Posted November 10, 2020 in Featured News

The Synod of the Trinity office, located at 3040 Market Street in Camp Hill, PA, has served this region since 1961. During the last 59 years, the office building has been the working home to many wonderful staff who spent countless hours planning events like assemblies and Synod School that have greatly benefited the region. We invited some of those personalities to reflect on their time and memories in the Synod building, and these are their responses:

Circa 2020

David Bailey (Presbytery of Carlisle)

The last year that Synod School was held, three of us – the Rev. Gary Lyon, the Rev. David Carlisle and I – were the ones who were in charge. Living the closest in Chambersburg at the time, I was the Program Coordinator and spent many days (and nights) working at the synod offices. There were only a few staff people in the building due to reorganizations and transitions taking place, so often it was just me working late. Once when I had an early meeting the next day and saw it was already 9 p.m., I decided not to drive back home. I just stayed in the small room with a cot near the kitchen. It was strange to wake in the middle of the night and see no traffic on Market Street and be in that building alone. One of my many memories of the 3040 Market Street location in past years. Did anyone else ever spend the night in the building?

Agnes Peebles (Beaver-Butler Presbytery)

I was one of eight Christian education consultants in the synod, the only one with an office in the building. That meant I got to be a part of or on the fringe of many meetings, events, visits of other people from across the synod. Bill Rusch, the synod executive, and Elizabeth Atticks, the office manager, kept all of us on our toes and at the same time created an atmosphere of family. My memories of 3040 are all tangled up with people – Bob Coleman, Mike Sanford and Bob Abrams, Charles Terry, Tucker Thompson – and programs – Synod School, Youth in Partnership in Mission, Trinity Youth Conference, Intensive Teacher Training. All these and more were facilitated out of that Synod Office. It was a bee-hive of ideas and activity, and its influence reached across the synod.

Jim Ihlenfeld (Beaver-Butler Presbytery)

The Holy Spirit was certainly working among the many fine commissioners and the wonderful staff persons over the years. Worship, music, agendas, meeting protocol and care & concern will be fondly remembered as well as sharing meals, talking with each other, lighter moments, and darker moments, and prayers for each other. Thanks be to God and thanks to all for the memories.

Kathryn McCrary (Presbytery of West Virginia)

I have three special memories of the synod: working with my very special friend Susan and the Synod Youth Council, being a commissioner to Synod, and my times with the other presbytery/synod educators, especially Agnes Peebles.

Gary Angleberger (Beaver-Butler Presbytery)

Here are several warm memories of 3040 Market St. from my many years of staff service within the Synod of the Trinity. I remember the aromatic, warm coffee brewed by the staff each morning, which sat in a large coffee pot in the hallway on the way to the kitchen and the large meeting room and to which everyone went during the morning hours for refreshment. I remember the large conference room at the end of the hallway and the monthly cordial staff meetings held there, convened by the Synod Executive.

I remember my office that was near the synod entrance parking lot entrance door that looked out onto the street. I remember the rewarding warmth and the privilege of conversations with staff and volunteers, both clergy and lay, that my position afforded. I was always pleased to be part of the Synod of the Trinity staff and felt that we were well received by counterparts and volunteers in the presbyteries and other governing bodies of the church. I remember feeling gratitude for my position within the Synod and the many opportunities it presented for learning more about the wider Presbyterian Church and the dedicated and remarkable colleagues one is privileged to get to know as a staff member in the PC(USA). I was privileged to develop a warm and continuing relationship with a fellow staff member, eventually to become the Synod of the Trinity Executive, Bruce Stevens.

I consider the years spent working in the Synod of the Trinity very special and wonderfully rewarding years of ordained ministry. The involvement and exposure it provided to the larger Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) were special gifts of enrichment for my life. I am grateful for the privilege of serving in the Synod and the many ways it has deepened and broadened my view of the PCUSA and its openness to trying to discern the call of God to service through the social, political and personal experiences of our lives. I remain grateful for the opportunity for growth the Synod of the Trinity provided me in my last 20 years of ordained service to the PCUSA. And most of all, I give thanks for the gracious and, at times, surprising ways that God has provided vital and supportive companions along this way. I can only give thanks to God for this wonderful Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), into which God eventually placed me for ordination.

Circa 1961