Posted February 1, 2022 in Featured News

I bring greetings from the Synod’s virtual office, since as far as I know our physical footprint has been reduced to a post office box and a storage locker somewhere in Mechanicsburg, PA. I am coming to you from an apartment at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where I’ll be living for the next four or five months.

I’m learning the wisdom of rug weavers, who understand that working at a loom means adding one strand to the next, until over time a thing of great durability and beauty has come into existence – because right now I feel like I’ve only woven a couple strands together in relationship with you. Becoming part of the Synod of the Trinity is nothing like stamping a coin into existence in a single press.

And if you’re new, you may feel a little like me – that your relationship to the Synod is, at least so far, a small and thin one.

I’m guessing we have a lot in common right now:

  • a desire to be effective, but not a clear sense of how;
  • a sense of excitement for what could be, but not a whole lot of specific ideas for how that “could” will work;
  • a longing that our service might be useful to the churches back home and the churches around the region, but with a feeling that institutional distance and physical distance can make that longing hard to meet.

But maybe you’re also like me in the potential you’ve seen:

  • how the larger region can bring people together to do more than they can do on their own;
  • how the Synod staff are remarkably committed and hardworking to find ways that will help you help your congregations and ministers;
  • how the Synod’s resources, both financial and human, can help presbyteries do new things … or do old things better … or find ways to untangle the tangles they’ve gotten into.

And if any of that is true, then like me, you’ve said yes because you believe you can help make it happen. You believe we can be more together – and you want to be a part of that.

All of that is certainly true for me. I hope it is true for you.

And I hope that over the upcoming year we do find our work woven together, strand by strand, until we do find ourselves looking not at a bunch of loose threads – or loose ends, or wits’ ends – but at a well-bound tapestry, a thing of great beauty and durability, all of which is held together in relationships of mutual support and love.

I look forward to this upcoming year of discovering God’s plan for our presbyteries … with you … together. Welcome to the work.


Forrest Claassen

Synod Executive