October 2, 2011
Dear People of Trinity,
it is with great pleasure that I announce the call of The Reverend Anthony A. Hutchinson to be the next Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Ashland. Fr. Tony will be coming to us from Beijing, China where he is the Senior Cultural Affairs Officer at the U. S. Embassy. He also serves as the Assisting Pastor and Minister of Music at the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing and is on the staff of St. John's Cathedral, Hong Kong where he serves as chaplain. For several years he taught Biblical languages and literature at Minghua Theological Seminary in Hong Kong.
The Search Team found Fr. Tony to be a priest of extraordinary capacity, experience, spirituality and energy. From his outstanding career as a Senior U.S. Diplomat, he brings strong leadership, organizational and inter-personal skills. Fr. Tony and his wife, Elena, have deep ties to the northwest. He was raised in Moses Lake, Washington and two of their four grown children live in the Seattle area. While visiting relatives in Sister's this summer, Fr. Tony read our Parish Profile and immediately felt a calling to Trinity which was confirmed by his visit here. It will be a joy to get to know him as we begin our journey together as Parish and Priest.
Fr. Tony submitted his papers for retirement from the State Department this week. As you can imagine, he will need some time to unwind from his diplomatic work and get back to the States. He will join us for his first service on January 1, 2012. In the meantime we will be ably served by our deacons and assisting clergy. I cannot believe how incredibly lucky we are to have them. Also, during this period, a Transition Team will be formed with the goal of helping Fr. Tony and Elena enter into life in Ashland and at Trinity.
It is not possible to quantify the hours and spiritual energy that the Search Team put into the task of seeking our new Rector. They have worked efficiently and tirelessly to keep to a very tight schedule without compromising the process. I am so thankful for them and feel blessed that we have such dedicated and loving people as part of our Parish.
We have only three months left now on this crazy ride we started in September of 2010. These months will be filled with quiet waiting and planning as we start to get to know Fr. Tony. Although he is in China, a very long way from us, I am sure we will have a lot of communication back and forth. But probably most important now, you have a real person to pray for as our next Rector. Thank you all for being so supportive and caring throughout this time.
Peace in Christ,
Mindy Ferris, Senior Warden