The BroadsheetDAILY – 10/03/22 – Reverend Phillip Jackson installed as nineteenth rector of Trinity Church
The sermon was delivered by Reverend Jackson’s colleague and close friend, Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, who was baptized at Trinity Church and became the first African-American woman elected as an Episcopal bishop.
“It’s so nice to be invited home here by your new rector, the big brother I never had,” she began. “This community shaped me and impacted the direction of my life.”
“Your institution is complex and complicated,” Bishop Baskerville-Burrows continued. “Trinity, with its history and resources which can be both a privilege and a burden, carries special weight for the Anglican Communion and this city. Trinity has had an impact on the Church around the world.
This was a reference to the vast endowment presided over by Trinity, resulting from the gift of hundreds of acres of Lower Manhattan land granted to the Church by the British Crown in the early 1700s. prodigious charities, including nearly $80 million during the pandemic, which provided (among other things) meals for more than 230,000 people.
“But if, in the end, Trinity forgets that she is a parish church at heart, whatever else she may do or how much money she may have doesn’t matter,” the bishop mused. . “I believe the role of this incredible parish in these extraordinary days is actually quite simple. God is calling this Church to a new way of claiming your role and identity as a parish for this City. And you are about to install a perfectly suited rector at this time, to guide you on this journey.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that being Rector of Trinity Church is a calling most priests think they want,” she observed. “But after the pomp and circumstance of a service like today’s has faded, what exactly is that job?” Sitting here at the top of Wall Street, in land that was once the marketplace of enslaved peoples, in the financial capital of the wealthiest nation on earth, the global institution that is Trinity Church is called to to be integrated, intertwined, anchored in the life of the City, which is more than Wall Street and everything that name stands for, in a different way.
“It’s a city of beautiful diversity, people living on the edge and barely making it,” said Reverend Baskerville-Burrows. “When we walk out of this building, we see the inequalities in housing. We see how divided we are between races and classes. We have to change history.
“With your new rector, you are called to go home and reinvent what service looks like,” she noted. “The reason the title is ‘Rector’ and not ‘CEO’ is that it is first and always a parish church. To be rector of Trinity is to be pastor of a complex institution, to have the chops to lead, to deal with real estate, spreadsheets and investments – you have that. But basically, it’s about seeing and nurturing this congregation.