Graham & Karin
Graham and Karin have been at Trinity since they moved to Folsom twenty years ago. Graham, who became an Episcopalian as a child in West Virginia, and Karin, a native of Germany who was raised in the (Lutheran) Evangelische Kirche, met in Pakistan and married there in the Church of England parish in Lahore. Graham retired from the Air Force and the State of California. He and Karin like to spend their time gardening at their home in El Dorado Hills and going to the gym (ask them about water aerobics!). They like to travel along the California coast and through wine country, and to see their kids and grandkids in Alaska, Montana, and London, England. They also spend a significant amount of time volunteering at Trinity. Graham is currently serving on the vestry, is part of the website development team, and often reads the lessons and prayers at the 7:30 service. Karin serves on the altar guild and volunteers in the Thrift Shop. Both Graham and Karin helped remodel the Thrift Shop several years ago, and they also serve as hosts for the 7:30 coffee hour on Sunday mornings.
Graham and Karin came to Trinity because it was one of the Episcopal churches closest to their home, and they liked the historic building and setting. But what keeps them here is the community of the folks at the 7:30 service, and the relationships with people throughout the parish that they’ve built from being active in ministries here. They also cherish the traditional Prayer Book liturgy and style at Trinity. But liking tradition doesn’t mean they want everything to stay the same. Graham likes ‘the way the Church is changing…[becoming] more inclusive of all people.” They hope that Trinity will continue to discover ways that we can do more in the community to help people who need it, and to welcome all people who are looking for God.
Kathleen & Chris
Kathleen and Chris, and their three teenage daughters, moved to Folsom three years ago after spending six years in Sicily, where Chris was serving in the Navy. Chris is now an engineer at the Folsom Dam, and Kathleen is a coach at a local year-round USA Swimming club. As they readjusted to life back in the United States, Kathleen, who grew up Roman Catholic in upstate New York, and Chris, who was raised Presbyterian in southern California, started looking for a church for their family. A Trinity parishioner whose children swim in Kathleen’s club suggested Trinity, and since the family already had a connection with The Episcopal Church (all three girls were baptized at historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, when Chris was stationed there), Kathleen showed up at Trinity for an early service one morning before Christmas, and knew right away that this was the place for them. They love the friendly people, the traditional style of worship and music, and the engaging sermons that help them apply the Gospel to their lives. Daughter Halladay, who with her sisters serves as an acolyte at the 9am service, says that coming to church “makes [me] feel refreshed, less scared, and gives [me] comfort.” Kathleen loves that worshipping at Trinity is teaching her “to love everyone and to find the good in everyone.”
John & Sue
John and Sue (being photobombed by grandson Cooper) grew up in southern California, where John attended a Disciples of Christ church and Sue was raised a (more or less) good Baptist girl. After marrying and moving to the South Bay area, John and Sue were asked to be godparents by some Episcopalian friends, and as they discovered what that meant and learned more about The Episcopal Church, they decided to become Episcopalians and joined St. Andrew’s in Saratoga, being confirmed by the infamous Bishop Pike. Both John and Sue were drawn into the Church by the beauty of the Sunday liturgy and the mystery of the sacraments. John, a production planner at Intel, and Sue, who worked in development for a local Waldorf school, moved to Folsom in 1986, and having been active Episcopalians back in Saratoga, they quickly joined Trinity and became active in parish life. Both John and Sue have served on Trinity’s vestry, and they currently work in the Thrift Shop (Sue leads this ministry), and serve on Sundays mornings as chalicists at the 9am and 11am services. John is on our facilities committee, and Sue has recently joined the altar guild. Though they haven’t lived in Saratoga in many years, they continue to be active with St. Andrew’s, too, particularly with their summer youth camps.
John loves that in The Episcopal Church, there’s “enough latitude that you can have a variety of opinions” and questions are welcomed and encouraged, which he sees as a sign of “intellectual honesty.” They love that even though most Episcopalians share the basic beliefs taught by the Church, the Church purposefully ‘allows us the freedom to be ourselves,” and that at Trinity, there’s “room for all sorts of people.” They also love our “sweet little church” building, unique in California, especially in this area, where most things are new. Sue loves that, much like the Prayer Book liturgy and the traditional style of worship here at Trinity, our old building “was here before us, here now, and it will be here when we are gone; it gives us roots and wings.”
Originally from Suffolk in England, Wendy, who was raised in the Church of England, naturally joined Trinity when she married an American airman and moved to Folsom in 1970. Wendy’s father was an Irish Roman Catholic who later converted to Buddhism; her mother, who was Church of England, had promised to raise the children as Roman Catholics, but when she found out that her children were being treated differently because their family was multidenominational, she started raising them as Anglicans. Wendy, who has been meditating every morning for the past forty years, worshipped on Sunday mornings at the 7:30am service for many years, but nowadays you’ll usually find her at our Sunday night service at 7pm, a quiet, contemplative service with guided meditation instead of a sermon and a focus on healing prayers, a service which, she says, “suits her soul.”
Wendy, now a widow, a proud grandmother, and a cancer survivor, wears a lot of hats around Trinity. She volunteers at our Thrift Shop and serves on our altar guild, and if you drop by on a weekday, you’re likely to find her covered in dirt, working in our gardens and flowerbeds. In the 1970’s, recognizing a real need in the community, she helped to start, with the priest’s wife and a social worker who wasn’t a parishioner, the Trinity food closet. At one point, as this ministry grew, the food supplies took up residence underneath the pool table in Wendy’s garage! The need was so great that the ministry continued to grow, and eventually outgrew Trinity and evolved, through the efforts of other local churches, into the Twin Lakes Food Bank, a vibrant ministry still supported by Trinity.
Trinity is important to Wendy especially because of the community she found here. The church became her family when she left her own family back in England; the women of the church took her under their wing, taught her a lot, and supported her through a lot. She loves the openness and inclusivity of The Episcopal Church in general and this parish in particular, and she loves our old building, sanctified by the prayers of many generations, and in which she feels the presence of God.”I want it always to be a safe haven for those who need it.”
Jared & Michelle
Jared and Michelle started looking for a church soon after they moved to Folsom in 2007. Jared, who is from an Armenian Orthodox family but was raised as a Lutheran in Bakersfield, and Michelle, raised a Roman Catholic on the North Coast, were open to trying different types of churches until they found something that was comfortable for both of them and their growing family, which now includes daughters Ellery and Camille, and another baby due this year. But in 2008, they noticed that most of the churches they were visiting were strong supporters of Proposition 8, and they started looking for a church with an alternative viewpoint. An op-ed opposing Proposition 8 by the dean of Trinity (Episcopal) Cathedral in Sacramento introduced them to The Episcopal Church, and they started attending church there. Eventually, wanting to go somewhere closer to home, they decided to try the little Episcopal church in Folsom, and quickly became involved in the community here at Trinity Folsom, particularly through their interactions with the clergy and with other young adults in the parish.
Since then, Jared has served on the vestry and the rector search committee, and Michelle has joined altar guild, and is one of several parishioners who provide and arrange our altar flowers for Sundays. Though you’ll normally find them at the 9am service, Jared also serves as part of the task force that designed the contemplative 7pm service and on many Sundays comes back to church in the evening to meditate and pray. Jared and Michelle love that at Trinity, they have the “best of both worlds,” the traditional ritual worship they grew up with and love, and a community and theology that is open to more progressive viewpoints. They’re proud to be part of a religious community that presents an alternative to some of the louder and more common voices in the religious landscape. It is the warm welcome they received when they first came to Trinity, the nourishing sermons and worship, and the fun and the love that this community shares with them and their children, that continue to provide their family with a wonderful way to grow together spiritually.
Alice has been a member at Trinity since she was in high school, when her family moved to Fair Oaks in 1957. It was just a few years after the small group of Episcopalians in the vicinity of Folsom organized themselves after a period of dormancy and asked the diocese to send them a priest. Alice’s parents were members here until their deaths, and Alice was married here, and baptized and raised her three sons here. A preschool teacher for 30 years, Alice is in charge of our nursery on Sunday mornings. She also serves as a reader and chalicist at the 11am service, counts the offering after church, and frequently hosts coffee hour. Alice is pretty busy most other days of the week, too; she serves on our vestry and on the altar guild, as our wedding coordinator, volunteers at our Thrift Shop and at the Twin Lakes Food Bank here in Folsom, and collects recycling for Wind Youth Services, an organization in Sacramento that provides support and services to homeless teens and at-risk youth.
Alice, who was born and raised an Episcopalian in the Bay area, deeply loves the tradition and liturgy of The Episcopal Church, especially the sacramental nature of our theology and worship. Obviously, after so many years here, the community of friends she has here at Trinity is also very important to her, and one of the reasons her connection to Trinity is so strong. Trinity is home for Alice, a home where she “feels peaceful and close to God” when she walks in, a home where she is spiritually and emotionally nourished. Trinity is “not a place where you have to be afraid of God, it’s a place where we learn that God is loving.” And for Alice, returning and sharing that love is very important. Her favorite part about all the charitable work she does is the interaction she has with people, her fellow volunteers and the people they are helping; “I love listening to them,” she says.
Bill & Dana
Bill, born and raised an Episcopalian in Maryland, and Dana, who was a member of a Disciples of Christ church, have been married and living in Folsom for over 26 years. Daughter Chloe, now a junior at UCLA majoring in physics, was baptized in the church Bill grew up in on a trip back home to Maryland. When they came back to California after the baptism, they decided that they should be active in the local parish here in Folsom. During Chloe’s baptism, they had made promises to raise her as a Christian, and Bill and Dana say that they “take that promise very seriously.” Son Tom, now a freshman at Folsom Lake College, was baptized here. Chloe and Tom were both acolytes at Trinity when they were younger, and still sometimes serve when Chloe is home for the holidays. Bill has served on the vestry several times, including as senior warden, and currently serves in several groups here involved with maintaining and improving our buildings and grounds. Both Dana and Bill taught Sunday School, and serve as ushers at the 9am service.
Dana and Bill love that Trinity celebrates the sacraments with traditional liturgy and music, but that the theological perspective is progressive and open-minded. The sense of “soulful community” they find here is important to them, too. “People don’t judge you here,” Dana says, recognizing that “we are here to share a journey; we’re all struggling, going through life, and our church community helps us along.”