150 years

Trinity celebrates ministry milestone

Trinity Memorial Church celebrates its 150th year of ministry on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The Episcopal congregation welcomes its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, who will lead a celebratory worship service beginning at 6 p.m. with a festive reception to follow.

“You only turn 150 once, and Trinity is excited to invite the community to come and celebrate with us,” said the Rev. Matthew R. Scott, Trinity’s current vicar (lead priest). “Having our bishop with us is a wonderful blessing. Our music team, led by Joseph Glarner and including many friends and congregants, are ready to help us praise God for the blessing of 150 years of ministry to Warren and the world.”

Nursery care is provided for families during the worship service. The reception will include opportunities to see our updated history wall, original documents from the founding period, and information on our many ministries.

More information is available through the church office (814-723-9360) and on their website (www.trinitywarren.org) .

Trinity’s history begins before its first building, with missionary bishops gathering interested community members for worship during visits to the area in the 1950s. By 1864, the Episcopal Church had stationed the Rev. Calvin C. Parker in the area to help establish congregations both here in Warren and in Corry. His efforts led to the first building being constructed on the current site in 1867.

The ‘Memorial’ in Trinity’s name refers to Bishop Samuel Bowman, one of the missionary bishops who visited this area in the 1850s. On a trip to visit the area in 1861, his train encountered a landslide. While attempting to walk around the slide, Bishop Bowman suffered a stroke and died soon after. Funds in his memory were collected and led to the building of both Trinity’s first building and the Episcopal church in Titusville, St. James.

The congregation’s first building was affectionately called “The Little Red Church”. It remained the congregation’s home until the building was sold, moved off the site, and the current building was built in 1897. Later additions, including incorporating the Beyer building next door in the 1940s and the construction of the stained glass-adorned entryway in the early 1980s, have brought Trinity to its current physical presence in the community.

Trinity has had 17 lead priests, along with many interim and associate clergy. More recent clergy in that lineage include the Rev. Adam Trambley, the Rev. Brian Reid, the Rev. Dr. William Pugliese, and the Very Rev. Richard Baker. Congregation members have come from around the world and from all aspects of the local community, blessing the Trinity family with their leadership and efforts. Trinity is blessed with a heritage of valuing diversity, including sponsoring the first woman to be ordained a priest in the diocese (the Rev. Mary Beale) and offering an open and affirming stance in terms of membership and access to church rites to all people.

With 150 years of ministry, listing all of Trinity’s accomplishments may be impossible. Some highlights including sponsoring refugees from southeast Asia, sponsoring the development of Canterbury Court, working with other faith communities to build the Interfaith Chapel on the grounds of the State Hospital, helping to establish Hospice of Warren County, offering free music concerts, and countless collection drives and community benefits. Current ministry efforts include the Holiday Hot Meals ministry, where over 300 hot meals are prepared, packaged and delivered to shut-ins around Warren and Forest Counties on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and the Saturday before Easter. Trinity offers a special thank you to all those who support that ministry through the annual Warren Gives campaign.

Trinity maintains both an emergency food pantry and the more recent Diapers and Such ministry that provides diapers and feminine hygiene products that are often hard for poor families to afford. Trinity also participates in many collection drives, including the local Backpack ministry and Operation Christmas Child.

It also host non-profit groups to utilize our space for their meetings, including many 12-step programs and Hooktown Holidays. A recent partnership with the Allegheny Center for the Arts sees many of their classes and workshops bringing the joy and power of art to the area through use of our building.

Trinity’s mission statement is to “Celebrate God through Enriching Worship, Grow through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, and Share the Healing we find in Christ.”

Worship services open to all are offered on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and on Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. More information about the congregation and how you can participate in its life and mission are available on their website (www.trinitywarren.org), on Facebook, and by contacting the office at (814) 723-9360.