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Letter from the Rector: Welcome the Rev. Brandon Ashcraft

March 24, 2024

Dear Trinity Church and friends,


Grace and Peace and Lenten greetings. I pray this message of good news finds you well.


As shared at our Annual Parish Meeting last month, the growing momentum of our parish expressed itself in our annual Stewardship, with a more than 10% increase in the number of pledges received last year. Thanks be to God, to those commitments, and to years of careful expense management, our 2024 budget supports the hire of a fourth full-time priest.


Today, I am delighted to announce the call of the Rev. Brandon Ashcraft as our Priest for Outreach. A fine preacher and faithful pastor with a keen eye for the sustainable systems that help large parishes thrive, Brandon’s gifts fit neatly as complement and enrichment of our excellent staff’s strengths. In this Priest for Outreach role, Brandon will set himself at Trinity’s lively edges, inviting those already within the parish into service beyond ourselves, and inviting those new or beyond our congregation to join our communion.


As a Staff Liaison to the Outreach & Justice Cohort of the Ministry Council, Brandon will build community among those who serve and those Trinity serves. In these charges, he will honor several foundational principles, including that Trinity can only transform the world outside its walls to be as loving as the community inside its walls, and that Trinity prioritizes the nurture of mutually lifegiving relationships as a primary outcome. In all this, he will appreciate Trinity as a parish church first – a congregation for whom ministries of outreach and justice faithfully emerge from its life, commitments, and aspirations as Beloved Community.


As a Staff Liaison to the Hospitality & Care Cohort of the Ministry Council, Brandon will work to ensure everyone who visits Trinity Church feels known and loved. With staff colleagues and parish leaders, he will companion newcomers from welcome, to membership, to belonging. Across ministries, he will help us continue moving Trinity from a “church of friends” to a “friendly church” – a congregation open and welcoming to all.


Brandon will begin ministry at Trinity in early May, a timing that will afford him the opportunity to build relationships and explore our Outreach ministries’ extant topography during summer, all in anticipation of an exciting fall program launch. His formal first Sunday with us – and his first in the pulpit – will be May 12. In addition to our usual Coffee & Community Hour that morning after the 8 am, we will host casual times of welcome to follow both the 10 am and 5 pm services.


Please see below a letter from Brandon, and please look forward to welcoming him and his husband, Bob, to Boston and to Trinity!


With high hopes,


The Rev. Morgan S. Allen, Rector

Dear Trinity Church,


With great joy and gladness of heart, I look forward to joining you as your Priest for Outreach and fellow companion in the household of God! Through the gift of technology, I’ve been worshipping with you for some time, and have delighted in praying with you from afar. 


One of my favorite prayers begins, “Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace…” This prayer for mission invites us to participate in God’s ministry of reconciliation by extending Christ’s embrace to a broken world. As I’ve come to know Trinity Church, I have witnessed your commitment to extending the loving arms of Jesus through all that you do, and I am excited to come alongside you as we share this life-giving ministry. 


My path to Trinity Church has been a winding one, geographically and vocationally. I fell in love with the Episcopal Church growing up in Mississippi, which brought me to Sewanee for my undergraduate studies (where I overlapped with the Rev. Abi White Moon and Lonsdale Koester!). I then moved to New York City and inexplicably convinced someone to hire a history major with a music minor for a job in public relations, which led to a 15-year “first career” in Wall Street corporate communications. During a season of vocational restlessness, I discerned a calling to the priesthood, which led to seminary at Yale Divinity School and ordination in the Diocese of New York.


My life in ordained ministry began as a hospital chaplain in Minneapolis, where I met my husband, Bob. From there, I moved to Austin, Texas, to serve as a Curate at the Church of the Good Shepherd only a few months after you called the Rev. Morgan Allen from Good Shepherd to be your rector. From Austin, I headed back north to Ohio, where I’ve served the parish of St. Paul’s in Cleveland Heights for the last several years. Much like Trinity, St. Paul’s is a vibrant parish where I’ve enjoyed the collegiality of a large staff and been afforded the opportunity to lead a diverse spectrum of ministries across liturgy, outreach, formation, and pastoral care. 


The call to Trinity means Bob and I will blessedly also become neighbors to his sister, her partner, and our two young nephews. We will be joined in Boston by Coco, our senior dachshund rescue, who I’m sure you’ll meet at a future St. Francis service.


Bob and I look forward to worshipping with you on May 12, and we welcome your prayers during this time of transition. Rest assured you will remain in ours.


In Christ,


The Rev. Brandon Ashcraft, Incoming Priest for Outreach