The Rev. Kristen E. Paul, Rector

New beginnings are happening at Trinity!

I have been on the move since May 24th. That’s seven weeks of moving, meeting a new community of people, beginning a new vocation, traveling 1400 miles back to Maryland, getting ordained, spending time with family and friends, traveling 1400 miles back to Natchitoches, and really starting a new vocation in even greater detail. Whew! That much change is enough to make one’s head spin!

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I thank God for the grace and wisdom of these words. It can be difficult to be strong amidst so much change. It can be easy to be frightened when so much is new and uncertain. Yet, remembering that we are not alone, that God is with us wherever we go, can provide us with confidence and comfort amidst all of life’s transitions.

This has been of great comfort to me these past seven weeks. Seeing where God has shown Godself to me as I make this journey has been so lovely. I have seen God in the face, generosity, and hospitality of every one of you! Thank you for that. You have blessed me with this opportunity to serve this community, and I find myself without words to express my deep gratitude for being called to this work and serving here in this place. I pray God helps me serve you humbly and honorably for many years.

I am deeply grateful to all who have supported me during this transition. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to start my ministry journey!

So, what’s next? Getting started in a new ministry is a careful balance of learning about a community, how it moves and worships, and what is important to it, and sharing your own ideas about the future. Let me start by saying I think the Trinity community has a lovely rhythm and worship style. Now, I am discerning what goals to set for the future and my role in helping Trinity achieve them.

I have added new worship services to our worship schedule. Beginning July 14th, we will have an 8 am Holy Eucharist, using Rite I, and a 10:30 am Holy Eucharist, using Rite II, with music. Please find time in your Sunday to join us for one of those. I also hope to see some of you remain after the service for a period of fellowship in our beautiful Parish Hall. Our time in community is meant to be more than worship; we are meant to spend time in fellowship, listening to and loving one another, and learning about the needs of our community members. As Hebrews 10: 24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” 

In addition to the 8 am Eucharist on Sundays, I have added a mid-week Holy Eucharist with healing on Wednesdays at 12:15 pm. I have come to love a healing service. James 5:14-15 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” Who amongst us could not use a touch of healing from some hurt, some pain, some sin we want to have washed clean? Please bring whatever you are carrying to this very special service on any given Wednesday.

Finally, on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I have added Morning Prayer at 9:15 am. If you have limited experience with the Daily Office, I encourage you to join one of these services. Our lives are always busy, always pulling us in a million different directions; starting the day with this short prayer service allows us to center the rest of our day around the One who loves us and walks with us through all our challenges. 

Beyond our new worship schedule, remember my Summer of Dreams campaignI hope more of you will send me your thoughts about what you would like to see happen at Trinity. Send me your thoughts about the church buildings, the preschool, or the grounds. Send me ideas about events you’d like to see us host or relationships you’d like to see us build. I’d love to hear about new liturgies you would like to experience or classes you’d like offered during Sunday School. No idea is too big or too small. Email all your ideas between now and August 31, 2024, to reverendkris@trinityparish.info

We could use your help caring for our buildings and grounds, especially during these hot summer months. Please contact me if you are available to join our Buildings and Grounds Committee or would like more information about how you can help. 

Speaking of committees, where does your talent lie? We have a few committee opportunities. Can you find a few hours a month to serve on any of these: Hospitality, Buildings and Grounds, Christmas Festival, Eucharistic Home Ministers, Worship, Outreach, Preschool, or Stewardship? I am happy to share what the work entails and the time commitment, but overall, this should be a maximum of a few hours each month. Being a strong and vibrant church community requires the time and talent of a strong laity. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:10.

I am eager for you to get to know me better and for me to get to know you, too. It is hard to lead and serve a group of people you have yet to take the time to meet and get to know. Whether you attend regularly on Sunday or not, I want to meet you. We can talk about the church or not. I want to know who you are and how I can best serve you, whether that serving happens at the altar or not. To make this easier, please check your calendars for days and times that work for you. I will begin making calls this week, but you do not need to wait that long. You will see my calendar and availability using this link: https://calendly.com/kris-epiwla. It is updated constantly, so you always know when I’m available and can schedule a time that fits your schedule. If you cannot find a time that works for you on Calendly, please email me, and we can find a time together. 

Thank you again for calling me into this community; I could not be happier to be here! I look forward to building our relationship together and seeing Trinity continue to grow in love for God and one another. Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 21st, at 6 pm, when the Right Rev. Jake Owensby will be at Trinity to officially install me as your 39th Rector — that will be an evening of grand celebration! Stay cool this summer, traveling mercies on your summer journeys, and I hope to see you all soon!

Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven
and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen
the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.
Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring
us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – “For the Parish,” BCP, 817.

Blessings and peace,
Mother Kris+