|Many people have expressed curiosity about the
process we have now completed at Trinity Lime Rock to find new clergy.
This page served, during our search, to document our process and identify
next steps. Now it's part of our history.
The process began: Fr. Clements,
first Vicar of Trinity, was called to become Rector of
Roxbury, CT and accepted the call. His last day at Trinity
was August 23, 2009. The Bishop had visited with us a month earlier and,
already aware that Fr. Clements was soon to be leaving us although we were not, remarked at what good
health he found Trinity to be in and what high hopes he has for Trinity going forward,
pointing our direction outward, to opportunities for mission outside Trinity, in
our communities, our Dioceses, our nation, and the world.
The next step came in the form of a visit by the Diocesan Canon
for Deployment, the Reverend Canon Erik Larsen. He
visited us on Sunday, September 27, celebrated the Holy Eucharist, preached, and met
with the Vestry and the people. We remember Canon Larsen well at Trinity,
since he was our consultant for the search process that brought us Fr. Clements,
and before that had worked with us in making the decision to expand our
Canon Larsen at Trinity on September 27, 2009
Canon Larsen outlined two alternatives that were open to us:
1. We could have gone into a period of self-study, which would have
included the assignment of
an interim Rector by the Bishop and a formal search process, leading in due time
-- perhaps as long as two years -- to calling our next Vicar or Rector.
2. The Bishop could appoint a Priest in Charge of Trinity for a period of
two or three years. At the conclusion of this period, this priest could be
named as Rector and continue, or else a formal search period for a new Vicar or
Rector would ensue.
The Vestry concluded that in our case, in order to maintain the
momentum in the parish, instead of mounting a full-fledged search at this time,
we would be better advised to ask the Bishop to appoint a Priest in Charge for
Trinity (that's option #2 above). Canon Larsen felt confident that he could support the
Vestry in their decision.
The Rev. Heidi Truax, already known to many of us as a friend and neighbor, was
serving at the time as supply clergy at Trinity following the departure of Fr.
The Bishop determined, following meetings with Pastor Heidi and
consultation with the Senior Warden and Canon Larsen, that the
correct course of action would be to appoint the Rev. Heidi Truax as
Priest-in-Charge of Trinity, the second Vicar of Trinity Lime Rock.
An agreement was executed and signed by the Wardens and Pastor Heidi.
Pastor Heidi's first Sunday in the pulpit as Vicar of Trinity
was All Saints Day, November 1, 2009.
This story has a very happy
ending: at the conclusion of her term as Priest-in-Charge and
second Vicar of Trinity Lime Rock, Pastor Heidi was named as the
14th Rector of Trinity Lime Rock in March 2012.
Questions and Answers about the process:
Question: Why did Fr. Clements leave Trinity?
Answer: Christ Church Roxbury represented a good and appropriate career step for him.
Geographically the parish is more convenient for him, financially the position will be better
to care for the needs of his family, and he looks
forward to energizing that congregation. We wish him every success in his new
Question: How long did the search process take?
Answer: While a full-fledged search can take two years or more,
because Trinity is in good financial and spiritual health, has substantial bench
strength in the form of a strong cadre of
lay leaders and volunteers, and is continuing to grow, and also because Trinity
undertook an extensive and intensive self-examination process less than three
years ago, the search that brought us the Rev. Heidi Truax
as our Priest-in-Charge and Vicar took just a little over two months.
Question: Weren't things chaotic during the transition?
Answer: We didn't think they would be chaotic when the process began, and
they were not. Trinity has a solid core of dedicated lay people
with personal experience both in the clergy search process, and in
keeping the parish running efficiently during a search. We had the full support of the
Diocese as well throughout the transition period. Pastor Heidi was very
helpful to us as a supply priest during this period, undertaking many duties one does not expect of a
supply priest, such as visiting the sick and ministering to the bereaved.
As a friendly, welcoming
parish, we continued to welcome new people to Trinity throughout the search
period -- indeed we welcomed three new families, as well as students
from Indian Mountain and Hotchkiss during the transition, and have seen the return of other families in the short period
of time since Fr. Clements
moved on. The priests who served here during the transition have all been
committed to seeing us succeed, and the Diocese has helped us in any way that
they could. Canon Larsen knows Trinity well since he has been a consultant
for us twice in the past.
Sources for additional information:
- You'll find important information in the
Trinity Times. For the articles that
covered the past few years, be sure to check the
Trinity Times back issues.
- The history of the
parish often provides lessons for the future. This website has an
extensive history section, and we recommend you look through it.
- You may want to review the
process by which Fr. Clements came to Trinity.
- Going forward, to stay in touch with week-to-week developments, we strongly recommend that you
subscribe to the Trinity Update,
our weekly e-mail with news, announcements, the calendar, and so forth.
CLICK HERE to view the section of Diocese of Connecticut's website
containing authoritative and helpful information about the clergy search process.