This summer, we welcome Rev. Anna Brook Opalinski to Trinity as our new Associate Pastor! Enjoy this interview to learn more about her. Rev. Anna Brook will officially start on July 1, 2023.
When and how were you called to ministry?
I have always been involved in ministry in some way because I grew up as a pastor’s kid (PK) in Florida. I loved working in the church with my dad and with the youth group but never considered becoming a pastor myself. But when I was in college, I realized that I had a calling into ministry at Annual Conference, and my family was so supportive. They told me that they knew I was meant to be in ministry since I was a kid, and now I really do feel like I am doing what I was meant to do.
Do you prefer to be called Anna, Anna Brook, or AB?
I have a fun Southern double-name, so I have always gone by Anna-Brook; however, if you can’t remember it, I also go by AB, like ABC but the C is silent. I won’t get upset, though, if you can’t remember anything about me; I respond to anything nice!
What are your hobbies?
I love reading and running! I have a HUGE to-be-read shelf and more running shoes than I probably need. I can talk marathoning and track all day long. I also love to try new things, so I am hoping that while I am here, I can pick up some new hobbies. I hear pickleball is a big thing here that is worth trying!
What is your proudest accomplishment (personal or professional)?
My proudest professional accomplishment is finishing all my Board of Ordained Ministry paperwork to become a pastor. It was a very challenging time in my life, and the paperwork required deep personal reflection. It was a lot of pages and a lot of self-contemplation, but I did it and have turned out better for it! My proudest personal accomplishment is finishing the Boston Marathon. I worked so hard to qualify and to get into the race, and then when I ran it, I messed up my hamstring at mile four. I wanted to drop out, but I knew how hard I worked to get there and how hard it would be to get back into the race, so I finished it and had the best time doing it. It was the hardest and most painful thing I have ever done in my life, but it was the most fun I have ever had while running!
What’s your favorite Bible verse/passage and why?
My favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8. “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” I have learned my new favorite translation while in Boston: “Do justice, love mercy, hustle humbly.” The church where I interned while in seminary used this translation as part of their mission statement, and I love it because it reminds us all that we are to work to share God’s love and engage actively with being a part of the Kingdom of God.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? And why?
If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to Northern Ireland. I have been three times already and have fallen in love with the people, the city of Belfast, and the culture. While they are still figuring out how to live in community with each other since the Troubles, it is incredible to see the work that the majority of the city is doing to ensure that the future is one of peace and love. It is inspiring for the work that the church is working towards.
What is your preaching style?
I like to think that my preaching style is conversational. I want my sermons to open conversation with all of us, and help us form community with our thoughts, our similarities, and our differences.
Where did you attend college and what did you study?
I attended undergrad at Florida Southern College, where I ran cross country and track for four years. I was an English literature major, with a religion minor. I have also just finished my graduate degree from Boston University School of Theology, where I earned my master of divinity.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day starts with an early morning long run with some friends or family. Afterwards, we stop and get breakfast either at an açaí bowl place or Dunkin, and then I spend the rest of the day by the pool or at the beach, reading, swimming, or napping with the people I love. That night, we all have a movie night and go to bed by 11p.m., but hopefully earlier.
What are your favorite sports teams?
My favorite professional teams are the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. My favorite college teams are (football) the Florida Gators and (hockey) the Boston University Terriers. I have given it long thought, and I think that whenever FSU plays Boston College, I can find a way to cheer for FSU. There is a BIG hockey rivalry between BU and BC, so FSU will gain one extra fan during their football game against BC.
Thank you Anna Brook! We are excited for you to join us.