Serving at Trinity United Methodist Church: Embracing History and Envisioning the Future
In July 2023, I began my second year serving as the Senior Pastor of Trinity. It seems like only yesterday that Joy, Ethan, and I were meeting with moving companies to prepare for our move back to Tallahassee. Having been away for over ten years we were eager to discover how Tallahassee had grown, flourished, and how best we would benefit the community. I remain deeply grateful to the Bishop and Cabinet of the Florida Annual Conference for affording me this ministerial opportunity. Not only is it an honor to serve in this capacity, Tallahassee offers a wonderful setting to raise a child and to be in community. Our family will never take this opportunity for granted.
As Trinity approaches our Bicentennial Year, it has been notable how you – the congregation – love the church and her ministry. The investment of your resources and gifts have proven to be significant as we nurture our vital institution and mission in the city of Tallahassee and beyond. Throughout the past 199 years, Trinity’s congregation has proven repeatedly that our downtown ministry is both vital and dynamic.
I invite you to join me in bringing to mind those things about Trinity that have affected your life and faith in positive ways. Our theme is Faith of our Founders…living still. Perhaps your faith was confirmed in Holy Baptism or it has been strengthened in Holy Communion or in singing the great hymns of the church. Perhaps you have participated in a wide array of ministry opportunities to deepen your faith and serve our community and world. When you have been ill, it could be that you have held on to a prayer quilt or shawl sewn by church members. Overall, God has used the people of Trinity to nurture your faith in God, who is Love.
Whenever I walk onto the campus of Trinity, I am deeply moved by the compassion and forethought of past generations. We know that God has entrusted us with these spaces to be used for Christ-centered worship and service of the Triune God. Trinity’s magnificent and well-appointed Sanctuary is a testimony to our forbearer’s commitment to us. In the present, you are taking monumental strides to care for not only our Sanctuary but our entire church campus. Trinity is indeed our heritage and its maintenance is our challenge. If we are to pass on to future generations the inspiration that has been freely given to us, our church must be vitally alive and adequately equipped. I am very proud to say that we are vitally alive and adequately equipped because of you!
With hearts of gratitude, Joy, Ethan and I are very honored to say that Trinity is our faith community. To be able to raise our son in this vital congregation is a real privilege and gift. To serve as your Senior Pastor is the honor of my lifetime and ministry. As we continue to approach our Bicentennial Year, may God equip us for our next 200 years of loving God and our neighbors.
I am very proud to be your pastor,
Rev. Dr. Matthew M. Williams, Senior Pastor
Having Trinity United Methodist Church of Tallahassee be my first appointment has been a blessing in more ways than I ever could have imagined. In a time of so much uncertainty in the United Methodist Church, it is inspiring to be at a church where there is so much joy, so much hope, and so much love. Coming out of the pandemic, Trinity has been eager to embrace new ways of doing church while still staying true to the integrity of who we are. And with the Bicentennial celebration next year, it has been a privilege to see a church community come together to not only celebrate the past, but to welcome the future of where God is calling us to go.
I could not be more honored to be in a place and with a congregation that has allowed me to find who I am as a pastor and as a person. This church brings so much life to the world, and I cannot wait to see where God is calling this church to go in the future!
Rev. Anna Brook Opalinski, Associate Pastor
As I reflect on my personal journey at Trinity United Methodist, I cannot help but acknowledge the profound privilege of having previously served as your Senior Pastor from 2008 to 2016, and now returning as your Minister of Pastoral Care. For both Beth and me it has felt like coming home, reuniting with familiar faces, and embracing the familiar warmth of Trinity’s community. This unique perspective has allowed us to witness firsthand the incredible growth and transformation that is taking place, while also bringing a renewed sense of commitment to this wonderful congregation. Indeed, the most exciting church in Tallahassee!
Being a part of Trinity as we plan for our Bicentennial next year is an awe-inspiring experience! It is a time when our collective hearts are filled with gratitude as we remember the remarkable journey that has brought us to this significant milestone. The festivities planned will serve as a reminder that we are not just individuals, but a part of something much larger than ourselves, a narrative that has unfolded over the course of 200 years.
While acknowledging our church’s rich history, we must also recognize that the future lies in our hands. I invite each member to join me in embracing this pivotal moment as an opportunity to rejuvenate our commitment to enriching lives, forging connections and inspiring change. Equally essential is ensuring that Trinity’s tradition of reaching beyond our walls and impacting the wider community remains vibrant and meaningful. May we each embrace our unique roles within Trinity’s story, being both stewards of the past and architects of the future. It is my prayer that together we can create new chapters, write new narratives and continue to inspire generations to come.
Beth and I are filled with boundless gratitude for the privilege of being in ministry together with you. Together, let us honor the legacy of those saints who have come before us while also embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. May Trinity United Methodist continue to be a sanctuary of love, grace and hope for years to come as we live into our vision of “being a diverse Christian community, shining as a beacon of God’s love and actively engage as the heart, hands and feet of Christ in the world.”
And, of course, always remember how much You Are Loved!
Wayne Curry, Minister of Pastoral Care