ANNUAL REPORT - 2023
A Message from the Associate Rector
The Rev. Amy Peterson
With gratitude and great joy, I joined Trinity as associate rector on July 13, 2022, and began working hand-in-hand with Scott in worship, teaching, pastoral care, and preaching. Debbie Cox, Beth Chestnut, and I meet on a regular basis to plan for upcoming events for families and youth and to discuss how best to meet the needs of our growing church family (plans are already underway for next year’s trips). Connection with the larger community and diocese is also part of my role here; I serve as the secretary for and a member of the Executive Council, meet with the Church Street Collaborative, and participate in Fresh Start.
2023 saw a growth in new programs and an extended period of the rector’s absence. I continue to feel grateful for this community and the many gifts here.
The year kicked off with a lot of planning: a vestry retreat, program staff retreat, executive council retreat, and a clergy staff retreat at the end of February.
I organized the speakers for our Lenten lunch series with the theme “Listening to the Voices of Women.” We heard from artists Joan Payton and Ann Moorefield, Jewish poet Jessica Jacobs, Cherokee activist Lianna Costantino, Karen Wallace-Meigs of the NC Council of Women/ Pisgah Legal, and Carolyn Cronin of Transformation Village.
In February, I took a group of folks to a symposium on creation care at Montreat, and from that, our creation care committee was born, which now meets monthly. They have instated composting, partnered with other Church Street congregations in advocacy work, and (in partnership with Stan Hubbard of Buildings and Grounds) taken responsibility for the health of the grounds, among other things.
In March, I led the youth confirmation retreat; eight youth came, and six were confirmed. I also led the women’s retreat, with thirty-nine attendees.
In April, we celebrated Holy Week and Easter; in May, we confirmed/baptized/welcomed about fifty new folks into the church.
Rev. Scott took all his vacation at once this summer and “borrowed” a few weeks from his sabbatical. Dena Whalen and the other clergy in the church assisted me in his absence. I helped out with VBS and, along with Debbie Cox, took our youth group to a Blue Theology experience at the Duke Marine Labs in Beaufort, NC.
Fall programming is full and rich. I meet with the Women’s Bible study group every week to pray and discuss the upcoming lectionary texts. On Sunday mornings, I lead the Clark Room Conversation adult formation hour. I also lead a nine-week book club using Where Goodness Still Grows; about thirty people attend weekly.
In October, we are offering a Wednesday night dinner series leading up to our All Saints celebration, helping us think about what a good death means:
Oct 4 What the Burial Rite Gets Right with Father Scott
Oct 11 God the Gravedigger with Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner
Oct 18 Memento Mori: how facing death teaches us to live, with Dr. Christiana Peterson
Oct 25 Our Last Best Act: Planning for the End of Our Lives to Protect the People and Places We Love with Dr. Mallory McDuff
November brings our guest speaker, Dr. Ellen Davis, and our diocesan convention; then, of course, we’ll start afresh with Advent.