“Preparing the way. . .”

At Trinity’s Annual General Meeting in January 2013, our rector, The Rev. Mark Asman, announced that he would be retiring in May 2016. The reaction was one of momentary shock—he had, after all, been with us for 20 years. The reaction was also one of gratitude—that with foresight and generosity, he had let us know in plenty of time to begin preparing the way, both collectively as a congregation, and individually in our own hearts, for his departure.

The Vestry, with the assistance of the Diocese of Los Angeles, began exploring various approaches to a rector search. In both 2013 and 2014, the theme of our stewardship campaigns was “Preparing the way. . .”—an expression of our intention to ensure that our financial house was in order for a new rector, and a declaration that in this, too, God’s abundant love and guidance would be the pathway for our search.

In late 2014, the Vestry began the work of creating a Portfolio Committee, whose mission would be to listen in various ways to the voices of the congregation, and to incorporate what they heard into a parish profile. This listening process included a comprehensive parish-wide survey, a series of 12 very well-attended parish conversations on Sunday mornings after church, and the open-ended invitation to contact members of the Portfolio Committee with any questions, suggestions, and observations. In August, the Portfolio Committee hosted a Trinity History Day—a great success in number of attendees, in the personal and corporate information that was added to our timeline, and in furthering our commitment to naming “what is life-giving here.”

This PORTFOLIO OF TRINITY CHURCH is the result of our listening and learning—a process that has already made a profound congregational difference just by the fact of doing it. We find ourselves now—at the beginning of the actual search and on the eve of our 150th anniversary—to be filled with thanksgiving for our 23 years with Mark Asman, and in joyful anticipation of a new shared ministry with our Trinity Church rector-to-be.

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