- Parish news
Welcome New Staff Members!
Dear Trinity Church and friends,
Grace, Peace, and Easter greetings! I hope this message finds you and yours well. I write with exciting news about our staff.
First up, please join me in welcoming the Rev. Abigail W. Moon as Senior Associate. When Bill first set his retirement date more than a year ago, I contacted Abi, who was serving at the time as the Senior Associate on a four-clergy team at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, Florida. As a sign of our Church’s small world, Saint John’s is the parish to which our outgoing Music & Worship Administrator, Marissa Hall, has announced her upcoming call.
Last spring, the Rector of Saint John’s was preparing to leave, and though Abi and I had warm and encouraging first visits, she was offered the Interim-Rector opportunity and accepted it. Even so, she and I kept in touch, and I again reached out this January following Bill’s retirement. The moment proved right this time, and I am looking forward to her first formal day in the office on August 1.
Bringing to Boston a strong work ethic and rich experience operating in a large and active parish, Abi’s Trinity plate will be full. She will convene our inaugural “Ministry Council,” that parishwide cohort of ministry leaders imagined and commended by both the Leadership Development Task Force and its successor, the Ministry Collaborative. The Council will continue the critical work of de-siloing our parish programs and small groups, creating space for collaboration, celebration, and best-practice support.
Abi will also serve as the primary administrator of our worship, working with staff and lay leaders to support the parish’s Sunday and festival worship, and she will lead our ministries for Children, Youth, and their families. In all the above, Abi will focus on building Beloved Community before all else, understanding that service, worship, and formation in the absence of Love are, in the words of the apostle Paul, “nothing.”
Please find below a letter of introduction from Abi.
In addition to Abi, I am delighted to announce the call of Colin Lynch as our Interim Director of Music & Organist. As our search for the tenured Director was due to catch its stride last winter, the Omicron surge resisted our progress. While we endeavored to push through those headwinds, the seasonality of the musician job market meant that our prospective candidate pool would be negatively impacted. With the support of the Director of Music Search Committee, the Vestry Advisors, and the Wardens, we pivoted our attention to prepare for an interim season for the 2022-2023 Program Year.
This revised schedule will un-hurry our process, allow Abi to join in the search effort, and make possible partnership with a consultancy, should we choose. The interim year will also allow our music ministry and worshiping congregation a season of transition from the long and meaningful tenure of our retiring Director of Music & Organist, Richard Webster. Richard’s remarkable ministry will conclude following the choirs’ summer tour of England – and I hope you have kept circled the date of our celebrations for his final Sunday at our console: July 31! Prayerfully, we hope for a call of our next Director during next winter.
Importantly, Colin – uniquely gifted and experienced to help us make this turn “from glory into glory” – will remain a candidate for the tenured position. To support his best success during the interim, I am grateful for his swift and enterprising work to call Manuel Piazza as our Interim Assistant Director of Music. While Colin’s formal tenure as Interim will begin after the England tour in August, he and I will soon begin collaborating on plans for this fall. Manuel’s first Sunday at Trinity will be August 28.
Please find below letters from both Colin and Manny.
As the weather warms and our pews continue to re-fill following this long pandemic stretch, I give thanks to God for you and for these partners in ministry!
With high hopes,
The Rev. Morgan S. Allen
FROM ABI, Incoming Senior Associate
Dear Trinity Church,
I am excited to join you, your amazing staff and lay leaders, and the whole parish and broader Boston community!
I grew up in a military family and moved all around during my childhood. While I was baptized and confirmed Lutheran, we worshipped “Army Protestant,” and I am the product of Episcopal schools. Following graduation from Saint Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware, I matriculated at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee. During those formative years, I fell in love with the Episcopal tradition. I felt especially welcomed into the Church during my undergraduate experience, and I served on the Diocese of Tennessee’s diocesan camp staff during my college summers. After graduation, I first served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and, before going to seminary, I then worked as a youth minister in the Dioceses of Upper South Carolina and Georgia.
My husband Rob and I have spent the last eleven years at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, Florida. An historic, downtown Episcopal congregation, St. John’s called me as a newly ordained deacon. In the years that followed, I grew with the church, serving as Associate Rector and then as Senior Associate Rector. I am now completing a year as Interim Rector, leading that growing parish through the pandemic with the same flexibility and grace I have seen in your ministry at Trinity.
In a world of uncertainty, I delight in assisting people to find their place of belonging and to claim their identity as a beloved child of God. I believe the Church exists to “be with” its people, just as Jesus was with the people of his ministry. God calls all of us to be with each other and to recognize the divine in our midst, encouraging one another to find hope and joy in a world too often shrouded in gloom.
My husband Rob; Max, our beloved pup; and I are all looking forward to moving to Boston this summer and to joining the Trinity family. We welcome your prayers for St. John’s as it calls its next rector and for us as we start packing our boxes and beginning our pilgrimage to Copley Square.
FROM COLIN, Incoming Interim Director of Music
Perhaps like me, you are still chewing the Rev. Kit Lonergan’s sermon on Sunday about regeneration and resurrection. She gave us a fascinating biology lesson, sharing how our bodies essentially replace themselves every seven to ten years. If you missed it, you can watch it here. In outward, tangible ways, we continue to be ourselves and yet, paradoxically, we are constantly creating new versions of ourselves, down to the cellular level. She asked the question: “Are we the same person that we were ten years ago?”
When I arrived at Trinity eleven years ago, the music program appeared very much as it does today—a vibrant, dedicated, intergenerational, Christ-centered choral community with a strong sense of its mission. And yet, the naked eye might not have noticed its macro evolutions throughout the last decade. In 2011, musical endeavors in Copley Square had recently undergone a tremendous period of renewal with a newly budding chorister program. In the intervening years, the faces in our choir stalls have naturally evolved to a nearly completely new roster.
By my math, 72% of our current choir members have joined since 2011. This number includes every single chorister, over 50% of whom were not yet born when I arrived. From behind the pews, our congregational song was reinvigorated in 2019 with thousands of newly restored pipes. So, too, our repertoire has been regenerated in recent years with the inclusion of more works by historically, and regrettably, underrepresented composers–last year these works accounted for over 50% of choral anthems!
Thanks be to God for Richard Webster and the extraordinary work he has done in the body of Christ. With that sad day of his leave-taking drawing near, I give thanks for our time together and his impact on all of us in countless ways, many invisible even to microscopes. Rejuvenated from the tremendous gift of my recent sabbatical, it is with deep humility and honor that I accept the call to serve and lead Trinity’s musical organism through this next season of evolution. Further, I am overjoyed to share this ministry for the next year with our new Interim Assistant Director of Music, Manuel Piazza.
In addition to maple syrup, hockey, and the cast of Schitt’s Creek, we can thank Canada for Manuel! A native of Toronto, Manuel studied at the University of Toronto and will graduate with his Master’s Degree in Music from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music next weekend. He has served as organ scholar in some of the finest church music programs in the Anglican Communion, including St. James’ Anglican Cathedral in Toronto, Truro Cathedral in the United Kingdom, and Trinity on the Green in New Haven, CT. Last August, he won the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Competition, one of the most prestigious organ competitions in the world. Though he brings dazzling talent and an impressive resume, his warmth, humility, sense of humor, sense of vocation, his ability to connect with young choristers, and his clear-eyed understanding of the role of church musician will be his greatest contributions to Trinity. I’m excited for you to meet him!
As I prepare to assume this new role at Trinity, I would like to share a prayer which often guides my work. “Invocation” is a simple anthem text by William Billings, 18th-century composer, teacher, native-Bostonian, and arguably the father of American choral music:
“Majestic God our muse inspire,
And fill us with seraphic fire,
Augment our swells, our tones refine,
Performance ours, the glory thine.”
May it continue to be so in the life of the world to come.
With gratitude and joy,
FROM MANUEL, Incoming Interim Assistant Director of Music
I am incredibly excited to move to Boston in August and to join the important work of Trinity Church as Interim Assistant Director of Music next year! Having known about Trinity’s outstanding musical tradition, I am honoured to play Trinity’s beautiful Skinner organ, work with such enthusiastic and talented singers, and assist Colin and Trinity’s choirs in leading music for worship. I look forward to meeting you and making music together in Copley Square!