to Trinity's stewardship ministry, having served two terms on the parish's stewardship committee from 2011-2015 and 2018-2021. I now look forward to a new twist on that work, joining the staff for a time as Interim Director of Stewardship.
I am a lifelong Episcopalian who joined Trinity as a parishioner in the mid-2000's. I love the Church with a capital "C" and more particularly, I love this church, Trinity Church in the City of Boston. And I love the ministry of stewardship (seven out of the last ten years on the stewardship committee will do that for a person!). In addition to some other terrific jobs I’ve been lucky to have, I have worked as a professional fundraiser on two successful gubernatorial campaigns and as executive director of a local non-profit. As a philanthropist and board member, I’ve also chaired the development committees of both the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Charles River Conservancy. But stewardship is more than just fundraising, Trinity is more than just a good cause, and that’s what calls me back again and again.
In accepting Morgan's call to this role at this time, my heart sang the words of Psalm 122: "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" I believe with all my heart that God pours out His gifts on us abundantly. What a privilege it is to re-invest that abundance in bringing about the life of the world to come! I can't wait to do this work with you.