Earlier this year, the congregation of Trinity, Newark, began the painful process of demolishing their 125-year-old sanctuary, auditorium and chapel due to structural damage. In an ongoing Connections’ series, “The Journey Toward Our Future,” the people of Trinity will share with us the story of how they came to this impossible decision and the journey to their new future as the Episcopal Church in Newark, Ohio.
Part 3: God’s blessing upon Trinity
Trinity’s Recasting priest, the Rev. Joseph Kovitch, has suggested that parishioners write reflections during their journey, which are shared with the congregation in their weekly bulletin. In one such article, Junior Warden Jim Ford reflected on an event one day during the demolition.
One day in March, while watching the Amish workers from Dayton remove the slate from the old sanctuary at Trinity, a worker from our demolition crew tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if the bird flying around the church roof was a pigeon. After further observation, we both said at the same time, that’s a dove! It wasn’t just any dove, it was a pure white dove.
The dove flew over the sanctuary in a figure eight flight pattern several times, then entered through the opening where the large round stained-glass window on the west side of the sanctuary used to be. The dove disappeared for a while then came flying out and flew the figure eight pattern again over the roof and the auditorium; it was a beautiful sight. Once again, the dove entered the large round opening and disappeared.
The guys went back to work, and I stood there for the longest time to see if the dove would reappear. It did not, it disappeared! I do believe that the Holy Spirit descended upon Trinity Episcopal Church that day in the form of a pure white dove to show me that the building is just that – a building – not the Church. And we, God’s children, will survive and flourish in this mourning phase we are going through.
Submitted by Jim Ford, Junior Warden of Trinity, Newark