Update on the Rector Search
Letter from the Vestry to the Congregation
September 5, 2021
(See also the announcement from the Bishop)
Dear Holy Trinity,
For five years, our parish has flourished under Fr Adam’s leadership. Lives have been transformed through the love of Christ among us, and the Lord has added to our number daily. And so it was with uncertainty that we received the announcement that Fr Adam would resign his position as Rector. It represented both a challenge and an opportunity. A Rector who could devote his full attention to our parish could enrich and extend our already vibrant community, but we needed to find the right man.
It is with great thanks to God that we, the Vestry of Holy Trinity, say to you today: we have found that man. To be sure, this is not our doing but the Lord’s. So much was outside of our control, so many events conspired to bring this man to us, that I for one am convinced that this is the Lord’s work. And it is wondrous in our sight.
The cannons of the ACNA and the Diocese of the Living Word empower the Vestry, with the consent of the Bishop, to call a new Rector in service to our parish. And so we have unanimously voted to call the Reverend Alan R. Crippen II to be the next Rector of Holy Trinity—a call that he has accepted. Fr Crippen’s ministry will begin no later than Christmas Eve. It seems fitting that, after a season of waiting, we should welcome our new Rector during the Christmas season.
We are eager that you all come to know Fr Crippen as we have, and in service to that end, he has agreed to visit us in the coming months before his ministry begins in full. But until then, I’d like to share with you a little about Fr Crippen.
Fr Crippen is an ordained presbyter, archdeacon to Bishop Julian, and one of the most experienced men in our diocese. Though he has never been a full-time Rector, Fr Crippen has served in parish ministry for decades and, after leaving the military, spent his entire career in non-parochial ministry. These ministries include International Students, Inc., the Institute for Family Studies in Colorado Springs, Family Research Council in Washington D.C., the John Jay Institute (which he founded), and most recently the American Bible Society. Fr Crippen is a learned man, a gifted teacher, and passionate about building community around the daily practice of prayer, word, and sacrament.
Fr Crippen is a widower, having lost his wife and companion in ministry, Michelle, to cancer just over one year ago. Together they raised five believing children, four of whom are married and the last of which is a senior in high school. It is for the sake of this youngest daughter, Felicity, that we have agreed to delay Fr Crippen’s tenure till December.
Fr Crippen’s background uniquely situates him for ministry in our parish. To give just a few examples, Fr Crippen spent many years advocating for strong families, not to mention building one of his own, and is sensitive to the priority that must be placed on catechizing our children and incorporating them into the fullness of the Christian faith. His heart for families also positions him to address issues that matter to the Hillsdale community. Speaking of the community, Fr Crippen was raised on a dairy farm in rural Pennsylvania. He told me with affection that Hillsdale reminds him of home. We believe he will be able to speak into the lives of all of our members from all walks of life—both those we have now and those that we hope will join us. He is an older man, capable of approaching our more senior parishioners out of a shared wealth of experience, and keen to mentor younger members as they proceed through life. He is specially gifted with students, having founded the John Jay Institute—an intensive fellowship program that prepares post-grads for lives of leadership in their churches and communities. And, as I’m sure you’re all wondering, he’s as much a proponent of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer as all of us are! (No mean feat, I assure you.)
Getting to this point required an extended process of discernment on both our parts, filled with prayer and counsel. At the end of it, both we and Fr Crippen feel strongly that this partnership is the Lord’s will.
We do not know what the future holds, but it seems that God may be positioning us not only to deepen our existing community, but to extend the blessings that we have enjoyed to those around us. Fr Crippen is a leader and a visionary, someone who has the experience and ability to bring out the full potential of fellowship. It may be that the Lord is calling Holy Trinity to play an increasingly significant role in his Church. We can start right here at home by becoming a cardinal parish—a shining example of what Anglican life can be—as well as an incubator for future leaders in God’s church and in the community at large. Fr Adam already set us on this path. Welcoming Fr Crippen seems the next step in accepting this larger calling.
This period in the life of our parish will not be without its challenges. We have never shouldered the financial burden of a full-time Rector before. Our expenses will increase dramatically. And yet so has God’s provision. Already a handful of generous families have agreed to significantly increase their annual giving. They are making this sacrifice because they believe in the future of Holy Trinity, in what God is calling us to become, and their commitments encourage us that together we can meet this challenge. It is a wonderous and beautiful thing that God is calling us to do here, and we all have the opportunity to be a part of it. I ask each you to consider what role God might be inviting you to play in this great work.
I, for one, cannot wait to see what God has in store for us. Fr Adam’s arrival was such a blessing to our parish; I believe that Fr Crippen’s coming will be more of the same.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Blake McAllister & Eric Coykendall, Wardens
Sam Knecht, Allen Knight, Eric Marshall, & Renee Young, Members of the Vestry
Fr. Adam Rick
A prayerbook Christian with a patristic twist.