Who attends Trinity?

So, who attends Trinity?

First of all, we’re a somewhat  unusual parish in that we’re regional: primarily Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York State (including New York City)…(and a few other locations as well).
(In current church lingo, we’d be called “intentional” parish.  In other words, even before COVID, 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 six states and at least seven Episcopal dioceses — and international as well.  At the present time, our Priest and most of our officers live in Connecticut, but our Senior Warden lives over the line in New York State, one Vestry member lives in Massachusetts, and another Vestry member lives in New Hampshire. One active parishioner lives in North Carolina — thanks to online worship and Zoom meetings. While it’s a bit “busy” you might find this chart of active parishioners by mailing ZIP code interesting:

Trinity falls n the category of “small congregations” but our attendance fluctuates.   On any given Sunday, in-person attendance might range between 30 – 125, divided among two Holy Eucharists and Sunday School.  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, either for the weekend or for the particular service). During COVID, we  took the leap to livestream and that is were we are now — with active viewers/worshipers in all kinds of places.

Most weeks we see at least one new face, occasionally more than one.  When Christ Church in Canaan closed, we happily welcomed 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 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, Canaan (our Senior Warden lives in Millerton), Amesville, and West Cornwall are the villages that surround us most closely, and we have parishioners from all of them.  The other villages that make up the Cornwalls,  and the Taconic and Twin Lakes neighborhoods in northern Salisbury, Colebrook, Gaylordsville in Connecticut; Sheffield, South Egremont, and Great Barrington in Massachusetts. Millerton, Ancram, Amenia Union, and Dover Plains in New York — these communities form our next ring of neighbors.  Several people regularly come to Trinity from New York City (and many in the congregation were previously members of parishes in NYC).  People are happy to drive some distance to come to Trinity, it seems! We also have members in New Hampshire and North Carolina, and summer residents who live in Florida, by whom our expanded online presence due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been greatly appreciated.

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, banker,  swimming instructor, secretary, real estate, electrician, dietitian, college professor, schoolteacher, nurse, hospitality industry, gardener, alternate energy entrepreneur, playwright, builder, farmer, publisher, 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 (we’ve got two of these folks at present!), financial executive, musician, ski instructor, secretary, cinematographer, invalid care. Some are between careers.  Some are at home.  Some are retired. Most live in the area full-time, but some are weekenders and a few are snowbirds. Some work from home, and others go to work somewhere else. Some don’t live anywhere nearby (example: North Carolina, New Hampshire, and New York City) but still join us electronically. And that’s who attends Trinity! People attend Trinity from the entire tri-state area and from far beyond. Wherever you are, you are welcome at Trinity Lime Rock.

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. It’s not unusual for people in those categories to turn into full-time residents, by the way.  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 the many boarding schools in our area, to name just a few.

Some Trinity parishioners are “cradle Episcopalians” but more came to us after growing up in another denomination.  We have members who came from most of the Protestant denominations, and a large number who were formerly Roman Catholics.  Some came from no religious background at all.  But all are welcome at Trinity Lime Rock!

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 actually growing.  Others seem to feel that we are as well.  Here’s a note that our past 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 – (formerly) 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 (few visitors fail to comment about our coffee hours!) and our willingness to accept them regardless of where they are on their personal faith journeys, and in their public and personal 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  a couple of decades 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 weekly parish e-mail, the Trinity Update, 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 or below, depending on what kind of device you’re reading this on).

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 or AirBNB, 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 of all kinds, 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  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 — or most — of us at Trinity Lime Rock come from other faith backgrounds as well!) …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!