So, who attends Trinity?
First of all, we’re a somewhat unusual parish in that we’re regional: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York State (including New York City)….
(In current church lingo, we’d be called “intentional” parish. In other words, people come to Trinity, often a considerable distance from where they live, because they’ve thought about it, and they’ve chosen to come to Trinity. We’re not the “nearest church” to very many people, really.)
Although our building is in the Lime Rock neighborhood of Lakeville, CT, our active parishioners live in three states and four Episcopal dioceses. Our Priest and both Wardens live in Connecticut. Our Treasurer lives in New York City and is a weekend resident of Connecticut. Our Clerk lives in Massachusetts.
You might find a video of one of our Palm Sunday processions interesting, as it shows a good cross-section of our parishioners. Here’s a video from Palm Sunday 2014
Trinity falls in the category of “small congregations” but we fluctuate somewhat in attendance. On any given Sunday, attendance might ranges between 40 – 125, divided among two Holy Eucharists and our Youth Group. The number who attend any particular Sunday depends upon factors like the time of year, scheduled special events, and the weather (not surprisingly, since many drive quite a distance to get here).
Many (most?) weeks we see at least one new face, occasionally more than one. Since the closing of Christ Church in Canaan, we’ve been happy to welcome a number of wonderful people who had attended that church(and who are valued — and fully participating — members of the Trinity family.
Here’s a partial list of the area communities that our parishioners call home (or weekend home). Lime Rock, of course (the Rector, the Chair of the Altar Guild, the Buildings and Grounds Chair, and the Music Director live here). Lakeville, Falls Village, Salisbury, Sharon (our Senior Warden lives in Sharon and our Junior Warden in Lakeville), Amesville, West Cornwall, and Canaan are the villages that surround us most closely, and we have parishioners from all of them. The other villages that make up Cornwall, and the Taconic and Twin Lakes neighborhoods in northern Salisbury, Connecticut; Sheffield, South Egremont, and Great Barrington in Massachusetts (our Parish Clerk lives here). Millerton, Ancram, Amenia, Amenia Union, and Dover Plains in New York — these communities form our next ring of neighbors. Some people regularly come to Trinity from New York City (including our Treasurer). People are happy to drive some distance to come to Trinity, it seems!
Of course, visitors come to Trinity from all over the world!
How do Trinity people make a living?
Here’s a sampling of our current careers: art dealer, framer, attorney, public relations, publisher, full-time mom, retired, swimming instructor, secretary, real estate, electrician, dietician, college professor, schoolteacher, nurse, hospitality industry, gardener, alternate energy entrepreneur, playwright, builder, farmer, publishing, handyman, software entrepreneur, librarian, financial executive, tax assessor, chauffeur, consultant, handyman, actor, private school executive, artist, not-for-profit organization management, actress, painter, architect, student, clergy, retired clergy, financial executive, musician, ski instructor, secretary, cinematographer, invalid care. Some are between careers. Some are at home. Some are retired.
Our founders built Trinity Church to serve the entire community — from their own family members to the workers in their factories (did you know that Lime Rock was once a factory town? see our History Page) — and we’ve never forgotten it. We welcome everyone at Trinity Lime Rock.
As times and our area have changed, our welcome has expanded, too. We welcome our weekenders, our summer people, and those who find themselves in the area just for a day or a weekend. We welcome visitors to the seasonal attractions our area offers, ranging from the racing season at Lime Rock Park, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and kayaking on the Housatonic, to the performance season at nearby Music Mountain, Tanglewood, Berkshire Choral Festival, Jacobs Pillow, TriArts, and Yale Norfolk, to name just a few. And we extend a particularly warm welcome to our friends who are temporarily residents at Trinity Glen in Sharon.
Is Trinity considered a successful parish church?
Particularly in light of recent articles in the media about the shrinking Episcopal Church nationally, we like to think that we are. Others seem to feel that we are as well. Here’s a note that our Diocesan Bishop brought with him when he visited us recently:
“To Bishop Ian Douglas: You will be visiting a wondrous, magical parish this Sunday! Trinity Lime Rock has over the past 4 years gone through a remarkable financial blossoming. Rev. Heidi Truax should be asked to bottle whatever they are doing so we can spread it around The Episcopal Church in Connecticut. I’m not kidding, please get a briefing on what they have been doing, because its results are striking.” Louis Fuertes – Canon for Mission Finance and Operations
When we read things like that, we are proud, of course, but we are reminded that our parishioners are what ultimately make us successful. Without their pledges of time, talent, and, importantly, treasure, we could not make the difference that we do in people’s lives both at Trinity and — importantly — outside our doors.
Why do people come to Trinity?
People select a church for many reasons. We know that people appreciate our hospitality and our willingness to accept them regardless of where they are on their personal faith journeys and in their lives outside of church. Also, people tell us that there is more happening at Trinity Lime Rock than at most churches our size — and, in fact, more than happens at lots of churches that are many times larger than we are. There’s certainly plenty to do here besides just “going to church” on Sunday mornings!
What we do outside Trinity — our presence as a force for good in the larger tri-state community — clearly is of great importance to many who attend, as well as to those who simply consider themselves to be friends of Trinity. We made a conscious decision to focus outside our four walls nearly a decade ago, and our involvement in the community has clearly been an important reason why people choose to involve themselves with Trinity. Take a look at our Outreach page to learn about that.
Why not take a look at our upcoming special events? Check out how we worship at Trinity. You might also be interested in our page about the major events of our parish year, or our Facebook page, where you’ll find many photo albums of parish life at Trinity. And take a look at our monthly parish newsletter, the Trinity Times, for our current major activities outside our four walls as well as here at Trinity. (You’ll find them listed in the column to your right).
Just here for the weekend?
Perhaps you’re across the street at Lime Rock Park, visiting an area private school, unwinding at an area inn or B&B, attending the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s ski jumps, antiquing, kayaking on the Housatonic, visiting friends or family, attending our area’s many cultural events, visiting the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage area’s many historic sites, or just passing through — perhaps hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Come worship with us!
You are welcome at Trinity Lime Rock whether you live here or not!
–Didn’t bring your “church clothes?” No matter. Come as you are!
…and be sure to bring your kids. Young people are especially welcome at Trinity. They participate regularly in our worship services, and we have something for them virtually every Sunday of the year.
–Are you coming from a different religious background?
Well, then, a very special and extra warm welcome to you! (Many of us at Trinity Lime Rock come from other faith backgrounds as well!)
At informal poll of active Trinity parishioners revealed a number of “birth Episcopalians” but many (perhaps most?) of us started our continuing faith journeys elsewhere. Some of the faiths from which we came to Trinity include Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist (several denominations), Jewish, Lutheran (both ELCA and Missouri Synod), Presbyterian, Anglican Pentecostal, Cumberland Presbyterian, Unitarian, Congregational — and from no religious background at all.
…and, perhaps because of the diversity of our own faith backgrounds, we’re particularly sensitive to the fact that not everyone will choose to make a spiritual home at Trinity. Even if you don’t choose to stay with us as a member, we’re delighted to consider you a friend!