TRINITY CHURCH WELCOMES ARRIVAL OF ITS INTERIM RECTOR
THE RIGHT REVEREND JAMES JELINEK
Newport, RI, August 2, 2019 – Trinity Church today announced the arrival of The Right Reverend James Jelinek as its Interim Rector.
Bishop Jelinek will guide the parish during the transition until its 31st rector is called, a process anticipated to take about 10 months. Trinity Church is an icon of American tolerance and religious freedom, having literally stood the test of time since its founding in 1698. Beyond its historical and architectural significance, however, beats the young heart of a growing and extraordinary parish eager to carry on the mission of the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Jelinek served for 17 years as Bishop in the Diocese of Minnesota from 1993 to 2010. Prior to that, he served as Rector at St. Aidan’s Church in San Francisco, California, and St. Michael and All Angels in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most recently he served as the Interim Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. A Wisconsin native, Jelinek is a graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and The General Theological Seminary in New York City.
Bishop Jelinek’s prior experience as a bishop and his reputation of energy and commitment to excellence are truly blessings for Trinity Church, said Tatiana Schweibenz, Senior Warden. “Bishop Jelinek’s arrival represents a turning point as well as a real opportunity to strengthen our community of faith and recommit ourselves to Trinity’s future success. We are very excited to have him join us as Interim Rector.”
Working with the parish, Bishop Jelinek will assist the congregation to determine what is important to the parish, and guide them through the core questions that will need to be answered during their search to call the next rector. His first sermon will be delivered this Sunday August 4, 2019. All are welcome!
Hello to my new friends and family at Trinity Church, Newport.
A few weeks ago I visited Trinity Parish, your hospital (where I met your fine assistant priest, Fr. Neale), some of your homes and a few restaurants. The warmth of your welcome was delightful and several of our conversations had real depth and breadth. I am pleased to have met so many of your Vestry members and the team that works as the staff of the parish, and I look forward to many experiences of shared ministry with them and with you. One of your docents-not a member of the parish, but certainly a part of your common history in this place over more than four centuries-shared more than I could take in during that visit. I was much amused in noticing your “pew boxes” have the look of studied symmetry and subdued, almost monochromatic color when one looks at them from the entrance to the nave. Yet each of them with their sometimes elegant, sometimes playful upholstery, carries an individuality that reflects our national motto, unum ex pluribus, “one out of many.” We, as followers of Jesus Christ, know what it is to stand always for the greater good, through our “common prayer,” and always seeking to love and serve every individual.
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota celebrated its 150th anniversary while I served as Bishop, as did St. John’s University (Benedictine) in Collegeville. I learned much from those Benedictines, including their habit of thinking in terms of a century and a half at all times, so they are aware that everything they do builds on the past and shapes the future. The university and the Diocese of Minnesota have each engaged their second hundred and fifty years, while Trinity (begun in 1698) is well into its third such period. Incredible!
I grew up in the Lutheran Church, not one of the more biblically literal varieties, but with enough emphasis on sin that my teenage view of God was the “celestial sniper” who would get you for something!
When I first came to The Episcopal Church in college and prayed with others to God “whose property is always to have mercy” [BCP, Prayer of Humble Access], I was in awe that these people really believed that phrase most fully described the heart of God. I came to believe that, too. And when I studied and prayed at General Theological Seminary, the experience was life-changing particularly in the way I came to see all people as beloved by God. I hope I treat people that way.
Surely you expected me to talk about myself in this initial conversation, but to talk about me is to talk about what I believe, what I stand for and what I have given and will give my life for: the gospel of love and peace and justice and everlasting hope, built on the overwhelming mercy of God to any and each of us who fails, who falls down, who makes costly and harmful mistakes in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Resurrection life is life that is beginning again and again.
More personally, I am 77 years old, divorced twice, have one adopted son, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all of whom live in California and whom I do not see often enough. I have a seven year old standard poodle who is my constant companion and who was content to sit with me in my office during pastoral visits or meetings. His name is Ezekiel (EZ). He is well-behaved and you will get to meet him. Due to some limitations from arthritis in my feet, I no longer bicycle or take long walks, but I am able to climb the ten steps into Trinity’s pulpit. In spite of two cancer scares within the past four years and many tests, I am grateful for God’s healing power and the energy to undertake another interim in a congregation as promising and exciting as Trinity.
With regard to transition: when congregations in transition in my diocese expressed their anxiety about what might happen to them in the future, I used to ask them, “Do you believe God has walked with you in the past and through the wilderness until this day? And if you do, why can you not trust God to be walking with you in every step you(we) take into the future?” That is the journey we are to embark on right now.
It was in those journeys that the congregations and the people who were part of them discovered who they were and what they were capable of. For them it was really a journey into God. Our Presiding Bishop, ++Michael Curry calls us the Jesus Movement; what a gift of insight and hope for The Episcopal Church. How are we at Trinity invited and empowered to be a vital part of the Jesus Movement? We shall discover that together.
God’s every blessing to all of you,
The Rt. Rev. James L. Jelinek,
8th Bishop of Minnesota, Res.
I am pleased to announce that Trinity Church will be joined in August 2019 by our Interim Rector, The Right Reverend James Louis Jelinek. Bishop Jelinek’s first Sunday with us will be on August 4, 2109 and we are looking forward with great anticipation to the blessed opportunity to meet and know Bishop Jelinek.
Bishop Jelinek’s unique gifts and vast experience as the Bishop of Minnesota, and most recently the Interim Rector at St. Paul’s, K Street, Washington, D.C., make him the ideal priest to lead our congregation through our transition. He is committed to help us create intentional space for purposeful, active listening about hopes and dreams and more specifically to listen for where we are called next to serve the Lord.
Our Vestry was highly impressed with Bishop Jelinek during his brief visit to Trinity on June 19,2019. During his short visit to Newport, Bishop Jelinek also had the opportunity to meet with Rev. Alan Neale, Rev. Stephanie Shoemaker, Trinity’s staff, and certain parish members. The collective impression from everyone is that Bishop Jelinek is a warm, engaging individual, who is full of energy. He understands the challenges Trinity Church faced in the past and is eager to guide us through the healing process.
We look forward to welcoming Bishop Jelinek and EZ (his full-size poodle and trusted companion) with open arms to the Trinity Church community.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Tatiana Schweibenz, Senior Warden
2019 Transition Team Members
Bob and Miriam Smith
On Sunday, May 5th the Rev. Canon Linda Grenz, Canon to the Ordinary (the senior staff member in Bishop Knisley’s office) will be presiding & preaching at both the 8am and 10am services and will explain the transition process at a forum hour following the 10 o’clock service.
If you would like a preview of what Canon Grenz is going to talk about, a handout with a brief explanation of the transition process is available in the Hawes room during coffee hour or you can click below view it online.
As a reminder, members of the vestry are listed on the last page of the service leaflet, and we are always available to listen to ideas, questions or concerns.
April 11, 2019
In the upcoming weeks we will be coming together to bid farewell to Rev. Anne Marie. It is an Episcopal Church tradition to present an outgoing rector with a financial gift called a “purse”.
The “purse” is a donation that honors the many years of service Rev. Anne Marie has given Trinity during Sunday services, baptisms, weddings, and overall support within our church community. Rev. Anne Marie has watched over our beautiful campus for approximately 9 years, for which we are eternally grateful.
If you would like to participate please make your gift payable to:
Trinity Church, Newport
Please write “Purse” in the memo line and forward your check to:
One Queen Anne Square,
Newport, Rhode Island 02840
You can also send your donation online by clicking here using the ‘General Operating’ fund, and write “Purse” in the comment line.
Please Note: Purse donations are not exempt from federal income taxation since the contributions are going directly to the Rector.