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BY REV. DR. JAMES H. COOPER | Historic Trinity Church measures its progress by the positive impact its robust mission has on people’s lives in our community and around the world.
As we have seen the residential population of Lower Manhattan grow over recent years, so too has parish programming centered on children and families. Trinity offers an array of spiritual education programs throughout the week, anchored by the Trinity Preschool, which accepts children year-round and this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.
These efforts work alongside a significant and growing effort to support public education called All Our Children. Trinity feels a responsibility to help nurture young people and understands that public schools can flourish when they have the full support of their communities. All Our Children organizes tutoring and volunteer partnerships, and a highly regarded “Totes for Teachers” campaign that helps downtown educators stock classrooms with essential supplies.
Trinity is bolstering besieged arts education budgets by offering a popular and well-regarded youth music program with nearly 100 committed members, as well as funding a team of music educators who teach, rehearse, and lead concert programming in local public schools. Trinity actively supports the arts, as anyone who has attended a Bach at One event at St. Paul’s, or heard the Trinity Choir sing Messiah at Christmas knows; Trinity also supports the next generation of artists in this great city.
Charlotte’s Place continues to refine and adapt its programming to meet community needs after a first year during which it welcomed some 20,000 people, including many Occupy Wall Street protesters. As Trinity’s neighborhood center, the Charlotte’s Place mission is to create a diverse and healthy community reflective of Lower Manhattan. Ongoing programs will include the popular Family Friday Movie Nights, lunches with live music, and homeless outreach training.
That training is important, and so is direct aid. Every Tuesday and Thursday in front of Trinity Church, people in need receive a free brown-bag lunch. Trinity continues to make a significant grant to a local housing placement program and to train volunteers in homeless outreach. We are privileged to play a role in these efforts.
Trinity also embraces its role as a spiritual oasis set apart from the busy urban din. Our churches and churchyards are designated landmarks and important to the people of the city and to visitors. The parish is currently engaged in important preservation work to maintain its treasured legacy for future generations to enjoy. Projects at Trinity include restoration of the church steeple and areas of the façade, repairs to portions of the roof, and reinforcement and restoration of the retaining wall along Trinity Place. At St. Paul’s, we have completed roof repairs and the restoration of the Montgomery Monument and are now embarking on the reinforcement and restoration of the East and West porticos.
As many of you know, Trinity Real Estate operates a significant commercial portfolio, with a focus on creative companies in several industries, in Hudson Square. The portfolio provides the resources to fund our mission and related programs. Trinity also continues to provide incubator office space to help launch new businesses and generate new jobs for the city. A re-zoning initiative is underway designed to sustain, protect and enhance the area by introducing planned residential, community facility and retail development to bolster Hudson Square as a vibrant, attractive 24/7 neighborhood.
Later this year and into the next, Tamid, a new downtown synagogue, will use St. Paul’s Chapel for observance of holy days and regular Shabbat services. We’re pleased to be able make the historic space available and have this opportunity to strengthen the bonds between our faiths.
We are also active participants in global society. Since 1972, Trinity Grants has provided $80 million in funding to help bring positive change to 85 countries, including South Africa, Rwanda, Congo and the new nation of South Sudan.
Trinity is a warm and welcoming community. Our commitment is to add positively to the rich tapestry of life in Lower Manhattan. Stop by and join us. We’d love to see you.
Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper is the 17th rector of Trinity Wall Street.