Vestry

A Note of Thanks

Dear Trinity Family,

The Outdoor Sanctuary Committee would like to thank the folks who generously volunteered their time to fill the water bags surrounding the newer trees at the Outdoor Sanctuary.

This year, special thanks goes out to: Joe Fluet, Jim Gemmer, Ellen & Sydney Hall, Becky & Jim Hoecker, Sandy Diday, Bob Appenzeller, the Moore family, Brett & Sabine Bibb, and Holly & Chuck Bimba. Thanks, also, to Tommy Breeden for keeping the grounds mowed and “weed-whacked,” and to the Vestry and Parish Life Committee for hosting summer picnics. No thank you list would be complete without acknowledging Betsy Crenshaw who reminds us of our promises and our good intentions in such a wonderful way.

Sincerely,
The Knapps and The Gibbens

From the Wardens

With Spring just around the corner, we want to acknowledge new growth and rebirth in several aspects of our life at Trinity Church in Upperville. Thanks to several parishioners who have taken the laboring oar, our Sunday school program for the Lenten season is up and running. The parents and teachers who have participated in this revitalization, with the eager support of our Interim Rector Ed Miller, are a cause for rejoicing. Our Christian education program for youth is being resurrected as well. We are grateful for the support of all participants in this critical part of life at Trinity, especially Melanie Hitchen, Lisa White, and Sheila Harrell.

As you are keenly aware, our 60th Annual Hunt Country Stable Tour is a mere two months away. Kat Gemmer’s team has lined up eleven farms for the Tour. It is always a fun event for our visitors but also it is the lifeblood of our growing Outreach to the community. We urge everyone to volunteer your time and treasure to ensure the Stable Tour is a magnificent success.

Under the chairmanship of Matt Blunt, the Discernment Committee formed by the Vestry to identify a permanent Rector has begun its work. We will apprise you of this work as the committee moves forward. Soon, parishioners will have an important opportunity to help the Discernment Committee develop a profile of our Christian community by responding to a thoughtful and confidential survey. We would very much like to see 100% participation.

Through the efforts of the Committee, Trinity will ‘put its best foot forward’ in attracting Rector candidates. Our website, our internal communications, our management systems, and our financial profile are among the ways we communicate the vitality of the Church. We are happy to report that the Church has made important strides recently in these respects, again with Ed’s support and direction.

The Church’s internet security is being upgraded. Staff’s aging desktops, printers, and the Rector’s laptop are being replaced or upgraded. Once the new devices arrive and are set up, we will deploy Office365 across all staff devices. Campus internet signal strength, speed, and security are being addressed. We are turning our attention to improving our database and hope to organize it in ways that better serve our missions. Over the coming year, everyone should experience better communications and outreach capabilities. With God’s help, these initiatives will be in place by the end of Spring.

As many of you know, our database and our member guide need to be unified and updated. Our Junior Warden appeals to everyone to help correct the problem. If you, a group, or a committee you are involved in has member lists with contact information, please send that information to Di, our Parish Administrator and please use “Member List” as the subject line of your email.

All the systems currently being improved will ensure that we can carry out our Christian mis-sion and our ministries effectively. Christian Education, The Stable Tour, Outreach, and innumerable other ministries depend on this infrastructure, and we depend on you, the faithful members of Trinity Church.

Blessings,
Jim Hoecker, Sr. Warden
Sandy Diday, Jr. Warden

Important Message From the Wardens

We are pleased to tell you that the following parishioners have graciously agreed to serve on the Discernment Committee that will seek a new Shepherd on our behalf: Matt Blunt (Chair), Jonathan Catherwood, Alix Coolidge, Ellen Hall, Ashley Hambrick, Margaret Moore, and Laurie Volk. The Vestry has worked prayerfully to choose these dedicated people for this faithful and fateful task. We are asking a great deal from our fellow parishioners and now we ask for your trust and prayerful support for the process they are undertaking.

Please keep in mind that, as the committee seeks to discern the Lord’s will for Trinity and its leadership, we should each open our hearts to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Although the search process is necessarily confidential, we will do our best to keep the congregation apprised of what is occurring.

Of course, everyone has a role. The discernment process will begin with challenging questions that our Members will be called upon to answer. What is the history and tradition of Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville, VA? How is it situated demographically, geographically, and historically? Who have we been? Who are we now? And, importantly, who is God calling us to be next? All of our likes and dislikes, hopes and concerns, as well as our thoughts, feelings, and opinions are relevant.

Based on our mutual conviction that the Church exists for the glory of God, we ask for your prayers, trust, and enthusiastic support for the discernment committee’s labors.

“A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Luke 6:37-38

Blessings,

Jim Hoecker, Senior Warden
Sanford Diday, Junior Warden

From the Wardens

As you read this, it has been one month since The Rev. Ed Miller began his spiritual and administrative leadership. As we continue moving through this period of transition, our hope for the future of Trinity Church affords numerous opportunities to reflect on the things that are best about us as well as our relationship to God and our community.

As part of this reflection, The Vestry is assessing how our committees communicate with one another, Vestry, and staff. It is important that we place communication between one another at the fore of our shared labor of God’s work, especially during this time of transition. Doing so is a transparent learning experience that helps us stay in touch with one another, ourselves, and the needs of our church.

As new Wardens, we are gratified to learn about important ministries that are supported and joyfully guided by parishioners with a desire to do good. For example, we praise the efforts of numerous parishioners to revitalize children’s Christian Education. Additionally, our Outreach Committee is thoughtfully considering new ways of reaching out to the community and the region by working with other committees and churches to serve those in need and to help spread God’s message of love, grace, and acceptance. Importantly, we are also paying more attention to our digital environment by improving our physical and network security capabilities and communications. Finally, the endowment drive in honor of Rob and Janie Banse was an unparalleled success. Such initiatives are great signs that support the future of Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville. We thank Mr. Miller for his leadership and inspiration in helping to shepherd these programs (and others) during the early weeks of the year.

On February 10, The Rev. Dr. Mary Thorpe will conduct services at Trinity in Ed Miller’s ab-sence. She will be inspiring. We know this because she has been instrumental in preparing Trinity to search for a new Rector, the process for which has barely begun. Finding a permanent Rector starts first by selecting a group of parishioners who will be charged with discerning God’s desire for Trinity; this group is called the “Discernment Committee”. In Mary’s words (she literally wrote the book on this), “this is not a hiring process; it is a process of discernment.” Another theologian says, “Christian discernment is not the same as decision making” in which we might consider goals and options, pros and cons, in a straightforward way. Discernment is about “listening and responding to that place where our deepest desires align with God’s desire.” It reveals “new priorities, directions, and gifts from God.” In other words, the Church will vest in some of our fellow parishioners something more prayerful than a conventional ‘search’ process. Mary’s writing on the subject encapsulates where Trinity finds itself at this time:

“The Diocese of Virginia takes seriously the challenges and joys inherent in transition. Whether the incumbent rector … is retiring or taking another call, this ‘in-between time’ can be an opportunity for accepting the loss of a beloved shepherd, for healing old wounds, for discovering how the church and its surrounding community has changed since the last call, and for imagining how God is calling the church to the Body of Christ now and in the future. There will be anxiety about this future, but, approached faithfully, there may also be great discovery and growth.”

We are delighted and challenged by the prospect of finding a permanent Rector, hopefully by the end of 2019. With your prayers and discerning support, this will be an exciting and fulfilling process. Its success will depend in no small measure on how all the members of Trinity support this effort with prayer and active church work.

Faithfully,
Jim Hoecker, Senior Warden
Sanford Diday, Junior Warden

Vestry Notes January 2018

Dear Parishioners and Friends –

We begin 2019 re-invigorated from a wonderful Advent and Christmas season. We bade farewell to our Rector, Rob Banse, who retired after over 11 years leading our beloved Trinity Church. Our “Good Goodbye” reception on November 30, masterfully organized by the Parish Life committee, gave the Church a chance to say “thank you” in meaningful and fun ways. Reverend Banse presided over a series of joyous services in December as the Church embraced the Christmas season and the bitter sweetness of his anticipated departure. Thank you, Rob – you take our gratitude and many blessings with you.

We now welcome The Reverend Edward O. Miller, former Rector of St. John’s Church in McLean Virginia, as our presiding Interim Rector. His message to the Parish is published above and reflects his inclusiveness, pastoral nature, and his experience leading worshippers through times of change and uncertainty. We share his commitment to continuing Trinity’s welcoming approach to all people and his desire to make the best possible use of the Church’s human and material resources. Rev. Miller will serve as Rector for about a year as we launch a search for a permanent successor to Rev. Banse. During that time, Trinity will remain vital in its activities, its services to parishioners and the larger community, and its work of bringing Christian care and values to people of all ages. Come meet Reverend Miller on Sunday, January 6th, his first in our pulpit. WELCOME, ED.

An additional transition has already occurred this past Autumn, as the Church selected a new Parish Administrator, Diane “Di” Demaree of Bealeton, Virginia. Di’s tenure began in a rush of activity but as the year closes we find her settling into the job of mastering Trini-ty’s many activities and supporting the Rector and Vestry. She is succeeding beyond expectations.

The new Vestry held its first Retreat on December 8 in order to allocate responsibilities for various Church ministries among its members and discuss its many tasks and objectives for 2019. Before Advent began, the Church held its traditional Christmas Auction, which was another great success in terms of both funds raised and fun. Thanks go to Louise Crane, Ellen Hall and a dedicated committee for a superb effort. We are already looking forward to next year.

The coming year will be an exciting time at Trinity. The Vestry will consult with Dr. Mary Thorpe of the Diocese of Virginia on January 7, regarding the process of discerning where the Holy Spirit will lead our search for a new Rector.

Looking ahead, this year’s Hunt Country Stable Tour will be our 60th. Planning has already begun and the Chair, Kat Gemmer, assures us that it will be another tremendous event for visitors and a chance for our parishioners to reach out to our many friends in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and beyond.

As Wardens and Vestry Members of Trinity, we extend our very best wishes for the Peace of the Lord in 2019. We urge you to join us in our joyful mission at a wonderful country church.

Wishing you the Blessings of a New Year,
Jim Hoecker, Sr. Warden & Sandy Diday, Jr. Warden

Vestry Notes Nov 2018

It has been a privilege to serve as your Senior Warden for the past year. I was fortunate to do so alongside one of the finest people I know and the Junior Warden for three straight years, Ellen Hall. I was certainly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her and the church was blessed by her constant concern and focus of the well-being of our congregation. The newly constituted Vestry is a talented group of Christians who are committed to serving Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia.

Vestry has selected an exceptional Senior Warden in Jim Hoecker. I know Jim will lead Vestry well in the exciting year ahead. He will be ably assisted by Sandy Diday who is equally passionate about strengthening our church and living out the gospel. We are entering and exciting period of transition and your prayers, active participation in the life of the church, and financial contributions will be critical.

I know I will be praying that Vestry and others involved in this transition will be blessed with wisdom and discernment.

In faith,

Matt Blunt
Senior Warden

Meet the Vestry Candidates

Make Sure to Join Us for our Annual Meeting and Vestry Election October 21st
Immediately following the one worship service that will take place that morning at 9:30am


Who is Eligible to Serve on the Vestry?  

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Canon 11, Section 4:  

Only lay persons who are confirmed adult communicants in good standing of the church, as defined in General Convention Canon 1.17., shall be eligible for election as Vestry Members of such church.  However, regardless of eligibility of a person for election, no person shall be elected at a duly convened congregational meeting to consecutive full terms on a congregation’s Vestry or Vestry Committee.    

So what does this mean in plain English?  
“Confirmed Adult Communicant in good standing” means the following:  
- You are age 16 or older.  
- You have been baptized and confirmed in the church, and we have your baptism and confirmation duly recorded.  
- You are active in worship, and have received communion at least 3 times this year.  
- You have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God (meaning you are active and intentional about your participation in the life of the church and are known to the treasurer of the church).

Furthermore, this Canon states that you can only serve one consecutive full term (3 years) on the Vestry.


Barbara Augenblick

I moved to the area in 1978 with husband Mark and two children Amy and David (now thankfully adults). We started coming to Trinity at the invitation of Aileen DuPont, a neighbor. In the intervening years I have served on Vestries. I became a member of the Mary Neville Guild, joined the Flower Guild, Altar Guild, learned to be a lay reader and chalice bearer. I was a small cog in the wheels of many stable tours, Christmas auctions, finance and stewardship committees, mission statements and building and grounds plans. I even did a stint as Senior Warden. I can offer some institutional memory - until I forget.

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Paul Coyer

I am honored to be considered for election to the vestry. I am a historian of international relations and specialist in the role played by religion and culture in international affairs. I was baptized at the age of eight, have a degree from an Episcopal divinity school (Yale), previously served on the vestry at St. John's Episcopal Church, New Haven, Connecticut, and have been active in leadership in other Anglican and Episcopal churches, including All Souls, Langham Place, London. I have been active at Trinity since January 2008, have sung in the choir from that point until recently, and been active in numerous other ways including the annual Stable Tour, Adult Forum, a two year gig as the singer for our own in-house classic rock band, “Via Media”, etc. My wife, Marjory, is a classical violinist from Venezuela, who has played violin in Trinity for services and special events for the past 15 years or so (and has hosted many Venezuelan-themed coffee hours!). Marjory and I were married at Trinity in August 2013, with the participation of many Trinity members, and we have long considered our Trinity family an important part of our lives. I hope to be able to contribute in substantive ways as our congregation moves into this next phase of our lives together and our ministry to the broader community.

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Joe Fluet

With the upcoming loss of both Rob, our Rector, and Jane, our Parish Administrator, we are entering an important transition time in the life of our congregation. It is a time when our Vestry will benefit from members with experience in church work, Vestry operations, and Diocesan interaction. With this in mind, I have decided to once again stand for Vestry. I have been active in church work for more than 40 years; I served on Trinity’s vestry a few years ago; and, I served as Senior and Junior Warden in my previous parish during similar transition periods. I have also chaired several Rector Search Committees. I understand that serving on a Vestry is an honor, but not an honorary position. I hope I can help.

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Louise Crane

I was so honored when asked to be a candidate for the Vestry of Trinity Church and thank those who proposed me for this position. I was confirmed into the Episcopal faith at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hattiesburg, MS in 1989.  At Trinity, I served on many committees including, Parish Activity, Altar Guild, later the Flower Guild, worked with Christian Services Center preparing and cooking meals for the less fortunate, helped in the business office, the church school, and others.  I first attended Trinity, Upperville, in 2012 when I visited the area.  Since becoming a resident and marrying Carey, we have been faithful members worshiping here, as well as working on the Stable Tour, being ushers, and supporting all the fund raisers being held here at Trinity.  I am also a member of Parish Life.  While Carey grew up in Trinity, even being an acolyte many years ago, I have only begun my journey into the depths of the Christian fellowship and spiritual healing found here.  I pledge, if chosen to be on the Vestry, to continue my journey and to help others achieve this same feeling of spiritual peace.

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Hurst Groves

A native Hoosier, father (2 daughters), and grandfather (3 girls and a boy), I spent most of my career as a lawyer for Mobil Oil and its affiliates.  I’ve lived in New York, Paris, Tokyo and Fairfax, and spent significant time in Latin America, the Middle East (almost a year in Qatar), Asia and Africa.  In 2000, when Mobil merged with Exxon, I retired from the company and became the director of a new energy policy center at Columbia University.  I commuted weekly to New York from Washington and Middleburg for the next six years. After my wife’s death in 2007, I began to spend more time with my daughters’ families in Takoma Park and New York, occasionally flying to New York in my single-engine Cessna.  I continued to practice law, but on a part-time basis.  For example, I acted as special counsel for Overseas Private Investment Corporation on a project supported by the Skoll Foundation to provide laptop computers to school children in the West Bank of Palestine. I’ve been an Episcopalian since 1968, when I joined Trinity Church in Wall Street.  I was invited to sing in Trinity’s “family choir”, then directed by Larry King.  This was a wonderful experience, since Larry was not only a fine organist and choir director, but also a highly regarded composer.  We often tried out music he had composed to see if it appealed to the congregation.  I’ve also sung in the choirs at St. Alban’s Tokyo and Emmanuel Middleburg.  I have been a member of Emmanuel’s Vestry and was its Senior Warden for two years, before moving (with my fiancée, Barbara Sharp) to Trinity about 5 years ago. At Trinity, I’ve worked with the Finance and Outreach Committees, at the Stable Tour, and with Christian Myers to raise funds to pay for tuning our historic Aeolian Skinner organ.  If elected to the Vestry, I hope to strengthen the funding for Trinity’s music program.  Our organ will require a major refurbishing within the next 10-15 years that will substantially exceed the existing budget.  Developing an endowment or other strategy to provide for these costs before they are upon us is important as we plan for the future of our beautiful church.

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Jake Hambrick

I am honored to be nominated as a Vestry candidate. My family has been coming to Trinity since 2008. Many of my family members have played a role in facilitating church activities since. I have been away from the church for several years as I pursued an education in Texas, visiting several churches in my travels.  Upon my return to northern Virginia, I met my wife Ashley and we began to pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord.  Ashley and I recently got married at Trinity and have enjoyed growing deeper in our faith as a couple while being supported by the church community and congregation. As we went through couple’s counseling we enjoyed cultivating a relationship with Reverend Banse and appreciate his guidance. I am fond of Trinity for several reasons; the congregation, the ministry, and the architecture of the church.  As a professional engineer, I would love to serve the Lord by helping to maintain our beautiful house of worship.  I look forward to furthering my spiritual journey and will follow where the Lord leads me.  

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Peter Hitchen

I am delighted to be considered for the Vestry class of 2021.  In 1997 I founded , and continue to own and operate, Tilton Enterprises which is an excavation company that specializes in equestrian projects, as well as BAC, a roll off and front load dumpster service that donates a portion of revenues to the Childhood Cancer Charities. I graduated from the Hill School and Loudoun Valley High and received my Bachelor of Arts from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. In addition to my work, I enjoy serving as a licensed professional Mate and Captain on sport fishing boats in Bald Head, NC. I am devoted to the community and participate in local nonprofit organizations, including our beloved Trinity Church, as well as serving on the Board of Buchanan Hall. I live with my wife Melanie and daughters Madilyn and Elaina in Marshall, VA. 

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Joe Markus

Joe Markus has been a member of Trinity Church for over 30 years.  He is married to Sandra Markus with whom he resides on Trappe Road in Upperville VA.  He has three daughters and four grandchildren.  His daughter, Stacy, and her husband, Jason, have recently been attending Trinity with   their three children.  Joe has a varied business background which he has used previously, serving for 2+ years as chair of Trinity's Finance Committee.

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Vestry Notes

I hope that you and your family have had a refreshing summer.  As it neared its end we received important news for our church from our Rector.   

While we are saddened by Rob’s announced departure we know that he has sought God’s guidance as to what is best for Trinity and  his own ministry.  

Rob Banse has been a source of strength for Trinity for more than eleven years and the congregation has benefited immeasurably from his steady leadership.  He has challenged us to live out the Gospel in word and deed.  Trinity like all communities of faith has its challenges but remains a vibrant church committed to displaying the love of Christ to one another and to our broader community. Times of transition always require us to rely on our faith and this will be no exception.  Vestry will be meeting very soon to discuss our path forward.  We have been been in touch with the Diocese to acquire their guidance and assistance and will meet with a representative of the Diocese at our next meeting.    

We continue to be thankful for Rob and his compassionate and strong ministry to Trinity over the past eleven years and wish God’s continued blessing on Rob and his Family as he continues to serve Christ.  

Regards,  
Matt Blunt  

Vestry Notes May 2018

We are experiencing a great spring of worship and service at Trinity.  I hope that you are enjoying the weather, change of season, and opportunity to get outside and experience God’s creation.    

You may remember that in November of 2017, I reported that Vestry had decided to transition the endowment to the financial management of the Trustees of the Funds (TOTF).  This decision was made after a great deal of consideration and tremendous due diligence by the Endowment Committee, the Finance Committee and Vestry; however, almost immediately after the decision had been made questions emerged about certain aspects of the relationship between the TOTF and its participants.  Until those questions are resolved it makes more sense for the Endowment Committee to continue to manage the Endowment.  We are fortunate that we have a cadre of financial and legal experts who are willing to do this.  

Thanks to their efforts the Endowment continues to do well.  Your gifts and bequests to the Endowment make a tremendous difference both now and for the future.  It remains important that we continue to increase the size of our endowment for the long term maintenance of our campus and the fulfillment of our mission.  

On another note, Kat Gemmer and her committee are organizing a wonderful Hunt Country Stable Tour.  If you have not donated or volunteered yet, and you are in the area for Memorial Day weekend, I urge you to pitch in and assist.  

In faith,    
Matt Blunt

Vestry Updates

As always, Easter was a great day of celebration and worship at Trinity. In fact, the entire Holy Week was a moving period of reflection and meditation on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Now we turn to the task of living as re- deemed people who serve God, one another and men and women in this community and beyond.

With that in mind, I would urge you to consider supporting one of Trinity’s most important events of the year. The Hunt Country Stable Tour is the pri- mary source of our outreach funding. It is what allows us to serve the people of Upperville, the surrounding area and men and women in crisis all around the world. The Tour can also attract those who are looking for a place to worship and have fellowship with other believers to Trinity. Stable Tour Chair Kat Gemmer and her committee have put together a wonderful itiner- ary. I would urge you to support the Stable Tour and the outreach work of Trinity.

Regards,
Matt Blunt

Vestry Notes March 2018

The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper was a nice way to commence Lent. Special thanks to Martha Williamson and the Parish Life Committee for the great decorations, and, of course, to the cooks who whipped up some great pancakes.

As we now continue through the Lenten season there are many opportunities to deepen our relationship with God – both individually and as a church body. I hope that each of you are experiencing a meaningful Lent and I also hope you will be able to participate in some of the discussions and studies that Trinity has between now and Easter. Our celebration of the Resurrection and what it means for us as individuals and for all of mankind will be here soon!I

Stewardship Chairman Jim Hoecker continues his excellent work on our stewardship pledge drive and we have enjoyed success. However, if we are going to meet identified needs on campus as well as enhance Christian education programs we still need more pledges. It is never too late to pledge and I am sure Jim will be follow- ing up with many of you to see if you can participate in 2018.

I am looking forward to a great March for Trinity and hope you and your family have a blessed season.

Vestry Notes Jan 2018

As always, the Christmas season was a wonderful time of worship and fellowship at Trinity. The Christmas Eve and Christmas services were wonderful reminders of the true meaning of the celebration. The Incarnation is a wonderful moment of hope as God redeems his people!

One of the highlights of the season was the Christmas auction. It was a tremendous success. It was an essential aspect of Trinity’s successful completion of its 2017 on budget. So special thanks to Nicky Perry, Ellen Hall and others who work so hard to make it such a great event.

Vestry has approved the provisional budget for the coming year and will be sharing it with the congregation at the congregational meeting on January 28, at 9:30am. While Trinity is grateful for its many blessings, the budget continues to be a challenge. The costs of maintaining our beautiful campus and the need for more robust youth and Christian education programs will require more pledges than we have received to date.

Our budget is balanced but there is more we can do if we are going to successfully meet the needs of our congregation and our community. I urge you to prayerfully consider your pledge for 2018 and if you have not yet pledged, I urge you to do so soon so Vestry can make the most of your faithful giving through a well executed budget.

Vestry continues to focus on how we can enhance the visitor experience at Trinity. In the near future Visitor Parking signs will be erected near the church. While this may sometimes be an inconvenience for regular attendees, Vestry has decided this is an important part of our efforts to welcome those who visit our church in search of fellowship, meaning and God.

Regards,
Matt Blunt

Vestry Planning Retreat

Vestry members: Save the date! Our next planning retreat is scheduled for Saturday, January 27 in Cox Hall, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Vestry Notes Dec 2017

At the recent November meeting, Vestry continued to discuss how we can best fulfill our church goals of solid administration, meaningful worship, enlightening Christian education, healthy fellowship and evangelism that shares the Gospel in word and deed. To be a healthy church we need to thrive in all these areas.

As usual, the Treasurer provided a financial report . The 2018 budget will present challenges but with good stewardship and a solid finish for 2017 we can be successful. The Christmas auction and year end gifts are vital in the life of our church.

As I reported in November, Trinity has decided to transition the endowment to the financial management of the Trustees of the Funds (TOTF). The Trustees of the Funds is a related organization of the Diocese of Virginia and provides its services to Episcopal churches and entities in all three of the dioceses within Virginia. Overseen by an elected board of trustees, TOTF currently serves nearly 150 churches and organizations with the management of almost $140 million in assets. The Trustees will manage our endowment in trust for us and Trinity will retain the same legal control over the endowment that it has today. Vestry and appropriate committees will continue to monitor the endowment’s performance. This was a significant decision and one that was undertaken after a great deal of due diligence and consideration by both the Endowment Committee and the Finance Committee. The chief executive officer of the Trustees of the Funds, Mike Kerr, will be at Trinity at 9:30 on December 10, 2017 to make a presentation and answer any questions you may have. I urge you to attend. It remains important that we continue to increase the size of our endowment for the long term maintenance of our campus and the fulfillment of our mission.

The Christmas season is always a wonderful time in the life of our congregation. It is also a season that can bring many visitors to Trinity. Vestry has been discussing steps we can take to make visitors feel even more welcome when they arrive on our campus and walk through our doors. Let’s all make a special effort to warmly greet the visitors that will be among us as we worship during the Christmas season.

In faith,
Matt Blunt
Senior Warden

November Vestry Notes

At the recent October meeting of Vestry we elected new officers and wardens. I am pleased to report that Jolly de Give continues to serve as Registrar and Carol Miller continues to serve as Treasurer. We are extremely fortunate that these two parishioners are willing to be of continued service to our church. I was elected to serve as Senior Warden and was willing to serve because I knew I could rely upon the able assistance of our re-elected Junior Warden Ellen Hall. Jim Gemmer provided extraordi-nary service to Trinity and leadership to Vestry over the course of his two years of service as Senior Warden. He certainly set a high bar but I will do my best. 

Your 2018 Vestry, pictured from left to right, top to bottom: Mark Thompson. Sanford Diday, Ellen Hall, Debra Latiolais, Johanna Jackson, Melissa Neal, Kathryn Gemmer, Martha Williamson, Jim Hoecker and Matt Blunt (not pictured: Troye Plaskitt and Kevin Fox). 

Your 2018 Vestry, pictured from left to right, top to bottom: Mark Thompson. Sanford Diday, Ellen Hall, Debra Latiolais, Johanna Jackson, Melissa Neal, Kathryn Gemmer, Martha Williamson, Jim Hoecker and Matt Blunt (not pictured: Troye Plaskitt and Kevin Fox). 

At the October meeting the Treasurer provided a financial report. We remain slightly ahead of budget for 2017 though the final months of the year are extremely important to Trinity. Both the Christmas auction and year end gifts to the church are vital. 

You may have heard that recently Trinity decided to transition the endowment to the financial manage-ment of the Trustees of the Funds (TOTF). The Trustees of the Funds is a related organization of the Diocese of Virginia and provides its services to Episcopal churches and entities in all three of the dioceses within Virginia. Overseen by an elected board of trustees, TOTF currently serves nearly 150 churches and organizations with the management of almost $140 million in assets. The Trustees will manage our endowment in trust for us and Trinity will retain the same legal control over the endowment that it has today. Vestry and appropriate committees will continue to monitor the endowment’s performance. This was a significant decision and one that was undertaken after a great deal of due diligence and consideration by both the Endowment Committee and the Finance Committee. The chief executive officer of the Trustees of the Funds, Mike Kerr, will be at Trinity at 9:30 on December 10, 2017 to make a presentation and answer any questions you may have. I urge you to attend. It remains important that we continue to increase the size of our endowment for the long term maintenance of our campus and the fulfillment of our mission. 

In the coming weeks we will prepare our budget for 2018. Jim Hoecker’s excellent message on stewardship was a great reminder of our obligation to be good stewards of God’s blessings. He also did a great job pointing out how important it is to Vestry to have a record of pledges so that we can appropriately plan for 2018 and craft a budget that allows for Trinity to fulfill its mission. 

As we finish 2017 and head into 2018, I hope you will feel free to reach out to any member of Vestry if you have thoughts or concerns. November and December will be busy months at Trinity! 

In faith, 
Matt Blunt
Senior Warden 

Vestry Updates October 2017

Our Vestry met on Wednesday, September 20th for its monthly meeting. As always, the minutes for the meeting will be filed and available for your review. As this was the last regular meeting for the “senior” Vestry class, we celebrated their dedicated service and we thanked them for their hard work and for the many hours of extra time spent at Trinity over the past three years. Our new Parish Administrator, Jane McGee, was in attendance, much to the pleasure of all. The Vestry gave Jane a seat and voice at the meeting which means she could contribute, but not vote. It is a tremendous help for her, and for those of us doing the follow up actions from the meeting, to be present and hear what was actually discussed. This level of coordination will help all of us communicate and engage more effectively.

Our Treasurer, Carol Miller, presented the financial summary for the year. While our cash position was still down mostly due to the normal summer pledge payment slump, our year-to-date income was on budget and we anticipate our cash position will recover by year-end with continued pledge payments and our final endowment draw. We were told that the final tally for the Stable Tour was $57,024- Bravo!! The Organ fund has received $80,000 and continues to seek additional contributions. We continue to make significant progress in the quality of our music offerings through this effort. The better we are able to make these repairs now, the longer they will last into the future. Please consider a contribution.

Other business included updates to our new Vestry candidate list. We eagerly anticipate our annual meeting and the election of four new Vestry members. With the current list of candidates, the upcoming elections are sure to bring a highly talented team to join our important work. Vestry already has our first retreat scheduled for the last weekend in October (27/28) where we will continue working on the vision/planning effort that I’ve mentioned in earlier reports. We will be discussing many short and long term plans for Trinity at the retreat that will help us set the overall agenda for the new year. Please keep us in your prayers as we undertake this endeavor.

We discussed the previously approved distributions from Outreach in the wake of the two devastating hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida. In case you were not aware, Trinity provided $5000 to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund and another $5000 to the Salvation Army. While that may be just a drop in the bucket, we are confident that both are good stewards of the monies they receive and will be using them to provide as much direct assistance as possible. Vestry also approved additional Outreach distributions to various worthy causes in our area. These will be detailed in the minutes.

Of course, we spent a fair amount of time preparing for the Annual meeting which is likely to have occurred before you read this. If that’s the case, hopefully you were in attendance, were able to cast your vote for new Vestry and shared our enthusiasm for the coming year. We continue to thank you all for your prayers, support and assistance in our work.

Finally, this is the last Vestry note that I will write, at least for the near future. I am one of those “seniors” I mentioned in the opening paragraph so after the new Wardens are elected at the first meeting of the new Vestry in October, I’ll be done. I have truly enjoyed my time on Vestry and I am grateful for the support that the whole congregation has provided to me and to all of Vestry. There are three people I wish to thank by name… Rob, our Rector, for his friendship and trust over the years; Ellen, who I was blessed to have as my Junior Warden and who has become my confidant and my friend; and my wife, Kat, who lovingly supported me, as she always does, and regularly served as my sounding board, coach and cheerleader all rolled up into one. Thanks to all of you.

In faith,
Jim Gemmer
Senior Warden

Vestry News

Our Vestry last met on Wednesday, July 19th for its monthly meeting. The minutes for the meeting will be filed and available for your review. We did not have a regular meeting in August. However, we did have an unofficial meeting/discussion on August 9th to discuss plans for the fall and the upcoming annual meeting to be held on October 1st.

At the July meeting, we received the financial summary from our Treasurer. While our cash position was down slightly because of the normal summer deficit, it is still healthy. The revised 2017 budget was presented by our Treasurer, Carol, in her exceptionally skilled manner, at the July 23rd congregational meeting. If you were in attendance, you would have seen that we are performing well for this year, but we have identified some trends that are worth further review and that Vestry, in collaboration with the Finance committee, will be considering as we start to review the plans for our 2018 budget. It is certainly worth noting that we had another clean financial audit for 2016. Vestry accepted and approved the 2016 audit.

So by now you are probably aware of this, but for the record, Vestry did approve the use of monies from the music fund to allow the reparations of our beautiful organ to get started this summer. It is our intent to get the repairs completed before we kick off the fall season with our full choir and music programs. We also wanted to be sure we did not lose the availability of the highly skilled craftsman that are conducting the work. We hope that the donations to the Organ Fund will continue as we progress which will allow us to replenish the music funds. So please consider making a donation to this important effort.

You have probably noticed that there remains a fairly large hole in the ground behind Cox Hall. Vestry has approved the use of funds to replace the water supply lines the run from the sanctuary to most of the rest of the campus. There are several steps required in the process, but the end result will be a much safer, cleaner supply of water and lines that can be controlled at each building instead of at only one spot in the system. Unfortunately the repairs will cause a few deep digs in the Bishop’s Garden. We will make the cosmetic repairs after the new pipes are in as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order that the lawn can be returned to normal.

I want to be sure to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who have been keeping things going this summer. We had a great turnout for the Vestry sponsored picnic on the July 26th with many people helping out and bringing dishes to share. We had another successful year supporting the motorcycle rally on Aug 19th that supports Boulder Crest in Bluemont. Many of you contributed dozens of delicious cookies and pastries which the riders all enjoyed while taking a break from their ride. Many thanks to Gina Hammond for keeping the coffee hours supplied with goodies during the summer months. And thanks to all of you for pitching in wherever you have as I’m sure I missed something or someone that should have been recognized specifically.

I think that’s all the space I’m allotted for this month. Please continue to keep Vestry’s efforts in your prayers. We eagerly await Rob’s return so we can discuss this summer’s happenings and our plans for the fall. I’m sure we all look forward hearing of his travels and studies.

In faith,
Jim Gemmer
Senior Warden

Meet the Vestry Candidates

Who is Eligible to Serve on the Vestry?

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Canon 11, Section 4: Only lay persons who are confirmed adult communicants in good standing of the church, as defined in General Convention Canon 1.17., shall be eligible for election as Vestry Members of such church. However, regardless of eligibility of a person for election, no person shall be elected at a duly convened congregational meeting to consecutive full terms on a congregation’s Vestry or Vestry Committee.

So what does this mean in plain English?

“Confirmed Adult Communicant in good standing” means the following: - You are age 16 or older. - You have been baptized and confirmed in the church, and we have your baptism and confirmation duly recorded. - You are active in worship, and have received communion at least 3 times this year. - You have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God (meaning you are active and intentional about your participation in the life of the church and are known to the treasurer of the church). Furthermore, this Canon states that you can only serve one consecutive full term (3 years) on the Vestry.


Sabine Bibb

Sabine Bibb

I am so honored to have the Vestry nominate me as a Vestry candidate this year. I would consider it a privilege to serve our congregation. Some quick basic facts about me! I am an Air Force brat and grew up mostly in Germany. I have been a resident of Loudoun County for 29 years. My husband Brett and I have been married for 29 years and we have twin boys. We have attended Trinity for 12 years. I attended George Mason University before starting my dual careers at Dulles Airport and a local newspaper. The past 25 years or so I have kept busy working, raising my two boys and breeding horses. I love going to college football games, attending many concerts and musical events and traveling. Initially we were drawn to Trinity by friends and the children’s programs. Quite simply, our whole family enjoyed going to church! I have served as a Sunday school teacher when my children were younger and as a Lay Eucharist Minister for many years. I have also served on various committees including Stable Tour and the kitchen renovation. I enjoy working with Tommy! We love hosting coffee hour a few times a year with friends. The fellowship of coffee hour is instrumental in fostering the sense of community of our church. Given the opportunity to serve on the vestry I would look forward to supporting and serving our church family.

 
Kathryn Gemmer

Kathryn Gemmer

My role throughout my life has been to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he calls me to serve. I feel that my service through a role on Vestry would allow me to offer my vision of promoting God's word through a modernization of the way we approach education and messaging in a modern society. My professional work as Science Department Chair and teacher of science at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville allows me to combine my knowledge of youth and the way we approach communication with today's technology driven platforms in a very real context. I am a Navy wife of thirty plus years. I have taught high school science (biology, chemistry and physics) for twenty five years, as well as worked with the East Tennessee State University College Of Education and the Tennessee Board of Regents, consulting and researching the way we recruit and train young teachers for service in our public schools. At Trinity I am a dedicated member of our choir and I have taught several forum sessions for the Adult Christian Education Committee. I chaired the search for an administrative hire last year. I presently chair the Hunt Country Stable Tour.

 
Johanna Jackson

Johanna Jackson

I am Johanna Jackson and I would be honored to serve on the Trinity Vestry. My family and I began attending Trinity Episcopal in 2010, after moving back to the greater DC area following a seven-year stint in Southern California. We chose Trinity because of Rob’s thoughtful sermons, the beautiful music, and warm congregation. My journey to the Episcopal Church began when I was a teenager growing up in Latin America in a US Foreign Service family. Bob and I were married in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Napa, California. We christened all three of our children in the Washington, DC Diocese, and were active members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Monrovia, California. At Trinity I participate in Parish Life, am a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and really enjoyed our Trinity Tables group. The recent marriage of my son at Trinity, with some of our Trinity friends joining friends from long ago, was a very great joy. My professional career has focused on supporting children with disabilities in their development. I currently manage Loudoun County’s Early Intervention Program. My private obsession is gardening.

 
Joe Markus

Joe Markus

Joe Markus has been a member of Trinity Church for over 30 years. He is married to Sandra Markus with whom he resides on Trappe Road in Upperville VA. He has three daughters and four grandchildren. His daughter, Stacy, and her husband, Jason, have recently been attending Trinity with their two children. Joe has a varied business background which he has used previously, serving for 2+ years as chair of Trinity's Finance Committee. 

 
Melissa Nea

Melissa Nea

As a cradle Episcopalian, raised in Texas, I came to this area originally as a teenager for secondary school and then continued for college at Georgetown University. After graduating I was continually drawn back to this very special part of Virginia. It became clear that my heart is here and this is home. I have my own business as an interior decorator based in Middleburg. I officially joined Trinity in 2012 and have felt so much love and encouragement as I have become a part of this parish family. I have just completed 4 years of EFM through Sewanee and Emmanuel in Middleburg. It was not education for the ministry with a big M as they say, but education for ministry in your own personal way. Between EFM and my involvement at Trinity I feel I have truly come to understand what it means to be an active member of a church community. Trinity has given me so much as I have served as a member of the Healing Ministry, the Flower Guild, and as a volunteer for Vacation Bible School, Blessing of the Animals, the Christmas Auction party and Stable Tour. The love, encouragement and dedication of our members has made an immense impact on my life. Vestry is one way I can serve, give back and utilize the strengths I have developed in my own business, through EFM and as a volunteer member at Trinity. I have had the opportunity to know parishioners from many other Episcopal parishes and it has helped remind me of the many different perspectives and approaches of different congregations. It has also solidified in me that I have found my home in Trinity, and I am so eager to contribute to this parish and congregation.

Vestry News July 2017

Our Vestry met on Wednesday, June 21 for its monthly meeting. The minutes for the meeting will be filed and will be available for your review. Being the first of our meetings with Rob on sabbatical, we were happy to have Rachel with us as our spiritual leader in his stead.

As usual, financial reports were first on the agenda. We are still looking good with year to date pledge income remaining ahead of budget for the year. Thanks to all of you for your faithful dedication to keeping your pledge of support current. We are still finalizing the Stable Tour finances, but we are confident that with a current net income of $59,232, the ending income will be well over our budgeted goal of $50,000. The tremendous effort put forth by our Chair, Kat Gemmer, our faithful congregation, the generous farm owners and all of our volunteer friends and families is heartwarming. Trinity is able to support many great causes with all of the money raised from Stable Tour going to Outreach. We will soon start the planning for next year- the 59th in a row of successful Hunt Country Stable Tours.

Finance Committee presented a revised 2017 budget with several modifications. Vestry approved a budget with an operating deficit at the beginning of the year with the understanding that this would be resolved in the mid-year adjustment. The Finance Committee reviewed the 2017 Mid-Year Budget prepared by the Treasurer and recommended Vestry approve it. With the revised budget, we will end the year with a very small $810 surplus, so the Treasurer and Finance Committee will continue to monitor income and expenses closely. The complete adjusted budget will be available as part of the minutes from the June Vestry meeting which are posted in Cox Hall for all to see. The budget will be presented for all interested at our July congregational meeting.

Outreach committee reports that they continue to keep us on track to support the local, regional and international causes that have been through their vetting process. Vestry approved the committee’s recommendation for distributions to Piedmont Child Care Center, SOME, ESL, Churches of Upperville, Mobile Hope Loudon, and Kairos Ministry to name a few. The Committee will use remaining funds to provide support to organizations that make a meaningful and direct impact on our local community. Rather than just “sending a check”, Outreach support will include an opportunity for volunteer support and participation by Trinity members. The Committee will also consider national and/or international organizations when we can directly see and measure the results of the donation. As we prepare for 2018, we will be looking at other significant outreach opportunities.

Our Building and Grounds (B&G) committee reported Repairs and Maintenance expenditures through June 16, 2017 were $9,227.12 - mostly for badly needed Cox Hall kitchen electrical repairs. Recent Capital Expenditures included a new AC unit and installation for the Cottage next to Keith House. B&G expenditures through June 16, 2017 include the new lawn service contract that we paid in advance (for the year) to capture cost savings. Also of note, we changed garbage services to Valley Waste which significantly lowered our recurring costs while providing a measurable increase in customer service and reliability.

We are very pleased to report that we have an outstanding slate of candidates for the upcoming Vestry elections. Voting will take place at our annual meeting on October 1 - same as it did last year, so please plan on attending that meeting to cast your votes. The nominees are members in good standing who have all been active participants in the life and development of Trinity. I expect it won’t be easy to choose only four.

Ok- I think that’s it for now… Oops, wait- don’t forget to come out to the Vestry sponsored cookout on the July 26… it will be another good time to be had by all! Thank you for your prayers, participation and encouragement.

Jim Gemmer